Last weekend I spent four days on my Harley riding with a group of girls and was able to road test some new gear. One pair of gloves, the Cortech DX 2 Womens Gloves, turned out to be an awesome riding companion. I usually wear leather gloves and was really impressed by these cute Pink & Black summer riding gloves. They were stretchy, comfortable and kept my hands cool, plus when I got stuck in the rain, my hands didn’t turn colors like they usually do in leather.
Hello, My Name is Timothy W. White. I am a 45 year old guy who has had a passion for everything moto since I can remember. I lost part of my right leg, (BKA Unilateral Amputee), due to a mechanical malfunction on my bike, and a subsequent “hit & run” motor vehicle accident. I still love to ride, and will do so until I become a hazard due to age or health issues. I recently formed my own LLC Business called “Ride Safe Mobile Moto Services LLC”, and can go where the customer is with my mobile workshop trailer and mount & balance tires, as well as perform many other services to your motorcycle, boat, lawn tractor, car, truck, etc.
Here are several photos that you can choose from if you like. “Oh, and how many 2003 Suzuki GSX-R 1000s do you see sporting a DISABLED PLATE?! Hahaha.
Thank you for the opportunity, Cheers, Tim.
Timothy W. White, @ Ride Safe Mobile Moto Services L.L.C.
Last month we had the opportunity to ride out to watch the MiRock World Finals in Rockingham, NC at The Rock dragway. The Rock is about a two hour ride out from Competition Accessories which is located just South of Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC. Here at Competition Accessories we love all kinds of racing, whether it’s on or off road, apexing corners, or in a straight line.
We couldn’t wait to watch some of the top drag racers line up for some intense battles on the drag strip at the 2012 MiRock World Finals. Two of the top racers we were going to see were Rickey Gadson, 9 time drag racing world champion, and Dystany Spurlock, an up and coming young star who has made a huge impact in the sport since she started racing just two years ago. What do both Dystany and Rickey Gadson have in common? They are both sponsored by Speed and Strength, one of our favorite brands of riding gear for both the street and the track. What I love most about Speed & Strength is they really do make something for everyone, and at prices that won’t bottom out your bank account. Whether you are looking for some gear with some flash, or if you prefer to fly “Under the Radar,” Speed & Strength is sure to have a product you’ll love. For the ladies, we have a separate blog post up that takes a look at some Speed & Strength Women’s gear and a quick interview with Dystany Spurlock. For this ride, I chose to support Rickey by wearing the Speed and Strength 62 Motorsports Jacket, along with some other awesome gear from them that we’ll cover in a minute.
As we pulled in to “The Rock,” the smell of race gas and burnt rubber filled the air. There was a tangible excitement hanging over the place as racers queued up for their respective classes. The scream of inline fours barreling down the track or the occasional rumble of a big twin added to the atmosphere.
It was easy to spot Rickey’s trailer as we pulled into the pits. He has a nicely setup rig to haul his awesome Kawasakis.
A few pictures of Rickey’s 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R:
No Speedo Needed. It’s all about reaction time, perfect shifts, and a good launch down the track. A speedo is an unnecessary distraction!
Drag racers often go with just a single front brake rotor to reduce weight and rotational mass. An added side benefit is showing off those awesome wheels.
This was the scene as riders staged for their respective classes.
It’s not too often that you see a Suzuki B-King. This guy was quick! His Yoshimura Exhaust is a huge improvement over the giant boat anchors the B-King comes with stock (IMO, of course).
The previous generation ZX-14 is still a force to be reckoned with at the drag strip!
I had to give a little love to the fellow ZRX rider. It was a tough race against the Kubota ;)
A few other drag bikes hanging around the pits:
The new Speed and Strength King of the Streets helmet will be out in 2013 – stay tuned!
So lets talk about the gear I got to wear for this ride. I’ll start with my new favorite motorcycle gloves – the Speed and Strength Rage with the Machine Gloves! Not only do these gloves fit great, with great comfort and protection, they also have what Speed & Strength calls “Speed Dial” technology. The first two fingers and thumb of these gloves has been specially treated to work with touch screens! This sounds great on paper, but in real life situations, it’s even better than you imagined. Want to stop and take a picture? No problem. Buddies trying to text you and figure out where you’re at? No problem. Need to check the maps? No problem… I could go on and on, but this feature should be on all motorcycle gloves. I found them to work perfectly on my phone, and if you just use the tips of the fingers or thumbs you can actually type and press buttons just fine (I was concerned they’d make my fingers too fat to use the phone well). Besides the awesome Speed Dial feature, the Rage with the Machine gloves are actually really, really nice gloves. They fit like gloves should, without any extra material that would make them feel bulky. You get leather in all the right places, so you know they’ll last, with a little bit of fabric at the back of the hand to keep things cool and comfortable. A split molded knuckle protector will keep your hands protected, and they double as ram air scoops to help keep your hands cool. I have ridden in these gloves from everything from the 50’s and up into the 80’s. They aren’t insulated at all of course so they get a little chilly on longer rides in cold weather, but for those days where the weather is great these are now my go-to gloves. Really happy with them overall – you can watch the video review below:
Now that we’ve covered my hands, lets talk about what I had on my feet. The Speed and Strength Run with the Bulls Shoes are a cross between a casual shoe and motorcycle boots. These were great for days like today – where we were riding our bikes to a destination where we would be walking around a lot. These are super comfortable to walk in, but offer the protection you need when riding a motorcycle. The laces keep the shoes comfy and secure on your feet, and Speed & Strength has what they call their “Under Cover” system, which is basically recessed laces with a strap that holds the laces down an out of the way. Anyone who has had a shoelace get caught up on their bike will tell you it is NOT fun. You either manage to get your foot down or you go down with the bike on top of you – I’ve seen it happen several times. Shoe laces need to be tucked away where they won’t get caught on your pegs, shifter, brake lever, etc, etc. The Under Cover design works well. There are small armor pieces over the ankle bones, and a reinforced shifter pad helps keep these shoes looking good for miles. The Run with the Bulls shoes have a generous amount of perforation which allows a good amount of air to pass through, keeping your feet cool and comfortable even on those hot summer rides. So while these certainly aren’t race boots, I feel they serve a great purpose and they look great with jeans too, which leads me to my next item….
The Run with the Bulls Kevlar Jeans have a relaxed fit and a pre-distressed look that don’t scream “motorcycle pants!” Riding in your Levis is certainly comfortable and convenient, but what a lot of riders don’t realize is your favorite pair of 501’s aren’t going to hold up to the asphalt if you go down. Denim just shreds on impact – I’ve seen it happen. The Speed and Strength Run with the Bulls Jeans are reinforced with Kevlar panels in the knees and the seat of the pants. Kevlar is incredibly tear resistant, and offers the abrasion protection you need when riding. These are a great compromise between a full on motorcycle pant and your favorite pair of jeans. I found these to fit true to size, and the relaxed fit and boot cut makes them very comfortable both on and off the bike. They are available in both black and blue varieties, and I think you’ll probably want at least a couple pairs of these in the closet if you ride a lot; I’m definitely happy with these jeans!
Finally – my new jacket. The Speed & Strength 62 Motorsports Jacket was the brainchild of 9 time drag racing world champion Rickey Gadson. Rickey told us that he goes to work every day in a suit – just so happens it’s a leather race suit for the drag strip. But, Rickey is a pretty stylish guy, so he made sure his suit looked good, and added some pinstripes for a little class. It was such a huge hit with the fans that Speed & Strength decided to make a textile jacket for the street with that classic pinstripe look. The Speed & Strength 62 Motorsports Jacket is available in both black and green versions. I picked the green version, which goes perfectly with my Kawasaki ZRX 1100. The 62 Motorsports jacket has a few patches on the chest and sleeves, but they are pretty subtle and not too “in your face.” I found the jacket to be very comfortable on the bike, and it’s not one of these huge bulky motorcycle jackets, either. That’s thanks to it’s very basic design – no extra liners to worry about, just a good looking jacket. Although this jacket doesn’t come with a liner, I found it had enough room inside to wear a good sweatshirt, which kept me comfortable down into the 30’s in the mountains. For warmer weather there are zippered vents on the sleeves and torso, which allow a good amount of air to flow through. The Speed and Strength 62 Motorsports Jacket isn’t waterproof, which means it’s not super hot and sticky in warmer weather, either. Genuine CE Approved Knox Armor is found in the shoulders and elbows, along with a dual density foam back pad for impact protection – I definitely feel safe with this jacket on. Not only is it smart to wear a protective jacket when you’re out on your street rides, it helps you look good, too. Check out the Speed & Strength 62 Motorsports Jacket as Rickey Gadson tells us all about it in the video below!
This was a great experience. Not only did we get to try out some great new Speed & Strength Motorcycle Gear, we got to hang out with racers like Rickey Gadson and Dystany Spurlock. The racing action was awesome, the weather was great, and it was just an overall good day! We put together a little video talking to Rickey about his racing along with some exciting race footage in the video below – enjoy! (and go buy some Speed & Strength gear!)
Earlier this month, we had a chance to check out the MiRock World Finals; where we were able to check out a few races, as well as talk to a few racers like Rickey Gadson. We also ran into one of racing’s newest stars, Dystany Spurlock. Despite starting her career only two years ago, Dystany has already made a name for herself in the motorcycle racing world. She began riding at the age of 17 with her first bike, a 2006 GSXR 750. Both Dystany’s mother and father are riders, so you could say that motorcycles are in her blood. She also has a godfather, Shawn Freedman, who was a drag racer; Dystany would often go with him to the track to watch races, and he was part of her inspiration for wanting to take on the sport. Dystany began riding with BMW after meeting Brock Davidson at the Manufacturers Cup Finals in Georgia. It was there that Brock let Dystany test drive a stock BMW S1000 RR. She set a record of 163 MPH in 8.61 seconds. It was clear that Dystany and the S1000 RR were a match made in heaven, and she swapped her Suzuki out for a Bimmer soon after. In 2011, she announced her NHRA Pro Stock Endeavor. Dystany won her first event at Virginia Motorsports with a time of 9.39 ET at 141 MPH. Her best time to date is 8.46 ET at 158 MPH. Regardless of her young age, or her technical “rookie” status, Dystany Spurlock undeniably races like a pro. She has recently joined with the independent racing team Alter/Bivins, and she also has plans to expand her skills beyond just the motorcycle world. Next year Dystany will be pursuing stock car racing for NASCAR, and is already sponsered by the Africa Channel.
For all you female riders that like Dystany’s gear style, she is actually a spokeswoman for Speed & Strength Women’s Gear! Take a look at their brand new Motolisa gear line on our blog post, where you can learn more about each product in the line, and see our product review videos. The line consists of everything you need to hit the road in style; the Motolisa Jacket, Motolisa Gloves, Motolisa Vest, Motolisa Womens Jeans, and the Motolisa Boots. Each piece of gear has a unique, feminine styling that will be sure to get you noticed. You can find even more Speed & Strength motorcycle gear on our website: Competition Accessories.com!
It was a rather spontaneous trip. Although I had been hoping to visit the folks at Wheels Through Time for quite a while, I hadn’t actually put a plan in place. That all changed on a Thursday afternoon when my riding buddy Andy gave me a call. He had a tool for an injection mold that had to be dropped off for polishing at a shop up in the mountains, and asked if I might like to make a bike trip of it. I was needing to head up that way to visit the museum, so I made a couple calls, and a plan was hatched!
I left my house at 5:30am Friday morning. We knew we had a LOT of miles to cover, as well as visiting the tool shop and the museum, so sleep was not exactly a priority. So in the dark and cold, I threw my leg over the ZRX and headed West to meet Andy at a gas station about an hour away.
After gassing up and grabbing some coffee to warm up, we continued West, burning some miles as the early morning sun burned away the morning fog. We found ourselves heading up the Saluda Grade as the sun peeked through the trees. Andy wore his Frogg Toggs Rain Suit over his leathers to stay warm.
That sun will reach us and warm us up soon!
The Saluda Grade was a steep mainline railway that crested in the town of Saluda, NC.
The sun comes up over the town of Saluda, NC
The old train station is now home to quaint little shops and cafe’s. The town was just waking up as we rode through.
From Saluda it was time to head further up into the mountains towards the tool shop so Andy could drop off his part.
With blue skies above and the sun shining, we headed further into the mountains. A thick blanket of fog greeted us as we dipped into a valley. The fog was so thick we had to keep turning our heads to the sides to keep our visors clear. A few turns up some back roads and we found the tool shop!
Unfortunately I snapped that picture and then threw the camera back in the tank bag. I wish I would have brought it in because I got to see some really cool technology.
After a great tour through the shop, it was time to tear up some roads and head up towards Maggie Valley, NC!
Warp drive – Engage!
It’s always amazing when you get up really early, you feel like you have done so much and it still isn’t lunch time…
We stopped to check out this waterfall off of HWY 276
We weren’t the only bikes out enjoying a beautiful day on some beautiful roads!
Finally! After a couple hundred miles and a never-ending morning, we finally made it!
I have to admit I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I knew they had a collection of rare bikes, but had no idea how big the place was. Upon arriving I could tell just from the sheer size of the building that we were in for a treat. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Wheels Through Time is a motorcycle museum located in Maggie Valley, NC. Wheels Through Time was started by Dale Walksler back in 1993. Dale and his son Matt restore and build bikes in the attached shop, finishing about 1 bike a month currently. The museum has been in North Carolina for about 6 years now, and is run primarily by volunteers who are passionate about what they do.
Many bikes from many different states filled the parking lot.
Now you know how they keep their grass so nice!
We barely made it past the main entrance. As soon as you walk in you are greeted with so much to look at that you can only go a few feet at a time.
Soon Matt popped out and greeted us, I had exchanged a few e-mails with him a few months back, but again, this visit was fairly unplanned – I wasn’t even sure if he was going to be there that day! What happened next is something I’ll never forget. Matt proceeded to take us on a personal tour of the museum, starting up bikes for us, letting us sit on them and check them out. Wheels Through Time is called “The Museum That Runs,” and they really mean it! Almost all of the bikes in their collection have actually been restored or fixed up to run again. It is truly amazing to see something that was built 100 years ago fire up and run.
This has to be one of the manliest motorcycles I’ve ever seen.
Well, that’s one way to light your instruments. Little things that we take for granted now had to be invented and refined over time. You actually had to turn the little “hat” to shine the light on whichever gauges you were trying to read.
This was a really unique sidecar rig, that you actually ride (drive?) from the sidecar!
The bike above is truly special. It was found by a plumber in 1967 behind a brick wall of an apartment building in Chicago. The building’s owner admitted that his son stole it before heading off to World War One, and he never came back. To this day, nobody knows who built it! The assumption, of course, is that it was a Mr. Traub, but there is no record of the build or who he was. Every part of this bike is truly unique, apparently custom built and way ahead of it’s time. Matt and Dale estimate that it was probably built sometime around 1916, based on a few key components. The seat, carburetor, and magneto are the only parts on this bike that are recognizable as stock parts, and they date back to that time. Everything else is custom made, from the engine cases to the pistons. This bike was truly ahead of it’s time, and probably one of the biggest mysteries in the history of motorcycling.
Pictured above is the 1914 Flescher Flyer. Lois Flescher had a very innovative bike that featured floorboards that could rotate to operate the brake and clutch.
Some of the scenes around the museum leave you feeling like you are peering through a window into another time. This old workbench full of parts could have been your grandfathers!
Matt gets another bike going for us. Check for gas, pedal pedal pedal POW POW chugachugachuga. Too cool!
Since we figured out how to suspend a motor between two wheels, it seems people have had the urge to race and compete on motorcycles. Wheels Through Time has an impressive Hill Climb display. Full of many bikes from the early 20th century with their sometimes crude but effective modifications for hill climb competitions.
Santa, is that you?
Excelsior produced some very cool bikes up until they closed their doors in 1931. Dale started this one up for us, a big leather belt drives the rear wheel.
Very cool to see these old motors fire up and run.
Every year, Wheels Through Time does a raffle to support museum costs. This year they raffled off this 1932 Flathead Bobber. We didn’t win… Maybe next year!
Ok… what other museum to you know of that will take you for a ride on a piece of history?
Dale is quite the proficient sidecar flyer.
You know this kid won’t forget this!
They even have a few four wheeled contraptions around the place.
After such a wonderful time at the museum it was hard to say goodbye, but the sun was setting and we still had many miles to burn to get home. So we fired up our modern liquid cooled motorcycles and rode home, imagining what it would be like to be instead on a classic piece of American history, sputtering along into the sunset.
Check out our Wheels Through Time video that we made during our visit! Dale and Matt started up quite a few bikes for us, which was fantastic! Seeing something run that is literally 100 years old is something quite special, and some of the stories behind these bikes are just incredible. You owe it to yourself to visit Wheels Through Time – it’s one of the best museum experiences you’ll ever have! Check out http://www.wheelsthroughtime.com