As the monsoons bless the Western Ghats with ample showers in the month of May and June, the countryside in the coming season turns green and vibrates with life and energy. This is one of the best times to go trekking or enjoy beachside views. And how can riders be kept away from hitting the highways in search of thrill, adventure and new experiences! Team HNP has curated a list of some of the most adventurous rides along the Western Ghats that will get that adrenaline pumping.
Coorg - Kudremukh: Kudagu, popularly known as Coorg, is nestled on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. A nature lover’s paradise, Coorg is known for its misty hills, exotic scenery and coffee brews that draw in coffee lovers from across the country. Its winding roads are a treat for any motorcyclist offering a breath of fresh air to both man and motorcycle. The area is perfect for a range of outdoor activities with its numerous hills offering paths of varying difficulties to adventurers and the Cauvery river providing perfect waters for white water rafting and angling. With a high annual rainfall, the hills of Coorg are lined with small water streams flowing down the hilltops even past the months of October. Embarking on the 4.5 hr ride towards Kudremukh, one is welcomed with even higher peaks and voluminous waterfalls. A large number of private and government agencies provide camping and tent facilities in the area. This route is a total distance of 208 kms.
Wayanad-Kochi: Wayanad is located in the northern part of Kerala and is popular for its wildlife sanctuary. With most of its topography filled with lush green forests, the ride from Wayanad to Kochi promises picturesque sights of the coastline along the Western Ghats. As you descend down the Western ghats onto the coastline. The lush green scenery turns into a mix of light blue and aqua green. With the hills at the backdrop, a lot of this route has picturesque horizons over the vast Arabian Sea. The whole route is dotted with sunset points. This stretch of 263 kms takes about 7 hours 30 mins to cover if you avoid the port city of Kozhikode. There are beautiful beaches with suitable accommodation and arrangements all throughout this stretch. Another
Karwar – Murudeshwar (Jog Falls): The 120 km ride from Karwar to Murudeshwar is one of the most rewarding rides along the Western Ghats. Starting at the pristine and sparsely populated beaches of Karwar, the southbound ride takes one along the mighty Arabian Sea. The small temple town of Gokarna sits halfway through this ride and offers riders the perfect spot for a tea break and a few more spectacular beaches to soak in the coastal breeze. One can then travel eastward towards the spectacular Jog falls and appreciate nature at it’s finest or travel south towards Murudeshwar to marvel at man’s creation, the second largest Shiva statue which evokes both awe and spirituality.
Mumbai/ Pune - Dudhsagar Falls: This route is better known as the Mumbai-Goa highway and is one of the most revered routes in the Indian subcontinent. The highway from Pune to Bangalore is one of the most comfortable highways to ride on. You can ride to Dudhsagar falls through Goa or take the alternative route via Belgaum. The waterfall is at a distance of 96 kms from Belgaum and about 60kms from Panaji. Dudhsagar Falls, a four-tiered waterfall is amongst India's tallest, with a height of 310 m. The name literally translates to ‘sea of milk’ and so it seems as you gaze into the bubbly white waters of Dudh Sagar. The route from Pune to Goa is one that most riders are well familiar with but this detour to Dudhsagar ensures a different experience for those willing to go the extra mile.
Mahabaleshwar - Shivasagar Lake: Mahabaleshwar with its numerous viewpoints and mouthwatering strawberries is one of the ideal getaways from the bustling life of Pune and Mumbai. Keep riding south however and the route to Shivasagar lake takes one through the evergreen Koyna Wildlife sanctuary bustling with flora and fauna. The famous Kaas plateau also falls along this route and is home to over 800 species of flowers, displaying a carpet of colours in the months of August and September. The route passes by numerous dams and river tributaries before settling at the base of the Koyna river with various lakeside resorts offering the perfect resting spot.
So gear up, pack your bags and get that beast ready because these places are sure to get your wanderlust on!
The rains bring much-needed respite from the sweltering heat and a rider cannot help but feel a sense of relief as the temperatures go down and the highways get more bearable. Dust settles down and traffic reduces as people seek shelter from the downpour. As city outskirts go green, the curiosity to witness nature at its prime is something that captivates a rider. The urge to ride into the rains can be really strong especially along with the prospect of steaming chai and hot pakodas at the end of every ride! The rains promise serenity and tranquility like no other season, but the monsoon season can also be one of the riskiest times to be riding a two-wheeler. As the roads get wet and slippery, it gets difficult for tyres to maintain grip and braking too. Riding in the rains requires a rider to be on constant vigil, as the weather needs you to remain cautious at all times. Here are a few tips and tricks from team HNP to help you enjoy riding in the monsoons-
1. Waterproof Riding Gear:
Waterproof riding gear is the most basic necessity during the monsoons, keeping the rider dry while also ensuring maximum protection. Since the probability of skidding increases during monsoons, protective gear is an absolute must. One option is to wear riding gear with waterproof liners, and the other option is to wear a water-resistant covering over your usual riding gear. For this the Revit! Nitric 2 H2O Rain Jacket and Revit! Sphinx H2O Rain Pants are amongst the best options available in the market today.
2. Gloves: Though a good pair of gloves is important in all weather conditions, they are an absolute necessity during the rains. Water on the palms, wrinkly fingers and wet grips can make it extremely difficult to manoeuvre the bike. A good pair of gloves ensures maximum grip over your handlebar. The gloves also provide protection from water droplets that pierce the front of the hand like needles while riding in the rains.
3. Ventilated Helmets:
During the rains, breathing into the helmet may cause mist. This can be avoided by ventilating the helmet efficiently. Most good helmets have ventilation vents which not only keep the temperature inside the helmet low, but also help prevent mist formation - which can blur the rider’s vision and cause glaring on the visor, literally blinding the rider to oncoming traffic. Invest in a good helmet that prevents condensed air from settling on the visor providing all-round protection in the monsoons. Bell Qualifier DLX and Bell Star series helmets are amongst the most ventilated helmets available in India.
4. Waterproof luggage:
Riding in gentle rains equates to standing in a storm, so never underestimate a downpour by just standing under it. In such conditions, it’s important to protect not just yourself but also your belongings like camera, lenses, clothes, munchies etc. This is where waterproof luggage is an absolute must-have. The Oxford Aqua T-30/T-50 roll bag is one such must-have. It has a wipe-clean waterproof construction with water-resistant zippers and roll top closure. Another product really good for the monsoons is the Oxford Aqua B-25 Backpack featuring a roll top opening and waterproof tarpaulin construction, water-resistant zippers and reflective detailing for enhanced visibility during a downpour.
5. Hazard lights: While most four-wheelers come with in-built hazard lights, a large number of motorcycles don’t have factory-built hazard lights. It is, however, a wise decision to install these as they increase the chances of your vehicle being visible in extremely unclear conditions, such as rains and storms. All it takes is lights which are easily available online, fixing up the switch and wire, which is fairly simple and can be done by any mechanic.
While these were a few items to put on your list of gear and equipment to carry during the monsoons, here are a few tips and tricks to follow during monsoons to remain safe -
Check your tyres: Always check your tyres before heading out in the rains as deflated tyres or tyres with low pressures are highly susceptible to skidding.
Check for old brake pads: If your brake pads are weak, have worn out or are cracked it is highly advisable to change them before monsoons as water causes metallic parts to corrode easily.
Pay attention on the road: look out for puddles, cracks and potholes during the monsoons. It can be really difficult to assess the depth of a puddle while riding towards it; hence it’s wiser to try and avoid puddles on the road altogether. Also since both sides of the road generally face waterlogging and have debris, it is advisable to stay closer to the center of the road.
Park cautiously: While parking always look out for branches that might fall on your vehicle, avoid parking under a tree or close to an electric pole.
Maintain suitable distance: As roads get slippery, it is difficult to perceive the time required for the vehicle to come to halt. So as a general rule of thumb, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
Hope the above helps get ready for the riding safe and staying dry while riding in the rain. So go ahead and enjoy the monsoon showers, for this time comes only once a year. Right safe and ride right.
As we suit up for a ride, polish our helmets and refuel our tanks, there’s this one thing a rider usually forgets - protective eye gear. Much like we protect any other body part with proper riding equipment, we also need to take precautions to keep our eyes safe from harmful sunlight, dirt and projectiles on the road.
Since your eyes are one of the most delicate organs in the body, care needs to be taken accordingly to ensure nothing goes awfully wrong during a ride. Even a tiny speck of dust entering your eyes during a turn can result in a fatal crash. Hence riding glasses should always be worn to protect the eyes from any possible damage. Riding without glasses can lead to several complications such as landing up with dry eyes. This is a condition that arises when the eyes lose moisture before tears are formed. Another important reason for wearing riding glasses during a ride is to avoid harmful UV rays from impacting the eyes and also to increase visibility in certain conditions. For instance, polarized lenses help to reduce glare, Orange or yellow lenses can help improve clarity on dull days. Non-tinted lenses are required for nighttime riding (light yellow tints are OK for nighttime, and dark sunglasses are a big no-no!). Glasses used when riding should have shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and a lightweight nylon frame.
Nowadays riding glasses are available with changeable lenses. These ensure that you have the most appropriate lenses according to the given situation rather than investing in different riding glasses.
Lenses can fog up easily, especially in a full-face helmet where you are breathing humid air into the helmet. So invest in anti-fog pair. You can also reduce fogging by wearing your glasses 15-20 minutes before using them outside, as this will normalise them to the temperature of your head.
Since choosing the right pair of riding glasses can be quite a challenge, here are our top picks to help you make the right choice-
Bertoni Photochromic Polarized Sports Sunglasses are made of shatterproof Nylon Mesh, which is extremely lightweight at 0.63 ounces. A wraparound design protects the eyes from wind, splashes and bad weather, and provides enhanced peripheral vision. The glasses come equipped with photochromic polarized lens that adjusts to ambient brightness, going from light smoke filter 2 to grey filter 3 in only 8 sec. The polarized lenses also reduce reflections on horizontal surfaces. Available in sizes suitable for all types of faces (narrow to large) the glasses also have ergonomic soft nose pads which adjust to the size of the rider’s nose, making it an extremely comfortable wear and offers an exceptional fit for any shape of face. A grip at the tip of the arm and nose bridge keeps the sunglasses from slipping, ensuring the safety of the glasses as well as your eyes.
2. Bertoni Motorcycle Sports Sunglasses:
These stylish sunglasses come with polycarbonate anti-fog lens impact and provide 100% UV protection. The frame, black "soft touch rubber effect" is made of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Its comfortable shape makes it unique in its kind for protection from wind. Combined with the temples, thin and straight, these are perfect for use under any type of helmet. It also supports an optical support for prescription lenses, sold separately. Similar to the Bertoni Photochromic Polarized Sports Sunglasses, the Bertoni Motorcycle Sports Sunglasses is also designed as a wraparound and provides enhanced peripheral vision.
Covered with removable foam, these glasses protect the eyes from any infiltration of air while increasing the comfort. The temples are interchangeable with an elastic strap for an accentuated grip. The Bertoni F333 are equipped with anti-fog photochromic lenses that, with increasing and decreasing exposure to UV rays, change to clear to smoke automatically, always ensuring an excellent visual performance. Photochromic lenses in shockproof polycarbonate protect the eyes every day, in presence of sunlight, overcast or intermediate weather conditions. In addition, they are treated with a special resin that removes the condensation that forms on the lens surfaces in the transition from hot to cold. The reaction time of the photochromic lenses are very fast: only 8 seconds to go from clear to smoke, and 35 seconds from smoke to clear. The matte black colour makes them very aggressive and particularly suitable for motorcyclists.
4. Oxford Assault Pro Matte Black Goggles
Oxford high specification Assault Pro goggles are made of strong Flexible TPU material and highly durable and ergonomic. Triple foam layers ensure maximum comfort, and the lenses are anti-fog, scratch-resistant and provide optimum UV protection. There are numerous lens options and a large number of accessories are available with the sunglasses. These come in a range of colours, and the woven elastomer strap with silicone reinforcements ensures comfort.
5. Oxford Assault Street Mask
Greying the lines between stylish and practical, the Oxford Assault Mask is probably the coolest riding gear you can buy off the shelf. It is constructed with flexible TPU frame which is complemented by Anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses which provide UV protection. Ergonomic foam padding makes this an extremely comfortable mask with excellent ventilation. The mask also includes Silicone detailed strap, detachable lower mask, and goggles.
It looks cool while protecting your face from errant road debris and small flying predators! An absolute must to complement an open face helmet.
We hope this helps you choose a pair of riding glasses that suit your purpose. Ride on and ride safe!
It might be raining outside or the entire country could be burning up in the summer heat, nothing can stop a rider from venturing out of the city. Yearning to set off on a tour, covering distances significant enough to be memorable. Scheduling a riding tour typically depends on a rider’s preferred weather – some prefer to tour in the winters, while some prefer the summers and a few brave the monsoons.
All weather conditions have certain advantages and disadvantages. Rains are certainly the most risky as roads are wet and general visibility is reduced. Even in the winters, early mornings and late evenings have very low visibility. Summers however offer very ideal riding conditions, the only drawback being the heat. Here are our Top 5 picks of summer tour routes-
Srinagar to Leh - Considered the Mecca of all motorcycle trips in India, the Srinagar-Leh, Delhi-Leh, Shimla-Leh routes are some of the most picturesque yet testing routes in India. With altitudes reaching 18,000 ft. in Leh, this route is bound to keep you cool while the rest of India suffers in the sweltering heat, that is if you can keep your mind as cool as your body! The twisty and broken roads, rugged landscape, unpredictable landslides and water streams test a rider’s true grit and reward him with some of the most breathtaking sights that man and motorcycle can witness.
Darjeeling to Sikkim - While most riders enjoy zipping through curvy roads, what every rider enjoys is sipping a cup of tea off their machine every now and then. This 130 km route makes sure you have your fill of tea, with lush green tea plantations all along the route. Riding from the calm and scenic plains, this route turns into a treacherous and winding journey as one approaches Sikkim. The mighty Kanchenjunga provides a perfect backdrop of snow-capped mountains to the culturally rich towns and villages along this route.
Mumbai to Goa - This 600 km journey is a road trip that every riding group would’ve planned at some point or the other! The holiday destination of India can be reached from Mumbai via NH-4 where one can cruise the wide highways upto Belgaum, or one can ride along the Konkan coast taking dips in numerous scenic beaches that dot the coast of Maharashtra before reaching the golden sands of Goa.
Bengaluru to Coorg - With congested roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic, Bengaluru is a city full of bikers aching to cruise the roads. Thankfully, the coffee laden hills of Coorg offer a laid-back weekend destination for these dreary souls. Riding through the misty and winding roads on the way to Coorg is like therapy for any biker. One can ditch their loud motorcycles for quaint bicycles and explore the orange groves and lush forests around Coorg while getting lost in nature’s sounds. With endless sights to soothe the eyes, no wonder Coorg is known as ‘the Scotland of India’. Located only 250 km from the city of Bengaluru this is one ride for every nature lover with two wheels.
Chennai to Munnar - While Chennai blisters in the heat all year round, one can take a long yet rewarding trip of 600 kms from the east coast towards God’s own country. With a number of routes available for one to choose, what’s common between all routes are the mesmerizing landscapes one crosses on the way to the bustling tea plantations of Munnar. situated at the confluence of three rivers. The trail passes through numerous waterfalls and wildlife reserves before leaving the rider with a difficult choice at Kattakamanpatti, ride on towards the tea estates of Munnar or turn north towards the scenic Kodaikanal.
While all of these routes can be covered in any season, summer is one of the best times to hit these highways, enjoy the clear weather and cold breeze on hilly routes. Last but not the least, make sure you wear the right riding gear and carry the right kind of accessories to beat the heat while staying safe on the road.
From keeping you cool in the summers to keeping you alive in a crash. Protective gear and body armour protects a rider from a lot during a ride. Armour protection is available separately so they can be added on to your riding gear, in case it doesn’t already come with armour protection or if you want to upgrade to better standards.
One brand to look out for is Forcefield Body Armour that specializes in Impact Protection and High Performance Clothing Systems. Extremely light and flexible, the Forcefield armour range covers a variety of contact sports - from motorcycling to skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking. Launched in 2003, Forcefield is amongst the best armour brands available today.
Their Climate Control performance engineered clothing has been created to compliment the high quality Forcefield Body Armour. Designed for multi-sport activities where comfort is key, the Climate Control range delivers on style and function by using cutting edge technology including materials such as BeCool™, Meryl®, Scotch guard™ and Defender®.
Here are our top picks from the Forcefield 2018 collection that are guaranteed to enhance your riding experience:
Forcefield action sports shorts:
This is an extremely protective impact gear in the form of shorts. It adds protection to your thighs, hips, coccyx and buttocks while also ensuring comfort. It comes with CE level 1 protection and is constructed with BeCool™ with Humidity Discharge Function that ensures that body temperature is maintained. The Forcefield action sports shorts are antibacterial and repel most dirt, and washable in a washing machine – making sure you can easily use them on a regular basis. The shorts are extremely snug and comfortable as they sport a draw cord waist fastener. Sizing can be measured as per the rider’s underwear size.
Forcefield EX-K Harness Flite Level 2:
At level 2 protection the Forcefield EX-K Harness Flite is one of the most value-for-money products Forcefield has to offer. The new EX-K Harness is reinforced with Kevlar® thread for added strength and durability and features an open design system and multiple adjustment points for optimum flexibility and comfort. Additional elbow pads can be added to this, which really makes for all-round upper body protection. The EX-K Harness is made with the high energy absorbing material Nitrex Evo® which is soft, flexible and comfortable to wear. The 3D paddings are flexible and absorb pretty much any amount of damage using RPT technology.
Forcefield Freelite Back Protector Level 2:
If flexibility and breathability is a priority for you, the Forcefield Freelite Back Protector is the right choice for you. Its DRI-M (Dynamic, Reactive, Intelligent Material) technology makes it a really flexible yet strong material that comes into play upon impact. The harness makes it extremely comfortable to wear and can also be removed to insert the armor into any jacket. This back protector comes with CE level 2 ratings.
Forcefield Pro Shirt X-V2 with Level 2 :
The Forcefield Pro Shirt X-V2 is amongst the most comfortable, snug yet protective gear available in the market. Just like a t-shirt it fits perfectly using ‘Free Fitting’ CE2 Armor Layering System. The new X vents provide all-round ventilation and make the t-shirt very breathable. Apart from the vents, the BeCool™ base layer fabric also helps in keeping you cool. This shirt works well for most contact sports and provides supreme protection along with flexibility.
What is most interesting is that Forcefield armours are compatible with almost any brand of gear and hence can be installed into any jacket or pants. Separate elbow, knee and back protectors are also available in Forcefield. The right protective armour can save your life, so go ahead and invest in the best!
The sweltering summer heat, an urgent need to travel for work, a call from your loved one living far or just the sudden urge the impulse to ride - any of the above reasons can result in a rider ending up on the road after dark.
Some riders avoid hitting the roads once it's dark outside and visibility in general is compromised, but for a few others riding is not about the time of the day or the external conditions but about the satisfaction of being on the road. Riding at night can be a lot of fun, with the open roads for miles and less traffic. The silence and minimal movement in the environment enables a rider to focus on the limited visual inputs in front of them.
At night low visibility is the major cause of concern as not only does it become difficult for a rider to see everything around him but also because it is more difficult for other drivers to spot the rider. Owners of bikes in darker shades need to take extra precautions in order to be visible to others.
The night belongs to the dark and if you’re afraid of the dark you might want to reconsider your options but apart from the dark everything else can be managed with just a bit of caution and preparedness. Here are some tips, upgrades and accessories you need, to really get that batman feel!
1. Basic pre-ride planning: Some basic planning needs to be done as unlike the day, most after hours there are no shops serving you Vada Pav and tea late at night! If you don't carry the required ration and munchies you will end up looking for the next town with a bus stop or railways station with a shop still open. Fuel stations should be mapped and knowing which of these are open 24*7 certainly helps. Well-lit highways and roads are preferable and it is certainly advisable to ride slow on unknown routes.
2. Headlights, tail-lights and indicators: Although most motorcycles come with suitable headlights, taillights and indicators, if you prefer riding at night there are aftermarket headlights, taillights and indicators available to power up those beams. Certain lights are much more suitable for riding at night, though it is not street legal to install a lot of types of headlights available in the market.
Auxiliary and Highway lights: These lights are available in many models suitable for different motorcycles. They can be mounted on a bike easily and increase visibility substantially. Usually used as fog lights these are really useful at night as they increase the rider’s span of visibility. Highway lights can also be important as the constantly blinking lights attract the attention of other commuters making the rider much more visible.
Light bars: Though light bars are not really popular in India, a lot of cruisers do actually sport them. There are many options available in the market for improving the reflectivity of a motorcycle, but the most common are the tried, true and simple plastic reflectors.
3. Reflective tapes: Reflective tapes are handier than they seem, they can be used to make any dull surface reflective and attention grabbing. One should always consider using reflective tapes on bulky motorcycles such as cruisers and tourers. Especially handy when there’s no room on the bike for reflectors and one has to turn to the wheels - the tape will not only make the motorcycle more visible, it will also add a neat aesthetic element for night riding.
4. Reflective gear and accessories: Wearing reflective gear is a sure shot way of improving your visibility and safety on the road at night-time. The immensely popular Rev’it! Tornado 2 Hi-viz jacket is designed for exactly this purpose.
You can also sport a bright vest over your regular riding jacket – the highly breathable Oxford Bright vest is a great option for this.
You must also check out the Oxford Commuter X4 Fiber Optic rear light which is a rear facing light system featuring a powerful central light and optic straps, designed to make you more visible to other road users and improve your safety.
Another accessory that can improve your visibility on the road at nighttime is high-visibility or reflective luggage, the Oxford Aqua Roll bag for instance.
Apart from these, a rider should always take a few extra precautions and safety measures while riding at night. Though riding at night can be really fun, a little extra caution is necessary to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
To ride a motorcycle well one must truly understand it. And to achieve it’s optimum performance, one must tune and tweak to desire. While for some riders stock parts and performance is enough, some others like to kick it up a notch by installing aftermarket upgrades.
A motorcycle modification can be a cosmetic one or a performance one. A cosmetic modification changes the look of the motorcycle to an extent but does not make any functional difference in its performance. Performance modifications on the other hand are those made to parts that affect the way the motorcycle performs. Exhaust modifications are one such impacting a bike’s performance.
Exhaust systems in motorcycles are used to remove the used air/fuel, or exhaust, from the engine, from under the motorcycle to the back of the vehicle. Pipe length, diameter, radius of bends, muffler volume and internal baffle design all affect performance. Rpm range, performance get compromisedif a pipe is too long, too short, too small or too big in diameter for a given engine size. An optimized exhaust system achieves a balance of pressure between the engine's intake and exhaust tracts within a given rpm range.The AIR (Air Injection Reaction) system and EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system are part of the exhaust and emission control systems.
A free flowing exhaust system and air cleaner are typically the first two components replaced when improving performance, but no component arouses more passion from a biker than the exhaust system, because it makes a dual statement through the bike’s sound and visual identity.There are definite benefits to installing an aftermarket exhaust in your motorcycle. It is usually lighter than the default factory-fitted exhaust, thereforehelps in shedding weight. Also an aftermarket exhaust can add a lot of raw torque and horsepower to a vehicle.
Team HNP brings to you a list of exhausts from Vance and Hines, Cobra and S&S Cycles in-trend this season. These aftermarket upgrades with their sleek and superior look are just the mods you need this summer.
Vance & Hines ShortShots Staggered (Sportster):
A timeless classic with an aggressive hot rod sound and sleek one-piece full coverage heat shield. The Shortshots Staggered are hands down the best value you can find in an exhaust system. These exhausts come with two optional quiet baffles and all-round protective heat sheets. Shortshots Staggered Blackcomes standard with louvred-core with Signature Twin Slash End Treatment that is specific to Vance and Hines.
Cobra slip-ons are amongst the most value-packed products out there. Slip-on exhausts have all the sound and style benefits of a full system, however they do not impact the performance of the motorcycle as much. Since the mid pipe and head pipe remain stock, not much weight is reduced in the process. And unlike a full system exhaust, a slip-on exhaust doesn’t increase horsepower.
If all you’re really looking for is awesome sound and style without having to install a jet kit or a fuel controller, then the slip-on is the best choice for you. Slip-on exhausts are easy to install, by simply removing the stock muffler, slipping on the new one and tightening some clamps. Cobra has something to offer for all three types of motorcycles - Dynas’, Sportsters’ and Softtails’ such as the Cobra Speedster Short Swept - Softail, Cobra Speedster Shorts RPT - Sportster.
Started in 1958, S&S Cycles is probably one of the leading producers of bike parts in the world. S&S cycles bring to the table a number of air intake cleaner kits along with the S&S Grand National Slip-on Mufflers - Street 500/750. This slip-on muffler is made for the 2014-2018 Harley Davidson Street XG500 and XG750 and the black ceramic finish matches the stock header pipe to give a complete and consummate look. These mufflers enhance the horsepower by 10.5 pc and torque by 19.8 pc. Coming from a company that specializes in producing parts for race motorcycles, these mufflers also come with race inspired sound and optional quiet baffles. Available at very reasonable price points, these mufflers will surely get you the look along with the performance points.
Whether it be slip-on mufflers or full system exhausts, a change of look can be very satisfying and refreshing to many. If you haven't tried any of these upgrades yet, get your hands on one of these aftermarket upgrades and get those looks you’ve always wanted!
Every motorcycle owner knows the joy of heading out on a long ride. It’s something a rider yearns for while riding along narrow city roads and amongst the slow traffic. One needs to hit the highways every once a while, get out there, amongst nature, visit historical sites or just get to a destination to sit back and relax. And of course there are some riders who aren't satisfied with just a few hundred kilometers and so like to kick it up a notch. These are the enthusiasts who give the phrase ‘hitting the road’ a new meaning. Long rides can mean riding from dusk to dawn with very little rest. It could mean riding for days without a proper hotel bed and also passage through places where even food can be difficult to find. In such conditions, one should always be prepared for the worst ahead. Since the riding season is closing in, team HNP shares a few riding tips and tricks that will help you, if you too are living on your bike!
Wear proper gear:
The first and the most important thing to keep in mind is to wear proper riding gear. A good helmet is one of the most necessary investments. On a long ride, the helmet should be adjusted to remain tight at the strap while also being breathable. Gloves, jackets and knee guards are other important riding gears that make a ride safer and more enjoyable any day. A good pair of riding boots keeps you in a good mood while also giving the sporty aggressive look required to keep the testosterone level going. Common sense would tell you that the more time you spend on the road, the higher the probability of something going wrong out there. Good safety equipment ensures that an unforeseen crash only sets you back a few days maybe, and does not mean the end of it.
Use a Bluetooth Communicator:
Using your phone while riding can be one of the most expensive mistakes a rider can make, a cheaper alternative would be to use a Bluetooth communicator. This device is very easy to use as it snaps onto the helmet and can be used to accept calls while also enjoying your favorite music on the ride. It helps on long rides, as you do not have to park by the highway and attend to your calls – with just a tap on the helmet accept any incoming calls at a distance of even a few kilometers from your cell phone. Sena SMH-5 Bluetooth Headset and Sena 30K Bluetooth Headset with Mesh Intercom are a few communicators that are well priced and very efficient. The Sena 10C Bluetooth also comes with a camera for video logging your rides.
Tyre kit, clutch cable and tools:
Indian roads are as unforgiving as the climate here, so along with protection from the weather a rider should also always carry a puncture kit and tyre inflator on a long ride. A tubeless tyre is very easy to fix as a tubeless tyre kit is quite easily found at any shop and its use can be mastered in minutes. Once the puncture has been fixed, a rider also needs a tyre inflator. Slime Power Sports Tyre Inflator is an electronic tyre inflator that can pump up your tubeless or tube tyre in a matter of seconds, an extremely useful tool. Riders who own bikes with tube-tyres should carry extra tubes if possible as it's not always possible to find the brand of your choice en route. Clutch cables are a part of the bike constantly under tension and stress; hence the chances of snapping are high, so always keep a spare cable in hand. All of this might or might not need a toolkit, though keeping a toolkit handy is the right way to go when out on unknown roads and trails.
Anyone who’s tried carrying a rucksack on one’s back knows well that’s not how things are done on the road. Strap your bags onto your pillion seat or the side of your bike using bungee cables. Use ropes only as auxiliary cables and do not rely on ropes to secure your luggage. Due to the low elasticity of ropes, they do not take the constant pressure and are prone to snap on jerky roads. Bungee cables with hooks ensure you do not damage your bike while securing your luggage to it either. Oxford bungees offer a wide range that’s suitable for the cause.
Tent, foldable chair, Thermal sheet:
If you’re not one to look for fancy hotels or settle for shady lodges, a tent is a must. Waking up by the seaside or on a hilltop is a joy incomparable to any other, and a tent ensures that you have a shade over your head, no matter what the weather conditions. If you’re a seasoned camper you might also want to add a foldable picnic chair to your inventory list. In any situation, it is also wise for any rider or camper to carry a thermal sheet. A thermal sheet acts as a sheet of insulation between the person and the physical environment maintaining body temperatures in extremely hot or cool conditions.
Always carry a multi-tool when traveling to any outdoor location. This compact tool is perhaps the most efficient of all and can fit into your pockets easily. From wire cutters to screwdrivers, strap cutters to bottle openers, everything on the multi-tool is pretty much everything you’ll need. Check out the Oxford tool kit before your next long ride.
Along with a healthy sense of adventure, the above-mentioned things are some of the basics and must-haves for a long ride to any of your favorite locations. Carry a Bluetooth speaker along with you if you want to make those silent nights a little groovy, but give yourself up to nature and the simplicity of life on the road and you will not miss any of the materialistic joy that city life has to offer. Just be well prepared for the long road ahead.
A good pair of riding boots is one of the toughest choices to make for a rider. The shoes a man wears can tell a lot about him. Similarly, which riding boots you pick tell a lot about you as a rider. The most important factor to keep in mind while picking the boots is what type of rides you will be doing- commuting, track, dirt or touring?
To help with the process of picking the right pair, here’s team HNP’s take on some of the best boots out there for the season -
TCX Baja WP Boots:
The new TCX Baja Gore-Tex boots in our opinion is one of the best designs available in the market. Evolving from the TCX Track Evo, these boots have a lesser aggressive yet stiffer sole. The Baja boots are more versatile, more adventure-touring-centric, suitable for all climatic conditions, making them a perfect 4 season pair of boots. The buckles on the boots are aluminum and are aesthetically built for superior fit. These CE rated boots equipped with Comfort Fit System are very flexible and easy to fit. The oiled leather adds to the aesthetics. The Gore-Tex also makes the boots much more breathable and waterproof for more all-round use. Inner suede heat guards offer maximum grip and suede at the front and rear padded areas increase comfort. These boots despite being a little heavy on the pocket are a deal worth the money, making them one of the best boots available in India.
TCX RT StreetFighter:
As the name suggests, these boots are meant for superior street riding. The TCX RT StreetFighter provides plenty of armor with flexibility, lightweight sports protection that does not hinder movement in any way. The StreetFighter has excellent PU heel guards and shin plates along with a Torsion Control System ensuring more confidence on curves with better protection. Perforated front and rear areas of the boots provide airflow and ventilation. Along with being breathable the design is also very well fitting as it comes with an elastic zipper with a Velcro fastener band. The sole makes it well suited for the track, as it possesses a Mono-compound rubber sole. All in all, the TCX RT StreetFighter is a piece of eye candy that provides you better protection than most boots do, at a very reasonable price.
TCX Roadster 2:
A highly refined and improved version of its predecessor, the TCX Roadster 2 boot sheds some weight while retaining its protection, making it a better 3 season riding boot. The microfibre and padded textile boot come with replaceable TPU toe sliders, shifter pads, and a streamlined heel guard. The adjustable instep strap and mono-compound sole provides a better fit and gives the rider better tactile response. The Roadster 2 is a well-priced sport riding boot with a moderately stiff sole, providing control on the bike and comfort even off the bike. Also available in a fully perforated version, the TCX Roadster 2 Air comes in a vibrant color way that’s sure to grab a lot of attention.
Other boots like the TCX Roadster Air 2 and the TCX Rush Boots are extremely comfortable both on and off the vehicle. While touring boots such as the TCX Airtech Evo GT-X Boots go a really long way and fit the needs of most riders.
Keeping the summer heat in mind, these are a few of our top choices for this season. These boots serve their purpose as well as are fashionable, so you stay protected while turning heads!
The sun outside is scorching; the air is warm and dry. While most people are locked away in their concrete air-conditioned fortresses trying to fend off the summer heat in a hopeless battle, riding enthusiasts embrace this heat and bind it with their passion for riding and set off onto ‘Vitamin-D’ enriched summer season rides! Though summer time provides the best visibility amongst all seasons, it can be a difficult time to ride with all the required safety gear. Riders tend to ditch the protective gear and stick to very basic gear like helmets and gloves. That’s where the rider let’s his passion take over logic.
The right gear and equipment should ensure complete protection while also ensuring comfort, breathability, and functionality in the summer conditions we face in India.
Here are a few riding gears and equipment one must carry during a summer ride to be safe and remain cool and hydrated throughout the ride.
The right riding gear - A rider’s first move in summer time is to switch his/her regular well-fitted helmet with a loose fitting maybe cheaper and more ventilated one. He/she then ditches the riding jacket and switches to regular denim, all of which provide very low protection. These three basic riding gears, or a rider’s three deathly hallows, are all that keep a rider from severe or fatal injury. So it’s important not to compromise on them during the summer months. When it comes to helmets the thick padding in full-face helmets such as the Bell Star RSD series and Bell Star Spectre series helps in keeping your face and forehead dry by absorbing sweat and also protects your eyes from the harmful hot air blasting at your helmet outside. When it comes to jackets, while leather on even a mildly bright day is totally not an option, mesh or a combination of leather and mesh jackets is a good choice, the former being the most optimum. Even combination textile gears with cooling vents allow free flow of air. However, your best bet in the summers is mesh. Jackets such as Rev’it! Airforce and Rev’it! Eclipse provide maximum ventilation through their mesh construction. The same is true of Rev’it! Sand 3 pantsand Rev'it! Airwave 2 pants that are really helpful in the summer as they provide most protection while also providing good breathability. Riding Denims are also good to ride in the summer, though these come at the cost of compromising some protection.
Balaclava - To ensure the best performance from a helmet in the summers one must also ensure that there is a layer between the helmet and skin for maximum absorption of sweat. Here a balaclava or bandana does the trick.
Gloves - A good pair of summer riding gloves is very important, as much as it seems unnecessary. In the summers our palms get sweaty causing the handle grips to be slippery and can be a reason for loss of control during a ride. Nowadays, good biking gloves have increased airflow intake. This is achieved by using armor-like protection at vulnerable places while using lightweight material at places that are not critical or vulnerable. Rev’it Sand 3 gloves are a great example of gloves appropriate for the summers.
Riding Boots - The right pair of boots can make a very significant difference on a ride in the summers as feet drenched in sweat isn’t the most comfortable feeling.Shoes that go above the shin have a breathable upper portion with zips for increased ventilation is preferable. TCX RT-Race Pro Air Boots and TCX ST-Fighter Boots are perfect examples of such boots.Wearing a good pair of socks to absorb the sweat is also very important.
Cooling vest– Cooling vests use evaporative technology to keep the body cool. It helps in maintaining a cool temperature inside the vest by controlled evaporation of water that it is drenched in prior to the ride. These vests are very thin but make a significant difference in body temperatures. Cooling vests are available in pullover like the Rev’it! Cooling vest liquid or zippered varieties like the Rev’it! Challenger Cooling Vest, both being excellent choices to keep the mercury from rising.
RidingGlasses - A good pair of shades have always been the stereotypical badass biker look, but as the summers set in, the need to protect the eyes increases. Glasses protect the eyes from the warm air and provide relief in a half face helmet but shading glasses can also be very helpful under a full-face helmet in this sweltering heat.
Hydration packs - A hydration pack is a hydration system that uses a bag-like backpack to store water in an insulated pouch. Hydration packs come very handy, as it is not practical to keep stopping and drinking water at regular intervals. The body needs about a liter of water every hour and water bottles are just not practical enough. Hydration packs also come with storage space for few other accessories.
Apart from these basic equipment and gears, it is very important to keep a layer of cloth covering all possibly exposed areas of skin, like the back of the neck. One must always apply sunscreen on exposed areas of skin. Along with the cooling vest, bandanas can also be dipped in water to keep the temperature on the cooler side. Also, each individual rider should carry lots of water and candy to avoid dehydration. Just by following simple tips and tricks, a rider can breeze through the piping hot summers.