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2020 Harley-Davidson Livewire ReviewEditor Score: 86.0%
Engine 12.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 10/10
Brakes 9.5/10
Instruments/Controls8.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 7.0/10
Value 3.0/10
Overall Score79/100

To evaluate the 2020 Harley-Davidson Livewire, you need to let go of everything you know – and everything you think you know – about Harley-Davidson. The critics will cry this is an answer to a question nobody asked, instinctually sh*tting all over Harley for seemingly alienating its core, internal combustion, customer (just look at our Facebook post for proof).

But the reality is The Motor Company (actually, the motorcycle industry as a whole) is in need of some new blood to replace its aging core of riders. And, whether you like it or not, it’s also no secret that the electrification of transportation and personal mobility are the way of the future. Now, before you get up in arms, know this: Harley-Davidson isn’t turning its back on its traditional internal combustion motorcycles.

But as any good financial advisor would tell you, it’s good to diversify. Which is why, in addition to its line of cruisers and baggers, we’re going to see a large and distinctly different lineup from Harley-Davidson in the coming years, including Adventure bikes, Streetfighters, and yes, electrics.

It still sounds weird to say, but this is an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Now, it’s very unusual for the CEO of a manufacturer – let alone Harley-Davidson – to attend a press introduction for a new model, and yet there Matt Levatich stood in front of us. He took the stage and addressed the assembled crowd of journalists to emphasize how serious he and the company are to creating the next generation of riders globally, to shift mindsets, and to attract current and future riders of all ages. Livewire is the halo product to lead the way forward for a lineup of Harley EVs to come.

So yeah, this bike is pretty important to The Bar-and-Shield Brand.

An All New Motor Company

If you’ve been keeping track of the E-moto space then you’re no doubt familiar with Livewire. The first prototype of the machine was built in 2012, and since then, 33 bikes very similar to it were produced – at great expense to the company – and taken all across the globe in an initiative that amounted to a massive focus group better known as the Project Livewire Experience. Hell, we even got the chance to ride the bike a few years ago.

Former MO E-i-C, Kevin Duke, can be seen here on a prototype Livewire from the Project Livewire Experience. The 2020 Livewire isn’t at all the same. Compare and contrast with the image above and some differences include the number of brake rotors, headlight cowling (or lack thereof), motor, battery, shrouding, and the tail section.

What you see here is an entirely different motorcycle to Project Livewire, says Chief Engineer Glen Koval, and while it looks very similar, it doesn’t have a single shared part. This familiarity was intentional because, as Koval explained, the design of the bike is critical to Harley-Davidson, and H-D design centers around the motor. At least now, the design brief can be grammatically correct. Look a little closer at old and new Livewires and subtle differences will reveal themselves.

This beast of a battery is what Harley calls the Renewable Energy Storage System.

Positioned low and contrasted by its silver color, the liquid-cooled internal permanent magnet motor – codenamed the H-D Revelation Motor – is a focal point for the eye and produces a claimed 105 hp (78 kW) and 86 lb-ft of torque the moment you twist the throttle. Housed above it is the RESS – Renewable Energy Storage System – or battery to you and me. Rated at 13.6 kWh nominal (15.5 kWh max), Harley stands behind it with a warranty of five years with no mileage limit. Even beyond that five-year span, H-D believes the battery will last the life of the motorcycle. Its air-cooled aluminum housing acts as a big heat sink, while the fins serve double-duty for cooling and attempting to recapture that finned aesthetic so familiar on Harley’s V-Twins. It’s rated at 146 city miles, according to the MIC standard, and 95 miles combined city/highway, which is a more realistic number. Of course, anyone with a heavy right hand can make those numbers fall way down.

Interesting thing about the battery: Weighing in at roughly 215 lbs, the RESS is a massive structure placed centrally in the motorcycle. Using it as a load-bearing member of the chassis means it soaks up much of the lateral movement of a traditional frame. Koval and his team took advantage of this and designed the aluminum “frame” (it’s more like a structure) around it to have incredibly thin walls, making it so light you could pick it up with one hand. Look closer and you’ll see there isn’t a single weld on the frame or swingarm. Instead there are a series of bolts. Koval revealed this was the key to making the Livewire platform modular to produce future models. Remove the six bolts securing the head stock, replace it with a different one with altered geometry angles, and you have an entirely new front end. Swapping components can be done throughout the bike, essentially making an erector set motorcycle.

Bolts, not welds, are what keep the thin-walled Livewire frame intact. At the fore of the photo you can see three of the six bolts keeping the head stock (left) in place. Pop out the old, pop in the new, and you have a new motorcycle!

Harley may have a point about motors being central to the company, but to me, my eye is first drawn to the faux fuel tank. In this case, it’s the charge port housing. A modern take on the classic Peanut tank, the filler cap opens to reveal both a J1772 and DC fast charge port. Using the latter, a depleted battery can reach 80% charge in 40 minutes. A full top-off takes an hour. The slowest charging method – the provided Level 1 charger that plugs into your standard household wall outlet and is stored under the seat – will take about 10 hours to replenish a dead battery.

From there, componentry is more familiar. Showa provides the suspension with the SFF-BP fork and Balance Free Rear Cushion-lite shock (both fully adjustable), with Brembo supplying braking power with two 300mm discs and radial-mount, four-pot calipers. Co-branded Michelin Scorcher tires touch the ground in common sizes: 120/70-17 front, 180/55-17 rear.

What you can’t see is the Livewire’s RDRS, or Reflex Defensive Riding System, otherwise known as electronic rider aids, as is becoming more prevalent in motorcycling. Based on a Bosch six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) programmed with proprietary Harley-Davidson software, this allows for Cornering ABS, Cornering Enhanced Traction Control, Rear Wheel Lift Mitigation, and a Drag Torque Slip Control System; essentially preventing rear wheel lock from regenerative braking (say, on a wet road or on slick surfaces) – think of it as an electronic version of a slipper clutch.

The touchscreen TFT display is clear and informative, and Harley even says it works with gloved hands, though my gloved hands would say otherwise. Self-cancelling turn signals are cool, but why has Harley reverted back to putting the turn indicators on each side?!

Livewire comes with a total of seven different ride modes – four preset and three customizable by the user. The four presets are Sport, Road, Rain, and Range. Judging by the names you should be able to tell how each meters power, but what isn’t instantly obvious is the amount of regenerative braking each is set to. Sport, Road, and Range offer amounts that would feel instantly familiar to anyone coming from gas bikes. Rain mode limits regen to help avoid the rear wheel getting loose (because TC doesn’t work off-throttle, remember?).

Finally, there’s H-D Connect. Being a product aimed towards younger, more affluent customers, these same people are also more tech-savvy. With H-D Connect, the subscription-based interface uses cellular connectivity to connect to an app to provide the owner motorcycle status, charging status, notifications, charge station locations, service reminders and updates, and can even notify the owner if someone is tampering with their bike and track it if someone does decide to roll away with it. Livewire’s TFT touchscreen display also has Bluetooth connectivity to sync with your phone and provide turn-by-turn navigation and music/call information directly to the screen.

A Harley That Doesn’t Make A Sound

With all the hype and tech stuff out of the way, what really matters is what the Livewire is like to ride. Portland, Oregon was the chosen locale by Harley for a few reasons: First, according to Harley reps, there’s a high population of EV owners in this area, which leads to the second point: DC fast charging networks are rapidly growing here. And third, our 65(ish)-mile ride would encompass the environments Harley envisions Livewire owners occupying; a slog through the city to get to the twisty roads en route to work.

Livewire’s forward bend isn’t too extreme, but the ride does feel a little harsh, at least for lighter riders. An interesting feature is the Haptic Pulse, or “heartbeat,” of the motorcycle at a stop. Basically, when Livewire isn’t moving, it’ll deliver a pulse from the magnet spinning around the rotor that feels like a heartbeat every second or so. The dealer can set it to high, low, or turn it off completely. Our test bikes were set to low, and personally, it felt gimmicky; as if someone was behind me bumping my rear tire every second or two.

Hopping on, my initial impression was how narrow the Livewire is. This definitely ain’t your average Harley. The rider triangle sits the rider a little forward, but without a windscreen it’s just enough to cut through the wind at higher speeds without feeling like too much of a sail.

Like all electrics, the intoxicating part of the ride is twisting the throttle. It’s no different with the Livewire; twist your wrist (especially in Sport mode) and hang on for dear life, because this thing will rip your arms off. Acceleration is mindblowing, and if you’re brave enough to look down at the clear and bright TFT gauges, the speedo will skip several numbers on the way to triple digits. Eventually the mind adapts to the thrust, gets used to the silence, and starts to appreciate the ease of twist-and-go motorcycles, which then affords the brain some room to notice other things.

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Yamaha announced new updates to the YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M for 2020, tweaking the engine, upgrading the suspension, adding new electronic features and redesigning the bodywork to improve aerodynamics.

The crossplane crankshaft 998cc Inline-Four receives new cam lobe profiles to optimize valve lift and finger-follower rocker arms for more stable valve opening and closing at high rpm. Yamaha also redesigned the intake layout, revising the cylinder head, moving the throttle valves closer to the combustion chamber to reduce intake volume, claiming improved combustion stability and greater efficiency. Yamaha engineers also relocated the Bosch injectors to the top of the throttle bodies (they were on the bottom on the 2019 R1). Yamaha says the 10-hole injectors deliver fuel more directly to the combustion chambers, spraying at a wider 21.5-degree angle.

Other engine updates include improved, more efficient lubrication, despite a smaller oil pump rotor and a wider second gear pinion for better transmission efficiency.

The exhaust system now employs four catalyzers, two in front of the exhaust chamber and two at the rear. Yamaha also revised the heat shielding and the silencer received more noise-reduction measures, helping the 2020 R1 meet Euro 5 standards.

The ride-by-wire throttle system was upgraded with a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip system. The APSG uses a magnet with the sensor for a cable-less throttle, with Yamaha claiming reduced weight and smoother throttle control.

The electronics package was updated with a new Brake Control system, giving riders two selectible braking intervention modes. BC1 provides a fixed level of ABS sensitivity, which is suitable for straight-line braking, while BC2 is a corner-sensitive mode, increasing ABS sensitivity and intervention to adjust with lean angle.

The 2020 R1 also gives riders three levels of engine braking: high, medium and low. The engine braking management system analyzes gear position, engine speed, throttle position and throttle valve position to provide the requested amount of engine braking. Yamaha also updated the launch control mode that activates at 9000 rpm with a throttle opening of 41 degrees.

The R1’s 43mm Kayaba forks were tweaked with new damping valves and a reduced fork spring rate, which Yamaha claims will provide better feedback. Yamaha also modified the steering damper and rear shock settings.

The R1M uses the latest generation of Öhlins’ Electronic Racing Suspension, which gets a new NPX pressurized forkwith a gas cylinder built right into the fork axle bracket. The rear shock settings were also revised to complement the changes to the front end.

The R1’s bodywork has been reshaped, drawing more inspiration from Yamaha’s M1 MotoGP bike. The fairing’s sides now flow better into the fuel tank assembly for a cleaner, more integrated look. Yamaha says the M1-inspired fairings offer a 5.3% increase in aerodynamic efficiency.

The R1M gets a new carbon fiber tail cowl to match the front fairings and fender.

The 2020 Yamaha R1 will arrive in dealerships in September with a choice of Team Yamaha Blue or Raven black and a $17,300 price tag. The 2020 Yamaha R1M will only be offered in limited quantities for $26,099 through an online reservation system. Dealerships will begin receiving reserved orders in September.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M Gallery
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Ah, long-term test bikes. Oh, how we love them. And then we have to give them back, creating a void in our stable. Well, that time has come for the 2019 Niken GT that Yamaha has so kindly let us hold onto for lo these many months. What have we learned, boys and girls? The Niken GT works great in any job you’d ask of a sport-tourer or a commuter motorcycle. In fact, if you ignore the funny looks from passersby and don’t look down at the wide fairing in front of you, you really can’t tell that the Niken is a leaning multi-wheeled vehicle instead of your standard two-wheeled fare. Just ignore the Doubting Thomases and embrace the Niken as a motorcycle because in every meaningful way – save one, and that’s to its advantage – it behaves exactly like a motorcycle.

What’s not to love about the Niken’s 897cc Triple? It gets the job done and sounds great in the process.

If you live in or plan on spending any significant time in parts of the country where rains are frequent, the advantages of dual front wheels outweigh any perceived disadvantages. Yes, the front end adds weight and cost (The Niken GT retails for $17,299 where a Tracer 900 GT – with waterproof, locking hard bags – will only set you back $12,999.), but that won’t seem like that much when your front wheel loses traction in the wet. Spending two days in the rain at the Niken GT’s introduction won me over. I was able to carry speeds and lean angles in the wet that I wouldn’t have attempted without dedicated rain tires on two wheels. The Niken is that good. You don’t need for me to rehash my opinion, you can read it here.

2019 Yamaha Niken GT Review – First Ride

Associate Editor, Ryan Adams, spent some quality time with the Niken GT, and here is what he thinks about it:

After covering many miles on the Niken GT, it’s a bike that, when in my garage, still leaves me reaching for the keys when heading out the door regardless of what I’m headed out to do.

I’ve commuted through the worst rush hour traffic LA has to offer and lane split my way past much smaller motorcycles with the Niken GT. I came across an industry colleague and friend near Santa Monica on Los Angeles’ treacherous 405 freeway one day and made my way past him. Later, he messaged me and said, “I guess you can lane split on that thing.” Heck yeah you can! It’s no wider than an Indian Roadmaster or other big touring bikes and is much more nimble. When you need to, and you may while lane splitting in LA, you can brake hard AF with the two front contact patches too, which brings welcome piece of mind when some A-hole jumps the double yellow in front of you.

What’s not to love about that cool front end?

Two-up with the wifey, the Niken remains composed and is comfortable for both parties. I’d recommend bumping up the rear preload if you plan on riding or touring with a passenger, which is easily done via a knob on the left side of the bike. I was told the cush backseat was quite comfortable, and aside from lacking a backrest of some sort, my better half commended the Niken’s passenger accommodations.

After watching our videographer, a gimbal-mounted camera in one hand and a death grip on the passenger handle in the other, manage to stay on the back of the Niken GT as our own Evans Brasfield mercilessly blitzed through curvaceous mountain roads on a shoot recently, I think Yamaha’s three-wheeler might even have a job in Hollywood production. Maybe we’ll hold off on that recommendation until we see the video.

Need to stop quickly? Two contact patches help, though the initial bite of the brakes could be stronger.

If there were any major changes I would make to future versions of the Niken GT, it would be a larger motor. Don’t get it twisted, I love the Triple powerplant and have had two of my own previously, but with touring in mind and the weight of that front end in consideration, I would rather have a bit more oomph to propel Yamaha’s Leaning Multi-Wheel System.

Road Test Editor, Troy Siahaan, is the MO fast guy, and naturally, he looks at the Niken GT from a performance perspective. He came away impressed:

If there are two words to describe the Niken (or Niken GT), it would be Confidence Inspiring. With those two wheels in the front, it’s next to impossible to tuck the front, and with the TC engaged, ham fisters will have to try really hard to highside. In short, it’s nearly crash proof! (Legal disclaimer: You CAN still crash on a Niken, don’t think that you can’t.) But for a sport-touring rig, or even a daily commuter, it’s great. You can go miles in total comfort, and that MT-09 Triple will happily scoot you along. Slap an exhaust on it and the three-cylinder song will sound even better. Once the road gets twisty, or the weather turns sour – or both – you can ride confidently knowing it will be really hard to get the Niken out of shape. This makes it a good commuter, too, as panic situations have a lower chance of ending up with you on the ground. Best of all, it’s still narrow enough to split lanes (assuming the practice is legal in your neck of the woods).

While the GT’s saddlebags look nice and are quite useful, one would think that a bike, which has as one of it primary selling points its improved front end traction in inclement weather, would have waterproof bags.

So, our takeaway from the extended loan of the 2019 Niken GT is that it is a great motorcycle – leaning multi-wheeled vehicle label be damned. I struggle to understand why some riders are so resistant to the Niken. Yes, it looks different, but that difference has a purpose. Now, we don’t see that much rain in our SoCal base, but I think that, if I were in the market for a sport-tourer and lived in the Northwest or anywhere in the East (with the weather currently happening), the Niken GT would be at the top of my list.

My biggest complaint with the GT is still the fact that it doesn’t come with waterproof, locking saddlebags. For a bike that has wet weather performance as one of its biggest selling points, this is still a major oversight. The locking, color-matched bags of the Tracer 900 GT are just waiting to be used on the Niken GT. Perhaps this will happen in 2020.

Until then, so long Yamaha Niken GT. Thanks for all the (s)miles.

The post Live With This: 2019 Yamaha Niken GT Long-Term Review appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Arai Ram-XEditor Score: 80.50%
Aesthetics 8.5/10
Protection 8.0/10
Value 7.0/10
Comfort/Fit 9.25/10
Quality/Design 8.0/10
Weight 7.0/10
Options/Selection 8.50/10
Innovation 8.0/10
Weather Suitability 7.0/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 8.0/10
Overall Score79.25/100

Arai’s latest lid to be brought into its North American line-up is the three-quarter Ram-X. The new helmet takes the freedom and convenience of a three-quarter helmet and incorporates some of the technology and ventilation from its top of the line Corsair-X race helmet. Freedom and convenience. If there’s one thing we ‘Mericans love more than convenience it’s Freedom with a capital F *cue bald eagles screeching*. 

The Arai Ram-X shares its shell construction with the Quantum-X and Signet-X helmets using Arai’s proprietary Z-compound resin. The Z-compound resin achieves higher adhesion and therefore requires less resin to be used in the manufacturing process, making the helmet lighter. Four shell sizes are used spanning six sizes from XS to XXL. 

As with other Arai helmets, the Ram-X uses a multi-density one-piece EPS liner. According to Arai, “A one-piece liner, integrating different densities according to the volume and position of each given area, allows Arai to make the shell shape more like a human head and enables the development of a compact shell structure.”

The Arai Ram-X features ventilation diffusers borrowed from the manufacturer’s top-of-the-line Corsair-X as well as Arai’s Pro Shade which can be found on many of its street models. A Pinlock120 insert is also included with the Ram-X.

Ventilation diffusers are borrowed from the Corsair-X with a revised stationary aero stabilizer wing said to improve helmet stability and further reduce rider fatigue. Arai claims the diffusers each take in 19 percent more air than the previous generation, and the center duct takes in 11 percent more air than the previous generation, as well.

Arai has put a significant focus on shell balance. The aim here is to keep the lowest center of gravity possible for the helmet in order to reduce rider fatigue during long stints in the saddle. This coupled with Arai’s pillowy soft interior padding delivers an all-day comfortable user experience. Like much of America’s Arai lineup, the Ram-X is built for an intermediate oval head shape.  

“The RAM-X features the newly developed VAS-Z shield system with a lower pivot point that allows a more smooth shell in the temple area. This system also allows the helmet to slide more smoothly should it contact the ground or obstacles, contributing to gains in protection. The lower pivot position is possible due to the dual-pivot design, which allows the shield to function where a single pivot could not.”

I primarily found myself using the Arai Ram-X helmet around town to run errands after the launch of the helmet in Ojai. Typically, I prefer the extra protection a full-face helmet offers, though after cruising around in the Ram-X, I was reminded of how enjoyable a three-quarter helmet can be.

To give the Ram-X a more thorough test, I decided to wear it on a 750 mile trip through the California desert and mountains to see what touring with the Ram-X would be like. It felt odd taking a three-quarter helmet on a long ride. I felt I had to remind myself to be more cautious and vigilant through LA traffic, as if I’m not already being as careful as possible. My thought was that the large shield would prove to be more tour-worthy than your garden variety shieldless three-quarter lid. So, I set off. I made a beeline from the coast to the desert and headed up highway 395 to higher ground.

Touring in the Arai Ram-X was a wonderful experience. Through 113 degree temps, twisty mountain roads and rain at highway speed, the helmet performed flawlessly… until I pulled the shield off.

To my relief, and as expected, the Ram-X vents quite well. The hottest temp my steed showed on the TFT dash was 113 degrees F. Enough to get a sweat going, for sure. When I popped my head out from behind the windshield, I was met with a blast of air coursing through my helmet cooling my sweat-drenched scalp. I did happen to notice that the ventilation actually works best in a forward canted position. Somewhere between a sportbike and an aggressive standard bike riding position. Not too much of a surprise since the diffusers were lifted from the Corsair-X, but I assume folks using this helmet are more likely to be sitting upright than being bunched over on supersports. The vents work while upright but not as good as when one is leaned forward. 

The long shield was what had me considering using the helmet on a long ride in the first place. It worked quite well, letting a little wind in the bottom, but not so much to dry out my eyes or allow debris to blow into them. The Pro Shade system works well with the helmet and is easily adjustable up or down. 

As with other Arai models, the helmet’s padding is customizable by adding or removing layers of foam.

As mentioned before, the helmet is very comfortable, and I had no issues with my medium in terms of fitment versus any other Arai on my shelf. Spot on intermediate oval. One thing I notice more when moving the helmet around than actually wearing it is its heft. It’s not exactly light. I have one other three quarter helmet on my shelf, and granted it’s carbon fiber (Troy Lee Designs); it weighs in at 2 pounds 2.7 ounces for a medium. The Arai Ram-X weighs 3 pounds 6.7 ounces for a medium. For another reference, my medium Shoei X-14 weighs 3 pounds 8.3 ounces. Again, it doesn’t bother me while wearing the helmet, but the Ram-X has some heft to it. 

I installed a Cardo Packtalk Bold into the Ram-X for my trip, and it worked fantastic. The helmet has large cutouts for comm systems, and the shield provided plenty of wind protection, making the system easy to listen to and communicate through.

There was only one hiccup I came across during my travels with the Ram-X. Once I was on my way home, I had the shield flipped up as I donned my gloves and got set to go. A little ways down the highway as speeds ramped up, I grabbed the middle of the bottom edge of the visor, and the entire shield, Pro Shade system and all, came off in my hand. I tucked it under my arm and pulled over to the shoulder to see what had happened. Nothing was broken and everything seemed to be fine. The helmet hadn’t sustained any drops or impacts of any kind. I’m not sure what happened, but I got the shield back on and rode the rest of the way home keeping it in the lowered position. 

The Arai Ram-X is available in seven different colors with all sorts of shield and Pro Shade colors to choose from.

After getting home, removing the shield, and attempting to reattach it, I have yet to be able to get the thing to mount correctly. I’ve had no issues with the Corsair-X or XD-4’s shield mechanisms, but the Ram-X has been giving me a hard time. Admittedly, I haven’t had the time to sit there for hours trying to figure it out, but the time spent messing with it already is slightly annoying. Maybe it’s just me. 

While it’s not the lightest, the Arai Ram-X is the most comfortable and, when the shield was attached correctly, convenient three-quarter helmet I have used. It is also, by far, the most expensive. At $680, the Arai Ram-X places itself atop the heap of expensive open-face helmets. The Arai quality and craftsmanship is evident, but nevertheless, that’s a chunk of change. 

Shop for the Arai Ram-X here

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The post MO Tested: Arai Ram-X Review appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Motorcycle.com by Motorcycle.com Staff - 5d ago

The longer you ride the more your seat matters – in both years ridden and distance traveled. Air bladders and rubber donuts and bead seats can take you so far; past there it might be time to bite the bullet and replace your factory seat with something upscale, something more befitting your two-wheeled station in life. Here’s a smattering of what’s available for a wide range of bikes, from Goldwing to sportbike.

Mustang Super Touring Seat For Harley Freewheeler 2015-2019 – $540

Mustang’s Super Touring sweetheart fits 36 different late-model Harleys, and has all kinds of 5-star reviews. It sits the driver 1-¾-inch further back than the stock seat in a thicker, firmer seat that’s 19 inches wide, ahead of the passenger’s 14-in wide saddle. Mustang says its one-piece, super-comfortable design provides the rider with the fullest, most comfortable seat possible, and it’s made in the USA.

Shop for the Mustang Super Touring Seat here

Saddlemen Adventure Track Seat – $375 – $839

With fitments for all sorts of ADV bikes from BMW to DRZ to KTM, this high-tech hybrid seat combines Saddlemens’ SaddleGel interior, progressive density foam, and a gel channel to provide unparalleled comfort and control. That channel in the base foam goes easy on the old perineal area and increases blood flow, keeping you in the saddle longer and happier. The vinyl and rugged micro-fiber suede cover is said to hold up to hard use while providing a superb blend of comfort and control. Some applications for mid-sized dualsports have a standard foam design (no GC) with a gripper and vinyl cover better suited to “rigorous riding.” Integrated cargo mounting points on the pillion portion of the Adventure-class seat sets make it easy to attach Saddlemen’s Adventure PACK luggage or other cargo, and most are also available in low-profile designs. Etc, etc…

Shop for the Saddlemen Adventure Track Seat here

Airhawk Independent Suspension Technology Seat For BMW – $400 – $675

Rummaging through the seat marketplace reveals that it’s Harley and BMW riders whose butts require the most coddling. Airhawk seats for BMW are born from a partnership between Danny Gray Custom Motorcycle Seats and Airhawk, and are available for most GS models. Using patented Danny Gray IST (Independent Suspension Technology) construction and Airhawk’s ergonomic expertise, these seats isolate the rider from shocks using special inserts that target the lower portions of your pelvic area. Airhawk’s AirCell technology lines the top layer of “w/ Air” option seats to deliver further mechanical shock separation and pressure point reduction. This system is configurable to each rider thanks to an adjustable bladder system. Designed to deliver uniform weight distribution and easier leg passage, the sculpted front contours benefit riders short and tall when it comes to getting a foot down.

Shop for the Airhawk Independent Suspension Technology Seat here

Sargent World Sport Performance Seat – $285 -$715

Available for all kinds of sportbikes from Aprilia to Yamaha, these babies use “advanced digital modeling, computer design techniques, precise manufacturing processes and superior materials. Each signature vacuum-formed light-but-strong PVC acrylic alloy seat pan is precision-molded for superior fit and provides an exceptional high-performance seat foundation.”

Super Cell Atomic Foam suspension is a unique and proprietary blend of resilience, firmness, and vibration-absorption qualities without the thermal retention and extra weight of gel. Most stock seats, Sargent says, suffer from a crowned shape that centralizes pressure and creates discomfort. The level, wider and slightly cupped foam shape of the Sargent World Sport Seat distributes pressure evenly and eliminates hot spots for long-distance comfort. Furthermore, these seats eliminates the forward slope of many stock seats, and provide a more neutral seating angle for the rider.

Shop for the Sargent World Sport Performance Seat here

Corbin Fire & Ice Saddle for Goldwing – $993

What the? I had no idea. Not only is this magnificent throne heated, it also uses the Peltier Effect (whatever that is) to quickly cool the seat’s surface 10-15 degrees below ambient temperature. With just a couple of fans, says Corbin, that temperature drop is achieved without pumps, compressors or fluids. Elsewhere, there’s almost too much to describe. The seat pictured is also equipped with Ovalbac backrests, which brings your overall vertical support up to 16.5 inches and 20 inches for rider and passenger.

“Naturally,” says Corbin, “we built up the saddle ergonomically to provide the best possible support and elimination of hot spots. This has been a staple of the Corbin design and is one of the most critical components of a true, touring class design.” Genuine leather seating panels breathe with your body. Coordinated vinyl side panels keep the foam shape tight and the saddle looking new longer.

Shop for the Corbin Fire & Ice Saddle here

Saddlemen Gel-Channel Tech Seat – $250 – $525

Saddlemen’s Gel Channel (GC) technology (patent pending) incorporates a split piece of SaddleGel and a channel in the base foam to relieve seating pressure on the perineum, increase blood flow, and keep the rider in the saddle longer. The “Tech” series incorporates a high-quality, flexible fabric top cover that breathes well and is textured to allow aggressive maneuvering. Just under the top cover is a layer of memory foam that contours to the shape of your body, with additional memory foam in areas strategically positioned for maximum comfort. These are available for many sportbikes, and a smooth black vinyl pillion seat cover is included.

Shop for the Saddlemen Gel-Channel Tech Seat here

Le Pera Daytona 2-Up Seat For Harley – $313 – $577

This one has almost nothing but rave reviews, as it apparently soaks up lots of bumps your Harley’s rear suspension doesn’t. A molded one-piece foam foundation sits atop a 16-gauge powder-coated steel baseplate that’s carpeted on the bottom to protect your fender, and covered on top with premium-grade black vinyl. Made in the USA, there aren’t many Harleys the Daytona won’t fit – and there’s a Sport version too with a rear-sloping pillion for those who like to instill fear in their passengers.

Shop for the Le Pera Daytona 2-Up Seat here

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

The post Best Motorcycle Seats appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Motorcycle.com by Motorcycle.com Staff - 5d ago

Amazon’ s summer sales bonanza, Amazon Prime Day, is almost upon us. First launched in 2015, the annual event has become “Black Friday in July” for online shopping.

Motorcycle.com will be tracking some of the bigger deals specifically for motorcyclists, so check with us throughout Amazon Prime Day 2019, which starts Monday July 15.

Until then, here’s what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is an online shopping event offering exclusive deals and significant discounts for Amazon Prime members. According to Amazon, customers purchased more than 100 million products on Prime Day, setting a new sales record for online retailer (since surpassed by Cyber Monday last fall).

When is Amazon Prime Day 2019?

Amazon Prime Day 2019 begins at 12 am Pacific on July 15. This year, the event runs for 48 hours until 11:59 pm on July 16. So, yeah, technically that makes it Amazon Prime Days, plural, but I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

How much does Amazon Prime cost?

For most people, an Amazon Prime membership cost $12.99/month, or if $119 if you opt in for a whole year. When you sign up, you get a free 30-day trial before you start getting charged membership fees, so if you only want to take advantage of Prime Day sales, you can always cancel before the trial period ends.

If you’re a student, the fees are $6.49/month or $59/year, and you get a longer six month trial.

If you have a medicaid card or an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, the membership fee is $5.99/month, and you get the standard 30-day free trial.

Beside Prime Day sales, what are the benefits of Amazon Prime?

With a Prime membership, Amazon promises free two-day delivery, with some cities getting free same day or one-day delivery. Prime members can also take advantage of exclusive deals the rest of the year, and get 30 minutes of early access to special lightning deals.

Amazon Prime members also get access to Amazon’s entertainment services, including movies and television shows and Amazon’s music streaming platform.

How do I sign up for Amazon Prime?

You can sign up for Amazon Prime here.

What if I don’t like Amazon?

Amazon isn’t the only place you can find deals during Prime Day. Other retailers are offering their own sales, hoping to steal some sales from the online behemoth with big discounts of their own. It’s always smart to compare prices, especially when it comes to motorcycle gear, as retailers like Revzilla, CycleGear and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC may offer a wider, more specialized range of products for motorcyclists.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

The post Amazon Prime Day Motorcycle Deals appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Everyone reading this had one particular motorbike they drooled over as a child.

For me, it started with the all-metal orange-tanked 1977 Kawasaki KD80 two-stroke dirt bike, followed by a white 1979 Yamaha DT100. These were the days of longing, need, and hopeless, waiting-to-get-old-enough to have the opportunity to reveal the mysteries which were these unobtainables.

I was not one of these lucky kids born on a ranch riddled with drivable lawn mowers and rusted pickup trucks with shredded bias-ply tires. I was stuck in a lower-middle-class suburban neighborhood with parents who, after every Christmas and birthday, could only repeat their infuriating mantra, “There’s nowhere to ride a dirt bike around here, and no one for you to go with. I’m sorry.”

The Honda RC30, the stuff of youthful dreams.

Fast-forward to 1989; I spent every spare moment finding my way to the local Honda shop, which had a Honda RC30 on display up in their window. Only the biggest dealerships in California got one each, and I was told that despite the RC30’s ultra-high price for the day, there was an active lottery; buyers had to place their names into a hat for the chance and privilege to pay full retail price, plus a premium, to take one of these incredibly advanced and downright beautiful – Made In Japan – machines, home.

There had never been a motorcycle like this sold to the public before. It had a “diamond” type chassis (so-named like a precious stone set in jewelry), twin-spar frame that resembled a top Grand Prix racer of the day.

The newly founded 1988 production-based World Superbike series allowed for homologated “specials” to be made by manufacturers in limited numbers – as long as a required minimum was made available to the public. In all, only 3000 total units of the Honda RC30 were ever sold globally over a roughly three year period. In contrast, mainstream go-to street bikes like Kawasaki Ninja 650s and Suzuki SV650s can sell tens of thousands of units per year, globally, and for many years to come.

Looking carefully over an RC30 in the window of a dealership as a young man was nothing short of peering into a portal of quality that I had not yet experienced. The welds of the frame, the foam around the tach. The handmade aluminum tank, the selfish solo seat made from light fiberglass. Of course, I couldn’t see the internals – the titanium rods, gear driven cams, tall first gear, and slipper clutch, but you could feel that they were there.

How could a world exist so far from me, and yet so made for me?

Right now, somewhere – perhaps many places – a young rider has this photo on their wall and dreams of riding the Ducati Panigale V4R.

I thought to myself, “If only someday I could arrive at a place that sees me throwing a leg over such a precious thing, maybe other areas of my life would follow suit.”

Somewhat immersed in the daydream of being surrounded by such excellence but without the means to obtain it, I bought the next best thing.

Quick story: My first year attending a four-year university I received a notice from VISA that as a student I was pre-approved for a Gold Credit Card with a $5000 spending limit. I had zero credit history at the time. I signed up for it, and the day after I got the card in the mail, I went to the local Honda dealership and bought a used 1986 red/white/blue VFR750F “Fred Merkel Special” on the credit card, at 20% interest. Best day of my life.

Okay, it wasn’t an RC30 but it was my RC30. Almost.

Fast-foward another thirty years, and I find myself in Southern Sicily about to test all of the latest liter bikes for Motorcycle.com. (See Seven Liter-Bikes That Left Me Weak In The Knee Pucks, plus also Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa Tire Range and Pirelli Angel GT II Tire Review)

While changing into some street gear inside of Pirelli’s secret warehouse full of testing bikes, I noticed an RC30 race bike propped up on display inside one of the hallways. It was immaculate, and painted in the black/purple/white color livery of the old Rumi Honda squad, which Fred Merkel had won his 1988 and 1989 World Superbike Championships with.

Pirelli’s Salvo Pennisi (left) and Mark Miller astride World Superbike homologation specials of two different eras – both designed with the intention of winning championships.

Later on, I mentioned to my friend at Pirelli, Salvo Pennisi, the head of tire development there, “Nice bike you’ve got there in the hallway. It’s in great condition.”

Salvo replies in a strong Italian accent, “Ah yes. This was my own bike many years ago, but Rumi need for backup for Raymond Roche, so I give happily.”

The bike is a fully-kitted HRC Honda Factory RC30.

“How cool!” I answered. “It’s always been my dream bike, actually, like for so many others. Never got to ride one, though. I did get to race a 1991 ZX-7RR and 1986 FZ750 at the Isle of Man Classic TT, also a Suzuki XR69 at the Phillip Island Classic, but never got to ride an RC30. I’m cool with it.”

“You want to ride?” Salvo says to me with a straight face. “I think it runs, I have my guys change the oil and put new tires on it, we ride at track tomorrow with other bikes.”

A pause.

“No no no, thank you. No. I’m not riding your priceless irreplaceable collectors item, not going to happen. What if something happens?” I said.

“Bah, let’s pull the old girl out, it’s been a really long time. I used to race this bike myself, you know. I did the World Superbike round at Pergusa in 1988 as a wild card, on this very bike. Would be nice to hear it running again. You should ride!”

Dude.

“Um, listen, Salvo, bubby, if it would be fun for you to have me ride your old flame, then it would be an honor.”

I was thinking to myself how I am fully capable of riding a motorcycle around a racetrack within a good margin of error, and there is no reason why I should crash anything. Not even Salvo’s trophy bike. Right?

We quietly went on with our street ride/test of the new Pirelli Angel GTs, all the while I tried to put the thought of riding an RC30 out of my head. “Miller, you’re old as dirt now – not your first rodeo. The chances of this coming off are remote, and this is okay. DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES UP. It ain’t going to happen. (The plugs will foul, or the carbs will be full of gunk, or the oil seal around the crank will have hardened, or or or or…”

We went about our business testing the street tires, then later that night Salvo says to me over dinner, “It looks good to ride the RC30 tomorrow at the track.”

I reply calmly, “Uh huh. Cool. Yeah. Great.”

To humor the situation and possibly give a little weight towards The Universe wishing this upon us, I add, “Ya know, Salvo. You wanted me to ride the new Ducati V4R winglet bike tomorrow, as well. Both the Honda and the Ducati are V4’s, both are at the top of their games when new, and both were homologated especially to win in World Superbike. If all goes to plan, maybe it’d be clever for us to concoct a little RC30 vs V4R thing, thirty years apart, for the magazine?”

He gave it a think, then his face lit up, “Good idea!”

So, we arrive at the ultra-fast Pergusa racetrack and I get to work evaluating all the top liter-bikes of 2019, back to back.

During lunchtime, I haplessly wander into an adjacent pit garage and lo and behold there sits the Rumi Honda RC30 on stands next to a $50,000 Ducati V4R — both bikes fueled up with tire warmers plugged in.

Pause.

I stare.

Really.

Really?

“Your job right now is to finish your antipasto. Don’t get your hopes up, classic bikes seldom work as we’d like them to.”

Copy that.

After lunch I continue onward with the military regimen of testing and evaluating all the latest and greatest bikes of our time.

Nearing the end of the day, very sweaty in my leathers, Salvo approaches me and says, “We can go now, I think, V4.”

I smile genuinely to his face, then more skeptically to his back as we walk to the adjacent garage.

Salvo and his crew attempt to rekindle an old flame.

“So Mark-uh,” he says. “I tell you what. Let me take the bike out first to make sure it’s running right, scrub in the tires, then I come give to you. Okay?”

“Absolutely.”

“I do two laps,” Salvo says.

“Have fun.”

Salvo, who’s over 60 years old now, shared with me that motorbikes have saved his life after a long and interesting career as a paratrooper in the Italian military, followed by successful achievements at breaking records riding motorcycles to some of the highest altitudes on earth.

At this moment, he gets pushed down pit lane to bump start his trusted Rumi RC30. It doesn’t fire.

One young man turns into two, which turns into three, all pushing the 1989 Honda back to life, like performing CPR.

They stop.

I watch from a quarter mile away as they fiddle with something on the bike. I could see they were all out of breath.

I don’t move, and I don’t hold my helmet in hand. But it’s not over.

Please start. Please start. Please start…

They give Salvo another push and it instantly lights up. He and his RC30 enter the race track.

Now, I’m getting excited.

I recall vividly that I felt something we feel only a few times in our lives: total anticipation.

I grab my helmet and thrust it onto my head, “Two laps. Two laps. This just might happen.”

Salvo goes flying by the start/finish line engrossed in a sound that you have to hear to fully understand. It’s analog, it’s pure, it’s rare, and it’s beautiful. The sound of the V4 Honda with carburetors just brings you back, like a time machine, of FZR600s, air-cooled GSXR-1100s, ZX-7s, and Honda CBR600F2s. But this is the mack-daddy of all `80s machinery. This is the voice of it’s designer, Soichiro Honda, who said at the outset of producing the RC30, “This is what we are capable of making, cost be damned.”

Salvo came around for his second lap, then a third, then a fourth, then a fifth.

Look closely, and you’ll see that Salvo is smiling!

I’m actually getting more stoked with Salvo’s each passing lap, “He’s enjoying himself, go, go, go!”

After seven laps Salvo and the RC30 return to the pits. He comes to a stop in front of me, and lifts his visor. Tears are streaming down his face.

“Incredible. Incredible,” he says.

I pat him on the back heartily, and it was a special moment. I hope I can make it to his age and feel what he felt in that moment.

“Okay, now get the fuck off, before this thing breaks,” I think to myself.

Salvo steps off his former RC30 race bike and hands it to me.

I throw my leg over it, and one of his helpers then kneels down to each wheel to check the tire pressures. Water starts to pour out of its radiator as I lightly blip the throttle to keep the engine running.

With a puddle of steaming hot radiator fluid growing larger beneath the bike, Salvo tells me, “The jetting is not perfect but…”

“Got it!” I said. I put the bike in gear, and released the clutch.

I pulled away down the pit lane and entered the track.

“Not yet. Not yet. I haven’t quite… quite… ridden an RC30… quite yet,” I’m saying to myself.

First corner, second corner, third corner, and onto my knee.

Inside my helmet, “I’ve done it! I’ve done it!”

Boyhood dreams can..

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Amazon’ s summer sales bonanza, Amazon Prime Day, is almost upon us. First launched in 2015, the annual event has become “Black Friday in July” for online shopping.

Motorcycle.com will be tracking some of the bigger deals specifically for motorcyclists, so check with us throughout Amazon Prime Day 2019, which starts Monday July 15.

Until then, here’s what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is an online shopping event offering exclusive deals and significant discounts for Amazon Prime members. According to Amazon, customers purchased more than 100 million products on Prime Day, setting a new sales record for online retailer (since surpassed by Cyber Monday last fall).

When is Amazon Prime Day 2019?

Amazon Prime Day 2019 begins at 12 am Pacific on July 15. This year, the event runs for 48 hours until 11:59 pm on July 16. So, yeah, technically that makes it Amazon Prime Days, plural, but I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

How much does Amazon Prime cost?

For most people, an Amazon Prime membership cost $12.99/month, or if $119 if you opt in for a whole year. When you sign up, you get a free 30-day trial before you start getting charged membership fees, so if you only want to take advantage of Prime Day sales, you can always cancel before the trial period ends.

If you’re a student, the fees are $6.49/month or $59/year, and you get a longer six month trial.

If you have a medicaid card or an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, the membership fee is $5.99/month, and you get the standard 30-day free trial.

Beside Prime Day sales, what are the benefits of Amazon Prime?

With a Prime membership, Amazon promises free two-day delivery, with some cities getting free same day or one-day delivery. Prime members can also take advantage of exclusive deals the rest of the year, and get 30 minutes of early access to special lightning deals.

Amazon Prime members also get access to Amazon’s entertainment services, including movies and television shows and Amazon’s music streaming platform.

How do I sign up for Amazon Prime?

You can sign up for Amazon Prime here.

What if I don’t like Amazon?

Amazon isn’t the only place you can find deals during Prime Day. Other retailers are offering their own sales, hoping to steal some sales from the online behemoth with big discounts of their own. It’s always smart to compare prices, especially when it comes to motorcycle gear, as retailers like Revzilla, CycleGear and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC may offer a wider, more specialized range of products for motorcyclists.

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

The post Amazon Prime Day 2019: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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Keeping up with current technology on your Harley-Davidson is now easier than ever. If you’re looking for a powerful, waterproof and feature-rich receiver for your bike, then check out what Rockford Fosgate has in store for Street Glide, Electra Glide and Road Glide bikes. Their all-new digital media receiver is fully waterproof, packed with the latest audio tech and, best of all, designed to be plug-and-play. With a full-color, 3-inch screen and day/night modes, the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 is an excellent upgrade for stock units and starts shipping in July 2019.

The PMX-HD9813 unit is designed from the start to be a drop-fit, high-quality replacement for stock audio receivers. Rockford Fosgate uses the same fit and finish you expect from original Harley-Davidson accessories, so it looks like it belongs on your bike. No issues with weird gaps. No concerns about build quality. The PMX-HD9813 is fully waterproof and compatible with the handlebar controls of your bike. Rockford Fosgate is one of the industry leaders in high-performance audio systems, which should give you confidence in the quality of the product.

There are a lot of features packed into the PMX-HD9813 that make it among the best in its class. The high-powered amp is capable of providing 50-watts of power over four channels. A 4-volt pre-amp system has been designed to completely eliminate audio clipping at high volume. Plus, you’ll get full Bluetooth capability to stream your favorite music.

While the PMX-HD9813 does not support stock satellite or CB radio receivers, it can be paired with the SiriusXM SXV300 tuner for satellite radio. AUX and USB inputs round out a competitive feature set. Controls are large and easy to use, especially when wearing gloves.

When it comes to installation, the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 is surprisingly straightforward. Because it’s been designed for a direct fit, installation can be done in as little as an hour. Connecting to the existing wiring is virtually plug and play; no adapters or special tools are needed. Note that the PMX-HD9813 is designed to work with the factory wiring harness, and you might need an extra harness for rear-speaker lines.

PMX-HD9813 H-D Road Glide Upgrade - YouTube

Harley-Davidson owners who have been considering an upgrade to their stock audio receiver will want to take a look at the latest from Rockford Fosgate. The PMX-HD8913 is a significant improvement over the stock receivers on select 1998 through 2013 Harley-Davidson bikes. Coming from a company with a reputation like Rockford Fosgate, you can take confidence in the quality of the product and the sound it makes. A 2-year warranty is included with the purchase from Rockford Fosgate, as is the ability to apply software updates via USB. Check out the product details online now, or get it from your favorite Rockford Fosgate retailer.

The post Upgrade Your Harley-Davidson’s Radio With This Impressive Unit from Rockford Fosgate appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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With summer in full swing, you’ve hopefully had the chance to get some riding in. If you have, by now you’re probably aware of any potential upgrades or replacements you need to make to your moto wardrobe. In this week’s edition of Revzilla deals, there are an assortment of products for Street, Adventure, touring, and even off-road riders.

Shop for the Latest Deals here

Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket – $314.46 (15% off)

The Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket combines the technical and ergonomic features found in Dainese’s pro-level race suits with textile and mesh to create a summer riding jacket that affords CE level protection while providing a dynamic fit and sporty looks. Key features like aluminum shoulder sliders, elasticated inserts, large mesh panels, CE rated shoulder and elbow armor, as well as pockets for Dainese’s back and chest protectors, give you comprehensive protection with a comfortable yet snug fit. When the heat is on the Super Speed Textile Jacket helps keep your cool without sacrificing comfort or protection.

Shop for the Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket here

Kriega US-20 Drypack – $104.25 (25% off)

The Kriega US-20 is an award-winning, high quality piece of motorcycle luggage, offering 20 liters of capacity. Like all Kriega US bags, it is a 100% waterproof Drypack with innovative design which attaches to the sub-frame, via included buckle loops and Alloy Hook Straps, for use as a motorcycle tail pack and courier bag. The Kriega US-20 motorcycle bag comes equipped with removable shoulder and waist straps. It can be carried courier style, on or off the bike. It can also be used as a tank bag (with addition of US Tank adaptor) or in combination with other US packs to create a supremely adaptable, modular, soft luggage system.

Shop for the Kriega US-20 Drypack here

Fox Racing Titan Sport Jacket – $119.96 (20% off)

Full upper body under jersey coverage has a new standard with the Fox Titan Sport Jacket. Its complete plastic plating of key contact areas is unmatched. Its full mesh main body offers a precise, bunch-free fit. Add in the intelligently engineered ventilation zones and the Fox Titan Sport Jacket truly becomes the ultimate battle suit.

Shop for the Fox Racing Titan Sport Jacket here

AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid Helmet – $599.96 (20% off)

Modular helmet wearers, rejoice! The AGV Sport Modular Carbon Helmet is here and ready to lay down those miles with you. Built with the AGV Pista GP R in mind, the Sportmodular has the same protection and lightweight construction. The helmet liner is two-sided and reversible, so you can pick the best level of comfort depending on the weather. The GT3 face shield is prepared for the Pinlock 120 insert lens, which is race-level anti-fogging at your fingertips. Metal hardware at the chin bar closes the bar securely. Swap out the face shield effortlessly with no tool required.

Shop for the AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid Helmet here

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

The post Best Deals On Motorcycle Gear At Revzilla For The Week Of July 8 appeared first on Motorcycle.com.

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