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Can't Ride, So I'll Shop. Shoei RF-1200 Photochromic Faceshield.

pinlock_transitions_faceshield Just another faceshield? Something like that. For those of you who wear fancy transition lens glasses, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

This Transitions lens is ready for my Shoei RF-1200 and in fact will only fit the RF-1200 since the shields are different on Shoei's other helmet models. It's also Pinlock ready, so that means you can transfer your clear Pinlock insert right into this faceshield (which should've come with your RF-1200, btw. If it didn't you need to call your shop/dealer/website asap).   Once you've done that, you now have a fog free transition lens!

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I haven't worn a dark faceshield on my helmet in over 10 years because I love my Maui Jim sunglasses so much. I'm not sure if this shield will permanently replace using them while riding but I'm hoping that they will. It's such a convenient idea, right?

I'm hoping it doesn't annoy me, and I'm really hoping I don't miss my sunglasses. I am used to having polarized lenses, so we'll see. From my understanding, the Transition lens properties aren't as quick to react as one might think. For example, if you're riding on a twisty road with trees like this:

Rossis Driveway

The lens will not transition instantly back and forth. It can't react that quickly. (If I'm wrong about this, please please post a comment with your own experience). I believe it'll maintain a light smoke color for the duration of the road. I'm also told that when the sky is cloudy or overcast, it also maintains a light smoke tint. I'm a little worried about that because my sunglasses do a phenomenal job of making things easier to see when it's gray out.

It's not cheap at $152.99 (Revzilla), but the technology might be worth paying for if you don't want to change faceshields constantly or carry your fancy sunglasses while you ride.

Fingers crossed, hopefully it'll warm up briefly for me to take Goldie out and test whether or not I'll be keeping this fancy faceshield.

*sigh*

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Sarah Schilke Joins BMW Motorrad USA

gearchic_sarah_schilke_bmw_motorrad Yes! More Women taking over the motorcycle industry. So excited to see my friend Sarah move into an incredible position with BMW Motorrad USA, one of the most popular brands among women riders. 

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 4, 2015 – Industry veteran Sarah Schilke has announced she has accepted the position of National Marketing Manager with BMW Motorrad USA, a move that opens up her previously held seat on the MIC Board of Directors. 

Schilke was serving her third term on the MIC BOD. “We will miss Sarah’s leadership and dedication at our meetings,” said MIC Board Chairman Dennis McNeal. “But we know that her input and influence will continue through BMW’s ongoing MIC Board participation.” BMW Motorrad USA is represented on the Board by BMW Vice President Kris Odwarka. 

Schilke’s résumé consists of a wide range of industry marketing experience, including such roles as Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Schuberth North America, Western Advertising Manager for American Motorcyclist Magazine and Marketing Director and Show Feature Manager for Advanstar Communications.

“I congratulate Sarah on her new opportunity, and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her previous service to the industry,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “The remaining eleven MIC board members are well-poised to continue their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect and promote the motorcycle industry, and we look forward to filling this open seat during MIC's annual election cycle later this year." 

The 2015 MIC Board of Directors includes Arnold W. Ackerman (Motorsport Aftermarket Group), Steve Bortolamedi (Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.), Russ Brenan (Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.), Jon-Erik Burleson (KTM North America, Inc.), Don Emde (Don Emde Inc.), Robert Gurga (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.), Andrew Leisner (Bonnier Motorcycle Group), Larry Little (Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group), Dennis McNeal (Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.), Steve Menneto (Polaris Industries) and Kris Odwarka (BMW Motorrad USA). 

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

Motorcycle Jackets with a More Generous Bust on Pinterest

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I've updated some of my Pinterest boards, and will be adding fit-specific boards such as:

  • long and lean motorcycle jackets
  • jackets with generous bust spaces
  • pants that run long
  • pants that run short
  • and more to come!

You do not have to be a member to view my boards, so swing by and let me know if there's something you want to see. As always, you can find me as Gearchic on Pinterest.

Something else to keep in mind, especially for the first time gear shoppers is that even these jackets will be tight across the bust, no matter what. Nothing designed for riding is going to fit like your blouses so make sure that you bring your shoulders forward, bring the girls in, your torso back to get it to zip up. Then SIT ON THE MOTORCYCLE. This is SO important to make sure you're not in the wrong size.

Ride Review: Suzuki DRZ 400 SM. That Was Tall!

Suzuki DRZ400SM Last week I rode a DRZ 400 SM. Wow, I learned so much and rode the tallest bike I've ever ridden. Yes, You Can.

I learned that a Suzuki Drz400sm isn't in my near future. Not because it was really tall (35"+!) but I didn't like the way it rode. I'm still very much a sporty girl and love the handling, feedback and stability that modern sportbikes offer. If you know me at all, you know I'm a sucker for twisties and don't care much about straight lines either. This bike was definitely a demon in the twisties, but in a different way.

I only had the chance to ride it for one afternoon, down to Alice's Restaurant from San Francisco. We took a very simple ride route, a little slab to get to the twisties!:

  • 280 South --> 92 West
  • 35 South (twisties begin)
  • 84 West
  • Quick stop at Stage Road in San Gregorio, then South on Stage Road
  • Left on Pescadero Road to 84 East back to Alices

Although short but sweet, it was heavenly. We left around 12, so it was too late of a start to head further south towards Boulder Creek as planned. Oh well, that's what Christmas vacation will be for! So my friend generously let me borrow his DRZ 400 SM and my husband rode another friend's KTM RC8 (we have awesome friends!!), and my girlfriend joined us on her DR650.

I definitely wouldn't have ridden a heavier bike of the same height. Since it was skinny and lightweight, I felt fairly confident that I could handle it. But to be completely honest, I probably would've said no if I took a minute to think about what I was going to ride.

I'm glad I didn't think about it too much and just rode my brains out. I also didn't wear my big girl boots which didn't make it much easier but I guess I like a challenge.

2005 Suzuki DRZ 400 SM

Here are some specs for the one I rode:

  • Dry Weight: 295lbs
  • Wheelbase: 57in
  • Seat Height: 35in; with a Gel Seat for a 1" shorter seat height
  • Ground Clearance: 10in
  • Unlowered suspension
  • Shinko Trailmaster Tires; these tires are taller, so they counteracted the gel seat
  • Click here for a full list of specs 

If there's one thing I love about riding different bikes, it's that I usually learn something new. On this bike, I had to relearn how to make my lines. I was having trouble through corners and my friend reminded me that I can't ride it like a sport bike because it isn't one. It's a supermoto! After she gave me a couple tips, it was a lot easier to stay smooth through the corners and increase my entry and exit speeds.

I quickly learned that in the twisties, I still love the way street bikes perform and am not sure if a smaller supermoto is in my future. I definitely love how mid weight supermotos like KTM's 690 SMR and 690 Duke feel and would love to have one someday.

I'm a bit on the fence about this bike, I mean besides the fact that it's annoyingly tall. I loved the riding position and how far I could see up ahead. You're almost the same height as SUVs so it's really easy to see down the road. Of course, the riding position was really comfortable. I did have to jump on the highway to get down to Alice's but doing 75mph was easy.

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When you ride something that's barely tall enough to throw one leg over, curbs suddenly become your best friend. As soon as I'd see one at a stoplight or freeway offramp, it was always convenient to pull up next to one and rest my wayward foot. My right leg is typically rather useless because I can only get my toes down, but on this one it was *completely* useless! I also avoided dirt and uneven pavement and always got off the bike to park it. Luckily I was able to balance it just perfectly to hop right and get my right foot down to kick the sidestand down with my left foot. Whew!

 

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It's just too bad I didn't have time to throw a leg over my friend's RC8!

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At the end of the day, I feel like I accomplished a lot and rode something I never expected to be able to ride. If someone told me that someday I'd be able to throw a leg over a bike with almost 35" seat height I would've told them they were nuts.

I guess the moral of the story is, don't think about it, just do it. (Of course, after you've perfected your braking and balancing techniques :D)