shoei

GPX Routes for Virginia and West Virginia

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This week I’ve been having fun riding around VA and WVA before and after meeting up with a friend in Roanoke. Here are the individual GPX Routes I created, feel free to download any or all of them:

Philly to Front Royal VA

Front Royal VA to Roanoke VA

Elkins WV to Philly

Staunton VA to Hagerstown MD (I did this because I didnt have time to do Elkins to Hagerstown)

Elkins WV to Hagerstown MD (if you have more time than I did)

You might be wondering how I do my routing and directions on the fly while I’m on a trip like this. Because I refuse to bring a laptop for a 3-5 day trip. I do have my iPad sometimes but it’s not a laptop.

But when I’m out on a ride, or on a short trip, these are the 3 things I use: in conjunction with my iPhone so that I can do two very important things: A/ Create, save and/or share a route on my phone (without a computer) and B/ Receive turn by turn directions into my helmet.

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  1. Bluetooth Intercom (Sena or Cardo or Other). Right now, I’m using an older Sena SMH10R since my Sena 10R is on my Bell. But this Summer I’m going to spring for a new Cardo Freecom 4+ with JBL speakers. Woo hoo!

  2. InRoute app (iPhone only) - Read my Review here which shows you how to make GPX routes on the fly, as well as exporting them to share with a friend, or saving them for later. This feature is what differentiates it from Google Maps. At least for those of us with iPhones. I’m guessing Android users might have more privileges, and if that’s the case please post a comment below.
    As much as I like this app, the only thing I hate right now is the sound quality of the Voice. The female US English voice is too high pitched, so I started using the male UK English voice and it’s much better. I’m hoping that when I switch to Cardo, it’ll be a little better. The Google Maps voice (I call her Gigli) is much, much clearer and smoother.

  3. Google Maps: I mainly use this as a search tool for things like gas stations, restaurants, etc. Although you can create a multi-waypoint trip, you are limited to so many waypoints (far less than 100, I think 10ish or something) and you can’t save them on an iPhone. So InRoute really works better as a trip planning tool.

So I use #1 and #2 so that I can get turn by turn directions through to my helmet so I don’t have to look down to view the directions. I do have my phone mounted to a Ram Mount just in case, but I generally try not to look at it and just rely on the audio.

I created all of the above routes on my iPhone, using the InRoute app, no computers needed. You do have to pay a monthly or annual fee in order to have many waypoints but it’s worth the $30/year subscription for 100+ waypoints.

If you have any questions, please post a comment!

For more trip photos, please follow me: instagram.com/gearchic

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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Riding the Infamous Dragon

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I had a blast this last week riding to the 10th Annual Womens Sportbike Rally. The Dragon was fun, but Highway 28 was even better :)  Thanks to Killboy.com for sponsoring the rally and getting this pic for me!

Stay tuned for a ride report of my longest riding trip ever, 2,000+ miles.

Out At The Women's Sportbike Rally

I'm out riding this week through the Virginia and North Carolina Mountains! I'm headed to the women's Sportbike rally at deals gap, so please say hi if you're going to be there. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to see more pics of me and Goldie carving it up in these beautiful mountains.

 

On my way to the Blue Ridge mountains

Went out for a quick 150 mile ride yesterday

triumph_street_speed_triple_scorpion_zion Went for a quick 150 mile ride to Northern PA the other day for ice cream!

We used this ride route that I put together, but only did half of it since we didn't leave early enough. So we made it to just below Bangor, PA and then headed East towards the Delaware River heading south on 32.

On the way we stopped for ice cream at Homestead Coffee Roasters. Yum! They also have a small lunch menu, ice cream and misc snacks. There's also a nice patio out back to sit and enjoy your scoops. Oh yes, we're also both testing out new helmets! He got this special edition Bell Star Carbon and I picked up a Shoei RF-1200 'Graffiti' (LOVE this helmet).

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I don't know why the man looks unhappy posing in front (it's also called the General Store), but he puts up a good front because we had a great time that afternoon.

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And along the way down 32, we found this cute bridge to take a couple pics on.

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The weather was perfect, high 70s for the most part. Not hot, not cold, just right. I'm testing the Scorpion Zion jacket for WRN and it worked well that day. A full review will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

 

 

Sena SMH10R Review

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Yay! It's review time. I finally upgraded my bluetooth head set to the Sena SMH10R. Oooooooo. Aaaaaaaaah. Ohhhhhh. Read my review here. Did I also mention that I upgraded my helmet to a Shoei RF-1200? :D

Since my Qwest fit me so well, why not go for a lighter, quieter version of it? I'm an XS, and this helmet only weighs 3lbs 5oz! So light. The shell is also really compact, so when I turn my head I don't hit my backpack or my shoulder. It's quieter, less resistant in the wind at high speed, stable and ridiculously comfortable. It comes with a Pinlock faceshield and insert, bonus!

I just picked up this helmet yesterday and have only ridden 10 miles in it so far. I will report back in a month or so. In the meantime, a couple pics of the Graffiti graphic. 

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I found calculus equations underneath the graffiti:

 

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I guess it's fitting since I was an Econ major in college, I did take 2 quarters of Calculus....... :D

 

 

Shoei Hornet Dual Sport Helmet for Small Heads

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If you have a small head, and I mean a *really*small head, now's the time to invest in one of the best dual sport helmets on the market.

For the low low price of $349.99, the Shoei Hornet DS helmet is on sale! Snell rated, Fiberglas shell, lightweight, Pinlock-able, well vented, removable liners and more.

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If I needed a dual sport helmet, this would be at the top of my list. One because it weighs practically nothing (~3.5lbs) and also because Shoeis fit my head really well.  I've never met a man that fit a XS let alone a XXS helmet. There are only a handful of people who need XXS helmets, and it's extremely difficult to find really good ones.

If you fit any Shoei, you should easily fit into this one. Similar to their intermediate oval headshape (so your head from front to back is a bit longer than ear to ear).

As of right now, Revzilla has XS and XXS (DOUBLE Xtra Small!) for the same price in solid colors.

Hurrrrryyyyyyy before they run out!

"Quiet" Motorcycle Helmets

Riding down Geary Boulevard in San Francisco back in 2013

Riding down Geary Boulevard in San Francisco back in 2013

I had a really difficult question this week emailed to me from a rider in Australia about which helmets are quieter, full face or modulars? 

Questions:

  • What is the quietest full face flip top (modular)?
  • What is the quietest full face?
  • And are the flip top (modular) as quiet as the full face?

Answer:

Generally speaking, perceived noise levels will vary depending on the individual. Noise can be caused by many factors, including helmet fit; the type of motorcycle and windscreen; wind speed and direction and even the type of clothing that is being worn. Also assuming that you are wearing the correct size/fit for your head, this will also greatly affect perceived noise levels We also always recommend wearing high quality ear plugs to minimize wind noise as well. One of my favorite resources for an exceptionally large selection is Earplug Superstore.

That being said, I am thrilled to share my personal experience with you, as well as that of many of our customers with our most popular helmets for overall noise reduction.

Many will agree that Schuberth makes one of the quietest modulars (also commonly referred to as flip up) starting with their popular C3 Pro.

My old Shoei Qwest Goddess

My old Shoei Qwest Goddess

Schuberth made the first modular helmet and they say that the C3 and C3Pro are the quietest models available. They have wind tunnel tested both of these models starting at “82db at 62 mph on an unfaired motorcycle”. If you search for reviews of these models, you will find many riders agree that the Schuberth helmets are very quiet, relative to other makes/models. I have a C3ProW (women’s specific model of the C3Pro) and can definitely tell a noticeable reduction in wind noise in comparison to the other two helmets I own, which are the Arai Vector-2 and Shoei Qwest. As a side note Shoei claims a 2.2db reduction in overall wind noise from it’s predecessor, the TZ-R. I definitely think my Qwest is quieter than my Vector-2.

Many will also argue that modulars are noisier than full face helmets. That is true with a few exceptions including Schuberth, who has mastered the design and engineering of their helmets to eliminate as much noise as possible. Since Schuberth introduced the C3 a couple years ago, there are more premium modulars that have been released since then to compete including the Shoei Neotec and HJC RPHA Max that also are trying to provide a quieter riding experience. However, if you compare something as premium as the C3Pro to a basic full face helmet at a <$100 price point then the C3Pro is very much quieter than that one.

Alternatively, if you compare the C3Pro to other premium, high end full face street helmets such as the Arai Defiant or Shoei RF-1200 which have both been designed to greatly minimize wind noise, you may find they all come somewhat close to each other. 

The Defiant and RF-1200 have been very popular models among riders who are seeking full face helmets that can greatly reduce wind noise levels. Since Schuberth greatly publicizes their perceived noise level in decibels, I think you can safely assume that the Schuberth models might be a hair quieter than it’s competitors. It’s difficult to say which one is the quietest, but these definitely fall into the ‘more quiet than others’ category.

You must also take into consideration the fairing / windscreen setup of your motorcycle. My bike has nothing, so even the quietest helmets will still be noisy because I have nothing in front of me. Depending on what kind of setup you have on your bike, that will certainly affect overall wind noise as well.

UPDATE 2016: 

Since this post, I've purchased a Shoei RF-1200 which I find to be almost as quiet as my Schuberth. However, I do think the windscreen on my old SV made a difference in reducing noise as well. My current Triumph has nothing!