Spectrum Ultra Sport Vests are Back!

Riding down the California Coast back in 2013 wearing my original Red Spectrum Ultra Sport Blitz Vest. Who knew reflective vests could be so cool?

Riding down the California Coast back in 2013 wearing my original Red Spectrum Ultra Sport Blitz Vest. Who knew reflective vests could be so cool?

This vest came out 3 years ago and for a short time offered a unique, hi viz vest with a cool factor that other vests had not yet reached. Unfortunately they went out of business but under a new owner, they are reviving the brand and trying to start production again through their Kickstarter here. This time, the prices are much lower with the same bright designs (simplified color options) and a special price if you buy in as a supporter. 

I plan on purchasing one for my husband, since he has yet to jump on board the hi viz boat. I really want him to wear one at night, as that's when I find my vest to be the most useful. Especially since he pretty much wears black without any reflectivity. 

Of course I have to back this project and pick up a Black and Gold Blitz Vest! I convinced the man to pick up a black and silver one as well. The Kickstarter is going through Tuesday, September 6th.

You can read my review here, then sign up to be one of the first ones to receive a new and improved Spectrum vest. 

Sportbike Touring on an SV650S

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest


I'll admit, it's not that comfortable. But here are 3 inexpensive ways to instantly improve your sanity while riding over 350 miles/day.  


1) Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips

I have a fully stock set up on my 2003 Suzuki SV650S, as far as bars/seats go. One of the best $40 investments (I got a special price at the Tahoe Adventure Rally) I spent last summer was on a set of Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips. You can see all 3 pads on my tank above. They're an absolute necessity on ANY sportbike. Not only do they help you grip the tank better but they just make longer rides a little easier. The more you can grip your tank, the better you can hold your position squeezing the tank. And if you've used your body position to lean harder, you know how important it is to have a solid place for your opposite knee. :D

They make grip pads for many makes/models of bikes and even sell the material in sheets so you can make your own if necessary. They come in two different compounds and the one I have is the "C3 Grip" ($51.95). They aren't just pads, to protect your tank, but they provide so much more comfort on a long distance ride. I have a much easier time holding my body in place.  

If you ride a sportbike, why don't you have these???

Where to Buy: Tech Spec (online), Scuderia West (San Francisco)

Cost: Starts at ~$45 depending on the compound you choose.  They're having a daily contest to get yours free, but it's not clear on their website or Facebook page as to how you can win.....

 Tech Spec Gripster Tank Pads



2) Seat Pad / Custom Seat

I forgot to bring my trusty sheepskin seat pad. How did I forget something so crucial??

A few years ago I bought a sheepskin pad from Alaska Leather Online. I didn't start using it until last summer when I went on a ton of long weekend trips, riding over 250 miles/day. I don't kno why I forgot about it this time! I just know that it would've brought me much comfort on this 990 mile weekend. For $65 your butt will thank you! At least, that was the cost for my bike. Since they don't make one specifically for the SV, the Pillion seat worked perfectly. 

alaska leather online sheep skin pad 2003 sv650s seat


Where to Buy: Alaska Leather Online

Cost: ~$65 (for an SV, other bikes may vary)


3) Tank Bag

It seems obvious but having something right there for you to lean on is such a huge relief. Especially if it's magnetic. I can reposition the tank bag by shifting the magnets forward or back. Since I've only ever had magnetic tank bags, I'm not sure how else this would work with a strap mount tank bag since you have to preposition the straps.  (this photo is pre TechSpec)

I usually stuff mine pretty full (not extended) but full enough for me to push forward so I can lean in. Here's another shot of the pic above so you can see how perfectly placed my tankbag is. 

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest


Givi T470 Tank Bag - I believe this is discontinued but there appear to be some other versions on Givi's website. Also check TourandRide.com

Also, if you're wondering about the vest I'm wearing it's from Spectrum Ultra Sports

Spectrum Reflective Safety Vests

Spectrum High Visibility Vest

Looking for an ultra reflective vest with funky stripes? These new vests by Spectrum are a little better than your average safety vest. 

Using a combination of Corduro and 3M Reflective tape, these vests are more durable, brighter and will last longer than most reflective vests. 

 Pictured Above: Blue Chrome E Reflective, $149 http://www.spectrumultrasports.com/blue-chrome-e-reflective-vest/

I've seen a couple in person and they're pretty strong visually. I'd wear one, but I really really like my jackets and they way they look. (Yes, I do value style over function to a degree) 

I definitely would wear one for night riding. I generally don't ride long distance at night, mostly riding around San Francisco. My jackets all have a little bit of reflectivity and I'm normally carrying my Timbuk2, which has a huge center reflective strip. 

If you are considering a safety vest and want something durable and dare I say it, cool, check these out. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. 

Prices:  $149 - $189. 

Where to Buy: http://www.spectrumultrasports.com/