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Saved By The Helmet

X001You’ve got your bike, all your leather and protective accessories like gloves and boots, but now you have to get that very important piece of equipment that could literally mean the difference between life and death, your helmet. Not to mention the difference between enjoying your super bike ride with crystal clear vision or having an accident because your helmet visor is bad quality or facing mortality because your helmet didn’t meet up to recommended standards.

Discount Motorcycle Helmets

If you’re on a tight budget, consider purchasing motorcycle helmets that are on discount. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to buy a motorcycle helmet that has been certified by the D.O.T (U.S. Department of Transportation) or at least the Snell Foundation.

Both these bodies of authority have set standards that all manufacturers of helmets need to meet. There are a few ways to tell the difference between D.O.T certified helmets and knock-offs. Look out for (EPS) expanded polystyrene. This is a foam liner resembling Styrofoam that is used inside a genuine helmet. The EPS is the stuff that actually takes the brunt of the impact in the case of a collision. When this happens it becomes crushed so to speak and afterwards it has lost its impact absorption ability and this is why helmets need to be replaced when they’ve taken a hit.

D.O.T And Snell Tested

Both the D.O.T and Snell Foundation have independently tested helmets and you can therefore be assured that your chances of surviving an impact are thus greatly improved so make sure to invest in certified helmets. Apart from the few types of helmets that vary in facial area protection there are 3 types that are the most popular:

  • Full Face Helmets – Offers the most protection covering the most area on your head
  • Flip Face Helmets – Offers the same protection like a full face helmet combined with the convenience that an Open Face helmet gives.
  • Open Face Helmets – Quite popular but lacks in offering as much protection as a Full Face helmet, but great to wear as the Open face helmet gives the user complete interaction with the elements while riding.

One tip to remember when buying a discount motorcycle helmet is to be super careful when a shopping at a dealer that has helmets on sale, because it probably means that it’s slow moving stock. This is important because every helmet has a specified shelf life whether it is in the stores on their shelves or if it’s in your closet at home. Helmets deteriorate with age and this means so does its ability to protect you.

If you can’t find discounts in the shops then you should definitely try eBay or Amazon. Many dealers that have online stores have super specials so be sure to check it out and keep these brands in mind: Shoei, AGV, Icon, Suomy, and Nolan. As long as you make sure that your helmet has been certified by the D.O.T or Snell you can’t go wrong when buying a discount motorcycle helmet.

Travel In style With Icon Motorcycle Gear

represent-back-largeWith their bold taste in design and functionality and creative use of colours, Icon has paved the way for motorcycle riding gear that screams attitude. Whether you’re a woman or man they’ve got it all. Looking for gloves, helmets, one piece suits, back protectors and jackets, icon motorcycle gear have pretty much covered every angle and item accessory when it comes to performance motorcycle gear.

Icon Motorcycle Gear Makes You Stand Out

Stand out from the crowd with awesome bike gear that beams attitude just like your taste for motorcycle performance and style of riding. This is a brand that has truly set the bar and has the track record to prove it, with many happy customers returning time and time again. With some of the most tactical designs and graphics, Icon has expanded globally to offer great value and precision to every motorcycle enthusiast.

Finding a retailer isn’t hard, start by having a look on their site or send them an email. Like most companies that manufacture motorcycle gear, they stock all your basic motorcycle accessories like gloves, pants, jackets, helmets and boots, but they have gone a few steps further to enhance your experience of being a biker by offering almost every imaginable accessory available. Some of these include:

  • Icon Decals,
  • Icon Stickers,
  • Icon DVD’s
  • Icon gear bags
  • Icon back protectors
  • Icon knee guards
  • Icon protection vests for woman especially
  • Icon rainwear
  • Icon vests and sweatshirts
  • Icon hats, and
  • Icon Luggage

When it comes to your protection no-one does it better than Icon motorcycle gear. Be protected but still look cool on the road with stylish Field Armor for your legs and elbows that fit snug under your denims or pants, and shirts. These are designed with impact absorbing foam and a unique molded plastic that make a breeze to wear. Invest in your safety and look cool while you’re doing it. Apart from these they have specially designed field armor to protect your back and front as well as field armor shorts to protect your lower body.

For women you can find the following accessories from your local retailer to protect you:

  • Icon Mil-Spec Mesh Vest
  • Icon Women’s Bombshell Hayabusa Vest
  • Icon Women’s Bombshell GSXR Vest

For Women the bombshell vests have proven to be quite popular with a few various available to suit your needs. What better way to protect yourself and still look great while doing it.

The most difficult thing to do is probably going to be in trying to make up your mind on what to buy as there are so many choices available and so many designs too. Choose carefully and don’t be scared to pay a nit more than you expected as Icon motorcycle gear is quality and will look great for years to come.

Inside Look at the Chicago Art Museum

While traveling around the United States on my bike I have scene my fair share of great places.  One place that I really love is Chicago.  From Wrigley Field to the Sears Tower, this place is full of cool things.  One place I visited recently and loved was the Chicago Art Museum, here is some cool things that I found.

Those individuals that are considering going to the Chicago Art Museum will want to have an idea of what the Art Institute of Chicago has to offer.  It is always better to know what to expect before you arrive.  This will help you prepare for your visit.  You will have the opportunity to do some research on the exhibits and the artists.  It is also nice to do this if you have children because it helps them learn.chicago art

One current exhibit that is in the Art Institute right now is called Art and Appetite.  This exhibit relates to numerous meanings and interpretations of eating in American.  You are going to find that there are more than 100 different paintings, sculptures and even different decorative art.

Another exhibit that is currently on display for the holiday season is a Neapolitan Nativity Scene.  This has been preserved from the 18th century.  If you take the time to see this you will find that there are going to be more than 200 different figures within this exhibit.  It is completely remarkable and truly something to see.

For those individuals that really enjoy Christopher Wool’s work will be pleased to know that he will be the focus of an upcoming exhibit.  This exhibit will have numerous paintings, photographs and even different works that are on paper. This is sure to be one of the most amazing sites for those that love his work.

On the 2nd floor is some of Chicago’s famous graffiti art.  The “taggers” have gone from being something only done by thugs to some of the best artists on the planet.  Using paint spraying machines, these guys have turned this into an art.

Nilima Sheikh will be featured at the Art Institute of Chicago soon as well.  The exhibition that you see will have nine different banners that have been painted by Sheikh.  However, this artist is even going to create two more pieces just for this exhibit in Chicago.  This will be very exciting for those that love Sheikh.

Along with the exhibits that you will be able to see while you are there you will also be able to engage in some very fine dining.  One option for visitors will be the Terzo Piano.  Those that follow through with this option will be able to enjoy some amazing Italian food created by the famous chef Tony Mantuano.

If you are looking for something that is a little bit more casual then you will definitely want to consider heading to the museum café.  This location has a very modern feel and it has a menu that is sure to please anyone and everyone that arrives.  Individuals are going to see that they will be able to select from tacos, various stir fry, sandwiches and even soup.  This is the perfect location to sit and relax after touring the museum.

Those that want to head to the museum will find that they can actually purchase their tickets at the museum or they will be able to plan ahead and order them on the internet.  The museum does have hearing assistance for those that need it.  The audio tours can also be printed out in the form of a transcript.

The Best Harley’s of All-Time

The Best Harley’s of All-Time

I’ll never forget the summer of 1977, the year I was able to ride on my first Harley motorcycle.  My Uncle Joe was about 23 at the time and had just got done working on a Harley for the past 2 months.  With spray painted flames on the side and an extra loud engine, I was hooked.harley

Now that I have owned and worked on hundred of Harleys over the years, I would like to talk about my favorite bikes of all-time.   Once a Harley lover, always a Harley lover is my motto, and one that I share with millions worldwide.  Whether it is taking them apart with air compression tools or rebuilding ones from scratch, it is truly my passion.

The Harley has grown from humble beginnings and is now a household brand that people admire and aspire to own. The image of the Harley Davidson is so strong that it is often considered to be the icon of American Motorcycles. The company has been established for so long that it is difficult to choose the best Harleys of all times.

FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide was originally introduced to the Harley family in 1980 as the first wide stance front forked bike. The design was created to enhance the motorcycle, and create a chopper feel for riders. However, it soon disappeared from the line-up, but was reinvented in 2008, where it was meaner, wider and lower. Every rider would find this Harley comfortable, and it was no longer only suited to tall riders.

FXDX Dyna Super Glide Sport was introduced between 1999 and 2005 to provide a sports version of the ever popular Dyna series. Riders wanted a bike that they could corner well, and experience more speed, and better handling. Although this Harley was not as popular as the makers thought it would be, it is still considered one of the best Harleys.

FXR was designed and built between 1982 and 1994 and was in part designed by Erik Buell and included the three point rubber engine mounting system. It also had exposed shocks, and an exposed frame. Some riders called this bike “The Ugly Glide”, and although it handled well, some just did not like the appearance. The FXR was incredibly fast, and had remarkably few mechanical issues which are what made it a favourite.

VRSCDX Night Rod Special is one of the latest Harleys and has been on the market since 2007, and they remain incredibly popular. The V-Rod do not look like the traditional Harleys, and this was intentional, to attract a new market. This mean, lean racing machine is decadent, with its blacked out everything; it has a sleek, sinister appearance. If you love Harleys, but do not want a traditional bike, this is the one for you.

CVO Softail Convertible in 2012 Harley introduced this bike, which was an instant hit amongst Harley fans. This is one of the custom vehicle operations line and is in fact, two bikes merged into one incredible machine. You will soon discover that you are in fact, riding a tourer, which transforms into a cruiser once you are on the road. This bike is popular with the ladies as it is far more comfortable than other Harleys.

VRSCE2 is all about the looks, and has been charming fans since 2006 when this Harley was first released. There are three stunning color combinations to choose, which include chrome yellow pearl and platinum pearl, electric orange and black and scarlet red pearl and charcoal slate. Add chrome, power, and screaming eagles and you have the ultimate Harley Davidson.

Cleaning Your Motorcycle with a Pressure Washer

One thing any biker cannot go without is his own pressure washer.  As a constant traveler and lover of motorcycles, it is essential to keep good care of your investment.  While some bikers I know will stop and clean their bikes as they travel, I like to keep my own pressure washer and hose off as much as I can.  As an owner and operator of a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 I take very good care of my bike and carry a power washer with me wherever I go.

Finding a portable pressure washer to take with me on my bike is on the list of something that I don’t leave without.  Here is how I take care of my pressure washer.pressure washer maintenance

Taking care of your pressure washer will ensure that you prolong its life; therefore, taking the time to understand pressure washer maintenance is essential. Pressure washers are not cheap, which is why you will want to help safeguard your investment. Spending time maintaining this piece of equipment will help to ensure that it operates correctly every time you want to use it at home.

Not only do you need to regularly maintain the pressure washer to make sure it is working, but also to ensure that it performs at optimum potential. Struggling with a faulty or low performing pressure washer will make the tasks far harder. The concept of owning this piece of equipment is that the jobs you have to do are made easier, not more difficult. Also, since your are always traveling by bike on the road, it is important to find a nice protective case for your pressure washing unit to avoid any scratches.   Many times I will place mine in my sidecar when I’m traveling long distances.

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why you need to perform the maintenance often, even if you are not using the washer. You should replace parts as they begin to show signs of wear and tear, and not leave it until they break altogether. There are several different checks that you can perform whilst using the pressure washer to help with the maintenance procedure.

Once you keep on top of the tasks that you need to perform, you will soon discover that pressure washer maintenance is not difficult. You should clean the washer regularly and check all of the accessories that are used. This may seem like a chore; however, it will save you time, effort and money in the future.

The water components on the washer should be checked for debris and dirt that can build up inside and cause problems.  Inlet filters should be cleaned often, and ideally checked before each time you use the machine. The nozzles are another area that can be clogged easily and these should be checked and cleared.

After you have used the pressure washer you need to wipe the unit down, removing any excess water that has gathered. Check the connections for any water damage, and make sure that all hoses and pipes are in superb condition. The plug and flex should also be checked, and the filters cleaned if necessary.

One of the main accessories that you will find causes problems is the pressure washer nozzle, which easily gets clogged. If you do not maintain this part of the machine, the pressure washer will not function correctly. The gun may be leaking which is a clear sign that there are problems, and spending some time cleaning and maintaining this will save you money in the future.

All of the O rings that are on the pressure washer also need to be checked, and replaced if they appear to be worn. Damage to these rings is common, and if possible you should have spares at home, ready to replace. Pressure washer maintenance is not complicated, and every machine will be supplied with a manual for you to use as a guide. It is vital that you read this, and understand the correct steps to maintaining your pressure washer in the future.