Tobacco Motorwear Company

Jeans… everyone has at least one pair, right? We wear them to go out, perhaps work around the yard, and some of us wear them while riding a motorcycle. 

I, like many of you, have been collecting jeans for years and have acquired too many to count, with the constant need to replace them after a few months (or maybe I’m just too rough on them and unreasonably expect them to last).

When I was younger, my go to jeans were the tried and true Levi’s, but as I got older, like a fine wine, my tastes evolved and I began to prefer a more comfortable and ultimately, more expensive pair of jeans. For an avid motorcyclist, this caused two major issues. 

The first issue, and probably the most important, was the safety aspect of riding a motorcycle and the risk I was taking by only wearing jeans for leg protection. This was definitely not a smart idea, as denim will shred and disappear within seconds of a slide, leaving you unprotected, naked, and in a ton of pain.

The second issue I found was that I would spend $100-150 dollars on name-brand jeans just to see them wear out and need replacement. Thank goodness I never went down on my motorcycle while wearing my name-brand jeans considering that they fell apart with normal wear and tear. I would have had zero protection and might as well been riding pants-less.

To resolve these two issues, I searched for and found a more reliable option. Please allow me to introduce the Tobacco Motorwear Company (TMC). 

Tobacco Motorwear Company started as a kickstarter campaign, which has proven to be very successful and I can see why. They added internal protection to a classic pair of jeans!

What makes TMC different from other denim companies is that they use raw selvedge denim for long lasting durability and added a Dupont Kevlar lining for slide protection. The TMC jeans have a comfortable, modern, straight-leg fit, which over time form to your body and allow the unique characteristics of your style to shine through.

If the selvedge denim and Dupont Kevlar weren’t enough to get you excited, the attention to detail on the stitching, such as the handle bar going across the two back pockets, subtle accents, and the unique buttons, are awesome touches in my opinion.

Did I mention that they are made in the USA?! Unlike so many other companies which outsource their work, TMC continues to support the American workforce. 

Alright, let’s talk cost. The current pricing is $359.00. Before you panic, let’s think about what you’re investing in: 

  1. A safer pair of riding jeans that look good to boot.
  2. Jeans that won’t wear out anytime soon.
  3. Supporting the American workforce.

The staff at TMC have posted some pretty awesome videos of them testing the jeans’ ability to withstand the abrasion and heat from asphalt slides. Check out this YouTube video for more: https://youtu.be/SBEwuU9AsY4

My personal experience with the TMC crew has been fantastic! Since acquiring a pair of their jeans at the 2018 Aim Expo in Las Vegas, I’ve put many hours and miles on them. For starters, I tried them on at the Expo and didn’t take them off for two days… literally two days. After trying them on, I didn’t want to go back to my not-so-lucky jeans, which I had brought along with me. I headed to the airport after the Expo and my flight was delayed until the next morning. This meant that I slept in the airport in, you guessed it, my new jeans. Initially, you will find them to be tough, but as they break in, they become extremely comfortable and you won’t want to wear another pair of jeans ever again. I found them comfortable in temperature ranges from 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 
 

Keep in mind that the idea behind these jeans is for them to look like ordinary jeans with added protection for if that “oh-shit” moment happens. They are not meant to replace your long distance touring gear that’s outfitted with armor.

So, if you want to stop buying jeans yearly, have a safer option, and enjoy riding in style, slip these jeans on and get your ride on!



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PackTalk Slim by Cardo Review

Alright… hello adventure riders and motorcycle enthusiasts! Today, I want to talk to you about the PackTalk Slim by Cardo, for which I’ve recently had the opportunity to conduct a thorough review of how the system works. 

So I was given a unit to demo on my KLIM Krios helmet. This particular helmet had not yet been tested for compatibility with fitment. The Cardo folks just weren’t sure if it would work with my helmet, so they went out on a limb to see if it would. 

I received the unit in the mail and immediately started installing it. The installation process was pretty easy with only a slight hiccup and that was getting the wire placement the way my nitpicking brain wanted it. What makes this different than the other units is the fact that it has a separate battery and communicator module. The communicator fits on the side of the helmet like any other unit, but is super thin and streamlined, while the battery module sits on the rear section of the helmet. This adds a superior balance, in my opinion, and makes it so much more comfortable to use while riding for extended times. 

 

 

The unit fits very well with just a slight gap on the communicator module backside. I am willing to state that Cardo could just list the unit as compatible with the Krios helmet on their website, but I will leave that up to them.

My next step was getting it charged. Normally, I would update the unit with the latest software, but I wanted to test it right out of the box. I hopped on a plane and arrived in California. Once there, I jumped on a brand new BMW R2018 GSA. It took me less than five minutes to figure out how to pair my phone with the PackTalk Slim. I headed off and I spent four wonderful days riding around California to test out the unit in various terrains. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to take advantage of the DMC technology for communication with other riders. However, upon my return home, I was able to connect with my local riding group and take advantage of this feature. 

While riding in California, I streamed music and took full advantage of the natural voice feature, which allowed me to say, “Hey Siri” for my list of full iPhone commands. It should also be mentioned that it works for “Hey Google” as well. 

 

 

The battery life far exceeded my expectations. I went roughly a day and half between charges. The manual states that the battery will last up to 13 hours and I believe that to be factual. Perhaps if I was running with 15 riders on DMC, it might drain quicker, but I don’t ever plan on riding 13 hours in a day.

Another great feature is that you can have a private conversation with someone in your group using the PackTalk Slim. For example, I sometimes ride two-up and if we are connected with 13 other PackTalk units, I might want to have a quick private conversation with my passenger or perhaps someone else in the group. When the private conversation is over, we can hear and speak to everyone again with a simple click of a button. I’m also able to stream music to other riders or easily tune to FM channels in the area where I’m riding. The unit has universal connectivity, so if you are riding with a buddy who loves their Sena and another buddy who loves their eBay special, you can all be connected! No more hating on each others’ communication systems because they don’t pair. 

The only downside I see, which is more of a personal issue, is that the Slim is unable to be switched to another helmet without a hassle. Since I ride multiple bikes and some helmets are used for specifics like Moto Vlogging or riding my dirt bike, I wish I could easily pop out the unit and pop it into another helmet. I should mention that I have four helmets, which is overkill, I know, but they are like underwear for me and somedays I just want some lace…

 

 

Overall, I’m extremely impressed with this unit and how easy it is to control the features. The learning curve is super fast unlike some of the other models. I will be keeping the Slim on my primary long distance touring helmet for sure!

 

Till next time ride safe and I will see you out on the road!

 


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KLIM Teton Merino Wool Base Layers

The most overlooked pieces of riding gear, in my opinion, are the base layers. We focus so heavily on purchasing the highest quality jacket and pants that we can afford, but forget all about one of the key ingredients to keeping our ride comfortable. 

You can have a jacket with 3 vents or 20, but without proper layers underneath, you’re either going to sweat your ass off, cook inside it, or get pretty darn cold. I have personally tried a multitude of base layers from big names like Under Armor, Nike, etc. over countless miles. You would think that since these companies focus on athletes, their products would work for us, right? Wrong. Those tight fitting shirts and underwear might wick away some sweat, but they are not what is truly best for us adventure riders. I did not realize this until I had a chance to test out the KLIM Teton Summer Weight Merino Wool Base Layers. I bet that some of you are thinking, “Wool for heat gear? This guy must be crazy or getting paid to write the article.” Well, crazy depends on who you ask, and I am surely not getting paid to write. All I can say is what I experienced on my recent trip, including how these items performed. 

I recently had the pleasure of riding for three straight days in beautiful, sunny California. I was there as the honoree for the Rever Track Your Story Challenge, and explored a variety of terrains with Shawn Thomas from BMW Mottorad and his brother, Lance. I wore the Teton Merino Wool long sleeve shirt and underwear as my base layers. My jacket and pants were the KLIM Badlands Pro, Gen 3. 

On the first day, we rode in temperatures ranging from 70-78 degrees. It was great weather, so no complaints. We camped out and the next morning (Day 2), rode into the Mojave Desert. We rode for hundreds of miles in temperatures ranging from 98-115 degrees! At one point, we stopped at Trona Pinnacles to walk around and I left my Badlands jacket on. Obviously, it felt hot but manageable, and I did not seem to be dripping sweat like I normally would be with my normal heat gear on. After returning to the motorcycle and heading back into town, a cool sensation came over my body as the wind entered the jacket and passed through the base layers. This is something that I have previously experienced using my other heat gear, but I am typically drenched in sweat, which is what normally causes the cool sensation. After checking into a hotel and removing my jacket, I was expecting to see my shirt and underwear completely soaked in sweat. To my surprise, the shirt had a very small section of sweat build up near the shoulders, but the chest and back were completely dry! I hung up the set and went to bed. 

While preparing myself for Day 3, I was expecting the base layer garments to smell something wicked. I mean, I had literally gone through the desert in the peak of Summer. The base layer garments were dry, and had that “just washed” wool smell, which completely surprised me. I geared up and we pressed on for the day’s adventure. After doing some sweet twisties and amazing off-roading, we ended up just outside of Shaver Lake at Mushroom Rock to camp out for our final night. 

The temperature dropped into the mid 40’s, so I ended up sleeping in the base layer garments. The next morning, I joked around with with the Thomas brothers and told them they should sniff my garments, as they still smelled good. 

Upon returning home and conducting more research about the materials and their properties, I gained an understanding about how I was able to keep wearing the Merino Wool Base Layers without clearing out a room of people. Traditional heat gear is made out of polyester, which rapidly controls the moisture but stays damp and smelly. In comparison, the wool blend is mixed with a highly effective magical unicorn material. No really, the wool blend is anti-microbial and thus, does not retain odors. The Summer Weight line seems to be the most effective material for a motorcyclist riding in a hotter climate. Another huge bonus to using the Teton collection is that it significantly reduces your need for packed clothes, which saves room for other goodies in your panniers and less weight overall. I am looking forward to the increased cargo space during my future adventures and definitely recommend you check these products out!

www.klim.com

Until next time, ride safe and see you out on the road!


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Quad Lock System

Howdy, folks! Before you start thinking it, yes, this is a cell phone case review. It’s motorcycle related, I promise!

So, for about 4 months now, I’ve been testing the Quad Lock system with my iPhone X. I hooked up three mounts on the following motorcycles: R1200 GSA, R9T Scrambler, and the mighty CRF250L. One of the cool things about the mount is the size. It doesn’t take up much real estate unlike my old system the X-Grip by Ram Mounts. 

Since I’m constantly changing motorcycles for different events, it’s nice to just leave the mount on each bike so it’s ready when I need it.

The Quad Lock system itself is pretty straightforward with no real hangups. Well maybe one… if you failed the square hole/round peg IQ test, then this might not be for you. The most challenging part (which really isn’t all that challenging) is connecting the case to the mount. It kind of resembles an “X” style cut out which you have to align, push in, turn and listen for in order for it to lock. 

While using the system, I tried my best to find fault in the mounting connection. No matter what I tried riding-wise I could not get it to fail. What I have noticed is slight wear, but as with anything you use a lot, it is bound to show some signs of use. I’ve dropped the phone multiple times from various heights (not on purpose) and managed not to crack the phone screen. 

The basic kit is going to run you $70 and if you add the weather resistant poncho, it’s $95. Mine came with the poncho, which is a rubber cover that slips over the case/phone. I never felt it rained hard enough for me to pull it out and slip it on. Yes, I know that sounds terrible! 

Pros:

                                       

Ease of use

Great for taking a quick photo 

Able to use for GPS

Good for multiple motorcycles/bikes

Different colored lever mounts

Weather resistant poncho 

 

Cons:

 

Extra mounts are not cheap at $49.95

Colored lever mount is $9.95 each (if you don’t like the standard blue one)

Weather resistant poncho comes at an extra cost 

 

So, if you’re looking for a motorcycle cell phone mounting solution, you can purchase this with confidence knowing it will do what it was intended for. Check out their website below and sign-up on the website for a discount code. 

https://www.quadlockcase.com

Until next time, ride safe and see you out on the road!


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