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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Field Company Skillet Field Test and Review

Cast iron skillet for a traveling motorcyclist?! Some of you are already wondering, “What the heck is this guy thinking?!” Those take up too much room and weigh a ton! You cannot possibly expect someone to travel efficiently on a motorcycle and bring a cast iron along.

America!

Well my friends, today you will learn that it can be done and with a lot less weight than you might expect. You will be surprised with just how little room it actually takes up when packed correctly.

One of my New Year’s goals was to cook more while camping, which was partially inspired by my Latin American friends. I already had a pot to boil water in and some very tiny saucepans, but wanted something I could really cook with while on the trail. I did my normal YouTube research, read reviews, and almost bought an aluminum saucepan.

 

Someone ask for some gluten?

 

Luckily I didn’t! For whatever reason, maybe pure luck, I came across an ad for “Field Company” while on Facebook. It was like the computer read my mind and this creation of a forged light weight cast iron skillet appeared!

https://fieldcompany.com

I clicked on the ad, which brought me to a very professional, clean looking site. As I was scrolling down admiring the amazing looking foods cooked inside the pan, there was the verbiage, “Light enough to use everyday,” and just underneath it, “25-50% lighter than most cast irons.” My interest was piqued and I continued stalking the site.

Upon clicking the products link, I learned Field Company offers two sizes, the No. 10 and No. 8. I measured the size of my OEM pannier on my BMW R1200 GSA and was delighted to see that the No. 8 would lie flat inside.

#8

Before purchasing or supporting companies, I always like to know a little something about them. Reading over the “about” tab on the Field Company website, I learned of the company’s rich family history and the thought process behind recreating a tradition, while adding a modern touch to improve upon their designs. Another awesome feature about Field Company is that you are supporting an American made product with your purchase. The pans come with a lifetime warranty and you can have peace of mind that it will be passed down from one generation to the next.

I decided to reach out to the company to express my desires and expectations. I was greeted with a welcoming response and my brand new, adventure camping No 8. skillet arrived within a few weeks.

 

Personalized note inside

 

 

After a few back and forth phone conversations about how to properly care for and season the pan, I hit the ground running and started cooking bacon like any normal man would do!

 

Bacon!

Over the next few weeks of camping, I tested out a wide array of foods inside the pan. The skillet was tested over direct flame made with wood, coal, and just about anything lying around, including Amazon boxes and Starbucks cups. After using it in the field (get it, “field” as in Field Company….ah, never mind), I brought it home and used it on my glass cooktop. This truly is one pan that rules them all.

 

Camp fire flat bread

Ok now for my set-up… I initially used a towel to wrap the skillet and placed it flat side down on the bottom of the left pannier. Keeping the skillet at its lowest point on the motorcycle is crucial for proper packing. The towel worked but took up extra space. I went to my local hardware store and picked up a thin rubber tool mat, cut it to size, and used that for vibration control and protection. To protect the seasoning, I placed a piece of aluminum foil over the top. My additional camping items then fit inside the skillet, taking up almost no room. I use the sides and corners of the pannier to hold my salt, pepper, and garlic in place.

OEM PANNIER

 

If you like camping, meat, and motorcycles, this is the pan for you! I encourage you to give it a try!

https://fieldcompany.com

 

Till next time, ride safe and I will see you on the road less traveled!

 

 


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Motoz Tractionator GPS Tire Review

Hello 2018!

What better way to start off a new year than with a set of new motorcycle tires for the upcoming riding season?!

 

I bring you my latest semi long-term test review of the Motoz Tractionator GPS tires. I equipped these tires on my 2014 BMW R1200 GSA back in August, 2017 and set my sights on some curvy roads. My goal was to challenge these tires in wet/slick conditions and determine their cornering abilities. I packed my bags and headed north to Lorton, VA and started my way down through the Shenandoah National Park. I got exactly what I wished for because it rained non-stop for the next several days.

 

Besides the rain, the leaves were changing colors and falling off; thus, providing me with an even greater challenge of riding untested tires on curvy roads, in wet conditions, and also on a leafy surface!

Having had 30k miles of experience with the direct competitor (Heideanu K60 Scouts), I wanted to focus on identifying the riding characteristics of the Tractionator GPS tires in comparison. I have always heard rumors about the K60 Scouts being slippery as hell on wet roads and never thought much of it, as I drive all the time in torrential Florida rain and had never experienced an issue. It wasn’t until my recent trip to Alaska, riding two-up on a straight road to Kennicot, that I fishtailed and fully understood the slippery horror others using the K60 Scouts had experienced before me. With pure luck and cheeks puckered, I managed to keep us upright and push on.

With that experience in mind, I continued on to the Blue Ridge Parkway to further test the handling of the Tractionator GPS tires. Getting used to them and feeling more confident, I made my way down to the bottom of famous Tail of the Dragon. I started my first run moderately and pushed harder on the following runs.

Check out my YouTube video from Tail of the Dragon:

https://youtu.be/3xxA57izjBQ

The Tractionator GPS tires claim to be 50/50 with an option of the rear tire being reversed for even more traction off-road. I would rate them as a solid 60/40 road configured and a 50/50 off-road configured.

What I can tell you is that these tires perform well in all conditions with the possible exception of ice since I tend to stay away from frigid temps if I can help it. They are by no means a full road tire or hardcore motocross tire, but rather are a good all around adventure tire for those seeking the ability to jump on and off the road with confidence. I managed to rack up just under 4,000 miles and the Tractionator GPS tires show no signs of wearing out anytime soon. If I had a crystal ball, I would estimate these will last a total of 8-10k miles on the rear.

Price Comparison:

Motoz Tractionator GPS – Front $139; Rear $210

Heideanu K60 – Front $154-195; Rear $189-285

For years, consumers have had limited tire choices for the larger displacement motorcycles which offer both on-road and off-road manners. The Motoz Tractionator GPS tires are a win in my book and I will continue to use them for my long distance adventure travels.

For more product information, click the link below:

http://pacificpowersports.com/products/motoz-tires/

Till next time, ride safe and keep adventuring!


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Scala Rider PackTalk long-term review

Today, I want to share about a long-term test review of the Scala Rider PackTalk by Cardo.

I’ve spent just over a year now riding with this unit to bring you a straightforward, no BS, hands-on opinion of what I think is cutting-edge technology.

I’ve tested the system in various climates and terrain. My goal is to provide you with an informative review that I hope will increase your knowledge of Bluetooth vs. DMC (Dynamic Mesh Communication) systems for your potential future purchases.

I initially purchased this product when it was just released to the market and had some firmware update issues. After a few updates, the system became more user-friendly.

Prior to buying this unit, I had a Sena SMH10, which failed me on my ride to Nova Scotia when water got inside the unit and eventually fried it. I also tried the 20S, but ran into a few problems and didn’t get much help from the customer service end to resolve those issues. I returned the 20S unit.

I then switched over to Cardo. Right off the bat, I noticed this unit had a lot going on. I mean really, this PackTalk could do just about everything for me besides maybe wash my bike. I was able to not only connect to multiple riders, but also to my iPhone, GPS, and music system seamlessly. Learning all these features didn’t come quickly, though. I had to watch many YouTube videos, make a couple of trips to the local dealership, and then finally make contact with a Cardo rep, Mike, at the BMW MOA Rally in Hamburg, New York. After a few back-and-forth conversations with Mike, I quickly learned how easy it was to use the system that initially seemed so difficult to learn, but was really just me overthinking it. Mike opened my eyes to the understanding of what DMC technology is, as well as the great benefits of having DMC vs. Bluetooth.

To put it in simple terms, DMC provides a seamless interaction between multiple units and has the ability to instantly connect riders when turning another unit on or coming within the range of an active unit. The more units you add, the stronger the signal and ability to cover greater distances. The exact opposite happens when using Bluetooth technology, as you are in a daisy chain and each unit you add weakens the signal.

I bought a second PackTalk unit for my wife. We took a quick trip to the mountains of Georgia and Tennessee, and got to experience the crystal-clear clarity of the system firsthand. When I still had my Bluetooth system, I would always experience some sort of interference or distortion when speaking with someone paired to the unit, and if we got separated, it was sometimes a painfully long delay before getting paired back up.

Seeing as how the PackTalk is a new unit, I had trouble finding other riders that also carried the system, and thus, I was never able to use the DMC technology to its fullest potential. I reached out to Cardo and told them about my Alaskan adventure. Cardo provided my group with four headsets to bring along for the experience so we could provide feedback, good or bad, upon our return.

Upon receipt of the four units, I made sure they were updated with the latest software, and I paired each unit to the pack leader (me).

What we initially noticed was that the system worked great when riders did not change or attempt to pair the units to other systems such as a phone or GPS. This was mostly due to the fact that they kept hitting the wrong pairing sequence, which would interfere with the primary pairing of the system. Once we recognized and corrected that minor setback, we didn’t have any further issues.

PackTalk is said to have a 5 mile range for up to 15 riders. While riding in Alaska, we were synced between three to five riders out of six total PackTalks on any given day. We never got to experience all six riders connected at once due to bikes breaking down and people getting separated or delayed. What I can tell you, and everybody in the group will agree, is that the more riders connected with the DMC headsets, the stronger the signal was, giving us a greater distance of area between riders.

When we only had two to three headsets connected with DMC, we could tell that the range on the units was reduced. I believe we were only at a range of approximately 3/4 of a mile with only three riders connected. When we were able to use four or five units, the distance/signal strength was noticeable greater.

Using the built-in radio, auto tuner was simple and straightforward. While traveling to different areas, 3 simple clicks on the unit allows the rider to search for the strongest signals in the area and automatically tune into those channels.

Everyone got to experience their PackTalk systems through many miles of continuous rain or “Dalton dirt.” Each day they continued to perform as designed without a hiccup. We averaged 10 hours of daily use with these units over a period of roughly three weeks.

Overall, everyone was pleased with the unit and I believe Cardo earned some more business from the trial.

Is it an expensive investment? Yes, but when compared to the competition, it’s worth the investment.

Keep leading the way with great customer service and technology!


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Snugpak Gear Review

Is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear?

 

From the tundra of the Arctic Circle to camping in your backyard, Snugpak has you covered with a wide selection of gear.

 

I brought the MML 3 Softie Smock and the Tactical 2 Sleeping Bag along on a recent adventure. The MML 3 Softie Smock is a pullover, insulated jacket, which is extremely compressible for convenient space saving during packing. The fabric is super comfy and kept me warm throughout my trip. It is rated from 0 celsius comfort to -5 celsius low. Thus, it keeps you warm in some of the coldest climates. While at Prudhoe Bay, I only needed to wear an under shirt and the MML 3 Softie Smock while exploring the Arctic Ocean. This created a perfect combo, along with my riding jacket for the outwear, for my trek to the far north.

MML 3 Softie Smock at the Arctic Ocean

The tactical series of sleeping bags gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. I was on the quest to find the most compact, space saving sleeping bag which would still provide me with the low temperature rating needed for my trip. I found the cost to be reasonable when comparing it to other brands, which attempt to compete with its size and temperature rating, but cost significantly more.

Tactical 2

Compressed size

Something that I personally feel strongly about, and place my full support behind, is a company with traditional values and heritage. To my knowledge, Snugpak is one of the last companies of its kind which still engineers and produces several products at their vintage mill dating back to the 1800’s in West Yorkshire, North England. Because of this, the products come with reassurance that the price you are paying is supportive of workers being paid a fair wage to produce a quality product with pride instead of a bunch of machines doing the job.

So again I ask… is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear? Why yes, yes it is.

 

To view the full US product line, click on the link below:

http://www.proforceequipment.com/product.php?brand=snugpak

Dalton Hwy

 


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Golden Tyre GT723 Review

 

So, probably one of the most controversial topics I could blog about is motorcycle tires. Coming back from Alaska, I swapped out my K60 Scouts in Montana for Golden Tyre’s just released GT723s to continue some off-road riding in Idaho and Utah before heading home.

Before I ramble on about my experience, I would like to share the below paragraph which was sourced directly from the Golden Tyre website.

“The GT723 was originally designed as a purebred race tire for the most demanding rally stages on the planet. Its perfect balance of grip and road manners have created a confidence inspiring race tire that is now used as the best adventure tire on the planet. Adventure riders throughout the world have found that the exceptional grip and durability has been paired with an unmatched level of longevity not found in traditional race tires. Adventure riding covers a wide variety of terrain and the GT723 has you covered anywhere your adventure leads!”

So does this tire live up to their ad? Well, that’s debatable and is based entirely on your riding needs. I’ve broken this down into three sections: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good (which is actually great) – Off-road riding with this tire on my R1200 GSA was amazing! I tackled a variety of terrains including super slick mud, rocky sections, gravel, hard-pack, and the dreaded sugar sand.

The Bad – On-road capabilities are what you would expect with a full knobby tire. Highway speeds will be reduced initially, but improve after the tires have had a chance to break-in.

The Ugly – Holy heck, these things are scary when they are first mounted! The knobs flex a lot making you second guess yourself.

Right after I left the dealership, I was riding two-up and fully geared. As soon as I began driving, an uncomfortable feeling came over me as I felt very little control over the bike on the road. The tires have full knobs which caused a great deal of flex and difficulty with safely maneuvering the bike due to the amount of weight on it. After checking into the hotel, I removed my panniers and did some solo riding around town on the pavement to get a better feel for them. They improved slightly, which gave me hope.

The following day, my passenger flew home and I continued to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone National Park before hitting Idaho. My highway speeds were initially limited to 65 MPH due to almost experiencing a fishtail feeling in the handlebars, which continued to worsen with more speed. I did not want to chance losing control of the motorcycle on the highway, so continued at a slower pace for roughly 200 miles. I eventually started to notice slightly less feedback on my handlebars and was able to gradually increase my speeds. After traveling for another 400 miles, I was able to open the bike up to 90 MPH without having that feeling of losing control.

 

I made my way down to Idaho where I met up with the guys at KLIM and stripped my bike of excess weight. We left KLIM HQ and rode off into some great terrain, which put these tires through a series of great off-road riding tests.

It didn’t matter what terrain we encountered: Slipperier than snot mud, rocky single track, or gravel, these tires were excellent. The ride was almost everything I could have hoped for to get an accurate account of exactly what these tires could handle.

After leaving Idaho, I continued to travel on the road to Utah to attend the 2017 BMW MOA Rally. The tires continued to perform better on the road over time, and I experienced a lot less road issues than I had at the beginning. I want to say that my overall mileage with the tires was between 900-1,000 at this point.

I left the MOA Rally and returned home to complete my testing of the tire in some of the most challenging terrain one can find… Florida sugar sand! I figured I would drop the bike a lot so I removed all my panniers, and mirrors in preparation for the inevitable fall(s). I met up with my buddy, Alberto, from Florida Outdoor Adventures, at Croom Motorcycle Park. He assisted me by videoing this experience for your viewing pleasure. Before I embarked on this challenge, I dropped my tire pressure on the front down to 27 PSI and the rear to 30 PSI.

For those that don’t know, Croom is a large fenced-in park for motorcycles, ATVs, and Side-X-Sides.

After the camera gear was setup, I headed off and started my run in the big open sand pit, which looks like something out of Star Wars. It was quite entertaining seeing everyone stop in their tracks to watch me attempt this. It was probably the first time anyone has seen a 600 lb. motorcycle in the park, let alone in the sand pit!

Once in the sand pit, I was 100% focused. I took Big Bertha around, hit some large whoops, practiced starting from a dead stop, and managed to leave with all of my extremities intact, due to a miraculous lack of falling.

Follow the link below to witness the pure amazingness that was Croom:

https://youtu.be/NkBfwW40gUk

Who do I recommend these tires for? Someone doing serious off-road riding. These are purposefully built tires for the ultimate off-road challenge. I might go as far as saying that these are the best off-road tires I have ever experienced.

If you’re interested in purchasing these tires, below is the link to their website:

https://www.goldentyrewest.com/adventure-rally


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KLIM TK1200 Karbon Modular Helmet

Hi there!

As Mrs. 2wheeladv, I am #blessed with the opportunity to travel the world two-up, and have also had the privilege to start testing out some gear of my own! What better time to do so than on the 2017 Arctic Circle or Bust Tour?

I traveled for a total of 2.5 weeks and spent 12ish days on the back of the Beemer. I took in the breathtaking sights, sounds, and smells of Alaska, The Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana. It went from freezing cold rain to hotter than the Canadian wildfires, so I had a wide range of experiences.

 

Rock climbed to the top of a glacier and ticked off a few friends in the meantime? Check.

Rode the Denali Highway in all its dusty glory? Check.

Saw a deer saunter through our campground? Check.

(Deer said, “No pictures, please!”)

Tested out the new Klim TK1200? Double check.

Not gonna lie, it was a bit daunting to test out a new helmet on such a long journey, but it worked out swimmingly with zero regrets.

Pros: 

-Lightweight and did not get caught in the wind (thus, no sore neck). I did not experience wind turbulence as I have with other helmets.

-Great at temp control due to the easy to operate vent adjustments (kept cold air out and cool air flowing during hot days).

-Loved, loved, loved the transition lens (one less screen to have to finagle with and kept my fair skin protected from the sun, as well).

-Chin strap clasp was easy to hook and release in a jiffy, which was much more convenient for me when hopping on and off the bike to see the sights, as compared with the annoying traditional loop and lock strap on the Shoei and most other modular helmets which have cramped my style in the past.

-Quiet helmet when compared to my previous modular helmets.

-Reasonably priced at $599.99, especially considering all of the features that this helmet has to offer.

 

Cons (which were not really cons, but rather minor, personal preferences):

-Difficult for me to wear my cheap-o earplugs due to the snug fit around the ears/cheekbones when pulling the helmet over my head. It is unclear if the issue would have been improved had I brought along a pair of those fancy, schmancy custom ear plugs like the hubs wears.

-Fogging would have been a major, but fixable, issue in the cold rain if I had been driving (anti fog spray or pin lock would be needed, which I did not bring along on this trip).

Overall, it is a versatile helmet and is also good looking too. 😉

Till next time, ride safe!

With our new Colombian friend.


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KLIM Kodiak Suit Review

 

It can be tricky to find great gear, and it is expensive to buy and test out different products only to find that the gear does not work for you. I am hopeful that this review will save you some cash by helping to provide you with valuable insight with an informed rider’s point of view instead of the usual, “this is awesome, buy it” sales pitch.

Here’s my take on it:

I recently acquired the full Kodiak suit and embarked on an 8,200 mile journey, which started in Tacoma, WA. I headed north to Prudhoe Bay, AK, and eventually ended my journey at the 2017 BMW MOA Rally in Salt Lake City, UT.

I was able to test this suit in a wide array of climates ranging from windy and chilly while far north and at high altitudes (30 degrees), to hotter than than the Canadian wildfires (90 degrees or more), as well as straight through the dreaded, nonstop Alaskan RAIN (for 700 miles-ish).

One of the exciting things about taking this suit on the trip was that it was a newly released model, and I had not tested this suit prior to leaving for Alaska. I was betting four weeks of my comfort and protection vastly on KLIM’s reputation for producing quality, high-end motorcycle gear.

I was able to use three layers to control the temperature comfort of the jacket when needed.  However, you will need to keep in mind that this is more of a form-fitting jacket so if you’re beefy (which I am not at 6’1” and 175 lbs.), you will be limited on the layers. The pants provided plenty of room for three layers; although, I only needed to use one layer on my trip.

On the ferry leaving Dawson City.

Since the jacket is more form fitting, it cuts down on the extra weight and bagginess. When compared to my Badlands Pro using my very advance weight scale (holding one jacket in each hand), it feels a ton lighter.

The suit lives up to the slogan, “guaranteed to keep you dry.” Several days in a row, I experienced hundreds of miles of relentless rain. Each time I would stop for a break, I would check my under layer for leakage. To my surprise, I was dry each and every time!

The one and only flaw that I noticed with this jacket while riding in the rain was that the cuffs do not open very wide, and thus, I could not tuck my heated gloves inside the jacket which caused them to become wet on the inside.

Exploring Valdez, AK.

The protection aspect of the Kodiak was exceptional and what I have come to expect from KLIM’s gear range.

At first, I was a little skeptical of the durability on the leather inserts for the knee area and elbows. In the past, I have traditionally ridden with my Badlands Pro suit which has endured huge amounts of abuse, but has kept on chugging. It turns out that the leather on the Kodiak is pretty darn durable. While on this trip, I had to change my buddy’s tires several times and was worried that the leather would get damaged while working on my knees in the gravel. It held up without any issues. Another first-hand experience of the suit’s durability and injury protection is when I flew off of my R1200 GSA during an off-road, downhill section and landed pretty hard. Of course, this was not on purpose. I joked that I would be filing a police report so I could get my gear replaced, but after washing it, I could not find any damage to my suit (nor to myself, besides perhaps my ego)!

The video from that crash is linked below:

https://youtu.be/FzT0imIj6uo

Whether you are city riding or embarking on an epic touring adventure, this is, in my opinion, one of the best suits currently on the market for functionality, fit, and protection. I find the jacket looks great on and off the bike. I can ride to my local Starbucks, jump off the bike and still look good while sipping my iced grande Caramel Macchiato.

As a final thought, if you are in the market for a new suit, first consider your riding style and seek out the gear that best suits it. If you don’t know your riding style, start riding more! As for me and my recent adventure, this suit takes the cake.

Till next time, ride safe!

I made it!

 

On Dawson City Ferry

 

Found a companion along the way!

 

Overlooking Dawson City.


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