Vega Helmet Corporation (Vega) is recalling certain motorcycle helmets

Vega Helmet Corporation (Vega) is recalling certain motorcycle helmets, model XTS, sizes L, XL, and XXL manufactured from May 2011 through October 2012. These helmets may fail to conform to the impact attenuation requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, “Motorcycle Helmets.” By wearing a noncompliant helmet, the user may not be adequately protected in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of personal injury. Vega will notify dealers and post public notices about the recall. Any noncompliant helmet will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during late January 2013. Owners may contact Vega at 1-425-656-0683. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Million Dollar Custom Bikes? I Ain’t Buying It

it's worth a millionAs editor of this esteemed fish wrapper, it’s my job to stay abreast on the trends in the motorcycle industry, and, believe me, staying abreast is a full time job with me, and one I thoroughly enjoy.

The only thing I like better is a well placed double entendre.

But, enough about me.

I wanna discuss the time I wasted…er.. spent recently watching Sturgis Motorcycle Mania on the Travel Channel.

To be fair, the production value of the episodes was and is outstanding. Produced by Big Fish Entertainment (Bethesda Maryland) the camera work and post production editing are as good as any I’ve ever seen, and frankly much better than anything I’ve been involved with.

But I guess what’s eating my cheese is the ridiculous hyperbole the producers insert into the story line as artificial drama in whatever event they’re taping.

A case in point was their coverage of one of the bike shows. To hype the importance of this show, and create artificial tension between the participants, the narrator says that the value of the winning bike could reach as much as “1 MILLION DOLLARS!”

It was at this point when I paused the DVR, went into my garage and retrieved my bullshit flag. It was obvious I was going to need it a lot during the next 45 minutes.

Admittedly I’m not the foremost authority on custom motorcycles, but even with my head stuck up my proverbial arse most of the time, I think I would’ve heard about builders spending less than $30k in parts and fabrication building show bikes, turning around and earning a cool million when they win this bike show.

With stakes that high the builders would be hiring 24 hour security guards and installing wireless cameras to watch their bikes when they sleep.

This wasn’t the only “contest” on the show that was hyped way beyond the realm of believability.

I suppose the target audience of these type shows isn’t middle aged motorcycle magazine editors.

I suspect these shows are aimed more toward the non-motorcycle riding viewer. Or at least the viewer who has heard the legend of Sturgis and fantasizes that one day he or she will have the funds to participate in what has become known as the “Greatest Motorcycle Show on Earth!”

My apologies to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus people for that blatant tag line rip-off.

But, truth be told the “Sturgis Experience” for lack of a better term is, for those who have yet to attend, the pinnacle of the motorcycle life.

The phrase “This year, I’m going to Sturgis” is to bikers what the phrase “This year, I’m going to Vegas” is to hard core gamblers.

Those motorcycle riders who live as much for the lifestyle as the ride, see Sturgis as the one “must do” destinations before they die.

It’s a desire I completely understand.

There are very few opportunities for working stiffs such as you and I to participate in “epic adventures.”

That’s part of the mystique of the Black Hills Rally. Even if you’re not interested in the gratuitous nudity, the easy to find debauchery, or the simply weird beyond biker weird, travelling to Sturgis promises so much more.

Endless miles of breathtaking scenery. Endless miles of prairies, bisected with mountains wrapped with ribbons of blacktop that are as close to motorcycle riding heaven as you’re likely to see this side of dirt.

Add to it the distance involved just to get there and you have the perfect recipe for a bucket list adventure worthy of wintertime daydreams, without all the made up drama.

Now that I think about it, the biggest prize in Sturgis isn’t winning some bike show, or burnout contest, and there’s not drama involved. The most valuable prize is the experience.

And, as we all know, it’s the things we do, not the things we have, that nourish our soul the most, no drama needed.

Until next time, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled

Bell Introduces Radical New Helmet Design

Bell Rogue Helmet

 

Scotts Valley, CA, Jan. 8, 2013 –  Bell Helmets, the company that pioneered the first racing helmets in 1954, are blazing yet another new trail for the industry with the company’s latest category-defying product introduction. Today, Bell unveiled “Rogue,” a totally unique open-face helmet, designed to provide facial coverage from the elements that previously had not been provided by any other open-face helmet on the market.

Designed with the cruiser market in mind, but appropriate for a wide variety of motorcycling applications, Rogue addresses a long-standing gap in the market for an open-face helmet that provides increased coverage against the elements. Particularly useful in cold-weather conditions and for long-distance touring, Rogue is equipped with a first-of-its-kind, adjustable and detachable “muzzle” system, allowing riders increased comfort and protection against the elements.  The muzzle benefits are also aesthetic, creating an ominous-look to the Rogue, ideal for the attitude and lifestyle synonymous with the cruiser category.

“For years, our sales reps and dealers have had cruiser riders lamenting about the need to lose their bandannas for an open face helmet that’s got the attitude and style that they seek, but also provides some facial coverage for wet, cold or other harsh riding conditions,”  said Chris Sackett, General Manager, Bell Powersports. “Rogue fulfills this need from both a standpoint of function and form, with an edgy design that makes it hands down the meanest-looking helmet we’ve ever made. So far, pre-orders from our dealers have been extremely strong, and we’re excited to see the consumer reception for this unique new design.”

Rogue is based on a lightweight composite shell that looks like a half helmet, but is actually a three-quarter design, thanks to an EPS that extends from the rear portion of the shell into a comfortable neck roll pad. The innovative muzzle is constructed from molded thermoplastic polyurethane, featuring air vents and a removable fleece liner for added comfort and protection. The muzzle fastens to the helmet through a FidLock magnetic connection system, easily fastened directly into the system’s magnetic receptors and removed by simply sliding the muzzle piece in an upward direction.  Length is also adjustable through straps on either side of the muzzle that ratchet into the helmet shell.

The helmet’s shell and EPS are available in three sizes for more expansive size range and maximum comfort, with the liner being removable and washable. Rogue is DOT certified, and available in Solid Black, Solid Matte Black, Army Green and Solid Gunny finishes. Rogue is priced for retail at $249.95 and will be available at Bell dealers in March.