Motorcycle Leathergear and Motorcycle Jackets

We are exposed to the elements devoid of shade or air conditioning.

We are limited in what refreshments we can carry close-at-hand.

Our heads are stuffed into a helmet that traps hot air and restricts circulation.

Our gear is designed to keep us safe, head to toe, not to keep us cool.

We ride perched on top of internal combustion engines emitting heat directly at us.

My tried and trusted method of beating the summer heat is getting out and riding earlier in the day. Typically I’ll wake up at 5am and aim to get wheels rolling by 6am during the summer months. If I ride for 2-3 hours I am usually back before the sun is high and the day gets too hot. However, I was out for a ride a few weeks ago and found myself on the road longer than I had anticipated. The day was heating up pretty good and I could feel myself starting to lose energy inside my leathers and helmet. The hot air was rising up from the engine, cooking my thighs and making it difficult to breath. Once in motion the breeze is sufficient to cool rider and bike, even at temperatures over 80°, but stuck in stop-and-go traffic the heat became intolerable.

Once I safely returned home I felt drained and exhausted. Memories of my enjoyable early morning canyon ride now eclipsed by the difficult ride back through city traffic. My thoughts turned to an email I received form Cycle Gear a few weeks earlier that I had nonchalantly dismissed. It was promoting some products for beating the heat and summer riding. Looking back over that message, I collected my own opinions from the experience to create this list of life-saving tips.

The most important point to remember is your body needs to be in shape to withstand the heat of summer riding. Stay in shape by exercising. Stretch the night before the ride by doing squats. Drink plenty of water the night before to wake up hydrated. And absolutely get a good nights sleep to wake well-rested before your ride. Riding tired, stiff and dehydrated is a very bad way to begin your epic cruise through the canyons and can only get worse from there.

Equally important is the health of your motorcycle. Nothing could be more dangerous than breaking down with no shade, exposed to the searing sun, dressed in all your gear with minimal supplies at hand. Perform regular checks and get a pre-summer tune-up to keep the cooling system of your bike optimise.

Take plenty of water with you. Cycle Gear recommended a HydraPak or similar backpack unit, but I have been told these make riding more difficult. Especially if the type of riding you do is of the more aggressive sport riding variety. Having almost a gallon of liquid sloshing around on your back as you tip your bike from side to side through the twisties can get to be quite a distraction. A tank bag with a hydration pack is a better option, and more readily available to refresh you than a tank bag with bottle(s) of water can be. either way, staying hydrated though your trip is essential. Even if it means stopping once or twice an hour to pull a bottle of water from a tank or tail bag.

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Wearing breathable protective jackets and pants can help remove heat from your body, and help air circulate to keep you cooler. I’ve not been a fan of mesh jackets or pants, but I’m told they are every bit as dependable and safe as leather. They come with removable liners and CE grade protective padding so would be well worth looking at. I’ve always worn leather jackets and pants, and that can get really difficult in the heat. My current set are very well perforated and this really helps circulation and cooling.

While talking about breathable clothing, also consider getting wicking under-garments. These remove the moisture from your skin and keep you feeling much more comfortable in the saddle. LDC make motorcycle-specific gear that has seams in all the right places (and none in the wrong ones) and these come highly recommended. An alternative which may or may not be cheaper is a regular pair of cycling shorts. I wear these for the added comfort of the butt-pad which is great for longer rides. Wicking t-shirts too aid in keeping your body fresh. They will typically dry out quicker and in better shape than regular cotton underwear too.

Wear a helmet that has good ventilation. Just as perforated leathers allow for better air circulation around your body, a well-ventilated helmet keeps air circulating around your head. I have not been a fan of the modular flip-face helmets, stylistically they do nothing for me and I have questioned how robust they are compared to a traditional full-face. For the simplicity of flipping up the front and allowing you to breath at a rest- or gas-stop, though, they are wonderful. One of these would be a good choice for a long distance tour. Otherwise, the full-face helmets that offer the best ventilation are the Shoei X-11 or newer X-12, designed to increase airflow around the head. This is not a cheap helmet but widely reported to be one of the best on the market for ventilation.

Finally, an item I have yet to try that looks worth investigating based on some internet-wide research is the evaporative cooling vest. Basically a personal swamp cooler that you wear, the vest is allowed to absorb water which, when evaporated as the hot air passes through it, cools the surrounding air and thus our bodies. These vests need to be snug fitting to work properly. They have an outer layer that keeps our riding jackets dry, while the interior holds enough moisture to keep cool for a couple of hours, even in triple-digit heat. These reportedly really do work well, and for $30 are a bargain worth trying. My lo-fi ghetto version is the long-sleeved t-shirt soaked in water that I store in a freezer bag in a tail bag ready to pull out when it starts to get too hot. It works for a while but the cotton t-shirt dries out too quickly with my perfed leathers and can feel a bit uncomfortable.

MC Floorboards on 78 CX500

I purchased the MC Enterprises floorboard kit for my 78 CX500 a few months ago-I think anyone interested in this install should be aware of the snags I encountered so they have a better idea of what they are getting themselves into. The catalog states the kit will fit the 78-81 CX500 easily. My bike has a vetter windjammer fairing and case guards, otherwise totally stock.

The instructions consisted of 1 photocopied page with no pictures. There was no tech-service line information available with the kit. The parts came in a cardboard box with crumpled newspaper as insulation. I followed the instructions to my best ability with all the proper tools I might have needed. I will point out that I was an ASE-qualified master mechanic by trade and am no stranger to accessory installations, so this is not coming from a yokel (no offense to yokels out there). Here goes:

1. You should be aware all the hardware is SAE, not metric, and of questionable quality-these parts will probably rust very quickly and I recommend finding stainless or at least corrosion-resistant hardware for improved durability.

2. I removed the old case guards, which were significantly larger than the floorboard ones, take note. I installed the right side with virtually no problems, aside from cutting the radiator cover around the upper case guard installation point, otherwise the cover will not reinstall in its original position. This will not pose a major cosmetic change to the bike.

3.I was prompted to remove the original footpegs, which left gaping holes in their place and threaded holes with nothing to screw into them. They make the bike ugly, and I will look for some plugs to cover them up and prevent rust. I also had to remove the original rear engine to frame thru-bolt, a 14″ long bolt and nut, to be replaced with the double-threaded shaft, nuts and washers from the hardware kit. More on this later.

4. The rest of the brake extender install went fine with the proper adjustments to compensate for moving the brake lever downward. Still an okay installation. Now the left side…

5. The instructions tell you to assemble the heel-toe shifter assembly off the bike and slide it all in place, catching the shift arm from the tranny into the shifting loop, then lining up the case guard holes and bolting it on. Problem: they didn’t line up! The shift rod interfered with the shifter assembly bracket. I was dumbfounded to say the least, and had to leave the install half-finished until I could contact the manufacturer.

I was able to get the phone number for MC enterprises by emailing Dennis Kirk, and called them the next day. The gentleman I spoke to insisted the kit would work for this bike, but it became apparent he really had no idea what he was talking about and tried to BS his way out of it-he said the kit will fit this bike all the way back to 1975!(bike came out in 78). Nice tech support!

On a hunch I ordered the shifter arm off of a later model, an 81 CX, cost:$15. My hunch turned out to be correct-the shifter arm was redesigned, and the foot contact point was moved about 2-1/2″ forward. I installed it on the bike, and attempted to reinstall the assembly-it fit!

New problem- the end of the shift arm hit the case guard-it was too long! I hacked the end (about an inch) off the shift arm, and it no longer interfered.

Okay, Now it’s time to put it all together, right?-Wrong! The rear thru-bolt (I wrote of earlier)attaching the rear case guard mounting points was too short! It didn’t reach through the frame long enough to install the washers and nuts. After a run to Home Depot I found a rod 1-1/2″ longer, and was able to put the bike together.

I changed the position of the shift arm several times to determine the proper mount, If I moved it down one tooth the heel-toe shifter was at a funky angle, If I moved it up, the shifter would be aligned properly, but would hit the starter during an upshift. Solution- Remove some metal from the shift arm where it contacted the starter, and it physically seemed like it would work, so I reinstalled the case guard. Okay, I was now able to downshift fine, but the bottom of the heel-toe shifter would contact the case guard as I tried to upshift, and the bike was not rideable. I removed enough metal from the heel-toe shifter to lose the interference, without losing much integrity from that area. Result-It worked!

I was able to take the bike out that afternoon and learn to drive with this new shifting system. It didn’t take long to adjust to this change. The floorboards were big, grippy and comfortable, and the shifter seemed to work properly, and I liked the big rubber foot pad for the rear brake. I was not able to install my Windjammer Fairing lowers due to interference with the shifter assembly, and am considering cutting enough off to be able to use them, but don’t want cosmetic damage to these parts, we’ll see.

Okay, here’s the rundown.

Costs: floorboard kit- $259.95, Shift Arm-$15.00, Thru-bolt and hardware-$12.00. Expected

cost of better hardware and plugs for footpeg holes-approx $20.00;

Required tools: metric and standard socket and wrench set, Electric Drill with 3/8″ bit, Hacksaw, Bench grinder, Plastic cutting shears.

Approximate install time(projected):2.5 hours

Approximate install time(actual):over 10 hours

Annoyance level: High

Quality of parts: Medium

Fit and Finish:Low

Tech support: sucked

motorcycle club

On the top of the carburetor is a large circular cap. Inside this cap is a
piston that moves up and down in response to throttle opening and manifold
vacuum. I’m not going into operational physics and theory now, we’ll save it
for later. Attached to the bottom of this piston is a long tapered needle.
This needle moves up and down in an orifice in the middle of a brass plug
(jet). Its function is to meter the volume of fuel that is allowed to pas
into the airstream entering the engine. When the needle is raised, more fuel
is allowed into the airstream, and when lowered, restricts or reduces the
volume of fuel allowed to pass. On the topside of the piston is a deep
recess with a plug at the bottom. It can be removed with a long slender
screwdriver. once the plug is removed, the needle can be pushed up and
removed from the piston. It looks like a long tapered 16 penny nail. To
enrich(add fuel) to the mixture the needle must be installed in such a way
as to raise it higher when secured in the piston. This is achieved by
placing small washer(s) under the head of the needle. I suggest starting
with a .060″. This is the thickness I used on my 1980 CX DeLuxe, when I
drilled out or removed the muffler endplates back in ’81. My DeLuxe was
calibrated lean from the factory for emissions, and then when I modified the
mufflers, the engine sputtered more then ran.


The idle/low speed mixture screws are a little easier to adjust. Underneath
the front of each carb you will see a small boss with a screw inside or a
screw with a metal cap with a tab on it. This tab is to prevent you from
turning the screw far enough to exceed emissions limits. On ’79’s you can
just turn the screw 1/2 turn counterclockwise to richen the A/F. Do this
with the engine at full temperature. If you want adjust the screw until you
achieve the smoothest idle. This by itself will transform the way the CX
engine performs. If you have the screws with the metal caps, you must VERY
carefully cut back the tab enough so it will clear the obstructions meant to
keep it from being turned past a certain amount. I believe I remember using
a dremel tool. Cutting pliers and saw blades will break the fragile brass
screw, and then YOU’RE screwed! Pictures
to illustrate what I have described are on pages 112-115 of Clymers
manual#M335 for 78-79 CX’s. Use the dremel to also cut a slot in the cap so
a small screwdriver can be used to turn it. The carbs will have to be
removed to disassemble the cap and piston from the carb. Be sure to
reinstall the parts exactly the way they came out. If a .060″ washer does
not improve the power to compensate for the mufflers, try using two washers
under the needle. If your mileage suffers too much, go back and substitute a
.030″ washer for one of the .060″ ones. Unles you have an exhaust analyzer,
there is no way to test the A/F calibration except through the seat of the
pants or gas mileage checks. You need to know what your mileage is now as a
baseline. It is possible to increase your mileage with these improvements,
but you will probably want to increase power and to at least maintain close
to the same mileage you have now. I think I remember using small machine
screw flat washers. I used a micrometer to measure the thicknesses. You will
have to search the motorcycle catalogs to find a carb calibration kit that
contains various proper size and thicknesses if you cannot get machine screw
washers to fit and be the same thickness for each needle. I will tell you it
takes longer to explain this than to do it if you have all the tools and
parts available.

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Using these mufflers without modifying the carbs will just make the CX run
flat and sputter some since it is not receiving the proper amount of fuel
for the increased airflow. You may burn valves and experience spark knock in
the long term since combustion will be hotter due to the lean A/F.

Leather Jackets, Motorcycle Leather and Leather Vest

‘Invisibility’ to other Road Users: Most of the time, most drivers will look out for other motorists and fail to see a motorcycle rider coming. This will either result to a wrong turn or changing of lanes without knowing of an oncoming motorbike resulting to an accident. Furthermore, most riders tend to maneuver around the vehicle either because they are in hurry or just seeking adventure. So, most riders are advised to wear bright colored coats to increase their visibility on the roads.

High speed: No matter how trained a rider is, there are still higher chances of being involved in an accident if riding in high speed as compared to if the speed is moderate or low. The reason being, cars may not be only cause of your accident but small road bumps or even pot holes could result to more fatal injuries. In case one misses these pot hole or small bumps, it may be too late to divert or escape it.

Poor Training: In most case scenarios the riders have learnt the motorcycle riding from the streets or even home. The lack of training leads to ignorance to traffic rules laid down, it could be regulations on when to change lanes, when to turn in a highway and in some countries the roundabouts and when to accelerate and when to reduce the speed. These are simple traffic rules but due to lack of training there is higher chance of being in a crush.

Insurance Cover: Most insurance companies are a little bit shy when issuing premiums to motorcycle riders with Leather Motorcycle Jackets the reason being the claims are likely higher than a car or a vehicle insurance. These insurance covers may even be costly to the owner therefore an expert in law could come in handy when it comes to giving legal advice on how to make the claims.

Poor Maintenance: Most motorcycles will require constant check ups or servicing to ensure that the motorbike is in working condition and safe to use on the roads. The reason being there are at times when the brake pads fail and in cases where you will need to brake and they fail, the outcome may not be very pleasant. Therefore, have your motorbike regularly checked and oiled to reduce any unwanted incidents.

All of the above are just some of the causes and facts on motorcycle crashes but most of them are controllable considering caution is what is demanded from most riders. Therefore, before you go for your ride try considering some of safety measures for road users.

Road Riding & Touring Motorcycle Club

Kent’s Friendly  Road-riding and Touring Club Sundays at the Royal Oak

The Sixty-nine club’s regular meetings are at the Royal Oak public house, River, near Dover every Sunday evening from around 7.30pm. The pub is very friendly with good beer, and also serves excellent meals.

All kinds of riders - all kinds of bikes
We hope that you will find the club welcoming, however if you are new and no-one spots you immediately please ask for Clive – the Chairman, Lynn – the club secretary or any of the committee members. The Landlord will be able to point them out to you. Finding the Royal Oak From Dover Eastern Docks:
– Follow Townwall Street, right (2nd exit) at roundabout onto York Street. At roundabout take 2nd exit on to High Street. Follow High Street and one way system until road splits at traffic lights on Buckland Bridge. Bear left at lights following signs for River. Up Crabble Hill, straight on at mini-roundabout on to London Road (River). Take 1st left onto Alkham Road, then 1st left onto Lower Road. Follow Lower Road through the village (please ride responsibly) until you reach Royal Oak on the right. From Canterbury:
Follow M2 until Whitfield roundabout. Take 4th (last) exit signed River. Down Whitfield Hill till mini-roundabout. 2nd exit on to  to London Road (River). Take 1st left onto Alkham Road, then 1st left onto Lower Road. Follow Lower Road through the village (please ride responsibly) until you reach Royal Oak on the right.

The Brothers of Excelsior MC

The Brothers of Excelsior MC are established in fraternal union as a not-for-profit social organization dedicated to excellence in all of our activities, be they for enjoyment or charity. It is our objective to plan and execute events for our own membership, for other organizations of a similar nature, and for the community in which we live.

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