Category Archives: Reviews

Plain Viking Cycle Swing Arm Bag

I have been looking for a way to add storage to my sportster for a while now without sacrificing the look of my bike. After pouring through countless luggage options I settled on a swing arm bag. It isn’t too bulky and doesn’t look out of place on a smaller bike. Then came the frustrating part.

kemimoto.jpgMy original hunt brought me to the KEMIMOTO swing arm bag. I bought it off eBay for $15. That should’ve told me something right there… When ordering the bag you can put your bike’s specifications in to make sure you get the right bag. In my opinion they did this only to dress up their item online because it did not fit. The straps were not long enough and the placement was all wrong. There was no way my battery cover would’ve stayed on if I had mounted it the way it was meant to be mounted. I didn’t want to cut more holes in the bag because that would have defeated the purpose of the bag for my needs:  A safe, dry place to store items so that I wouldn’t lose them or destroy them on the road. Needless to say I sent the bag back!

41dCVNwxTEL._SY300_On my second foray into the luggage world for motorcycles I hit pay dirt. Meet the Plain Sportster Swing Arm Bag. Seeing as I like a stripped down bike and am not one for frills this suited me just fine. No straps, buckles or bling. This bag let’s my bike speak for itself! Part of a swing arm series of single-sided bags, the Viking Sportster Swing Arm Bag is designed to keep your pockets, as well as your bike, light. It is spacious enough to carry all your essential daily belongings while maintaining the clean look of your bike.

Specifications:

  • This bag is single side(left)
  • Made from durable Viking leather
  • Hard mounted(hardware included for free)
  • Plastic reinforced body to prevent sagging
  • Heavy-duty ABS plastic back
  • Internal pocket for convenient storage
  • Weather resistant
  • Heavy-duty Velcro along front flap and inner flaps

You can find this bag here at vikingbags.com.  In order to get the directions you must go to Viking Cycle’s website and print them out there but I have found a video on YouTube that will walk you through the steps. I really can’t say enough about this bag. I finally have a place on my bike to keep my registration cards, wallet and phone without having to worry about them falling out of my pockets. I can also fit essential tools in it so that if I don’t want to carry a backpack I don’t have to. It’s been 5 years since I’ve ridden without a backpack!

I’m very excited for my upcoming trips. I will keep you all updated as I put more miles on this bag!

Viking Cycle Rain Suit

I just got back from spending 3 days on a moto camping trip with the raddest bunch of ladies in the countryside of Lancaster, PA! But before I tell you about my adventures with them I want to talk about my new rain gear that I took with me. And thank God I did. I hit a downpour my last leg of the trip and I couldn’t get this suit on fast enough!20170522_10251020170522_10252820170522_10254020170522_102553Photos via Amazon.com

This is the Viking Cycle Motorcycle Two-piece Rain Suit. And it is no joke! I ordered the orange/black because it’s high-viz and it matches my helmet! But you can get it in grey/black or green/black also. The price tag on this piece of gold right here is $39.99 and you can get it at Motorcycle House. Yea, you read that right! Gear that looks good, works great and priced reasonably? Who’s going to believe that? Well, believe it folks, I tested this bad boy out and it held strong for a good 24 miles.

Product Overview

  • Made from waterproof fabrics.
  • Elastic hem, sleeve cuffs, and waist.
  • Reflective Piping.
  • Heat shield on calf’s.
  • Removable stirrups.

Sizing

 I bought this in a size small because its men’s gear. But ladies, don’t let that stop you from getting it! Seeing as I buy men’s shirts for work (due to the industry I’m in) I would have to say this suit is true to size. If you put it on without your gear it’s going to be a little baggy but that’s a good thing. These suits are meant to be worn over your gear. For reference, I wear a size medium in women’s shirts due to my long torso and size 7 in jeans. I’m 5’6” and 125 lb.’s.20170518_18303420170518_18293520170518_183055What it looks like on me…

Visibility

 Seeing as I’ve had numerous run in’s with inattentive cage drivers and the rash of accident’s happening lately being seen is high on my priority list. This suit has reflective fabric for night time visibility and the orange is bright enough to catch people’s attention in the day time. I’m very happy with how bright this suit is even though normally I don’t go for that kind of thing. In this instance you can’t be bright enough! I know most people don’t think about it but when you’re driving or riding through rain it’s not that easy to see a few feet in front of you depending on how hard it’s coming down.

Protection

 The seat of the pants are made with a non-slip fabric so that you don’t go sliding off your seat while riding. It also comes with Heat shield fabric on the inner calves! When you ride in the rain sometimes your bike steams. This helped tremendously this past weekend. Though my bike didn’t steam, it was raining in 80 degree weather so the heat from the engine would have been uncomfortable to say the least! I had already ridden 250 miles that day….
Cool Features

 All of the hems on this suit are elastic! I had no problem keeping them up or water leaking into the cuffs. It also comes with removable stirrups! My socks stayed nice and dry even with the back spray from the road. I’ve seen a lot of people wear their stirrups on the inside of their boots but I wear mine on the outside so the top part of my boot stays covered. I didn’t have any problem with it slipping around on the bottom of my boot either! The jacket also has a hood tucked up under the collar.
All in all I’d definitely get another pair of these. You can’t beat the price or the quality. Viking Cycle is becoming one of my go to gear brands. I can’t wait to see what they put out next!

Viking Cycle Ironborn Women’s Motorcycle Textile Jacket

First and foremost, can we talk about this brand and how they name their gear? It’s pretty badass right?! I’m of Scandinavian descent and I am moto obsessed, so of course I was drawn to their products! Kudos to you guys!20170506_114617I made my kid take pic’s of the jacket on as soon as I got it before my dog’s hair attacked it!!!

Product Overview (as seen on Motorcycle House & Amazon)

  • Removable & insulated full-sleeve liner.
  • 6 point Sure FitTM custom adjustment system.
  • Removable C.E. approved armor in shoulders & elbows.
  • Removable spine armor w/ pocket for optional C.E. spine protector.
  • Waterproof treated Rock TexTM 600 Outer Shell.

I received this jacket from Motorcycle House It was originally priced at $109.95 but you can pick it up from their site for $69.95 right now! Being a mom of 4 I can seriously appreciate a good deal! A moto jacket with armor included under $175? Sign me up!

Styling

20170506_11491420170506_11470020170506_114736I want to talk about how this jacket is very laid back in the flashy department. I’m not big on all the “girly” design’s out there but I also don’t want my gear to be too masculine either. I really think they got it right with this jacket. It’s form fitting enough that you know I’m a woman under the helmet but toned down enough that I don’t stick out like a billboard sign. No offense ladies, but personally, I’m getting tired of all the pink gear and flowery designs out there. Although, it looks like purple and maroon is starting to take over now. The branding is reflective of the design as well. A simple Viking logo on the sleeve as well as the brand name across the upper back in a subdued size. I like that they’re letting the gear speak for itself and not trying to catch your attention with their name plastered all over it.

Side note: You can get this jacket with pink accents if you want. Still looking out for my pink loving ladies out there!

Protection

The most important feature and probably the first thing I should be talking about, but hey I got sidetracked, is the safety features on this rad piece. The Ironborn is fitted with approved CE (Certified European) elbow, shoulder & spine armor. This type of armor rating has passed the highest impact tests available. The armor is removable so I can easily throw the jacket in the wash for debugging. The outer shell is made of Rock Tex 600 that’s been waterproof treated. The textile material was engineered by Joe Rocket in Canada and is high in abrasion and heat resistance. For all my ATGATT people out there I know you’ll appreciate this. It doesn’t feel bulky when I put it on either (as some jackets can) when loaded with protective gear. Those of you who have read my posts in the past know that comfort is a top priority with me.

Fitment



I ordered this jacket in a medium. That’s my normal size. I didn’t want it to be bulky like my last textile jacket which I bought in a Large to be safe. I can comfortably fit a hoodie under this but if you like to layer up I suggest going up a size! With 6 adjustment options, even I (who dread’s shopping for clothes due to my awkward measurements) can wear this jacket and feel good about it. There are three cinched straps across the lower back which can be tightened individually at the hips, waist and lower ribs to get a custom fit. I haven’t encountered this before and it is awesome! As far as I’m concerned, my girl Ashley Graham made a call to arms and I listened! Women don’t come in one shape and these guys get it! Along with the cinch straps you have two zippers hidden by the piping at the bottom for us women with curvier hips. You’ll find snaps at the inner elbow which have not two but three adjustment options. I have skinny arms so I can appreciate this. Also, a big selling point for me is that it’s long enough that when I bend over I don’t feel a draft going up my back. That happens a lot when you have a long torso and it drives me insane. You can also attach your riding pants at the bottom! The sleeves have Velcro and a zipper adjustment at the wrist which can be tightened or let out. I don’t wear gauntlet style gloves so the Velcro is a must for me. Last but not least, the jacket has a snap at the neck instead of Velcro which always scratches the heck out of me.

Ventilation

There are air vents along the piping on the back of the jacket and air vents along the zipper in the front chest area. What’s really neat about the front air vents is that when you unzip them you’ll find these tabs that when you button them together it really opens the vents up.

Weather Rating

In my opinion this jacket can be worn from early spring to late fall. You could even wear it in the winter if you layer up! It has a quilted, full sleeve liner (Not just a vest!) that can be removed for warmer months. I’ve worn this jacket in 30 degree weather people, and it kept me plenty warm with just a thin flannel underneath!

Cool Features




Who else doesn’t take the safety stickers off their guns or is it just me?

This jacket is loaded with 9 pockets! To be honest I really don’t like having to wear a backpack or fanny pack all the time. Let’s face it, being a girl I have baggage. I try to minimize it but there are some things I have to have on me and some that I just feel better having at hand. Normally I carry my wallet, a knife and my handgun for longer trips, phone, charger, headphones, sunglasses, deodorant and an extra bandanna. If I wanted I can now carry all that on me and not in a bag! Another feature that I have to say simply amazes me, which I haven’t seen before either, is the headphones detail. You can literally thread your headphones along the zipper seam and through your collar! It leads right to the cellphone pocket so you can take your jacket off or zip it up without catching or entangling the wire.

I’m telling you guys right now this jacket has pretty much just replaced all of my jackets in the closet. I even wear it when I’m not riding! I’ve seen a lot of jackets that were reflective of the price but this is not one of them!

1980’s Hein Gericke Harley Davidson leather jacket

Recently I purchased a retro Harley Davidson leather jacket from Etsy. I was looking for something for the colder climates with a little bulk to it. I’m 125 lb. and 5’6”. Basically, I have no meat on my bones and my circulation sucks. So when I found this jacket I was ecstatic. What a score right?!il_340x270.1162703346_tkqu

Anyone who knows me learns early on that I was not meant for this decade. So it should come as no surprise that I didn’t buy a brand new jacket #notmystyle. My favorite outfit is my Zeppelin tee paired with a flannel and jeans. Converse are my shoe of choice. So you can see where I’m coming from here.

What appealed to me about this jacket honestly was that it reminded me of the old bomber jackets. Did anyone say Top Gun? Screenshot_20170412-111857This jacket originally was sold with a fur collar. Thank the good Lord that was long gone. Not sorry to see it go. Another cool feature is that it has 8 pockets. 2 zippered breast pocket’s along with smaller button-down pockets below, 2 inner pockets and the requisite pockets at the sides. The inner pockets are big enough I don’t have to wear my shoulder holster. My S&W bodyguard fits great in them! il_570xN.1064772442_axouil_570xN.1064772378_8ca0il_570xN.1111354339_43eiil_570xN.1111356925_smvc

The quilted inner lining is not removable but since this is going to be my lower temperature’s jacket it’s not a concern for me. There are buttons where the fur collar used to be. I’m pretty sure I can find a hood to fit them if I really want but I don’t see myself doing that since I normally wear a hoodie. The retro design on the back is rad. The fact that it’s not the usual bar and shield makes it unique. It has buckles at the waist that can be adjusted and zipper’s on the forearms. The best thing about this jacket is it is already broken in!

Cool Fact: The zipper tag’s say Ladies of Harley. Ladies of Harley (LOH) is a program sponsored by the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) to support women motorcycle enthusiasts – both drivers and passengers. It is not a separate organization within H.O.G., but was established to encourage women to become more active in H.O.G. and their local chapters.20170412_112339

I only have one concern with this jacket. I have to research how best to care for it so it last’s. The collar is already showing wear and I’d like to keep it in good condition. Any suggestions would be most welcome!20170412_112721

I finally got to test the jacket out this week. I wore it on my ride in to work. It’s been a steady 45 degrees out this week at 6 AM so it was a good test run. I’m glad to tell you it kept me very warm and all I had beneath it was a thin hoodie and tee.

Please excuse the helmet hair and front porch mess. Spring cleaning has commenced at my house…

All in all I’m very pleased with this jacket so far. I will try to update this post at the end of the riding season!

Cheap headphones & private concerts in my helmet

If my bike is my church then I would have to say that music is my religion. I ride to disconnect with my day to day and to reconnect with myself. That means more often than not, I’m jamming out in my helmet. You can thank me now for the loud pipes and the full-faced lid so you don’t have to listen to my caterwauling. It’s not pretty. I also feel safe enough behind the helmet that I can let go and just belt out without worrying someone’s going to hear my tone deaf ass.

Depending on the rider, you will find that some are against this because they think it distracts from the experience or they feel it is unsafe. More power to them. Now myself, I can only handle the road noise so long before my ears start to bleed. So I have two options, ear plugs or head phones. I have both.

I always buy headphones at the dollar store because I go through them like a newborn goes through diapers. That’s my fault entirely because I don’t take care of them the way I should. I’m usually shoving them in my pocket or a side pocket in my backpack or fanny pack. Don’t laugh, they’re making a comeback you’ll see.m2vzLW-Nryz3aX60LD9D0yw

My plugs are usually just a pair I’ve grabbed from work. I like the foam because it molds to your ear. Just roll them between your fingers and shove them in! You can find them anywhere hunting gear is being sold usually.

Now if you’re anything like me I’m sure you’ve had problems keeping your ear buds in while you’re riding. I usually MF them for a straight minute as I struggle to finagle them back into my ear with my helmet still on. Life sucks some times.wp-1491238105589.pngAs you can see, I also put them under my face mask which 

Tip: Luckily, there is a hack for this issue. A fellow Iron Lilies Rider, Leticia Cline,  put up a vlog about it on her YouTube channel if you want to check it out here.

I would love to get one of those Sena 10c devices! It seems like the capabilities are endless. Music, GPS, communication and camera! Basically your phone attached to your helmet, and it’s small! Not bulky like a GoPro. A few of my friends swear by them.10C_01-1024x5731

Whether or not your pro music doesn’t really matter as long as you enjoy the ride!

Castle Streetwear Blast gloves

Glove shopping is a pain in the ass. We all look for that magic pair that we can wear in any weather/temp. And yet we know it just isn’t going to happen. Doesn’t stop us from trying though does it?

Myself, I have probably 4 or 5 pair of gloves right now. I use maybe 2 of them. One pair I actually filched from work. They’re leather work gloves. I use them in the morning on my way to work. If it’s colder than normal I put a pair of thinner gloves (also filched from work) under them.

When I first got them.

Their current state.20170327_092144

My favorite pair believe it or not are the very first pair of riding gloves I ever bought. The Castle Streetwear Blast Gloves . I needed them in order to take my MSF course. The MSF basic rider course requires you to have gloves along with the following:

  • Long-sleeve shirt or jacket
  • Long pants (heavy denim or riding pants recommended)
  • Over-the-ankle boots (sturdy, not canvas)
  • Eye protection
  • Full-finger gloves
  • Full-face or ¾-face helmet

Features for the Blast glove:

  • Ladies specific cut and sizing
  • Top of hand is air stretch mesh with Spandura® reinforcements
  • Leather palm and dual layer Clarino® reinforcements
  • Airprene® breathable wrist
  • Pre-curved palm and fingers create less fatigue plus improved fit and performance
  • Custom molded TPR knuckle and finger protectors
  • Custom TPR Velcro® wrist closure
  • Action flex panels on fingers and thumb
  • Soft touch polyester lined for added airflow and moisture wicking
  • Silicone tipped fingers for enhanced lever feel in wet conditions

There is also a men’s version of this glove. The color I bought is called Berry. They come in Pink, Black and white also. The Men’s colors are Blue, Black, White and Red.

I normally wear a small in gloves but it turns out I’m a large in Castle Streetwear women’s lines. Here’s a link to Castle Size Chart . 20170326_142316

The good, the bad, and the ugly:

It took me a little bit to get used to these gloves. I’d never worn riding gloves before this and I wasn’t used to the material. The TPR protectors bothered my knuckles for a week or two and the stitching kind of scratched the back of my hand. After I got used to it I loved them though! They form to my hand  and there’s no awkward bunching between the creases in my fingers. Those TPR protectors double as wipers when I get caught in a shower. They act just like a squeegee! Sorry, I love that fact. If you’ve ever ridden in the rain you totally get it though!

wipers

Normally, I have a problem tightening gloves, shoes, hats, etc. when I have to use Velcro because they don’t put enough on for me to get a good fit but not with these babies. Because they are so form fitting they are a little thin. I wouldn’t recommend wearing them in <45 degree weather but anything above they work great. My hands do not sweat in these gloves! The grips on the palm make it easy to throttle the bike. When I get caught in a shower I’ve never had a problem with slippage either. The only other reason I don’t wear them in the colder temps. is because the wrist’s only come down about an inch and a half. Right about where that little bone that pops out of the side of your wrist sits. It’s called the Ulna I think?

Sorry about the messy Velcro, I have a Siberian Husky. They say they shed twice a year but I call bullshit.

I’m currently thinking about buying another pair of these before they are gone forever. I found them on Walmart site for $45. I originally bought them at Lane’s Yamaha for $60 on sale. Since they’re a little over 6 seasons old I would have to say they’ve held up really well. Overall, I’m very pleased with these gloves. It’s going to be hard to part with them!

 

Shift Envy Jacket Review

shift 1

I have had this jacket since 2011 when it came out. It is part of the Shift Envy collection. I paid full price at $180 back then. Now that its 6 years old they’re probably going for $50 or something online. So if you’re looking for a deal this would be an option.

Let’s talk about looks for a minute. It reminds me of those old school portraits. Exhibit A:tumblr_lgp0wi4z6n1qzqh7jo1_500

No, that’s not me. That kid’s actually cute. And male. I on the other hand had just grown into my awkward-as-hell faze and looked like a witch. What was my mother thinking right?! I mean, who the fuck cut my hair? This picture was used mercilessly by my family throughout my teens..facebook_1490280482096

But back to the topic at hand.

Despite all that I love this jacket. It fits great without making me look like a bag lady. It doesn’t bunch up in the shoulders like most moto jackets are wont to do while riding . You know, when it looks like the jacket has swallowed your neck and there’s just your head framed by the shoulders that are covering your ears? Or maybe I’m the only one who looks like William H. Macy in Wild Hogs whenever I wear most jackets… 007WHO_William_H__Macy_017It’s also long enough I don’t get a draft up my back when leaning forward on the bike. Which is high on my list of priorities since I have a long torso and most of my commute’s begin at 6 am when its usually 40-45 degrees out.

shift 3

 

The outer shell is made of a water resistant polyester that’s light and breathable without sacrificing abrasion protection. There is stretch paneling in flex areas so it doesn’t restrict your movement and the fit is better. I have broad shoulders so I have a problem in that area, most things are always too tight there.

Tip: When you’re trying on a coat always lift your arms to face level and try to cross them. If it’s too tight it’s too small!

If you look at the back you’ll see the expansion zippers at the bottom for us girls with bigger hips. I usually keep them at half mast.  Zippered air intake vents plus a rear exhaust opening help me stay cool on the warm days. The inner shell can be removed to help also. It just zips right in!

shift 5

The jacket comes standard with ergonomically correct shoulder and elbow pads which you can remove. I’ve taken them out to wash the jacket and they were fairly easy to put back in. Sometimes that can be a pain. No, it didn’t shrink after washing. I’m one of those people that throws everything in together without reading a label or separating also BTW. shift 2

There is also a pocket for a back protector if you decide to purchase one. The sleeves have a zipper for expansion and a strap for tightening. Another added feature is reflective piping for visibility.shift 4

All in all I’d buy this jacket again but maybe in plain black. It comes in 3 colorways: Black, black/gray, white and plaid. I can roll it up and throw it in a backpack too. So it packs almost-small. Shift is a great company for women’s motorcycle gear. They really try to make their items for “real women sizes”.