Tracer360 – Noxgear

It’s dark outside and all you want is to hit the road for some well-deserved miles. Our Tracer360 uses the full color spectrum in specially designed illumination modes to keep you highly visible. Paired with high quality 3M reflective materials the Tracer360 is the perfect, lightweight replacement for your bulky and uncomfortable safety vest.

Want it for motorcycling, will start running just to be able to wear it.

Thanks for the link M. Arnott via Facebook.

Gerbings Heated Coat Liner and Gloves

Last year I bought a Gerbings heated coat liner and T5 gloves. They work great. I’m afraid to turn them past 50% because they get so hot and do it so quickly. This is a good thing, that is their job.
The only mistake I made was to keep the slightly-too-small liner. If you order one, take advantage of their generous exchange policy until you get the right fit.

Great motorcycle boots: TCX X-Five Plus

The guys on the list vouched for this boot; and all of the online reviews are great. After trying the TCX X-Five Plus boots out by standing in them (at my standing desk aka the entertainment center) and walking around in the house (so as not to void the return policy) for two straight hours, I found them to be very comfortable, so I kept them. Here is the kicker:
I wear a Men’s US size 11 with a 4E width and could not find any boots online that claimed to fit either via the retailer or via reviewers. As it happens: The TCX X-Five Plus, size 46 (US 12) fits perfectly!
Having worn them for a month, they have turned out to be an awesome (albeit my first) pair of motorcycle boots; especially for the wide-footed among us.
ADDENDUM: 06/25/11
Here are some pics and additional commentary (thanks to Marty!):

Aesthetically the boots are not irritating which doesn’t hurt.

No frays or anything so far after wearing them for a few weeks and kneeling down on pavement and stuff.

This boot is staying put on your foot; unlike my old engineer style boots.

Blue jeans fit underneath just fine.

The heel is super-sticky; totally unlike my old boots. It is awesome. It does get caught on the Roadcrafter quite easily though; and I suspect it was designed to irritate me (solution is to put boots on last of course). I can stand for hours in these things; walking is relegated to the parking lot and back to the office, to work, to school, to Lake Michigan, and it feels fine for all of these.

Radians Custom Earplug Review

Fed up with disposable earplugs becoming un-seated mid-ride, I figured that custom plugs would be the logical next step. Radians offers a very reasonably priced solution ($10USD) for custom so I ordered a set of the orange color.
The directions are straightforward, and I also followed the video on their site. The process was very simple. There is one thing that I would do differently next time.
The material was very gooey. This was not really problem until I had to split the material up into halves; basically one half was bigger, so one plug looks a little bigger. In theory it doesn’t make any difference because you can throw away excess material. In practice, I didn’t notice the excess until it had “settled” and sort of looked funny, but I didn’t want to mess with it at that point as it was already 10 minutes. In the future I would throw it in the fridge first to make the material more firm.
After that, my earplugs were ready, and the process was really easy. Then I tried them out and found that my custom plugs didn’t work very well. I think that it has something to do with my ears.
What happens with my ears is that for earplugs to get seated right for me; I sort of have to perk my ears up. If you’ve ever seen someone move their ears, that is what I mean. My problem is that when I am riding and my ears perk up; the plugs get un-seated. This really isn’t a problem with the plugs; rather I think they just won’t work me.
Having determined that holding my ears in that position 10 minutes is not realistic; I figured that I will stick with disposables for the near future.
Conclusion: while they didn’t work for me, I’m sure that they would work for most people, they are a great deal and a no-brainer if you wear plugs more than a couple times a year.

My old leather coat

While waiting for the Roadcrafter suit to arrive; I decided to get my old leather coat out of storage. Purchased at the flea market in Orange County, CA sometime in the mid-nineties, I’d somehow managed never to wear it. While some may lament the 90’s shoulder-pad styling, it is hard not to like the southwestern influenced design.
Thus far it has been pretty comfortable, the leather seems sturdy, and you know… I don’t mind the smitten looks that I receive while wearing it one bit ;).

Bought some nice work boots

The MSF beginner’s riders class that I took a month or so ago required shoes that covered the ankles and I ended up buying a pair of the Brahma Hutch II lace-less steel-toe boots from Walmart. Wearing now for a about a month I’ve been really impressed; they are comfortable, broke in really easily, and slip on and off pretty quickly. Perhaps the only downside for motorcycle-riding is that the steel-toe makes for awkward shifting and breaking. For that reason I’m looking at buying some real motorcycle boots pretty soon; in particular the TCX X-Five.
All in all for only $30USD this is a really nice boot.