I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Best Waterproof Motorcycle Boots for Miles and Miles

 It isn't always sunny
If you ever had to ride for very many miles with soggy socks and wet feet you know the importance of waterproof riding boots.  The experience of riding with wet feet is so uncomfortable. It can destroy the enjoyment of the entire ride.
Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash
Learning the Hard Way
I learned the importance of quality waterproof boots when I attended my first benefit ride in 2004.  It was a VFW Poker Run on a drizzly Saturday.  I was so excited as I geared up and put on my boots, which were water resistant at best.  After 30 minutes of riding in drizzle and light rain my boots, socks and feet were thoroughly soaked. I finished the poker run and ended with the second place hand, but I hated every squishy step I had to take.  After getting home and drying out, I decided to make sure I would never go through that unpleasant experience again.

Not Everyone has Learned the Same Lesson
Amazingly I have known many new and experienced motorcycle riders who spent good money for a nice helmet, a protective jacket, gloves and reinforced riding jeans or riding pants, but overlooked waterproof protection for his or her feet.  Choosing a great waterproof motorcycle boot is very important, especially if one plans to ride a lot and/or on longer trips.  Weather can change quickly and a rider needs to be prepared.  Good boots also provide protection in case of an accident or mishap.
On a recent ride with a local group I noticed this person is not ready for rain or a accident
My First Two Pairs
My first pair of waterproof boots were the Harley Davidson FXRG-2 (now discontinued) boots. They worked great and were comfortable, but a little pricey.  When it came time to replace them I started researching waterproof riding footwear. There were a lot of options with a wide price range.

After reading reviews and shopping around for over four months I decided my next pair of boots would be a pair of Rocky boots.  Rocky claimed the boots were waterproof, so I took a chance and ordered a pair of 8 inch boots with side zippers.
After years of use and miles of riding it was time to retire the Rocky boots
At the time I purchased them I did not think of photographing them, but wished I had.  I found the boots comfortable from the very beginning.  I wore the boots while riding in multiple states and in Europe through all types of weather conditions.  In June 2017 I rode in the Alps in Switzerland and Italy.  I had plenty of opportunities to ride in the rain and the boots lived up to the waterproof claim.
Comparison of the older soles with the new boot's sole.
For over 6 years and literally 100,000+ miles of riding the boots were found to be comfortable, durable, breathable and they kept my feet dry during the most heavy rain storms and warm in cold weather.  They were comfortable even for a day of walking when I wasn't on the bike. The non-slip soles claim proved to be true and were very durable.
The full grain leather looks great and can take a lot of usage. 
Time For New Boots
The Rocky boots (I am not 100% sure what the model was, but if it was not the Alpha Force it was the almost just like them) performed so well for me I decided I wanted another pair of Rocky's.

The seams never loosened or broke
My lovely wife surprised me at Christmas with the latest Rocky Alpha Force zippered boot!  I was so pumped.  Coming right out of the box they looked great and the leather felt strong.  The workmanship and materials are high quality.  The zipper is sturdy with big teeth and a large pull and slider makes it easy to secure.  I love the zippered boot.  The zipper makes it quick and easy to put on or take off the boot and the tightness of the laces stay consistent.

Santa a.k.a Jennifer gave me a great pair of waterproof boots
Made with full grain leather and 1000 denier nylon fabric the boot was a little stiff, but with use has softened up.  Rocky states "...boots have been built with Rocky waterproof construction, this creates a barrier that is guaranteed to keep water out".
The fit and finish is top notch
My feet are cradled by the soft insole which is very supportive and comfortable while riding or walking.  The out-sole has effective grip and is advertised as non-marking and resistant to oil and slipping. When I place my feet down during a stop I have a firm base and feel very secure.
Non-marking, non-slip absorbent soles

Full-grain leather will hold up to the demands of riding
 Riding with Confidence
Indication from my first pair of Rocky boots is that the leather and soles will hold up under a great deal of wear including the toe shifter.  The 8 inch boot provides support for the ankle and coverage for the lower calf, which is important in case of an accident.

I am looking forward to many miles and hopefully dry miles, but if it rains I know my feet will stay dry and comfortable in my Alpha Force Boots by Rocky.  When it comes time for your next pair of boots consider Rocky Boots.


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Some Recommended Sites:

J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
Spend $150 and get $25 off  - Use Promo Code -  HOOKUP20  Good through Feb. 29, 2020
https://www.jpcycles.com/on-sale?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&ranMID=45044&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-sBsBVyYp_W_LFI6.PFQMOA

Batteries for your bike, autos and more!  *
https://www.batteriesplus.com/?ranMID=45126&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-9qxfkt.g9A5bF2Td2I_b3A

https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392


Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
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Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
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* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


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Friday, January 31, 2020

The Best Motorcycle Book I Have Read


Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash
 Motorcycle Books
I have enjoyed reading some of the best motorcycle books available, although I do not seem to have as much time as I wish for reading.  I have read books about the motorcycle club life, about the therapeutic qualities of riding, about trips taken on motorcycles and how to properly ride a motorcycle.  I have read books written by motorcycle club members, law enforcement personnel, daily riders, long distance riders and a musician who rode.

However, when I find a book about motorcycling, written by a motorcyclist and includes great photos I have found a book worth the time and expense.  Bikers seem to have the ability to relate the information in terms another biker understands. 

When I consider all the motorcycle related books I have read, one stands out as the best.  This book was written by motorcyclist, Gary France about his 21,000 mile trip through the United States of America and includes life details leading up to his adventure and including his adventure.  His trip "over the pond" from England and the ride through the USA is titled "France in America."  I find it funny we have France from England writing about America.

It All Started With a Blog
Gary started blogging about his upcoming motorcycle trip in September 2009, although he had began his initial planning around Christmas 2007.  He soon began posting updates on his plan and his research and acquisition of items he wanted for his trip of the USA.  Many bloggers were able to give him opinions, reviews and insights into gear, accessories, attractions, roads and more which helped Gary with his planning.
Gary's route for his amazing trip  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
In January 2008 Gary commented on my blog's post concerning Spearfish Canyon, SD.  Through some comments back and forth I was able to help him post hyperlinks in his blog posts.  From there I started following his preparations and his trip.  I was able to suggest some roads, restaurants and sights.  We have not met face to face, but hopefully  we will in the future.

Gary continued to post periodically as the trip neared.  By the time he arrived to the United States several bloggers had arranged to meet him at various times and locations on route.  I was unable to work it out, especially since I was in Texas.  I visited Yellowstone Natinal Park for my summer motorcycle trip, but I was there in June/July and Gary arrived in Yellowstone National  Park in August.  We just could not meet up.
Gary experiences a "Bison Jam" in Yellowstone National Park.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Yellowstone Canyon.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Sharing The Trip
Gary's photographic talents were evident.  The photos he posted were beautiful and he wrote just as well.  It was not long until he had a large following.  If you go to his blog (although he stopped posting on his "Flies in your Teeth" in October 2016) you can see his original photos on the blog.
Gary visited Bishops Castle in Colorado.  Photo of Gary's book
Gary visited so many great places that most Americans haven't seen.  He rode along the northern states and down through the Rocky Mountains.  Gary would stop every time his motorcycle's odometer rolled over another 1,000 miles and capture the moment.
Big Horn Canyon   Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
One of Gary's 1,000 miles photos.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
 Miles and Miles to Pages and Pages
As his trip was nearing an end readers started encouraging him to publish a book.  After he recovered back in England he mulled over the idea of a book.  After some time he decided to publish a book of his trip.

He includes his personal story that brought him to the point of retirement, trip planning, the sights and people on his trip and later the book itself.
Pikes Peak Highway  - Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
The book is a great resource for anyone wanting to plan a trip.  He includes details and information that is not always covered in traditional travel books.  His personal story and his approach to the photographs make the book come alive.  The book is full of high quality photographs that will pull at your adventurous heart.
Million Dollar Highway in Colorado.    Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Virginia City, California - Old West feel.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Not Just for Bikers
I highly recommend France in America for anyone interested in traveling American.  It is more than just a "motorcycle" book.  It is a book about the desire for adventure, the enjoyment of new horizons and the appeal and uniqueness of these United States.  All of this from the view point of an Englishman from England.

Gary's Generous Offer
Gary offered to send his book to everyone who made a comment on his blog during the actual trip.  I took him up on that offer.  When I received the book in 2013 I was so impressed the quality and quantity of the book.  This is a high quality book with vivid photographs and impelling writing.  I have referred to it often and spent time just looking at the photos.  I have shared the book with close friends and I have recommended it frequently.  Do yourself a favor and get the best motorcycle book out there.
Helpful with my trip plans
When I was I planning my week of riding in the Alps in 2017 Gary provided me with great information and suggestions of roads, laws, etiquette in Europe and other helpful tips.  His knowledge of riding in Europe is extensive. 

Gary Keeps Rollin'
Gary now owns and runs TOUR1 a motorcycle tour company in England.  TOUR1 provides many tour options, including a WWII D-Day Landing Tour.  I have it on my list to go on one or more of the tours in the years to come.  If you have desire to tour Europe on a motorcycle you should visit Gary's TOUR1.


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J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
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https://www.jpcycles.com/on-sale?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&ranMID=45044&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-sBsBVyYp_W_LFI6.PFQMOA

Batteries for your bike, autos and more!  *
https://www.batteriesplus.com/?ranMID=45126&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-9qxfkt.g9A5bF2Td2I_b3A

https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392

Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
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Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXRxEDV5qQLsRsag488Rg4Q?view_as=subscriber


* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


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Monday, January 13, 2020

Aprilia RSV4 Superbike Review

Matt's RSV4 in Colorado during the Beat The Heat tour 2019
Motorcycle Reviews
I do not have the time nor the finances to ride all the motorcycles I would like to ride.  I see so many motorcycles I would enjoy riding for an extended time and really test them out. I have never owned a Aprilia, but I once road an RSV4 I have a great friend, Matthew,  who owns one the best looking sport bikes on the market, the Aprilia RSV4.

Matthew has graciously written a complete review of the RSV4 after owning his for 3.5+ years.  Matthew has ridden the RSV4 in multiple states, on the track (including COTA in Austin, Texas) and in various weather conditions.

Please enjoy Matthew's Aprilia RSV4 review.
 Matthew's RSV4
The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 is my second sport motorcycle and my first superbike. This is my review of one of the more iconic sport bikes in modern production.

July 2016
I had just returned from a tour of the Rocky Mountains with Oz. I was on my Triumph Street Triple R, which was my first motorcycle. An excellent machine but lacking in wind protection for my own high-speed style of touring. I had an itch for more horsepower and more capability at the racetrack. While in Colorado, I stopped at a Yamaha dealership as I had my eye on a new gen R1, but I couldn't find one suiting my pricing and color choice.

Back in Texas, I test rode a 2015 R1 and rather enjoyed it, barring a few niggles. At the dealership I had previously purchased my Triple, they had a brand new 2015 RSV4 R on clearance pricing, due to having sat on the show room floor unsold. One test ride blitzing up and down I35 in Dallas made me fall in love with the unique growl of the V4 motor. I traded in the Triple on the RSV4 that day.


The feel of the RSV4
The RSV4 feels smaller than it really is. You very much sit on top of it rather that in it, like many other sport bikes (the Panigale comes to mind). I'm also taller that the average pilot Aprilia envisioned for this bike. At 6'2" I tower over the bike when riding. What some would consider to be cramped ergonomics, I find the bike puts me right in comfortable race position, knees hitting right in the curve of the fuel tank. With 33.3" seat height, it's a tall bike, but my height still allows me to flat foot at stop lights. What's funny is my knees would bother me on the Street Triple after so many miles with its lower and more forward foot pegs. My legs and knees never get tired on the RSV4.

The lines on this bike are second to none. Italian styling all the way.
Ready to roll at COTA for a track day.
 The finish of the bike
The quality on the bike is impressive. All of the controls feel solid under hand and thumb. The welds on the frame are all beautiful, even where they aren't normally visible. The little details like the gas cap and latch snapping closed satisfyingly scream quality. A gripe I have with most super bikes is that their fuel tanks flex when squeezed with your knees (I'm looking at you CBR1000RR). The RSV4 tank has no flex and inspires great confidence when hanging on to it through the corners.

RSV4 dashboard
Performance
The 999cc V4 punches hard at around 5500~6000 RPM and then rapidly and predictably rockets upward, peaking at 186HP at 12500RPM. Redline is at 14k, so you have some headroom at the top, but not much. The V4 motor has the characteristic of a broad powerband and doesn't suffer the peak-y-ness of inline-4 motors. At stock gearing, I was able to max out at 180MPH. I've since gone down to -1 in the front to help with around-town riding and make the bike more responsive at lower RPM. It also helps loft the front wheel more easily.

Stock tires for the RSV4 are Pirelli Supercorsas which are the tires I enjoy the most for super aggressive and track riding. On the street, I get by with Rosso Corsa IIs, but I have made good B-group pace on the track with them. The Brembo brakes are highly competent and Sachs suspension can be dialed in for either street or track riding.
Having fun on the track
Modifications
I've done a little customization to the bike, but it doesn't need much help. A ZeroGravity Corsa windscreen, T-Rex Racing protection, TechSpec Snake Skin tank grips, RG tailtidy, and RhinoMoto bar ends to fit a single CRG bar-end mirror. The Zero Gravity windscreen helps a tremendous amount with wind protection on the highway and at the track; my long torso needs all the protection it can get. The ZG windscreen also makes it easier to get into the full tuck position.

Knee down at COTA
After a couple years of ownership, I installed an Arrow GP2 slipon and flashed the official Aprilia RACE tune to the ECU. There's no need for PowerCommander or any piggyback systems. The official tune is the best one for the RSV4. I picked the Arrow over many other choices due to it being mid-length (not requiring an additional mounting bracket), reasonable priced, and sounded good while not being as loud as many shorty cans. The wide open Arrow lets the RSV4 speak its iconic sound clearly at full tilt.  

Looking good and ready to go
 Longer rides and MPG
When traveling on the bike, I fit Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags and the matching Cortech Super 2.0 tail bag for a combined 60 liters of storage. This setup straps to the rearsets and the tail section firmly. I've had this rig up to 130MPH with no shifting or coming loose. For a little extra comfort on long trips, I purchased a stock seat for a Aprilia Tuono, which swaps directly over with no modification and is thicker and squishier, but it does add noticeable ride height. With mixed spirited riding, I average 31 to 35 MPG. The fuel light (no gauge, just a warning light) usually kicks on at 110 miles on the tank.

At home, but ready to hit the road
Final Thoughts
Total weight is the only downside on this bike, 460-ish pounds when fueled and ready to roll. Fortunately, the poundage is only noticeable when pushing around the garage.

I have commuted to downtown Dallas, ridden back roads twisties, taken weekend trips to the Hill Country and even hauled the bike out to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.  I’ve done 8 track days including multiple weekends at the world-famous Circuit of the America. The RSV4 has taken me on the windy roads in the Smokey Mountains, including the Tail ofthe Dragon, and over many mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico.  I can put about 300 miles of spirited riding in a day before fatigue starts to set in.
Riding the Tail of The Dragon during 2018 Beat The Heat Tour
The RSV4's handling is its shining feature which breeds confidence in the twisties. The bike feels solid, stable, and predictable at max lean angle, even all the way down to scraping foot pegs, which I've done on the track. The bike wants to be thrown into corners and hangs there until you pick it back up on the gas. Both factory levers are adjustable and have given me no reason to change them out for aftermarket or shorty levers.
RSV4 on the track in Austin
The RSV4 is a superbike that people that know race bikes respect, but people outside of that circle have probably never heard of it. The guys at the Harley shop will ask “Apri- what?” The die-hard Japanese sportbike fans may or may not have heard of the little Italian brand. Read any of motorcycle magazines when they compare the latest and greatest sportbikes every year. If the RSV4 doesn’t outright win the comparison, it’s always the Aprilia that wins the tester’s choice award as they bike they would take home if it were their money.

I plan on keeping this bike for the foreseeable future, but when the day does come for a new fun machine, I will definitely be getting the latest year model of another Aprilia RSV4.

 
(My VFR is leading the ride for a little at first) 

Matthew Bowers          https://www.instagram.com/matt_rsv4/?hl=en@matt_rsv4 
If you have questions for him you may contact him through Instagram.

Let me know with a comment what you think of Matthew's review in the comments or via Instagram.





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Some Recommended Sites:

J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
Spend $150 and get $25 off  - Use Promo Code -  HOOKUP20  Good through Feb. 29, 2020
https://www.jpcycles.com/on-sale?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&ranMID=45044&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-sBsBVyYp_W_LFI6.PFQMOA

Batteries for your bike, autos and more!  *
https://www.batteriesplus.com/?ranMID=45126&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-9qxfkt.g9A5bF2Td2I_b3A

https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392

Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
http://www.motoozcycles.com/index2.html


Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXRxEDV5qQLsRsag488Rg4Q?view_as=subscriber


* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


HOME