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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Goal of the blog and YouTube channel

I started this blog September 2009 with a goal of posting useful information.  On the first post I stated "part of this blog is to give straightforward reviews of items that I have personally used, places I have eaten, roads I have traveled, and/or bikes I have ridden. At times I will use the reviews of close friends that I ride with and respect." 
Lower Falls in Yellowstone NP
I have strayed off motorcycle related topics a few time i.e. my WWII veteran dad, Honor Flight..., otherwise the gear, roads, restaurants and other items have been related to my motorcycle addiction.
Dad at WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.
With the same goal and desire to provide useful, honest information and reviews I launched a YouTube channel.  
Ride on a great road in Oklahoma

The videos are much more varied and sometimes provide just a clip of a great road to ride, a neat place to visit or some other little nugget.  In the future I will interview other "ordinary" riders about their choice of bikes, gear and accessories so riders can get the views of actual users/riders.  There will be full reviews, trip highlights and more forthcoming.

I will even post some "motovlog" video, which are spoken blogs while riding the motorcycle.  Topics will vary.
My first vlog is about upcoming trip in June, 2017

My son riding US 129 aka The Tail of the Dragon on his own bike for the first time
I would like to invite you to visit the YouTube channel and give me some feedback.  I have a lot to learn about vlogging and all comments are welcome.  If you like what you see please subscribe.

I will continue to post here on a regular basis also.

Be safe and enjoy the road. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bell Helmet Qualifier review - Awesome Transition!

I have owned six full-faced helmets and three half helmets in my 12.5 years of riding.  Due to life situations I always be on a tight budget, but over the last two years or so the budget for riding gear has increased.  So my first five full-faced helmets leaned more to the economical end of the spectrum.

During the June 2016 Moto Oz Beat The Heat Tour the chin air vent cover of my AFX Freedom Helmet, which I wore for approximately four years, fell off.  I liked the helmet, but decided to get a new one.

I did more research than usual and narrowed my list.  I decided to buy within the mid-range ($200 - $350) of helmets.  While talking about my options with a friend he praised his Bell helmet, especially the Transition visor.  That got my attention.  I ride a lot including mornings and evenings.

I had one Bell helmet in the past and like it.  With my friend's recommendation the Bell helmets moved to the top my list.  I had to decided which one.  I found the Qualifier helmet fit great.  I had the option of the Qualifier with the standard visor or the Qualifier DLX with the Transition Adaptive Shield.  I purchased the Bell Qualifier DLX Rally Helmet with the Matte Titanium Rally color scheme.
Image from
I am very pleased with my purchase!  There are several features which makes this the best helmet I have owned.  Most notable is the transition visor. 
In the shade

In the sun
The transition from clear to shaded and back is not instantaneous, but is pretty quick and sufficient. When shaded only the most sensitive eyes would need to also wear sunglasses.  Not have to take two visors when knowing there will be some evening/night time riding is so convenient.

The padding is soft, comfortable and snug.  By far this is the most comfortable helmet I have owned.  The fit is snug without being too tight and the padded wind collar reduces slippage and wind noise.  The removable lining provides moisture wicking and is washable.

The three vent locations (chin, forehead and top of the head) allow for adequate ventilation.  With all helmets more air flow increases wind noise.  The Qualifier DLX is a good combination of reasonable air flow with less wind noise.
Three air vent system - chin, forehead and top, allow good airflow
The helmet also comes with speaker pockets and a built in mounting area for Sena 10S and/or Scala Rider Q1/Q3 headset.  I found the helmet to have one of the more easy to remove visors.  Bell says the visor is anti-fog, anti-scratch and provides UV protection - all of which I have not tested.

Overall this is a great value.  The "bang for the buck" is impressive.  Having worn the Qualifier DLX for since August for 3000+ miles I am a very satisfied customer.