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. The Interesting Facts and Trivia page has a new bit of history added each week. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all our friends, family and readers!  We are hoping you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe adventurous 2020 full of.smiles, curves and miles of great smooth roads.
Breakfast meet up before IMS in Dallas
Mrs. Oz and I have several events and rides planned for the new year as well as my annual summer trip out of Texas to some cooler area of the United States.  We will start the year off by attending the Progressive International Motorcycle Show again this year. It will be held in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas on January 3-5 which is a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.The show will feature motorcycles, motorcycle gear, motorcycle tools, communication systems and informational sessions just to name a few.

Free motorcycle parking for IMS sure is nice and in Texas we can ride in January most years
I am looking forward to checking out the new Yamaha FJR, the Indian Scout, Ducati's Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tourer and the Triumph Tiger 900.  Of course there will be a lot of other new models to look at.  We also want to look at the new Sena S30 bluetooth communication system.  We currently have the Sena S20 and it has been reliable and clear.  We are not really looking to change, but it is always fun to compare.  Helmet manufacturers will have booths showing off new models and making deals.  Gear vendors will have everything from boots, doo-rags, gloves, sunglasses and more to examine.  

Vendors are plentiful at IMS

We are hoping there is a stunt show this year.  Last year there was not a stunt show, but in 2018 the high flying motocross stunters put on a great show.  The stunt show is definitely a crowd favorite.

The MotoGP races will be at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin on April 3 - 5.  I have attended three of the MotoGP races at COTA including the year my son and I volunteered as Track Marshalls.  The MotoGP at COTA is truly an international event.  It is fun seeing fans from all over the globe.   A lot of fans ride up from Mexico and from all over the United States.  The vendor area has a lot of manufacturers and retailers with many running good sales.

I have become a big fan over the last seven years.  In June of 2017 I experienced the Italian MotoGP at Mugello!  The Italians love their racing and are so enthusiastic. I was there for the first MotoGP after American Nicky Hayden had died after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Italy.  The fans were so respectful and appreciative of Nicky's racing career.  It was moving and respectful tribute.  I greatly enjoyed the complete experience.


Two weeks after the MotoGP in Austin the Roads and Trails rally in the Texas Hill Country near Marble Falls, TX will be taking place.  We are hoping to make that rally, but have to work out some other issues. One of my favorite roads in Texas is FM 1431 east of Marble Falls and the rally is headquartered at Hidden Falls Adventure Park.  This rally includes street, dirt and dual sport riding.  It is a great mixture of people and motorcycles.  This rally is about getting out and riding.

FM 1431 between Cedar Park, TX and Marble Falls, TX provides great views of the Texas Hill Country
 At the end of June we will be leading the Moto Oz Beat The Heat tour (BTH) in Colorado.   This is an annual tour I plan, organize and lead.  There will be three couples and six individuals on the trip.  We will spend four nights in Ouray, Colorado and two nights in South Fork, Colorado.  We will ride the Million Dollar Highway (aka US 550) and The Silver Thread Scenic Byway (aka CO 149).  While riding the Silver Thread we will stop at the small Lake City Bakery and enjoy some delicious treats.  We will visit the historic towns of Silverton, Durango, Telluride, Ridgeway and more. I really love Southwest Colorado.  There is so much history and beauty in that area.  Old mines are still visible in so many areas, especially near Red Mountain.


One of the prettiest waterfalls in Colorado is Horseshow Falls near Lake City on the Silver Thread.
  

Leading the group over numerous passes including Monarch Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass, Spring Creek Pass and Slumgullion Pass will provide breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The cooler temperatures, crisp air and scenic vistas make for days of great riding. We will also take one day and rent either a Jeep or ATV in the Ouray and drive over some unpaved mountain pass, possibly the 65 mile Alpine Loop and visit the ghost town of Animas Forks.  Animas Forks was a thriving mining town from 1873 to 1910.  In 1884 a 23-day blizzard buried the twon with 25 feet of snow.  There are still several buildings left to explore.
 
Animas Forks on the Alpine Loop is fun to explore

 In the third week of October we will attend the Christian Motorcyclists Association's Changing of the Colors Rally in Hatfield, Arkansas.  "Colors" as we call it, is a fun rally with vendors and a lot of great riding, including the Talimena Scenic Byway and Hwy 7 in northwest Arkansas.  The leaves in the Ouachita National Forest become very colorful at that time of the year.

2020 will be full of bike nights, charity rides, lunch rides, dinner rides, rallies and weekend getaways. I am pretty sure I will also do some test rides, especially on the Yamaha FJR.  I loved the 2010 FJR I had and want another one.

I am looking forward to sharing the rides with you, and posting motorcycle gear reviews , motorcycle accessories reviews, motorcycle reviews and more.  I am planning to post about planning, preparing and packing for mult-day trips, list of great roads to ride, a list of motorcycle related podcast I listen to and there will be some guest posts from fellow riders.  New motorcycle riders will find useful reviews and information.

We hope and pray you have a great Christmas and a fun and safe 2020.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Leather Vest Review

It is time for another motorcycle gear review.  This time I will be reviewing a leather vest.  I love the feel and smell of new leather.  The leather vest is part of the classic motorcycle rider apparel.  Finding a leather vest that fits and looks good is not always easy.

No longer is the traditional cut vest the only option.  There are numerous options for vests for riders today.  Leather, textile, denim, high-viz, black, brown...  Viking Cycles has numerous options.

My friends at Viking Cycle recently sent me a Gardar Leather vest to wear, test and review.  The Gardar leather vest features include a Mandarin collar, an evenly finished hem, two chest pockets with snaps, two slit hand pockets and covered front snaps.  The leather vest snaps are strong and will last.  This would be a great buy for a new motorcycle rider.
I love the feel and smell of new leather.
The inside of the vest include a zippered pocket, a chest slit pock and a phone pocket on each side.  I love the pockets!  The extra pockets provide for organization of items I usually carry.

The leather has a high grade feel and look.   Due to the caliber of the vest I believe it will be very durable.  The snaps are sturdy and easy to manipulate, even when wearing gloves.  The zippers are sturdy and worked perfectly.

Three inside pockets on each side of the vest!

The lining is comfortable and is made from good quality nylon.  The finish of the entire vest is well done and stylish.  All materials used are of good quality.
I really liked the "feel" of the vest when wearing it.  It is substantial enough I could feel the weight, but not bulky or uncomfortable.  When riding,  the collision with a big bug will be absorbed by the vest and you might not even feel it.

The back of the vest is a great area for large patch or numerous patches, depending on your style.

The sizing/fitting of the vest is in line with the majority of vest sizing, so no need to adjust your sizing when ordering.

Now a word about Viking Cycle and Viking Bags.  I have had numerous communications with the company and they have always been friendly, respectful and timely.  The shipping department gets orders out quickly.  I have never had to return anything, but I suspect they handle returns quickly also.

You can also check out my review of the Viking Bags big tailbag from 2016.  It is a great addition to motorcycle storage.

Connect and stay up to date on future blog posts

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Enter your email address to receive post via email

Please visit the following great companies:

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

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