Magura Hymec Hydraulic Clutch Review

Magura Hymec Hydraulic Clutch Review

The WR250R is known to be a damn good bike and a “jack of all trades.” Given its price point, long service intervals, and power-to-weight ratio, to name a few assets, it still isn’t without flaw. One of the known imperfections is the heavy clutch lever pull which is especially problematic when doing tight, technical trails that require frequent clutch feathering.

After taking a class in riding tight technical trails, I realized the relevance and importance of good clutch manipulation. I also found that my left hand was getting a workout with the WRR’s heavy clutch pull and that I needed to take a break. It was during this break that I tried my buddy’s bike with a hydraulic clutch installed. Can I say “like butta”? What a difference! This inspired me to acquire the German-made Magura brand and their Hymec Hydraulic Clutch.

Installation was straight forward. The key was to allow 4–6 cm of free play at the attachment point on top of the engine case so that the self-adjusting clutch could adjust for heat, expansion/contraction, and clutch plate wear. Their claim of a 25% reduction in clutch pull feels about right. It’s also a very smooth operation. And an added bonus is that you can adjust the lever position to compensate for bigger or smaller hands.

As far as maintenance, Greg Reich, sales manager at Magura North America claims none are needed. Part of this is due to the properties of mineral oil (the hydraulic fluid used in the system). It isn’t hydrophilic, meaning the oil doesn’t draw moisture from the air, thus no need to drain and refill. Indeed, there isn’t a wire cable that will stretch and wear over time, nor does it ever need lubing.

This upgrade alone allows me to spend more time without left hand muscle fatigue while riding the technical stuff, thus inspiring me to continue the training exercises. So, if you want to reduce maintenance on your bike while lightening/smoothing the clutch lever pull, I’d recommend this system.

Magura makes hydraulic clutch cables for a wide variety of bikes, so be sure you confirm your bike make, model and year before ordering.

Magura Hydralic Clutch Review

MSRP: $299.99

Magura.com

PROS:

  • Self-adjusting
  • Lighter than stock clutch pull
  • Maintenance free
  • Clutch lever adjustability

CONS:

  • Wish I’d known about them sooner!

 

Tags: scorpion jackets

goggle-round-up

2019 Goggle Round-Up

With so many options available for the goggle-wearing rider, let’s take a look at what’s out there. Here’s a brief overview of various brands and models, their features, and price ranges.

Fly Racing

• Focus

goggle round up 04

The Focus goggle from Fly Racing may be the most cost-effective eye protection for the price-conscious rider. While it’s certainly a basic no-frills model, it does the job very well while coming in at less than half the price of the next level up the goggle food chain. The Focus is the go-to choice for bikers on a budget. MSRP: $21.95

• Zone Pro

goggle round up 05

The Zone Pro is the higher end of the Fly goggle spectrum. Its outrigger design, being tear-off ready, with mirroredanti-fog/scratch-resistant lenses are qualities that justify the price.A spare clear lens is included, which is a nice touch. MSRP: $59.95−$64.95 FlyRacing.com


Klim

• Viper

goggle round up 06

 

The Viper is Klim’s more affordable goggle choice. But it’s no slouch with features like triple-layer comfort foam, sweat control, and their FOV frame geometry which provide a wide and optically excellent field of view. MSRP: $49.99−$69.99

 

 

 

• Viper Pro

goggle round up 07

Moving to the Viper Pro gets a rider tear-offs, removable nose guard, mirror lenses, and outriggers for an even more comfortable fit than the regular Viper. MSRP: $89.99−$109.99 Klim.com


Flow Vision

• Rythem

goggle round up 03

Flow Vision may not have many goggle designs, but the Rythem is a serious product.It comes stock with triple-thick mirrored lenses, and triple foam with a relaxed nose fit for all day comfort. Dollar for dollar, these goggles offer a lot of bang for the bucks. MSRP: $56 FlowVisionCo.com


Ariete

• Adrenaline Profi

goggle round up 01

Ariete touts their ventilation design and we agree, it is excellent. The Ariete lenses are outstanding, too. MSRP:$64.95

• Mudmax

goggle round up 02

The Mudmax is another well-vented design of Ariete. This model comes stock with a mirrored lens and an additional clear Lexan lens. MSRP: $69.95 Ariete.com


Leatt

• Velocity 6.5

goggle round up 09

While we’re not going to test the “bulletproof” assertion on their box, the Leatt’s are by far the thickest and strongest we examined in this lineup. They boast an impressive ballistic rating for their lenses. They also feature an extremely easy quick release for lens changes, wide field of view, and the relaxed foam in the nose area make these an excellent overall choice, and this writer/rider’s personal favorite. MSRP: $79.99 and $99.99 with roll off. Leatt.com

Tags: news Honda africa twin

scorpion-birmingham-jacket-pant-review

Scorpion Birmingham Wax-Cotton Jacket and Pant Review

With the scrambler market on the move, companies are jumping on the band wagon with classic, retro-styled gear to fit the look. Scorpion is no exception; a few years ago they brought to market their spin on the traditional-styled waxed-cotton riding gear, with the Birmingham jacket and pant.

The problem with the old-style waxed cotton was that it didn’t offer much on the protective side of things. Scorpion kicked it up a notch by creating their own 53% cotton/47% nylon EXO wax-coated outer material (waxed cotton) fabric that is made stronger by weaving in nylon for additional abrasion resistance.

Scorpion Birmingham Review 1

Waterproofing comes from a laminated/breathable membrane. A total of seven pockets with four external, two large inner, and one large rear pass-through pocket provide plenty of stash places. YKK zippers and snaps are used for carefree zipping and snapping.

To keep you protected in the event of a spill Scorpion added SAS-TEC CE-certified armor in the elbows and shoulders. The back pad is PE foam and can easily be upgraded to Level 2 armor. Elbows and shoulders use heavy-duty reinforcements for added protection.

Scorpion Birmingham Review 2Overall, the jacket and pants have a traditional fit. Be warned that it takes a bit for the jacket to break in and feel more natural. The collar is extra stiff and takes a bit longer to break in, too.

The pants fit like your favorite pair of Levi’s and use a 23% cotton/77% nylon EXO wax-coated outer material that’s 100% waterproof with heavy-duty reinforcements at the knees, shins and seat, and SAS-TEC CE armor at knees and hips for added protection. Pant storage isn’t an issue, with a total of six external pockets.

All in all, I’ve been pleased with the Birmingham jacket and pant combo. I would like to see Scorpion use a less stiff collar material for more comfort. And the pants don’t incorporate a zipper on the leg for the ease of getting them over the boot. This could be challenging, depending on the boot.

MSRP: Jacket—$299.95−$314.95 | Pants—$179.95−$194.95
ScorpionUSA.com


PROS:

• Affordable pricing for high tech gear
• Classic look
• Three-season ready

CONS:

• Stiff collar
• No pant leg zipper

Where to Buy:

Jacket: Revzilla btn

Pants:  Revzilla btn

Tags: blog travel egle budget money

dunlop-trailmax-mission-tire-review

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Review - Redefining the 50/50 Tire

Dunlop invited ADVMoto to beautiful and sunny Lake Arrowhead, California to test their exciting new Trailmax Mission tires specifically designed for adventure motorcycles. In collaboration with Falken Tire, Dunlop has developed what they claim to be a 50/50 tire that’s capable of tackling a variety of terrain and offering the best tread life in its class.
To read Dunlop’s press release for the Trailmax Mission tire, CLICK HERE!

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 05

So, what ratio of on- to off-road performance can this tire deliver? This is a loaded question and arguably the toughest to answer. At first glance, the Trailmax Mission doesn’t appear to look like any other “50/50” tire on the market. And what is defined as “off-road riding” may vary from one rider to the next. While it looks street based, closer inspection reveals off-road focused details within the tread pattern that are not only unique, they’re downright creative. The features in this tire tip the scales towards an off-road performance that we didn’t expect.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 01• Construction

Dunlop uses a proprietary single compound for the Trailmax Mission. When asked about the compound, Tire Design Engineer, Ron Winkelman, said they couldn’t give away too many details, but the hardness is between a touring tire and a soft off-road tire. As vague as that sounds, I suspect that whatever compound they use had a huge part to play in how the tire performs off-road (more on this below).

Ron went on to describe how this was the most enjoyable tire he’s ever produced, and over the course of two years, lots of R&D, and thirty different designs, they’re confident they’ve filled a gap in their line-up and produced the most versatile tire Dunlop has to offer. Ron and his team hand carved the prototypes and lots of their R&D came from attending adventure rallies and interacting with our community. Your feedback was the number one factor in how these tires were created—not production costs or replicating what’s already on the market.

• Wrap-Around Side Lugs

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 03

The idea was pulled from Falken’s off-road truck tire line with great success. During our testing, we found that the Side Lugs really did work as intended, pulling our wheels out of ruts and helping to keep elevated over sandy sections. Dunlop claims that the Side Lugs increase sidewall rigidity and protection against side punctures as well.

• Staggered Step Knobs

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 04

This tiny, but highly effective feature increases bite while off road. As the tread gets warn, a new, sharp edge reveals itself ensuring greater traction throughout the life of the tire. The steps on the rear tire face backward to increase stopping performance, while the steps on the front tire face towards the center to help the front track forward.

• Deep Tread Grooves with Unique Patterns

The tread on the Trailmax Missions are meaty compared to road tires. Dunlop claims to have gotten 8,000 miles on a rear tire equipped on a V-Strom 1000 through various terrain, and they’re confident that you can get similar results. We’ve never had a 50/50 tire reach those numbers.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 06

Perhaps one of the most important features of the Missions is that the tread will vary slightly between wheel sizes. For example, tires for large displacement ADVs utilize connecting bars to increase rigidity and the block sizes and shape changes from tire to tire. Also, the front tread design is different from the rear to ensure both wheels perform optimally in a variety of conditions.


• First Impressions

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 07

The Trailmax Missions may not look like a typical 50/50 tire, and Dunlop is well aware of this. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dunlop, Mike Buckley, stated that they expected some backlash from the dual-sport and ADV community. “Creating a 50/50 tire means you might have a product that pleases 50% of the market.” This may be true, but if you can please half of the incredibly diverse and demanding adventure crowd with one tire, that’s a 100% win in our books.

Dunlop’s tech presentation was both informative and impressive. It was clear to see that the company used an incredible amount of effort to create the Trailmax Missions (R&D and manufacturing were all done in the U.S.). Simply creating a tread design and stamping it onto multiple wheels wasn’t good enough for them. They want each tire each size to perform a very specific way. I think we could’ve used these tires in the market years ago, but if it took this long for a company as reputable as Dunlop to make them, perhaps their efforts are worth the wait.

• Kickstands Up

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 07

We were supplied a fleet of the latest adventure motorcycles, from BMW and KTM large displacement flagships, to the latest and greatest 790 Adventure R and 850 GS. However, our pick for the test ride was the new Honda CB500X. If you’re scratching your head and asking yourself, “why?” let me explain.

ADVMoto’s head honcho, Carl Parker, recently reviewed the 2019 CB500X, (you’ll also find the review in the Nov/Dec 2019 Print Issue of ADVMoto), and afterwards I planned to buy this bike as a daily commuter. The second reason we chose the little Honda was because it was the only bike in the line-up without fancy electronics or ABS, and fairly basic suspension. Keeping the bike shiny side up for the entire test would require a bit of skill and excellent tire performance.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 02
• On the Tarmac

Our day-long ride comprised of exactly fifty percent twisty tarmac and fifty percent off-road terrain that a typical ADV bike would traverse. At the start, it was about 40°F on our way to find dirt. Cold temps, fresh tires, sharp corners, and a dozen moto-journalist high on coffee—what could possibly go wrong? Fortunately, absolutely nothing, but my confidence on the street did increase 10-fold after airing down the tires about 5 psi from OEM recommended pressures.

Keeping up with the big bikes through the twisties was really fun on the CB500X. Trail braking into corners, carrying corner speed, early throttle—it reminded me of trackdays on Ninja 250s. At one point I came around a corner and was startled by the photographer, then realized I was coming in way too hot. I instantly thought, I’m either going to run out of road, or run out of rubber (and they’re going to catch it on camera), but to my surprise the bike stayed upright after quick scrape of the foot peg. As hard as I was on the front brake I was almost certain I was going to tuck the front end, but the Trailmax Missions delivered excellent traction and great feedback. We didn’t run across any extensive wet pavement, but I believe they’d perform really well in the rain.

As the roads heated up, so did my confidence in the tires and it wasn’t long before I stopped worrying about what the wheels were doing. I’d get lost “in the zone” and had to remind myself to think about how the tires were performing. They’re so smooth and quiet on the pavement that you forget about them, and that’s a good thing. Even the pine needle and dirt peppered twisties couldn’t shake the Trailmax Missions from delivering a solid performance on the tarmac. Road performance gets a huge check mark from me.

• Off the Pavement

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 06

Leaving my tire pressures to -5 psi below OEM pressures, we continued on to the off-road portion of the test, consisting of dusty OHV trails and wide fire roads with tight switch switchbacks. It was exactly the type of terrain I enjoy riding on heavy, multi-cylinder ADV bikes. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about how the Trailmax Mission would do in loose dirt or shallow sand, but they exceeded my expectations once again. Without traction control I thought I’d have to be especially easy on the throttle and brakes, but I wouldn’t say I rode the CB500X any differently than I would’ve on a big dual-sport. I’m certain there are limitations to this tire—probably deep sand or sticky mud, or really rocky, technical single-track. But during our day exploring the off-road areas of Lake Arrowhead, I never found myself in what I like to call an “oh shit! Moment.” There were a couple of big whoop sections that seemed to be limited by the bike’s suspension, causing me to back off a bit at times, but the handful of times the bike got airborne, the tires helped to keep the CB500X track straight upon landing.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 05

The off-road performance of the Trailmax Missions can’t be described as confidence inspiring. Instead, I’d call them very comfortable. One thing Dunlop emphasized during the tech briefing was how much they fine-tuned the rigidity how careful they were in choosing which compound to settle on. I think it shows in the Mission’s off-road performance. At every pit stop I thought to myself, “these are hooking up way better than I expected them to.” The only times the tires really broke loose were intentional with a quick chop of the clutch or almost standing on the rear brake. And when they did break loose, they were predictable, manageable, and even fun!

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 03I was really impressed with the front-end braking performance of the Trailmax Missions. After the gaps opened between riders, I jabbed the front brake lever to try and find where the limits were. Instead of washing, the front of the bike would just plunge. Maybe the CB500X’s single front disk had a part to play in this, but either way, the Trailmax Mission’s braking performance allowed me to easily keep pace with the big bikes in our group, even passing some of them.

We didn’t encounter any mud on our route, but Dunlop claims the tire’s ability to clear itself is just as well or better than the competition. We’d need more testing to see if that’s true.

During the off-road section I did find myself in a situation where the Wrap Around Side Lugs really shined. There was a straight section with a high line and a low line with a three-foot, 45° drop-off between the two. I couldn’t decide which to take and went straight down the middle. In this instance, I’m almost certain that most of the 50/50 tires on the market would’ve washed to the low side. Instead, I found myself cruising the drop off, leg out Jarvis style, until the path leveled out again. Off-road performance gets another check mark from me.


• Who’s it for?

The Dunlop Trailmax Mission is ideal for the daily commuter who skips work every now and then to play in the dirt. It’s for motorcyclists who prefer the ADV route over the hero route at dual-sport rallies. Do you wait for the last minute to sign up for events like I do, leaving no time to swap tires? Lastly, but certainly not least, they’re for long distance adventure travelers who know how and when to pick and choose their battles. Want a tad more off-road performance? Mix and match them with the D606s!

Dunlop ADV Tire Lineup

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review 04• Final Thoughts

My only real concern with the tire is road/trail-side maintenance. The sidewalls are stiffened up by the Wrap Around Side Lugs and may require some muscle to remove and install on a rim. That said, if the Lugs protect the sides as intended, then we’d really only need to worry about tread punctures, a problem none of us faced during our testing.

Are the Dunlop Trailmax Missions a true 50/50 tire? We can’t tell you because we don’t know how and where you ride. However, they did exceed our expectations both on- and off-road on a bike we wouldn’t consider to be a 50/50 machine. Forgetting the numbers, I’d venture to say if these tires came as OEM equipment on current adventure motorcycles, most of the new bike buyers would be happy with them. They’re certainly worth the coin if you’re in the market for tires that can handle most situations and offer very long tread life.

Many thanks to the Dunlop team for a well-organized and fun event!

MSRP: will range from $131.21 to $285.23

DunlopMotorcycleTires.com


Available sizes:

Phase 1 (Shipping 11/01/19)—
Size Load/Speed
Front 90/90-21 54T
110/80-19 59T
120/70B19 60T
Rear 150/70B17 69T
170/60B17 72T
140/80B18 70T
150/70B18 70T

Phase 2 (Shipping 12/01/19)—
Size Load/Speed
Rear 130/80B17 65T
120/90-18 65T
140/80B17 69T

Phase 3 (Shipping 01/01/20)—
Size Load/Speed
Front 100/90-19 57T
Rear 120/90-17 64T
130/90-18 69T


PROS:

• Unique tread design delivers great performance on- and off-road
• Expected tread life is class leading
• No vibration or road noise
• Purposely built for each size

CONS:

• Stiff sidewalls may make tire changing more difficult

 

Tags: Training egle west38moto

tech spec tank grips

TechSpec Snake Skin Tank Grips Review

If you are looking to improve body and bike control while sitting or standing on your adventure bike, as well as reducing vibration and improving comfort, the folks at TechSpec have you covered. TechSpec currently makes custom tank grips for over 250 motorcycles and is always adding new applications.

The Snake Skin tank grips are made of a .125-inch rubber material with an aggressive diamond-shaped tread which allows you to better grip the tank with your legs, enabling better bike control and taking pressure off your upper body. The custom pads installed easily while still maintaining a clean factory look, despite the all-black pad over the tri-color paint on my Africa Twin.

TechSpec uses a special adhesive that lets you remove the tank grips to reposition and reapply the pads without losing adhesion strength. If you want to take the pads off completely there is no sticky residue left behind. They recommend installing with the temperature above 70°F, so I did have to use a hair dryer to warm up the tank in the garage, adding a few minutes to the install time.

TechSpec SnakeSkin Tank Grips for AT

The first time I rode with the pads installed I definitely noticed an increase in control and comfort, especially when standing up off road, where I was able to grip the tank better without my legs sliding forward on the tank. When sitting, the increased grip in the knees also helps when braking and cornering, keeping you planted in the seat on twisty roads.

Visit their website to see if they have an application for your bike. You can also buy sheets of the grip pads and cut them to fit, for custom installations. TechSpec also makes custom pannier guards for some manufacturers.

TechSpec-USA.com

MSRP: $69.95 (for the Africa Twin)

PROS:

  • Ease of installation and removability
  • Quick/inexpensive upgrade with notable improvement
  • Custom applications for most bikes

CONS:

  • Only available in black

Tags: worldVespa

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