Friday, August 28, 2009

Cush Drives and Supermoto Wheels

Over the years we have fielded many calls and questions about cush drives and whether they are required for supermoto duty.

Some call them "puss drives", others believe that having one is a requirement for any motorcycle and without one your rear shock could break off and ram up the back of your motor and continue on upwards. Others are just plain skeptical and don't know what to believe. Still others could not give a hoot what they are or why you'd need one.

Cush drives are rubber dampening cushions that typically line where your wheel hub bolts to your sprocket. The idea is that adding a rubber bushing in between these two metal contact points will relieve stress torque on your parts. Large 600CC, 1000CC and 1200CC bikes almost always feature a cush drive in order to help the bike manage the heavy loads the rear drive train must endure under heavy power torque. Small sub-600 motorcycles rarely feature a cush drive, with the exception of factory KTM hubs in the 450, 525 range, etc.

I've been selling Supermoto and motocross wheels for the past 7 years and have yet to sell a wheel with cush drive for any bike under 600 CC. I've also yet to hear about any KTM or other bike owner talk about any adverse affects from not using a cush drive in supermoto. So, you might say, that's 7 years of real world product research, with hundreds of wheels still rolling around out there piloted by countless street riders, as well as pro racers like Micky Dymond, Travis Marks, Cary Hart and others, pounding on our wheels day in and day out.

Marchesini, Talon, DNA, Excel, Warp 9- all the most dominant wheels in Supermoto (and MotoCross) whether pro racing or every day commuting- and none of these manufacturers offer a cush drive on their KTM or any other wheels because it's unnecessary.

The common thing we here is a cush drive promotes transmission longevity and to that we say- Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Husqvarna, Aprilia all do not feature a cush drive and we do not believe there is anything inherently weak about the KTM transmission that would require it to have a cush drive, any more or less than a Honda CRF, Suzuki DRZ or Yamaha YZ.

The one thing we might go along with is that it's possible that a cush drive could promote chain longevity, but even the likelihood of that in a noticeable way hasn't really been proven over the years.

What we do find is that some motorcycle owners get influenced by rumors and discussion forums started by folks with little more experience in the mechanics of their bikes than having read their owners manual. The only thing we have to fall back on to this issue is the facts.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Alpinestars Fall 2009 Addition Products

Alpinestars has released a number of intriguing products for fall 2009 and we are liking them. The theme of many of the new stuff seems to be one of product fusion. It's almost as if the product designers and creative department took a chunk of existing but widely different products, through them in a bag and shook them up, to see what would come out of the mix. Take a casual hoody out of the fridge, add one waterproof motorcycle jacket and shake: enjoy your refreshing Northshore Tech Fleece smoothie. Grab a full blown race boot off the shelf, add one quart of waterproof touring boot, stir, add one or two large olives and take a sip of a stiff Supertech Touring Boot martini. We have some of the choice products up on our home page now. The rest is neatly categorized in our Alpinestars section.

Please also check our TwoWheelSteals web site for super blow out bargains.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alpinestars Monza Suit

I really hope the new Alpinestars Monza Leather Suit takes off. I really do. Alpinestars is one of the few suit manufacturers with the catalog width to offer real variety in their one and two piece leather suits and make them in colors outside the standard Black, Red and Blue colors. To offer a suit with Red, White and Green is bold. Only a few years ago Astars was making suits in all yellow and all green. That quickly went by the wayside and for the past 3 or 4 years your only color options have been black, red, blue and possibly white. Blah, blah, blah.

Alpinestars Fall 2009 Addition Products

Alpinestars has released a number of new items for their Fall 2009 catalog and these are available for pre-order now on

There are two "big news" products as far as I can see so far, having just seen the new line up a few hours ago. Each of them are at opposite ends of the intended customer spectrum, as well as the price guage.

The first is a waterproof leather jacket and pants outfit. The Alpinestars 365 Gore-Tex Leather Jacket is a 100% waterproof leather jacket that's perforated and an engineering marvel. Or is it? I mean cows are waterproof, why shouldn't their hide be waterproof as Mother Nature intended it to be? In any event, special leather treating has made the hide waterproof and there are matching Alpinestars 365 Leather Pants as well, to go along with the Alpinestars 365 Leather Gloves that were released last Winter. Combine all three with some waterproof leather boots to be fully protected, dry and comfortable all at the same time. Jacket cost? $1299.00 Pants cost? $1199.00. So, 95% of the moto population will be whining and complaining about this over-priced engineering marvel; the other 2% will take a second job to pay for it and the remaining few percentages will plunk down their Titanium Amex cards and own this great gear. Motostrano hopes to cater to each and every one of them.

The other product, or pair of products, that we think are truly revolutionary are the Alpinestars Northshore Tech Fleece and the Alpinestars Quantum DNS Jacket. These jackets are said to be targeted for the urban city commuter and should also be popular with the hoody-n-tennies riders that either can't afford a jacket or don't care to use one. These are really just genetically enhanced hoodies and I'm suprised that Alpinestars stuck their foot out first with this and not ICON Motorsports. And more power to them, because like many of the products in the ICON line-up, the guys who ride around with no protection at all, need a nudge (or a kick) to get even some basic stuff on their body that performs better in a crash than 98% cotton; and schwank city commuters need a quick pullover jacket that has the possibility of protection, can deal with a little wet and walking around off the bike. When you factor in that you can actually buy high fashion or even FOX Racing hoodies for $100, the price tag on the Northshore, $159.00, really isn't a bad deal at all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Give your bike a little more vision

“People only see what they are prepared to see.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daylight savings is still a few months away, but if you're like me, you remember that the days get shorter and darker for a few months each don't get left out in the dark.... But you may not remember that Motostrano sells 22 different types of bolt on headlights for your supermoto, off-road or streetfighter conversion. Swapping out your headlight is an easy mod for your bike that's also comparatively an inexpensive way to change the look of your motorcycle while improving night-riding vision and visibility. We have parts that increase the alien look of your bike, such as the Acerbis Vision, Black Mamba or Cyclops and we have lights that double and triple night riding visibility like the Trail Tech Torch and Extreme Race Light. Each product comes in a wide variety of colors to match your bike. Most of these lights are priced below $100, making them an easy upgrade for the wallet to handle.

Please also check our TwoWheelSteals web site for super blow out bargains

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ICON 2009 Products

ICON's fascination with militarism, monsters and cartoon women seems never ending. If you were over that already, too bad, because a whole new stream of products and their corresponding horror imagery have been unleashed to the world so that you can fulfill your MadMax end-of-the-world fantasies in brand new leather, textile, denim and Fiberglass.

But first, when the end of the civilized world does happen, the roads are going to be the first thing to go, which means that as a motorcycle rider you're going to spend more time crashing as you negotiate craters and ordnance. So, ICON has released what appears to be a pretty good CE approved back protector to catch your fall. And this thing is for sale at an "end of the world" price, at just $90 for the plane vanilla version or a little more for the fancy style.

Check out the whole line-up here.

Please also check our TwoWheelSteals web site for super blow out bargains.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ICON Stryker Back Protector

ICON has released what looks to be a real back protector.

The ICON Stryker Back Protector starts with a custom molded bio-foam chassis. Designed to mold to your back, air channels within the foam allow heat to escape resulting in reduced fatigue. Secured to the chassis are three layers of impact absorbing foam which are capped by an articulated reinforced plastic shell. The reinforced shell helps diffuse impact forces. In addition, the shoulder and waist straps are removable providing you with the option of installing the back protector into certain Icon jackets.

  • EN 161-2/03/AC2006 Ce approval
  • Removable shoulder and waist straps allows armor to be directly inserted into certain Icon jackets
  • Custom armor plate finishing
  • Comfortable and non-restrictive
  • Custom molded biofoam chassis
  • Imported

Available for $90 at