Quin Blog

December 07, 2021

A Rider's Holiday Gift Guide

Merry Holidays!  We’re at the point in the year where everyone goes nuts trying to find the perfect gift for friends and family.  I’ve been around the motorsports industry for a bit, and just thought I’d share a few ideas for gift-givers having a hard time finding something for the rider in their life.  So, here are my suggestions:

 

1. Freak Mount

I encountered this little phone mount on a recent sales trip visiting dealers.  It’s extremely simple and has a very strong magnet to attach your phone to your gas tank.  Granted, it may not work with covered or plastic tanks, but it is a cool little gadget that would make a great stocking stuffer for most motorcycle riders.

 Available at Freak Mount for $49.

 

2.  Heated Socks

Battery powered socks!  We talked about having the right gear for winter riding in the previous blog post.  This is one of them.  From a safety standpoint, you don’t want your feet to be frozen – frostbite is not good, plus you can’t feel your shifter and brake pedal that way.  There’s a couple of different configurations of these heated socks – AA powered, rechargeable powered, and more to fit whatever your needs are.  My personal preference arer the rechargeables, and take along a spare set of batteries just in case.

Available at Action Heat for $50-$160.

 

3. Tire Gauge

Having a high-quality tire gauge in your toolbox is a must have for every rider.  I mentioned how important tire pressure was in our winter riding tips blog as well, BUT this little gadget can be used year-round.  There are plenty of options out there, but I like this one for its swiveling head, liquid filled needle gauge, and the convenient bleeder valve.  It’ll make getting the correct air pressure a breeze!  You know the saying, “buy once, cry once…”  Well, I know this is a little pricy for a tire gauge, but it will last long enough to hopefully be the only one you need. 

Available at Motion Pro for $110.

 

4. Pinlock Inserts

Quin Pinlock 70 Lens

We’ve all struggled with fogging shields at one point or another.  Pinlock is a simple and highly effective solution for that!  In addition, they have multiple colors – light smoke, dark smoke, yellow, and ProtecTINT (photochromic / transitional).  The benefits of these are two-fold: it keeps your helmet shield fog free AND can provide enhanced vision (depending on color). Of course, we have them available for our entire helmet line. Pinlock lenses are available for other premium helmet brands as well.

Available for Quin helmets in our accessories section and on at Pinlock for $40-$85.

 

5. Flashlight

Motorcycle flashlight

Who doesn’t need a good flashlight handy?  I’ve got them scattered all over the place – desk, workbench, car door, underneath the seat on my motorcycle.  No, you won’t need it often, but when you do, and don’t have one, it just makes things difficult.  I prefer battery-powered rather then rechargeable, just so that it is easier to ensure it works on-the-go, but that's personal preference.  Batteries in an LED flashlight will last for a LONG time, so it’s not like you’ll be replacing them a lot anyway.  Nebo has an extensive line, so pick according to your personal preferences.

Available at Nebo for about $11 and up.

 

6. Tech-Air 5 System

Alpinestars tech-air 5 system

I know this is pricy, but it’s one of the coolest things that’s come out since I’ve been in the industry.  It’s basically a wearable air bag that goes underneath your jacket.  It’s got three accelerometers and three gyros in it to detect crashes before you hit the ground.  I won’t get into all the tech that goes in this thing, check it out on Alpinestars website. If you want to gift the rider in your life (or yourself) the best in premium safety, I think it doesn't get better than the Tech-Air 5 and a Quin helmet. One uses crash detection to deploy additional body protection (Tech-Air 5) and one uses crash detection to ensure you receive help when you need it most (Quin helmet). 

Available at Alpinestars for $749.

 

7. Money Capsule

True Utility Cashstash

This was another little gadget I found in my dealership travels.  Pretty simple – it’s a small water-tight capsule to go on your keyring.  Stuff a $20 bill in there and you’ll never be without any emergency cash! I bought several of them…2 sets of car keyrings, 2 sets of motorcycle keyrings, and then an “extra” one on my backpack. 

Available at True Utility for about $10.  (You might have to look around for these a little – I found them on the UK website but not the US website.  BUT – they are all over Ebay/Amazon, too.)

 

8. Quin Quest Helmet

Quin Quest modular smart helmet carbon fiber

This is the most versatile helmet in our collection.  You guys are probably already familiar with it, but I want to touch on a few features.  It’s a modular, adventure touring helmet, but you can pull off the peak for better road aerodynamics.  Anyone from sport riders, cruisers, and touring can use this one with great success.  Of course, its got our Crash Detection and SOS Beacon capabilities, as well as a universal Bluetooth headset in it as well.  Browse through our website and check it out!  Of course, we can also do gift cards, so you can let your rider pick his lid and size, too

Available from Quin for $719. 

 

9. Butler Maps

This company has been around for years and make maps specifically for motorcyclists.  They’ve got all the best roads highlighted, the maps are waterproof, and store easily in a tank bag or pocket.  Additionally, they have them for just about every area you can think of!

 Available at Butler Maps starting at $15.

 

That’s it for this year!  Certainly, if you guys think of something – a little can't-live-without gadget that a rider could use, or something that makes their life a little safer, feel free to add it to the comments below.  Let us know your thoughts!

Happy (early) holidays!  Y’all stay safe out there! 

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Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips
November 03, 2021

Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips

Winter riding can be a bit tricky.  Of course, the weather is sometimes unpredictable, but with a little bit of prep on your end, you can at least make it tolerable – for the most part.  Down here in Texas, I don’t think any of us really want to ride in inclement conditions, but I do understand that die-hards North of us brave cooler temps to prolong their riding season. Even for us Texans, it does happen occasionally, and sometimes it’s out of our control whether you must ride or not. 

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:

  1. Check weather & road conditions - slow down!

Check the weather reports before you need to ride.  Colder temps aren’t too bad if you’re prepared and wet certainly isn’t ideal, but cold and wet is miserable.  Try to avoid it, but if you must, please slow down!  Traction and visibility will be greatly decreased.  Your best bet is to get somewhere warm and dry and wait out the bad weather.  Remember that ice formation puts riders at much higher risk than it does vehicles with 4 wheels. So it’s best to avoid riding in freezing temperatures, even if you feel equipped to handle it physically.  

  1. Health of Rider

First and foremost, know your abilities and physical limits.  If you think it’s too cold, it probably is.  Even if you feel geared up and ready to go, your body might not be. Make sure you stay fed and hydrated.  It’s weird to think about, but underneath all your gear, you’ll still sweat.  Additionally, going without proper nutrition and hydration affects your brain function and reaction time as well.  Winter riding keeps you on your toes - prepare to be alert and focused the best you can.

  1. Factor in Wind Chill

Riding speed has a massive impact on the air temperature for the rider. In 45 degree weather, you might feel great in your head-to-toe riding gear. However, at just 55mph the wind chill will give you a felt temperature of 25 degrees. Check out the National Weather Service’s wind chill chart below for handy calculations at each temperature and miles-per-hour speed.

  1. Equipment & Motorcycle Prep

Depending on the bike, winter prep could be as easy as changing fluids, and normal maintenance type things.  For some bikes, particularly adventure touring or cruiser bikes, you might need to add things on to make your life a little comfier in the winter months.  Think of taller windshields or hand guards to block the wind.  Heated grips and seats work wonders and can be wired directly into your bike.  If that’s the direction you’re going, make sure it’s on a switched circuit.  Otherwise, your grips and seat will be warm in the garage, and drain your battery.  Check your manufacturer’s guide or community forums for more details about how to get your bike winter-ready. There is no one-size-fits all checklist for every bike, so make sure you check what’s best for yours. Riders’ experience can be a good guide beyond manufacturer’s tips – some crazy Minnesotans decided to ride a Zero electric motorcycle for all 365 days of a year and they wrote a book about it. That’s not something the manufacturer is going to prepare you for! 

  1. Riding gear – ATGATT!

The set of gear you choose can make all the difference in the world.  Layer up!  Of course, your outer most garments should be wind and waterproof, but not necessarily insulated.  There’s been major advances in materials in the past few years – thinner, warmer mid and base layers are more effective.  Plus, you can tailor it to fit your specific needs.  If you remember the movie A Christmas Story, you don’t want to look like Randy (the little brother) that was bundled up so tight he couldn’t move or get up after he fell.  Don’t be Randy! As a motorcyclist, you still need to be agile enough to ride the bike, regardless of the conditions you’re facing.  That said, there are also heated options now too – both battery operated or wired to the bike.  I prefer battery powered so I’m not tethered to the bike, but it has its downfalls as well – limited heating capacity in terms of length and temperature.  Find a good balaclava as well.  That little gap between your helmet and the top of you jacket can make you miserable.  Cover up!

 

Wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT) like your life depends on it – because it probably does! Remember that it is very difficult to predict how cold you will feel once the wind chill hits your body. If you start out feeling uncomfortably sweaty and hot in your gear while standing in your garage, you may still feel cold once you pick up speed on the road. It is safer to plan to crack your shield a little more, and unzip a layer or two than to get stuck with compromised comfort and mobility because you’re frozen to the bone. There’s never been a better time to show off your head-to-toe gear than when riding in cold weather.

  1. Tires

I can’t really stress this one enough – check your tire pressure!  Certainly, make sure you have plenty of tread on your tires to be able to push out as much of the sand/snow/slush as possible.  Check your tire pressures religiously – it’s especially critical in the winter when every little bit counts.

  1. Towing, just in case

I got this tip from a buddy.  It’s certainly a good idea to have a contingency plan.  In the event of horrible conditions, or even worse, a crash in horrible conditions, have a way to get home, or at the very least, to a safe, warm place.  Contact local towing companies, and make sure they have to ability to tow motorcycles – without destroying them along the way.

The main thing is to think ahead, make time to plan and run extra checks on your gear and personal safety. Riders can enjoy cooler months, but it definitely takes more forethought to ride safely and comfortably.  Conditions are way different than the fairer months, to the point it could be detrimental to your health.  Y’all stay safe, and happy trails!

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