Kit

New Kit – Alpinestars John McGuinness Limited Edition Supertech R Boot

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The Mountain Course; legendary, iconic and one of the ultimate challenges in motorsports. 37 and a half miles of everyday street tarmac that snakes through stone-wall lined country lanes, along tree tunneled straights, through usually sleepy towns and over the foreboding mountain roads of the Isle of Man at full throttle. A rugged, windswept island setting that sits in the middle of the Irish Sea which, for over 110 years, has been the greatest test of rider and machine at the annual TT races.

To complete the TT course is special, to win is to join a small group of motorcycle racing’s revered stars. With 23 TT victories in his career to date, John McGuinness is a legend; the King of the Mountain who has re-written the record books and stood on more TT podiums than any rider in history. His focus, his accuracy and his devasting speed has set a bench-mark that few can aspire to match and for such ability, it is fitting for Alpinestars to introduce the John McGuinness Limited Edition Supertech R Boot.

The boot itself is the usual no-compromise boot you’d expect from Alpinestars. Designed and developed to the highest technical standards, the Supertech R Boots today represent the pinnacle of racing innovation for track and road use. Alpinestars’ most iconic sports boot, the Supertech R incorporates a whole host of performance innovations including a redesigned compound rubber sole, an ergonomically profiled shin plate, a redesigned front flex area, plus the pioneering dual torsion, bio-mechanical ankle brace – all of which enhance this CE certified boot.

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New Kit – limited edition Alpinestars Schwantz Supertech Rs

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Suzuka ’91: Four title contenders enter the final lap mere feet apart. An all out battle, passes under braking so late you can not bear to look and the lead will change hands again and again. An inside line appears, barely an opening at all and the number 34 Suzuki dives in and makes the pass stick. When the checkered flag is waved the top four is decided by .556 of one second and Kevin Schwantz is victorious with a final lap battle that is cemented in MotoGP history.

No one typifies the all-or-nothing, knife-edge, racing of the era like Kevin Schantz. Hailing from Houston, Texas, a background in motocross gave him the skills to battle shoulder to shoulder in the tight chicanes and historic corners of grand prix road racing with unique style.

In 1993 he became World Champion wearing the legendary Alpinestars GP PRO boot and now to mark the 25th anniversary of that title, Alpinestars introduces the Limited Edition Kevin Schwantz Supertech R in a Kevin’s individual color way – an icon now just as it was back in the 1990’s.

Designed and developed to the highest technical standards, the Supertech R Boots today represent the pinnacle of racing innovation for track and road use. Alpinestars’ most iconic sports boot, the Supertech R incorporates a whole host of performance innovations including a redesigned compound rubber sole, an ergonomically profiled shin plate, a redesigned front flex area, plus the pioneering dual torsion, bio-mechanical ankle brace – all of which enhance this CE certified boot.

RST – limited edition World Cup Pro Series CPX-CII race suit

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The RST Race Department has been busy throughout the football season developing its new Pro Series CPX-C II suit.

Inspired by the upcoming football world cup, the leather one-piece suit has been designed using feedback from elite riders like Alex Lowes in WSB and MotoGP, Richard Cooper in BSB and Ian Hutchinson at the TT, and as a result there are substantial upgrades to the fit and ergonomics of the Pro-Series CPX-C II and added removable elbow sliders.

The suit features extensive CE-approved armour throughout, while the enlarged stretch panels and more aggressively cut legs and arms make it easier than ever to move around on the bike.

The suits are available in the colours of the 32 countries taking part in this year’s tournament. Priced from £659.99.

Racer’s Kit – Andrea Dovizioso

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Andrea Dovizioso, 31, is a racer who competes in the premier class for the Factory Ducati team.

Andrea won the 125cc Aprilia Challenge in Italy in 2000 before scooping up the 125cc World Championship with the Kopron Scot Honda team in 2004.

He moved up to the 250cc class in 2005, picking up five podium finishes and third place overall in his debut season. He finished second behind series winner Jorge Lorenzo a year later, and finished second again in 2007.

In 2008 he moved up to the elite class with JiR Team Scot, finishing a credible fourth place in the season opener in Qatar. He finished fifth overall and the following season became an official Repsol Honda rider, replacing former world champion Nicky Hayden. He won his first premier class race at Donington Park and finished sixth overall in the standings.

Andrea went one better in his second season as a Factory Honda rider, finishing fifth overall in 2010.

Despite taking four second places the following season in the three-man Repsol team, and finishing third in the championship behind Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea rejected the offer of a Honda satellite bike and moved to the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, partnering Britain’s Cal Crutchlow.

Dovizioso was quick straight from the off on the Yamaha, gaining top-five finished in his first three starts, and he finished the season in fourth overall to cap an impressive year.

His riding caught the attention of Ducati, who signed Andrea as a replacement for the departing Valentino Rossi in 2013. Despite struggling to adapt to the career-destroying Desmosedici, he scored a fourth in the wet at Le Mans and finished the season in eighth.

His fortunes improved significantly following the arrival of Gigi Dall’Igna, and this year has seen his stock rise even more – outclassing Jorge Lorenzo and enjoying two wins already.

He’s had his fair share big offs – especially on the notoriously difficult to turn Ducati – and knows what kit works and what doesn’t. Here he shares his kit wisdom.

HELMET: “Everything is important when it comes to your helmet – protection, comfort, vision, quietness, ventilation.

“My advice is to try as many on as you can and buy the best you can afford. You can’t afford to settle for less.

“In terms of order of importance, protection is most important for me, then comfort and finally vision. You want your helmet to give you peace of mind. I need to know it’s going to protect me when, not if, I come off. And it needs to be comfortable. When you’re on the bike you don’t want the interior to be uncomfortable, or to be pinching your head, you want not to notice it so you can focus solely on your riding.

“Ventilation is important too. You can soon overheat in hot races, or mist up in west weather, so having a helmet with effective vents is crucial.

“And you want a helmet to be quiet, the quieter the better. Anything that distracts you from takes your focus away from what’s ahead isn’t good.

“The only thing I change about my helmet is the fit. I wear Suomy and we have adapted it slightly so that the visor aperture sits higher up on my head. That way I can see more when I’m in a full racing crouch. Apart from that it’s completely standard.”

LEATHERS: “I like my leathers to be tight. It’s no good having them loose or they’ll offer little or no protection when you crash. But you can’t have them so tight as to restrict movement, so look for leathers with a good range of stretch panels.

“And don’t be put off by weight. Yes, lightness is important, but you don’t want the material to be that thin that the asphalt burns through it as you slide along the tarmac at 180mph.

“I’m not so fussed about external armour, as I don’t think it makes that much difference. So long as you have armour in the crucial areas, then that’s fine. The principle’s the same as when you go MotoCross riding – you want to be protected, but you don’t want it so restrictive that you can’t move.

“My suit has an airbag, but I can’t say I even notice the difference. It doesn’t make the sit feel any heavier or restrict my movement on the bike.”

BACK AND CHEST PROTECTORS: “I wear both and I can’t recommend them enough, especially the back protector. When was the last time you heard of a rider getting paralysed?

“There’s really not any excuse not to wear either anymore. They’re light, comfortable and after a couple of times wearing them you forget you’ve got them on. There’s a huge choice out there, and most are adjustable.”

GLOVES: “Gloves need to have protection in the right places, especially the wrist. If you come off the bike at speed your hands are going to come into contact with the tarmac. It’s very easy for your hands to dig in and break either your wrist or fingers, so the more heavy-duty protection and sliders gloves have, the better.

“The difficulty is finding the right balance between protection and feel. Your hands control the throttle and brakes, so you need movement, but some gloves are that thin and light that when hit the ground or roll through the gravel they almost fall to pieces. That’s not good, so always go for gloves that are that bit thicker.”

BOOTS: “Boots need to be comfortable, flexible and protective. The ankle is a very complex joint, and is easily damaged, so look for boots with lots of external protection in the ankle area.

“I wear Supertech boots and they’re brilliant. The use a really snug tightening mechanism that keeps the boot snug and secure. They’ve got loads of chunky plastic armour but they’re thin enough on the top of the foot to make changing gear easy.”

BASELAYERS: “I can’t imagine riding without these. They’re excellent at keeping your core temperature constant, and work just as well whether the temperature is 5C or 35C. And they make it so much easier to get into and out of your leathers.”

EARPLUGS: “I always wear earplugs. It is impossible to ride a GP bike without them – the engine is just too loud.

“In the 2008 GP at Donington Park I didn’t have time to put my earplugs in as I rolled out the pits for the outlap before the race. It was horrific. It actually hurt my ears. The bike was that loud. You definitely couldn’t complete a full race without wearing them. I’ve never made that mistake again.”

New kit – Alpinestars Mach 1 Supertech R

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MotoGP ‘Top Gun’ Maverick Viñales has taken to the Factory Yamaha like a duck to water – topping pre-season testing and claiming dominant wins in Qatar and Argentina.

It’s no secret that we at Lincolnshire Biker are big fans of the Alpinestars Supertech R boots, and the Italian company has just released a limited edition Viñales replica.

The Mach 1, which Viñales wore at the Jerez race, is CE certified and features all the same technical innovations as the iconic Supertech R – including a redesigned compound rubber sole, an ergonomically profiled shin plate and a redesigned front flex area.

Available in Viñales’ trademark grey, red, and black colour scheme, these boots have the aesthetics to match their impressive performance.

Price £TBC
www.alpinestars.com

Tested – Arai RX-7V

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This is my second RX-7V and I have nothing but praise for it.

This is my sole lid, and it’s the exact same helmet that you see top racers such as Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Vinales and Rea wearing each weekend.

I love this helmet and with good reason too – it’s truly all-day comfortable, and the non-itch lining does a good job of keeping my scalp dry and sweat free. Its performed faultlessly on a recent three-day trackday at Jerez and the brilliant combination of powerful and effective visor vents and Pinlock means you’ll never suffer with misting, and the retractable chin spoiler is a neat, well-thought out touch.

This lid features Arai’s new visor change mechanism, which is far easier to master than the old system, and I know this lid will look after me in the worst case scenario – I threw my GP down the road when I came off at speed and slid some 110m down the road, smacking my head hard in three different places. The shell took a proper battering but everything worked as it should and I didn’t get so much as a headache. This new lid features a new, smoother outer shell, a longer diffuser, a new, bigger visor tab and a new interior.

The new outer shell is a result of Arai’s philosophy that a smoother shell offers the best protection through its enhanced ‘glancing off’ properties – the theory is that a smoother shape spreads the impact load across the whole helmet and thus helps reduce the amount of energy transferred to a rider’s brain in a spill. The shell itself is 30g lighter than the outgoing model, thanks a mainly to the new resins used, and there is now 3mm extra space around the rider’s mouth and chin.

This focus on ‘glancing off’ has seen the RX-7’s visor pivot lowered by 24mm to allow Arai to keep the shell of the RX-7V completely smooth above the test line of the Snell standard, further improving impact performance.

The new helmet also sports a prominent visor tab, which Arai has carried over from its F1 programme. The system is much chunkier than its predecessor, which makes it easier to use with gloved fingers.

Arai’s slogan is ‘there is a difference’ and they’re right. This is very much a top of the range lid, and it’s worth every penny of its hefty price tag.

Racer’s Kit – double TT winner Ivan Lintin shares his kit wisdom

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Roads ace Ivan Lintin, 31, from Bardney in Lincolnshire, has bikes running through his blood.

He cut his teeth competing in speedway and sand racing before switching to the British Supermoto Championship at 19. It was a baptism of fire, and in his first season the young Lintin broke his collarbone three times.

After a period of recovery, 2006 saw Lintin turn his attention to circuit racing, and he won his first race after just two races, eventually finishing second in one championship, and third in another.

The following season saw him win his first pure road race championship – the Irish 250cc – 400cc support class – and that led to him signing for a factory supported team, RC Express Racing, where he competes on the national and international road racing circuit.

He won his first TT in 2015, the lightweight race, and won the same race a year later. He also won the NW200 Supertwins race, setting a new lap record for the class at 109.304mph in the process.

He suffered a brutal off at Oliver’s Mount last July, losing part of his ring finger in the process, so he knows what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t. Here he shares his kit wisdom, to ensure you get the best you can afford.

HELMET: “For the coming season I will be using the new AGV Carbon Pista – it is the flagship model of AGV (see New Kit section) and comes with a built-in hydration system.

“During the 2016 season I used two different helmets during different parts of the season – the AGV Corsa and the AGV Pista. The difference is basically the venting and the weight, with the Pista being the lighter of the two thanks to its carbon shell. Racing in any TT race takes it out of you, but your neck takes a right buffeting with you head basically being ripped off your shoulders at 190mph all the time. Them few grams of weight helps combat that a little.

“If you buy a new helmet from an official dealer they will normally offer you a fitting service where you try on different sizes, and they’ll adjust the internal padding to get the perfect fit – this will make the whole experience of riding your road bike or race bike that much better, allowing you to focus on the road.”

LEATHERS: “Until the 2015 season I used off-the-peg RST suits, all of which were crashed in and survived the season racing without any repairs or issues – it just proves how good their base level race suits are.

“I now wear made-to-measure factory suits and my suits for next season are the RST kangaroo – they’re lighter than cow hide and more supple. They fit like a glove and once you have them bedded in they’re all-day comfy.

“Last season I had a massive crash at the end of the back straight at Oliver’s Mount at 160mph, sliding more than 250 yards on the tarmac. The leathers stayed intact, and the only injury I suffered was a graze on my hip and elbow which was more heat burn than anything else.

“Leathers are something that you don’t always see people wearing on the road, and I know if the worst was to happen I would want to be wearing a set. Try different sizes and models on and find something that fits nicely both on and off the bike. Don’t be afraid if they’re a little tight when you buy them new –leathers bed in a lot, sometimes up to 10%. A little trick I have used to expand a specific part of the suit (mine was an issue around my knees at the TT) is to put a motorcycle inner tube into the problem area, blow it up and leave overnight. You will be surprised how much space can be made doing that.”

GLOVES: “Safety is paramount, but comfort is important too. In pure road racing good knuckle protection is vital. When you’re in the pack at the NW200 or Ulster GP, you’re basically getting shot blasted with stones. If one of them hits your knuckle without carbon or metal protection you certainly know about it.

“I have worn RST Track Tech Evo and Pro series gloves for longer than I can remember, they offer everything I require. They’re comfy when there bedded in and offer that vital knuckle protection. They also have the little finger sewn to the ring finger so in the event of a crash your little finger doesn’t get torn about as much.

“Going into the 2017 season I will have a special glove made with a shortened ring finger following the off at Scarborough, which resulted in it being amputated.”

BOOTS: “Boots are another piece of safety equipment some road riders overlook – your ankles won’t last long sliding along the tarmac at 60mph, so boots are as important for road riders as they are for racers.

“In the racing world I always look for a very rigid boot to stop the twisting that would brake your ankle in a crash. When I started out I wore Daytona boots as they were the most rigid, but now the other manufactures have caught up and I use the RST Pro Series boot. It allows free movement for gear changes and rear braking but limited twisting, so if you have a nasty off with your legs flying about you’re not going to break your ankle.”

BACK AND CHEST PROTECTOR: “I only used to wear a back protector as chest protectors are not the most comfy thing in the world. The say you learn from your mistakes and I had a crash in 2014 at the Southern 100, a first corner pile-up. I ran into the rear of another bike at about 30mph with my chest. I badly bruised my sternum and felt like I was winded for about three weeks.

“I was not wearing one that day – whether or not it would have saved me from the injury I don’t know, but now I wear one without fail and haven’t had a chest injury since.

“I would recommend one to any road rider because it could save you a lot of pain. When choosing either try them on to check how comfy they are and try get a longer back protector as it will offer the most protection.”

New kit – Shoei RYD

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The Shoei RYD is the aimed at younger riders and those who ride streetfighter and naked bikes.

Sitting one step up from the company’s entry-level Qwest, the RYD features some pretty impressive spec – a fully removable comfort liner and Shoei’s new quick release visor and mounting plate, as used on the top-of-the-range X-Spirit III, which offers a more effective seal for enhanced warmth and quietness.

The RYD has been extensively developed in the Japanese manufacturer’s own wind tunnel, and the results are optimised aerodynamic performance and airflow through the helmet’s interior. The latter is largely thanks to the chin vent, which sucks air in around the visor, as well as the two brow vents, with two exhausts at the rear which allow the warm air to escape.

The visor itself promises to deliver a wide field of vision, and is protected by a high-spec Pinlock Evo anti-mist insert.

The shell is a composite-fibreshell construction and inside there are recesses in the EPS liner to accommodate speakers, and it comes with additional pads which can be inserted into the recesses for riders wishing to damp out more noise.

Available in white, grey, orange and matt or gloss black, the RYD will be available in Spring.

£350

www.shoeiassured.co.uk

 

New kit – BMW System 7 Carbon

BMW claims its new System 7 Carbon is set to become the new benchmark in terms of safety, versatility, and aerodynamic properties, and on paper it certainly looks promising.

An evolution of the hugely popular System 6, the System 7 Carbon can be converted from a full-face helmet to an open one by simply taking off the chin guard. No tools are required and it takes only a couple minutes to make the change. How good is that?

As the name suggests, the exterior shell is made out of carbon fibre and has reinforcement inserts. BMW claims the helmet will exceed all safety standards – some feat considering it weighs weighing just 1580 g or 1680g, accordingly to size.

The interior is made out of multiple EPS segments and different thickness foam padding to offer the best shock absorption and increased comfort. As is increasingly becoming the norm, the interior pads can be removed and washed.

The three-dimensionally curved MaxView visor promises to offer an excellent view in all weather conditions while also increasing the field of view compared to its predecessor. Other upgrades include an optimised aero spoiler, integrated sun visor, and an enhanced ventilation system.

The System 7 Carbon will be available in Black, Light White, metallic Graphite Matt and Silver as well as in Prime, Moto, and Spectrum Fluoro paint schemes.

New kit – BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars

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BMW Motorrad is launching the BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars, an advanced airbag system offering comprehensive upper body protection and the freedom to ride a motorbike in both on- and offroad situations.

The technology is adopted from the current Alpinestars Tech-Air® street airbag system, a system which requires no motorbike-mounted sensors and instead relies on a sophisticated algorithm that detects imminent danger and inflates the full upper body airbag to provide a highly-effective crash protection system ahead of the first impact.

The BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry by Alpinestars textile riding jacket is designed to interconnect with the Alpinestars airbag system vest and is an essential component for the system to be fully operational.

It offers instantaneous inflatable upper body protection to the back, kidneys, chest and shoulders – the most exposed areas in a crash. It is also fully independent, incorporating its sensors close to the rider’s or passenger’s body means the airbag activates without the need for a triggering wireless signal to be sent from the bike.

This jacket is the first safety product to be launched under an exclusive agreement, between BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars and is available for both female and male customers in different colorways from October 2016.

Key features of BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars:

  • Full airbag inflation in 25 milliseconds for protection during crash impacts and loss-of-control situations when riding but also in stand-still situation – for example a rear impact while waiting at traffic lights.
  • Function is independently of the need for sensors to be installed on the bike and the subsequent need to link a specific motorcycle to the airbag system.
  • Immediately ready for use and no time is wasted in setting up electronic pairing between rider and/or passenger and motorcycle. Rider can easily switch between motorbikes without reconfiguring or reinitializing.
  • Placing sensors near to the body means the airbag system can be used on road or for off-road adventure-touring.
  • No need to deactivate the system if leaving the road for off-road trails or to stop in between to change settings. Changing surfaces while adventure touring therefore presents no problem.
  • The system is protected by a durable and water-resistant casing which, when worn under a compatible outer jacket, means the airbag system is fully weatherproof.