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DCC Product Review – REV’IT CR Race Suit, Jerzes Gloves & Gravity 2 Back Protector

Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:11:08 PM America/Indianapolis

It’s 7:00AM, the sun has barely risen and already you can feel the heat radiating from the white layer of salt that you’re to call home for the next seven days. It’s relentless and has been witness to the fastest men on the planet, it shows no mercy and now you’re here to make your mark. You’re here to “Chase the marquee of speed” as they say.

You’re gonna need all the help you can get, Ace. Fortunately, you’ve employed the use of REV’IT’s CR 1 Piece Race Suit and with a little luck, some true grit and a slight breeze; maybe you’ll survive the week…

How’s that for drama? I can tell you it doesn’t even compare to what it actually feels like being there, in the presence of insanity and speed, waiting your turn to twist the throttle on the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week. Fortunately, the guys at REV’IT we’re more than kind enough to provide me with a vintage styled CR 1 piece race suit, a pair of their top shelf Jerez Gauntlet gloves and a Gravity CE Level 2 back protector to test out for the week. (Special thanks to Mike Woulfe from Rocker Jackets for getting all my patches in place and in time!)

First off, I can tell you that simply standing around at Bonneville with nothing more than shorts and a t-shirt on is almost unbearable. Waiting the four hours it took to go through tech inspection and registration were almost unbearable. Sweat ran out of my every pour as if it thought it itself would reach some sort of respite by permeating through my skin. Not a chance in hell.

But Hallelujah, the folks at speed week managed to be quick enough in their own right and helped both fulfill a reminiscent childhood memory while also helping us keep cool. That’s right, snow cones! Granted, they were $5 a whack, but when you’re thwarting post-Nuclear war temperatures no price is too high for comfort. Combine the cool taste of Tigers Blood and a REV’IT suit and you’re almost back in heaven.

Let me backup though, to truly appreciate the levity of the situation you need to first learn about the qualities that make REV’IT gear not only able to help you survive in hot situations, but look the part.

REV’IT selects only the finest materials when crafting all their products. Be it the top-shelf, soft yet durable select, 1.2-1.4 mil Italian cow-hide used for the leather portions, CE approved protection inserts, Keprotec “Kevlar” stretch panels, double backed and reinforced YKK zippers and everything else in between.

The reason for this is a simple one, but it does have two parts. One is obviously to offer the best quality products on the market that inspire confidence in racers allowing them to push their machines that tiny bit further towards the edge beating out the competition. The other however, isn’t so obvious.

Unlike some companies who simply produce “race gear” because it’s a profitable sector of the market and put it on the best riders they can find offering up a healthy payment for representing their brands, REV’IT was built by racers, for racers. That’s right, a product born out of necessity that’s used every day by several of REV’IT’s staff members as they themselves push their AMA, AHRMA, WERA, CCS sanctioned machines around tracks like Barber, Mid-Ohio, and NJMP. How’s that for walking the walk and talking the talk?

First, let’s take a closer look at the vintage styled CR 1 piece race suit starting with the inside. All of REV’IT’s interior protection pieces are formed with the latest molding processes with extremely tight quality control standards.

Not only do they form perfectly to your knees, elbows and other critical areas, they can be removed and reinstalled with ease from the completely removable and washable interior liner that the suits design so intelligently includes.

Further, the removable and durable liner also seamlessly slides in and out of the suit attaching with strong yet supple Velcro affording you less hassle while trying to wiggle your way in and out of it while under scrutiny and the heat the track (or salt) so kindly provides. And since it’s washable, you’ll have a better shot at the ladies post-race since you won’t smell like a Viking who’s been on a ship for 6 months wearing the same leathers day after day.

And for those of you who love a post-race smoke, you can stash a pack in the seamless and ingeniously designed interior soft pocket for safe keeping during your track laps. It’s perfect for documents or anything small that helps relax you during or after your race. Maybe even a call to your mother telling her you survived yet another!

Moving along to the exterior of the suit it’s instantly obvious that REV’IT spares no expense when it comes to the methods used to stitch these fine works of flesh saving love together. Invisible double ”safety stitched” seams, backing flaps wherever needed to provide that extra little bit of comfort, integrated mesh ventilation holes at critical points, ingenious Keprotec “kevlar” flex sections at your knees, elbows and waist, heavy duty YKK zippers with large pulls the goes on and on all the while looking vintage and authentic. Dig it.

That’s all fine and well you say, how does it perform though when the heat is on and you’re waiting on the line for the flag to drop. Just how “cool” does a REV’IT suit make you?

Steve McQueen cool, man. And that’s all there is too it.

If the king of cool was alive today I can almost guarantee he’d be out there racing with the REV’IT name blazing across his back. The CR 1 piece race suit is all at the same time stylish and representative of vintage motorcycle racing aesthetic melded together with modern technology to keep you safe at breakneck speeds.

Most importantly, it’s made by those who actually get out there and do it which means he’d respect it for what it is. The best race suit available in it’s class at a price point anyone can afford.

Moving along to the Jerez gauntlet gloves REV’IT’s commitment to excellence, innovation and shear “cool-ness” are abounding. With a fit similar to a medieval warriors gauntlet they offer the rider the ability to grip his controls with exacting precision while providing the ultimate comfort and flexibility needed in high-stress situations on the track.

Taking a closer look at the fingers you will see the integral nub protection points manufactured of a carbon/poly blend to help save you knuckles should you hit the ground. Me however, I think they’re perfect for brawling in the pits just like a big lucky ace or dice ring they’d easily damage the helmet and ego of a track punk trying to test your limits. But that’s just me.

When you move to the knuckle area, a critical impact due to your natural instincts to wrap yourself when hitting the ground, they’re reinforced with carbon fiber and polymer blends to ensure nothing is going to take the top layer of skin off no matter how fast you’re going. In addition to this area there are also several other spots that include these protective additions with slight of speed and dexterity in mind. They’ve covered all the bases folks.

It’s only when you unstrap the Velcro portions though and begin to open the gauntlet glove up that you realize the design and engineering that went into this little gem. They sport a quality cuff that has a double-back Velcro fastening system allowing you to set the tension on your wrists and suit just right. And to help avoid “glove-creep” they have an additional Velcro strap that covers your wrist area to help synch them into place eliminating the possibility of movement when you
need them the most.

Both the interior and exterior of the gloves are fashioned from the highest quality available durable soft and supply leather money can buy. They also have a unique quality in that the structural elements have been blended with Dupont Kevlar for the ultimate in protection and weight saving ability available.

When you put these gloves on you feel like a Gladiator, able to tame the track or any rider who should get into you way while chasing the flag. And for those of you who are aggressive street riders, they’re a perfect fit as well. They come off in a matter of seconds and offer comfort for hours and hours of riding.

And last but certainly not least, the REV’IT Gravity CE Level 2 back protector, a critical element in any racers cache of tools to beat out the competition. Now you’re probably saying how on earth can a back protector be that important when it comes to the needs a rider has to gain the edge on the track junkies ahead and behind him.

In short, a back protector helps you when you fall, but it also helps you while you’re riding by keeping your posture proper. Too stiff though, and you can’t flex when needed while dragging a knee and are in other tight situations that require accurate body movements. To soft though and when you hit the asphalt and you’re not doing anything to protect your spine.

Why does the REV’IT Gravity back protector aide you in winning a race? Because it’s both stiff and at the same time flexible inspiring confidence in you to push your machine to the maxim of it’s capability.

It sports a quality injection molded shell with flex points that match the location of natural movement while you’re tucked in and chasing the ton. It also has a double-over Velcro waist strap for guaranteed fitment and comfort no matter what your size.

The interior is form and laid with soft foam overlay raised up in critical areas and all the corners are rolled with fabric to ensure a comfortable fit while it’s sandwiched between your leathers and back. Which is key. If you’ve ever worn an uncomfortable back protector you know what I’m talking about.

It’s the final lap and you’re in second place and you’re heading into the last chicane one tire length behind your adversary. You open up the throttle and your posture changes, leaning over and digging deep your going for it on the inside. And then like your ex-girlfriends nails clawing your back, you feel the exposed corner of the subpar protector digging into you lower back. You wince and in a split second you lose your momentum and he takes the flag.

With a REV’IT Gravity back protector that simply won’t happen. And instead, your ex-girlfriend will be at the finish line begging you to take her back because you just won’t the race. How’s that sound?

To sum it up folks, REV’IT is the bee’s knees when it comes to racing gear and if you’re on the track or riding hard on the street there’s simply no other choice in my opinion.

To view the full photo gallery with almost one hundred detailed shots from our shoot please [CLICK HERE] also, stop by REV’IT’s page on Facebook and say hello for us by [CLICKING HERE].

Thanks for reading, stay plugged in to the DCC Diatribe for more independent product reviews from The Crew you can trust at Dime City Cycles!

No Comments » | Posted in Products |

Chasing Speed…Bonneville for the next generation

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:00:06 AM America/Indianapolis

There’s a lot that goes through your mind when you’re preparing for a trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats. What will the climate be like? Will the bike hold-up under such extreme pressures? Will I remember to tighten every bolt and bring all my essential gear?

Regardless though of the myriad of questions that rattle around your brain like pinballs bouncing to and froe inside a glass machine from the 70’s, I have to believe that the one question that rings true to any racer is this:

Do I have what it takes?

This question plagued me the days and nights prior to heading to Bonneville where I would meet up with my good friend Brandon Schrichten to put our marks on the barren wasteland that’s been host to the greatest men in the motorsports industry. The Great Bonneville Salt Flats.

The plan was simple; I’d fly into Salt Lake City, UT with my girlfriend April. Upon arrival we’d pickup a rental car while Brandon and his better half, Leilanni, would drive down from Colorado in their Ford Ranger pickup. In the back of the truck, ready and waiting, Brandon’s 2009 Triumph Thruxton, along with all our gear to create our make shift Dime City while we were guests on the salt.

Leading up to Bub’s Speed Week I spent time researching and communicating with Brandon via the Internet sending photos and details on which nuts and bolts needed safety wired, tire pressure and things the like that needed to be in order to pass scrutinizing. He put his able hands to work on his already highly customized Thruxton and made sure everything was up to spec as per the safety standards sanctioned by the event noted in the rulebook.

We rendezvoused at our fantastic hotel in Wendover, the Rainbow, which although it seemed was stuck in the 80’s, it had it’s own sweet little charm.  After some rest and a nice miners breakfast we made our way over the border into Utah to face the vast expanse of salt, wind and sun.

After picking a spot across from the Brough Superior Team adjacent to Big Sid we started to setup our make shift campsite.  Pop-up tent, chairs, banner, cooler loaded down with Water, Rootbeer and SourPatch Kids, check! In the spirit of keeping things light and right we had a small toolbox with bare essentials, which was complimented, by our chests full of determination. Our hopes, that shear tenacity and grit would get us through anything that might take us by surprise.

We dropped the tailgate and rolled the Hinckley Thruxton down for it’s first taste of the salt. Sitting so perfectly under the tent she looked absolutely at home. There’s just something about the contrast of machinery against the salt bed. The crisp white particulate reflects the beauty of each paint fleck and weld yielding an image that is both inspiring and celestial.

Once camp was setup we headed out to explore the area and take notice of all the other machines, men (and women) who brought them to the ends of the Earth with the same goal in mind. To make their marks on the salt and share in a long lived tradition to chase the ghost of speed at any and all costs.

Twin-engined Indian’s, Vincent’s and Triumph’s were spotted as often as SUV’s in the local Wal-Mart parking lot. Obscure sidecar rigs from as far as Denmark and Sweden were present. The re-released and newly constructed Brough Superior’s were also present as were handfuls of every other flavor you can imagine. Harley Big Twin Custom’s, Turbo Busa’s and even a fearless 12 year old on an XR100. How awesome it was!

Once we made our rounds it was time to head to both tech inspection and registration. The lines were longer than Rolling Stones concert line and the processes at both we’re less than streamlined. Combine that with the 100+ degree heat beating down on you and it’s a wonder some of the guys we saw didn’t pass out from exhaustion.

Fortunately for Brandon and I, we had our lady friends April and Leilanni there to help hold umbrellas and get us Snow cones. Smart!

Standing patiently, watching and listening to others as they went through tech inspection was quite invaluable to our efforts. Even though we were in the “Run What Ya Brung” class and our requirements were far less than those of the FIM Record chasers to see and learn what could and couldn’t make it through tech would prove to be highly beneficial to us in our future endeavors to up the ante should we choose.

Fast-forward 3 hours, this was it, our chance to prove we came prepared. Brandon and I both stood silently as the tech team inspected our bike with the utmost precision. Employing an inspection mirror they checked for safety wire on the oil drain plug nut, looked at each of our axle bolts for quality safety wire installations, checked our REV’IT leathers, gloves and back protector along with Vitesse Moto boots and Bell and Icon helmets. Check, check check… The only change that needed to be made was moving of the number plate from the front to the sides. No too bad for a couple of rookies the guys commented. Nice!

With smiles on our faces and patting of one another’s backs we headed out of tech and back to the Dime City Salt Shelter to hydrate and make the required changes to the number plates.

As the day moved on we played host to tons of visitors who were curious as to what “machine” we’d brought to the salt. Interestingly enough, we had the only modern Triumph on the entire race list. After talking with veterans for hours on end it seemed as though Brandon and I had received the thumbs up from the majority of them, which I’ll be honest, felt pretty damn good.

One gentleman noted “It’s cool to see the young guys out here with the modern classics doing what we did with them back in the day. It’s kind of a revival I think and it’s great that there’s still youth interested in running their motorcycles down the salt as fast as they can filled with reckless abandon!”

And another duly noted that “If there is gonna be a future for this kind of sport more younger guys need to get involved and the manufacturers should support them. This kind of stuff, the eccentric, wild on the edge fringe of motorcycling is where champions are born and brands are proven.”

Wow. No pressure for us at all as Brandon and I peered to the salt with squinted eyes.

As the sun set on day one we re-packed our camp gear into the Ranger and headed out of the salt. Brandon was right on our six getting a taste of what the track would be like on tomorrows runs. You could see right through his Bell face shield that he was grinning from ear to ear.

After another tasteful evening in Rainbow Casino filled with conversation with Mark Wilsmore (Ace Café London) about the art of speed and pushing it to the right spot on the salt and good family fun with my folks and Aunt and Uncle that headed over to watch, we retired to our rooms. Dreams of salt and speed filled our heads.

Brandon and I both awoke well before our alarm clocks the next morning, the anticipation was just too much. Even a fuzzy Bourbon tainted headache for me and a late night of Family Guy for Brandon (He doesn’t have cable at home.) couldn’t keep us down. We were awake, alive and ready to take our chances.

The sun was barely up and the rider lines were already long, the heat was already barreling down on the surface and you could see the tension in their eyes as you passed by the intake road.

I was first out, like a gladiator heading into the arena I slipped my REV’IT CR race suit over my socks and pulled it up waste high.  Back protector comes next and then the suit up over my shoulders. Sitting down now, already feeling the heat, I zip up my ankles and slide my Vitesse Moto “Glove” boots over the suit. My feet almost “pop” as they slide into place, I feel safe in this space.

Standing up, I adjust the suit and slide my chest protector in place zipping up the front that holds everything in place. I’m ready…. I make my way to the bike and slide my Bell helmet carefully over my ears and down around my cheeks, snap in the wind deflector and pop the lid. One by one I pull my gauntlet gloves on making a fist to settle my fingers in to where they feel at home.

I throw one leg over the Thruxton and hit the ignition, the fuel pump primes and then with the flick of a button she roars to life. Heads turn as the unique exhaust note echo’s off the salt and I make my way down to the staging line. I’m on my way.

Or so I thought…

So the processes of Speed Week could use a little refinement.  After the first hour of waiting in the blistering sun I thought, surely there is a better way to manage getting people to the salt. Assigning and calling blocks of numbers even, anything was better than this.

Two hours passes and although I can feel the heat, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be wearing some of the older style suits I see guys in. Solid leather with no vents, stiff construction rigid almost. Not my REV’IT CR suit, it has protection in all the right spots and vents strategically placed to help with airflow even when you’re standing still.

Finally, we get the green light and a group of us head down to the second staging area. Again, we wait, but not as long this time.  They begin calling numbers within 45 minutes, I’m third in line.  Here it is. I can taste it.

I stage to the front of the line, give April a kiss goodbye and hand her my life insurance policy with a grin and make my way to the starting line.  I arrive confident and relaxed until I stall the bike trying to find neutral. The guy holding the flag chuckles and says, “Don’t worry, it happens all the time.”

I try to hold my composure.

It’s at this point that it finally hits me.  I’m here, on the salt at Bonneville about to embark upon one of the most important rides of my life.  How many other men have sat in this same spot I thought to myself?  What was going through their minds as their engines idled and they awaiting the figure eight wave of that green flag of redemption?

And then, without any warning my mind went completely blank with the exception of one thought.

“You’ll be fine.  Don’t worry.  You DO have what it takes.  You made it this far, nothing can stop you now.”

As if time almost stopped, it resounded in my mind for what seemed to be hours and then with a flash, I snapped back to reality and saw the flag being waved. I took off slowly and cautiously.

Mile one, passed.  Getting up to speed now, you can feel the salt as it moves beneath you.  Up to 4th gear.

Mile two, passed.  Roll on the throttle and click into 5th before mile 3 comes up.

Mile three, passed.  This is it, the timing happens now between mile 3 and 4, wide open. Make it count!

Like the sands of time, I can feel the salt shifting and the bike drifting beneath me, oddly though, I’m not concerned.  I keep pushing and tuck further and further into the bike, I become a part of it.  My arms are locked; elbows tucked and chin on the tank. Nothing can stop me, I’m one with the salt.

I pass mile marker four and slowly roll off the throttle for a controlled descent from the high I’ve just been on and make my way off the track and back to the pits.

101.2MPH! By no means a record, but to me it was all I needed. To crack the ton with the taste of salt on my lips and white expanse beneath me, what a feeling!

After several pats on the back and bro hugs back at camp DCC Brandon and I switched gear and he made his way out through the same journey as I enduring the heat and pressure Bonneville puts atop a man.

His run, a whopping 113.9 MPH!

And before anyone says anything, he ways 30lbs less than me and rides the bike everyday.  A higher time was expected!  Seriously though, even at that Brandon commented on how he had the bike totally pinned and it simply didn’t have any more juice.  It’s amazing really, the affects the salt and atmosphere has on a machine at speed.

No worry though, we’ve tasted the forbidden fruit and before our trip was over we already began plotting and planning for next year.  The changes we’d make, the other bikes we would bring, and the good times we’d share again. It made it all worth it, the challenge that is and the need to come back and try it all again.

If I had to say any one thing was best about Bonneville it would be just that.  The challenge.  Anyone can go fast on the street with the flick of a wrist, but to go through the preparation, travel the distance and pin it when your mind tells you should roll off is a whole other league.

For those of you even thinking about doing it, do it.  Your life won’t be the same afterwards.

For a glance at the full photo album from the trip [CLICK HERE] and checkout the video below for a little sample of what transpired on the salt.

No Comments » | Posted in DCC News! |

Bell + REV’IT + Vitesse Moto & Triumph / Jason @ Bonneville = A Great Time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 9:52:39 AM America/Indianapolis

We’ve kept it under wraps up until now, but seeing as how we’re going to be heading out on a jet-plane this Friday, we figured we can’t keep it a secret any longer! Myself am headed to Bonneville to pilot a custom Triumph Thruxton built by Brandon Schricten out of Colorado. It’s modified to the hilt in full Cafe Racer style with a custom metal tank and seat section, bars, exhaust, intake and a myriad of other items all fashioned by Brandon’s hands in his garage in the great state of Colorado. You may have seen some of Brandon’s fun-loving high-quality video and still work via the Its Better In The Wind Project as he is a major contributor.

Here’s a sample of two of his more recent pieces:

And here’s a shot of the Thruxton he and I will be chasing the salt on [photo by Scott G. Toepfer] from our El Mirage trip earlier this year:

Along with Brandon (and he and I’s girlfriends, Leilanni and April) I’ll be heading out to Bonneville (in spirit) with the great folks from Bell Helmets, REV’IT! Motorcycle Gear and Vitesse Moto in an effort to put some of fine their products through their paces on the salt.

A Bell Star helmet, A REV’IT CR vintage style race suit, gloves and back protector and a set of Vitesse Moto “Glove” boots will be at my beck and call for use and abuse. How great is that? Bonneville is the ultimate proving ground for man and machine and you can rest assured, as a result of that simpel fact, that we’ll have quality and detail rich reviews of all these products upon our return!

Here’s a teaser shot of the Bell Star helmet which was custom painted by Liza to bring that “old-school” feel to something modern:  (More high quality images of the REV’IT! CR suit and Vitesse Moto boots are on their way, folks. We don’t want to spoil you in our first post about the trip!)

In addition, I’d like to thank Triumph Motorcycles. Without them and their belief that motorcycles should be as they were; as simple as possible, just fast enough and classically beautiful- riding, simply wouldn’t be as fun. Keep up the great work guys, you’re more appreciated than you know!

Be sure to follow our Facebook feed from the 26th to the 29th for quality images from the basin….talk to you from the Salt, Ace!

No Comments » | Posted in DCC News! |

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