gear box

Exercising your urge to accessorize

AirMan-You needn't burden yourselves any longer by trying to cram that huge air tank or compressor into your tank bag for protection against the inevitable flat tire. Thanks to ActiveTools' new AirMan portable and rechargeable air compressor, tires of all shapes and sizes can be inflated in minutes with nary more than the touch of a button. Powered by a rechargeable 9.6-volt NiCad battery, the AirMan inflates up to four automobile tires on a single charge (read: lots of motorcycle tires). There's an included 12-volt adapter to plug the unit into an accessory outlet. The AirMan can generate up to 150 psi, though we recommend street tires stay somewhere between 30-40 psi. So, if you're in the market for a quick, easy and reliable way to pump yourself or your tires up, look no further than the compact, subthree-pound AirMan.

An Edumacated Tire

National Cycle's Ztechnik line is now offering its Smart Tire system. The Smart Tire--in a radical departure from its less successful competitor, the Stupid Tire--is an intelligent tire-pressure monitoring system that employs high-end technology to signal riders when tire pressures fall below safe operating levels. Wireless technology allows in-tire-mounted transmitters to illuminate compact LED warning lights if/when a tire's pressure drops below the user-adjustable minimum. The Smart Tire works on all tubeless motorcycle tires.

Rocket (Wo)man

Back by popular demand, Gina is seen here wrapped in Joe Rocket's $139.99 Phoenix 2.0 jacket. This is the lady's version of the jacket made famous by Vin Diesel in last summer's XXX. (Sorry Diesel, we prefer to look at Gina in it instead of you.) Regardless of gender, the Phoenix is constructed of a Free Air Poly/Mesh shell for supreme ventilation and comfort during warm weather. High-density armor in the shoulders, elbows and back stands guard in the event of a get-off, while a reflective stripe serves to lessen the chances of such incidents. Joe Rocket offers an optional zip-in vest and/or liner for both the women's and men's Phoenix. It's available in black, blue, red, silver or yellow.

Handle Your Business...

...with the new Y-Handle from ASV Inventions. Three tools in one, the Y-Handle allows you to attach your three favorite socket accessories and get to work without constantly having to fumble around for 'em in the middle of a project. Each arm is five inches long, providing the reach and leverage of a conventional T-Handle. The Y-Handle features 3/8-inch fittings on each end, is constructed of chrome-plated forged steel with a textured rubber coating and comes with a five-year "unconditional" guarantee. Plus, it's made right here in the good ol' U-S-of-A.

Hard Case

Circuit 1's Heavy Case Covers were originally designed for racers, but have earned such an excellent reputation for surviving crashes that street riders are starting to catch on. These case covers are cheap insurance, and may be the difference between riding the bike home after a minor incident or having to call your buddy with the F-150--plus, with Circuit 1 Heavy Case Covers your bike'll be legal for whatever track-based shenanigans you have in mind. Available as separate left and right side components or discounted as a package, the only real choice is whether machined-finish or black-anodized looks better on your bike.

(Gauge) Face Lift

Now that you've spent your rent money, lunch money and newborn daughter's college money on modifying every aspect of your motorcycle that other people look at, why not toss a few bucks at the one component you, the rider, look at--the gauges? Makes sense, right? Right. The folks at S/R Motorsports will support your need to hook yourself up with a set of ultracool indiglow gauge faces. S/R's gauge faces are available in standard indiglow wherein the gauge face lights up with a phosphorescent glow and the numbers are black, or reverse indiglow where just the numbers glow and the face remains black.

Colored Rubbers

Colored rubber has found its way from bathroom dispensers to motorcycle tires thanks to a joint venture between Tomahawk Sport Tires and Desser, the world's largest airline-tire retreading company. That's right, they're retreads. But wait...try not to think of the semitruck retreads that dangerously litter our freeways and consider instead that 98 percent of all commercial airlines use retreads. And while there are more than 3000 truck-tire retreaders worldwide, there exist but 10 or so high-speed aircraft-tire retreaders--Desser being the largest. Their retreaded tires are FAA certified up to 225 mph, and all are scrutinized with high-dollar Laser Shearography technology to ensure structural integrity of the carcass. Finally, they're DOT approved for high-speed applications. These colored retread rubbers come in a variety of compounds and are available in black, blue, green, red and yellow.

XT Racing Ultra-Lap Timer

XT Racing's Ultra-Lap Timer is a sophisticated, on-bike timing device that lets you see your lap times as they happen. (Timers such as the Ultra-Lap use an infrared transmitter that you station alongside the track, typically at the start/finish line; the Ultra-Lap is available with or without such a transmitter.)

It's true that the Ultra-Lap is just one of several offerings on the market, but its functions set it apart. The Ultra-Lap has a large, dot-matrix display that's easy to see in direct sunlight. It includes a red/green LED that tells you at a glance if the lap just completed is faster (green) or slower (red) than the preceding lap. (We wish the LED were brighter.) An intuitive menu system allows you to set such details as the minimum and maximum lap times, how long each lap time is displayed after passing the beacon, and many other functions.

We're really impressed with the device. It seems totally accurate, utterly reliable and even offers decent battery life from two AAA batteries, though you must disable the auto-on function for maximum battery life. Plus, the Ultra-Lap is small enough to mount where you can see it, even in the tight confines of a modern sportbike's cockpit. Now if only we could make the numbers read lower at the track.

It's only $40 and is warranted for the first year of its life. (800) 689-9893
The $264 system includes two Smart Tire monitors with in-wheel transmitters, a wireless receiver and an LED warning light display. (866) 983-2465
Gina is seen here wrapped in Joe Rocket's $139.99 Phoenix 2.0 jacket. (800) 635-6103
How much can you expect to pay for such a fine piece of toolage? One thousand dollars you say? No. The Y-Handle only costs $25. (877) 278-7000
Units are available for most modern sportbikes and pricing ranges from $50 for a machined right side cover, to $240 for a pair of black-anodized covers. Circuit 1 also manufactures and sells frame savers, billet brake and clutch levers, rear sets, and myriad suspension upgrades. (503) 722-8475
Prices range from $70-$80 and some models offer changeable colors and brightness control. They're available for most modern sportbikes--and lots of cars, too, if that's also your thing. (800) 755-4569
Sized to fit most modern streetbikes, expect prices 40-50 percent less than comparable compounds and sizes.
Price: $219RATING: 4 out of 5 stars
Verdict: An easy to use yet sophisticated lap timer that affords no opportunity to blame your sloth on the bike. Cheaper than its competition, too.xt racing (770) 992-3795