Metzeler Radial, Vanson Jacket And More! - Gear Box

It's So...Big!
For those requiring extra-large rubber, Metzeler's massive 240(!)/40VR-18 low-profile rear radial ($268.95) should fit nicely. Designed for an eight-to-nine-inch custom-cruiser rim, this V-rated mutha comes in the company's ME880 high-mileage flavor, and-says Metzeler-isn't just for show, but designed for real-world riding. Hey, we're big enough to handle it. You? See your Metzeler dealer or contact Metzeler directly at (610) 524-2190 or www.metzeler.com.

Vanson Goodies
A textile jacket from Vanson Leathers? Go on, twist our arm...Vanson's Overland jacket ($375) uses 1000-denier Cordura nylon, has plenty of pockets and a leather chest-vent system that zips closed in cool weather. While we're at it, we'll take a pair of Vanson's latest Talon gloves ($129) for the natural deerskin with cowhide reinforcements, Kevlar padding and solid-brass palm studs. Dial up Vanson at (508) 678-2000 or www.vansonleathers.com.

Budget Tool Kits
You wanna be prepared, but you can't justify $75 (or more) for a quality, portable toolkit. Enter CruzTools' new EconoKits: $33.95 gets you a pouch full of lifetime-warrantied tools, including an eight-inch adjustable wrench, six-in-one reversible screwdriver, tire-pressure gauge, hex keys, cable ties and an ampule of WD-40; a $49.95 kit includes all that plus locking pliers, more wrenches, electrical tape, etc. Worth every penny. Reach 'em at (888) 909-8665 or www. cruztools.com.

A Better Bieffe
Since downtown L.A. offers only a couple of stretches where we can really appreciate the Bieffe GPR's new aerodynamic shell, we'll use this space to point out the GPR's removable/washable interior, the quality clearcoated racer-rep graphics, the Snell certification, the adjustable venting and the somewhat reasonable ($299.95 for solids, $349.95 for graphics) pricing. Fair enough? See your favorite dealer or dial up Van Leeuwen Enterprises at (800) 461-1226.

TourMaster Cortech Riding Suit
Tough and machine-washable, TourMaster's all-weather Cortech Sport Jacket and Pant combo is made from 1000-denier Cordura in abrasion-sensitive areas (shoulders, sleeve panels, seat and hip areas) with a 500-denier Cordura weave everywhere else. Features we like? Removable back, elbow, shoulder, hip and knee pads, Scotchlite reflective panels, quality YKK zippers and pant legs that open waist-high are all nice. And although the Cortech duo doesn't zip together, fit is good enough to seal out the wind and keep us comfy in 50-degree temps (thanks also to the jacket's removable Thinsulate 150 liner). Complaints? We found that neither jacket nor pant lived up to its waterproof billing in heavy downpours. We also found overly narrow front pocket openings and jacket vents that don't stay open wide enough for proper circulation. The suit's outstanding build quality, however, may offset these annoyances for potential buyers.
Price
Jacket: $241.99; Pants: $199.99
Rating:
Verdict: Great value and superb construction, but jacket has ineffective venting and tiny pocket openings. Not as waterproof as claimed.
Helmet House
26855 Malibu Hills Rd.
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301
(800) 421-7247
www.tourmaster.com

Roadhouse Billet Bits
Sister pub Motorcycle Cruiser has already raved about Roadhouse Brand's vintage-look Japanese cruiser exhaust system, and we're mighty impressed with RB's line of CNC-machined-billet accessories. Bits shown here (including a Kawi Vulcan master-cylinder cover, Yamaha bar clamp, universal-fit mirrors and license-plate bracket) run from $40-$115. Reach Roadhouse at (888) 700-5979 or www. roadhousebrand.com. We'd send 'em back, but Cook loves playing with small shiny objects....

The Kitchen Sink, Too
Is it big? It's the biggest, Daddy-o: Rev Pack's mighty Excursion pack ($189.95) is 26 inches across, 12 inches thick and 16 inches high; roomy "legs" hang down in place of saddlebags. Urethane-coated Cordura means it's water-resistant (a raincover is included); external pockets and attachable day pack mean the ultimate in stuffing capability. Took most of this month's Gearbox swag to fill it.... Dial up (800) 766-2461 or www.revpack.com to get yours.

Duck Restorer
Most likely, the cheapest part of restoring or modifying your Italian Stallion. Ian Falloon has penned this 224-page, Authentic Restoration Guide ($29.95) to belted, two-valve Ducatis (i.e., 750 F1, Paso, 750/900SS, Monster, et al.) and included model specifications, tuner/restorer contact information and more than 300 illos to help you get the best out of that dusty desmo in the garage. Good luck. From Classic Motorbooks: (800) 826-6600 or www.motorbooks.com.

KBC Rush Helmet
The midpriced helmet wars are heating up: Korea-based KBC has brought out its newest top-end/midpriced Rush ($189.95 in solids; $199.95 for some fairly attractive graphics), a fiberglass/carbon-fiber composite Snell 95 helmet with a plush, comfy liner, toolless face-shield removal system and proper venting. At your Tucker Rocky authorized dealer, or ring (817) 258-9000 for more info.

Shady Stuff
In an attempt to impress the ladies, Boehm and Burns have pierced their ears and taken to wearing these bitchin' new shades around the office. (So far, no response.) Smith's Mainline Slider shades (left, $99) feature way-easy interchangeable lenses for varied light conditions; Spy's cyberpunk Hybrid glasses ($80-$90) have little ventilation scoops by the temples. At your favorite mall or reach Smith at (800) 635-4401; Spy at (760) 734-6779.

Waxing Eloquent
Too roguish for traditional waxed-cotton? Aerostich's new Falstaff ($397) is a heavy, 100 percent English waxed-cotton jacket that's based on the hugely functional Darien pattern; that is, plenty of venting and pockets, acres of Scotchlite reflection, modern TF2 armor and peerless build quality. Sewn-in cotton lining means comfort; waxed cotton means waterproofness and durability. From the bards of Riderwearhouse (800) 222-1994 or www.aerostich.com.

Your Stinking Head...
...will be a thing of the past, once you start spraying Motorex's Helmet Care Spray Foam inside your grime-stained lid. Motorex claims its foam removes dirt and sweat from your helmet liner, leaving behind nothing but a "fresh pleasant scent." Good for cleaning the outside of your helmet, too. $5.99 for a 200ml spray can from your local cycle dealer or Euroline, Inc. at (914) 228-0145.

Diadora Booties
Tasty, tasty. Italian boot guys, Diadora, have impregnated their top-of-the-line Evolution race boots ($249.95) with 2.5mm thick bull's hide, carbon-fiber armor and protective gel padding on the inside. Flexy Kevlar gussets and air cushioning mean good control and feedback; Airtech liner means comfort. In U.S. sizes 5-12. For the name of a Diadora dealer, call Gearbox Int'l at (800) 799-9444 or www.gearboxinternational.com.

Ache Be Gone
In other words, aftermarket handlebars for your Ducati 748/916/996 that adjust one and a half inches higher than stock. Sport-touring, Reginald? Beautifully machined from 6061-T6 aircraft billet-aluminum, these are claimed to be a direct stock replacement, require no special tools to install, and maintain the original clip-ons' angle and width. Sign us up. $329 from Vreeke Industries at (805) 529-1408.

Quick Stand
Really want a centerstand for your GSX-R? SJL Products' 6.5-ounce, aircraft-aluminum Quick Stand uses your kickstand to help raise your bike's rear wheel off the ground-all the better to lube/adjust a chain or plug a punctured tire. Made only to fit swingarm-spool-equipped bikes, the three-piece Quick Stand snaps securely together and is as easy to use as strapping down the front brake lever, attaching the stand under the spool and lifting the bike toward the kickstand on the opposite side. A quick kick wedges the Quick Stand between bike and ground, and voil, your rear wheel is now free to spin. You'll want to be careful, though, especially since a misplaced kick will mean your bike won't be totally secure. The bottom line? We'd still recommend a good track stand for home usage, but for sport-touring out on the road, the Quick Stand might fast become an old friend.

Price: $49.95, includes carrying case and a Velcro brake-lock strap; swingarm spools for various bikes: $15.95Rating: HHHHHVerdict: Sportbike owners rejoice: Here's a smart idea that-with practice-works well. We can't promise that your bike won't fall over. Not recommended for rear-wheel removal.
SJL Products
P.O. Box 189
Jefferson, MA 01522
(508) 829-3339
http://quickstand.home.netcom.com/new.htm

Italian Slave
Local boys Pro Italia have designed this billet Big Bore Clutch Slave Cylinder ($229) for your 1992-and-up six-speed Ducati. Created to address a stock cylinder's stiff pull and short seal life, Pro Italia's replacement has an increased piston size and redesigned sealing system. If you can bleed your hydraulic system, you can fit this yourself. Reach Pro Italia at (818) 249-5707 or www.pro italia.com.