Spidi V-Race Gloves, Suomy Helmets And More!

Spidi V-Race Gloves
OK, so maybe you haven't made a dotcom fortune or captained some other industry. Top-flight digital protection is still within reach, in the form of Spidi's V-Race gloves. These functional, stylish wonders are just as comfortable at an AMA Superbike National as they are nipping down to the market for milk and Froot Loops. The V-Race features quality leather construction, microfiber palm inserts to help you get a grip, functional vents and a hook-and-loop strap closure. Available in sizes M-XXL, the V-race sells for a proletarian $99.95 in five natty color combinations to match the balance of your ensemble. Get 'em from Lockhart Phillips USA by dialing up (800) 221-7291 or scrutinize www.lockhartphillipsusa.com.

Suomy Helmets And Fog City Shield
Suomy...sounds like "you owe me," which is what anyone from Finland would say in their native tongue if you asked where they were from. The helmets themselves are Italian, which is an even longer story. Suffice to say that if they're good enough for the likes of Ben Bostrom and Aaron Slight, among others, they're good enough for us. The lightweight (2.75 pounds, claimed) Gunwind (right) goes for $364.95 (10 racer-replica models supplement the 13 other Gunwinds, starting at $399.95) and features an aerodynamic shell made from Suomy's Kevlar/carbon-fiber/fiberglass weave using bag-molded construction. The Gunwind's venturi upper vent sucks out the bad air to let in the good, while a plush liner creates a comfortable interior. A Fog City ProShield antifog visor insert is part of the deal, too. For $65 less, the Fazer (left) is the same basic helmet with a less luxurious liner and no venturi. Learn more from Gearbox International; (800) 799-9444 or www.gearboxinternational.com.

Mike Hailwood-A Motorcycle Racing Legend
From his advantaged youth to early victories on the Continent and the celebrated comeback win in the Isle of Man Senior TT, Mike Hailwood: A Motorcycle Racing Legend chronicles a racing career that incorporated eight world championships. Mike the Bike is gone, but Mick Woollett's words and some outstanding photography (225 black-and-white illustrations and 16 color pages in this 208-page tome from Motorbooks International) let Hailwood live forever in the recollections and bookcases of race fans all over the world. Own a copy for $49.95 by dialing up Motorbooks International at (800) 826-6600 or pointing your browser at www.motorbooks.com.

Speedscreen V2
There are windscreens, and then there are Speedscreens V2 from Lockhart Phillips USA. Manufactured from 11/48-inch thick distortion-free acrylic sheets that are formed without subjecting the material to undue stretching, each Speedscreen V2 stays closer to standard thickness. The Speedscreen V2 starts as a fresh acrylic sheet; no funky remanufactured plastic. Lockhart says the Speedscreen V2 is up to 30 percent thicker and, subsequently, stronger than less carefully made examples. Each Speedscreen V2 also features predrilled mounting holes for speedy, stressfree installation. Choose from a stock replacement type, the Euro (redirecting airflow higher than stock for more protection) or Racerlite models (maximum aerodynamics with minimum weight), available for most sportbikes in clear or smoke for $59.95 and dark smoke for $69.95. Contact Lockhart Phillips USA at (800) 221-7291 or go to www.lockhartphillipsusa.com.

Hein Gericke Commander Boots
They're 100 percent full-grain leather, they're waterproof, they're made in Italy and they could be yours for the spectacularly economical sum of $154.95. As if that weren't enough, Hein Gericke imbued its Commander boots with a waterproof, breathable Puratex lining that keeps your feet dry and happy. Choose any color you want (as long as it's black) in men's sizes 6-13 and women's sizes 6-10. More information is as close as your nearest Hein Gericke dealer, or a call to Intersport Fashions West at (800) 416-8255.

Tour Master Elite Rainsuit
From plastic trash bags to high-zoot suits, with raingear-as in life-you get what you pay for. California-based sissies that we are, we always opt for the latter. For the better (or worst) part of a year, we subjected Tour Master's Elite rainsuit to the torrential test whenever the weather cooperated; which wasn't too often.

Tour Master's $74.99 Elite model leads the manufacturer's three-suit range in style and features. Most importantly, the heavy-duty nylon/polyurethane-backed shell goes through a five-step process to seal its seams; teamed with double-flapped hook-and-loop closures on the main zipper, collar, cuffs and all three pockets, this suit is made for leak-proof riding. Adding to the suit's comfort are its corduroy-lined collar and cuffs, mesh lining and simple venting system. The suit has wide, reflective piping on the front, back, sleeves and lower legs. Our five-foot-six tester wore a medium and was able to not-so-spastically slip the raingear over an Aerostich suit or an armor-laden set of leathers.

Mc Tested:
Price: $74.99
Rating: HHHHH
Verdict: A modern-looking, high-tech rainsuit that makes riding in monsoons that much more bearable.

Helmet House
26855 Malibu Hills Road
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301
(800) 421-7247

MC Tested:
Shoei Syncrotec Helmet

So you've never considered a flip-face helmet? Big mistake, as we discovered after using Shoei's excellent Syncrotec for 30,000-plus miles. The Syncrotec features all the comfort we expect from a Shoei-that is, if you've got a Shoei head, you'll love it-yet it is as convenient as an open-face helmet. You can gas up, eat a granola bar and wash it down with a soda, all without removing your helmet. While wind noise is a bit greater than on standard full-face helmets, it is never obtrusive; anyway, that's why you have earplugs.

The Syncrotec weighs 58 ounces and comes in sizes XXS-XL.

Price: $452.99 solid; $465.99 metallic
rating: HHHHH
Verdict: Superior utility and flexibility make up for extra wind noise and greater weight.

Shoei Helmets
371 Elizabeth Lane, Suite 100
Corona, CA 92880
(909) 520-0500

Alpinestars Footwear
We have made peace with the fact that we 'll never ride like Nori Haga or Ben Bostrom. But Alpinestars and Troy Lee Designs have teamed up to make sure that slobbering mortals such as ourselves can be every bit as stylish as the fastest of the fast when it comes to casual footwear. There's the suede leather Stroker with its smooth nylon liner and EVA midsole in blue or black for $59.95, and the Ramp, displaying the technical credentials of a top skate-rat's shoe in blue or gray nylon mesh and suede leather for $54.95. Then there's the Qualifier, which has taken up residence on Ben Bostrom's shoe tree; choose white or black for $69.95. Learn more wherever truly hip footwear is sold, or dial up Alpinestars at (310) 891-0222 or go to www.alpinestars.com.

Absorber Cloth
One of these little marvels is worth up to 20 times its weight in old T-shirts when it comes to wiping up around the palatial Motorcyclist garage. The Absorber outabsorbs and outlasts the average leather chamois, won't scratch sensitive finishes or leave lint behind like T-shirts can. Truth is, you can't hardly hurt the thing. Suggested retail is $15.95 wherever fine motoring hygiene products are sold, or contact Emgee/Cleantools at (800) 654-3933.

Firstgear Thermo Gear Jacket And Bib Pant
Some days are cold and enough to make you give in and drive the cage. Hold out, we say, and stay comfortable too by girding yourself with the Thermo Gear jacket ($132.95; men's XS-XXXL) and bib pant ($104.95; men's XS-XXXL) from Firstgear. The stout, 210-denier nylon shell shrugs off driving rain, and 120-gram polyester insulation does the same to wicked cold. Strategically placed storm flaps keep you and the stuff in your pockets dry, and a tall storm collar spares sensitive necks from the chill. There's even a 90-day manufacturer's warranty. Choose between black/gunmetal and black/red. Learn more from your favorite Firstgear merchant, or dial up Intersport Fashions West at (800) 416-8255.