A soft, supportive sleeping pad turns going-to-ground into camping and sleep into slumber. Sea to Summit’s Comfort Plus Insulated Sleeping Mat promises big comfort and insulation without sacrificing portability. We took one for a few nights under the stars to find out if it delivers.
An American Icon, Born To be wild
“The Story of the Chopper” explores the surprising birth and history of the world’s most recognizable motorcycle style.
Look ma, two hands!
Whether you’re piling on the interstate miles, tackling dusty switchbacks or just riding around in a parking lot, an off at any speed will have you palms out and road rashed. Thankfully, there is a world of options out there designed to deliver top protection and performance. To lend, ahem, a helping hand, here’s a list of the five best motorcycle gloves, broken down for riders of various styles and disciplines.
Northern Roads Afar
A fork in the road. Rarely in life does the metaphorical appear in such literal form. Yet there it was, and there we were. Twelve dust-covered motorcyclists on a journey through British Columbia’s beautiful northern interior, faced squarely with two paths and three options: left, right or turn around. This is where the riding stopped and the adventure began.
Essentials for your great escape
Heading out on the road with no set destinations and a couple of days to burn is a rite of passage for motorcycle riders. For a long weekend ride through Northern Ontario, Canada, GP’s Matt Neundorf turned to the Italians for the right gear: A Ducati for the ride; a two-piece suit, boots and gloves from Dainese and more.
An Angry Bird of Prey
Every motorcycle enthusiast dreams of taking off for an epic adventure. It’s no surprise, then, that adventure motorcycles are the fastest-growing segment on two wheels. Ducati has clearly tapped into that ethos with the design of the Multistrada GT.
You've got skin in the game
Full race-spec leathers are the surest bet to save your bacon when the possibility of a motorcycle crash becomes a reality; but practicality, timing and social demands don’t always encourage full gear. These are the best motorcycle jeans designed to both resist high-speed abrasion and look good when you reach your destination.
Teaching an old dog new tricks, on two wheels
The prom queen is never chosen solely for her personality, and character actors don’t win People‘s Sexiest Man Alive. These are truths we’ve come to simply accept, and they extend to machines, too. Saying an item has “character” or “personality” implies it has aesthetic, ergonomic, or other flaws. The Moto Guzzi V7 Special ($9,290) has character.
Feel alive, stay alive
From the Archives: So now that you’ve chosen which starter steel horse suits you best, you’ve got to figure out just how to ride this thing safely — the only thing uglier than a bike confined to a garage is one on its side. Getting out with your knees in the breeze is the best way we know to decompress and let the work week wash away, but before you swing a leg over and head out on the highway on your first bike you need to understand a couple guiding principles.
The popular face of the wristwatch is constantly changing. Digital displays, which were once all the rage, fell out of favor long ago; oversized watches boomed and now seem to be over the hump; and gold has come and gone a few times over. But the greatest and perhaps most viable of today’s trends might be the resurrection of the vintage watch trade — new timepieces that pay homage to their roots and celebrate the ever-changing face of an industry from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Where MPG meet MPH
Diesel engines may just be the perfect fit for motorcycles. They offer bullet-proof reliability, stump pulling torque and the kind of range even Ted Simon can only dream of. Add to that the fact that refuelling doesn’t involve extended time out of the saddle and it makes you wonder why there aren’t more on the market. We found four examples that would look great
in our garage on the road.
Six Battery-Powered Powerhouses
The quartz watch was our introduction to timekeeping — the gateway drug that spurred our talk of ticks and led to our appreciation of mechanized complications — and like our first car, it demands respect. Battery-powered watches pack incredible complications, intricate details and robust build quality into an infinitely wearable and affordable package. Even the most ardent watch snob would be proud to strap any of these six quartz watches upon his wrist.
With more than a few chores piling up, we powered up the cordless Bosch 18V Multi-X Oscillating Tool to see if the brand’s new high-powered portable was worth the investment.
Rise of the machines
While electric cars have stumbled in the recent past, motorcycles have readily embraced digital propulsion — even Harley-Davidson has one in the works. With less mass to motivate, shorter runtime requirements and a complete lack of power-robbing creature features, motorcycles are a natural fit for battery-operated powerplants. Here are the seven best electric motorcycles of 2014.
A World Rally Blur
Since it arrived onto North American shores in 2002 the Subaru WRX has been making the case for unadulterated fun, one four-wheel drift at a time. Vehicles and our expectations of them however, have changed a lot over the last 13 model years. No longer content to merely juke and jive with the best of them, we now demand our cars have styling, more toys than an only child and soft-touch everything. To keep these newly refined ralliers content in their cockpits, Subaru sent the WRX to finishing school. And, if you ask us, it graduated — with honors.
Portable, with Power to Spare
From the Archives: We tackled a variety of chores, from the simplest deck demolition to re-framing the interior of a house, to help you choose the right path for your cordless cash. Here are our picks for the cordless power tool kits — including a drill/driver of some sort, a circular saw and a reciprocating saw — that do it best, along with notes on each individual tool.
First, third or last: Italy always wins
The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, a 3.25 mile serpent of asphalt nestled within the Tuscan Appenine Mountains just north of Florence, plays host every year to the Gran Premio d’Italia MotoGP race — the home race for Ducati Corse. With only one world championship to its name (2007) and zero dry-weather victories during the 2013 season, the Ducati Team had the eyes of a nation following its every move this past weekend at the fastest track on the calendar.
Squid Vest not included
The office dress code can be a challenge for a motorcycle enthusiast; riding the elevator in an unzipped kangaroo skin onesie doesn’t score too many points with the boss. Thankfully, there’s some excellent motorcycle gear out there that provides the protection you need without sacrificing any of your executive flair.
Pikes Peak, Monster, Panigale, Streetfighter and Diavel
With free reign on development (and deeper pockets) thanks to new ownership, Ducati’s built a lineup that’s billed as faster, sexier and more nimble than anything they’ve produced before. After spending a day piloting five models (Multistrada Pikes Peak, Monster, Panigale, Streetfighter and Diavel) through the Catskill Mountains, it became clear that this may be their finest vintage yet, at least for the majority of their models.
Feel alive, stay alive
From the Archives: Getting out with your knees in the breeze is the best way we know to decompress and let the work week wash away, but before you swing a leg over and head out on the highway on your first bike you need to understand a couple guiding principles. We’ve compiled them for you.
The latest in multitasking mastery
When it comes to tools for do-it-yourselfers in the know, multitasking is key. Tackling a collection of jobs without stopping to hunt around the workshop not only saves time, it makes you look like a pro in the process. For over 80 years, Dremel has been putting that kind of power and panache into the palms of handymen, hobbyists and contractors alike; their Multi-Pro line of rotary tools not only invented that market, the Dremel name defines it.
Explaining Turbocharging and Supercharging
From the Archives: Air. Fuel. Spark. Take one away from your car and you’re going nowhere fast. Increase one, air for example, and things get interesting. More air equals more power — the very principle behind forced induction. Two systems, supercharging and turbocharging, make this all happen. Take a deep breath and dive in.
Naked and famous
From every angle, for over twenty years, the Ducati Monster’s unmistakably Italian design has simultaneously oozed sex and personified power. This is raw, naked aggression, a motorcycle that defines its very genre and epitomizes an iconic brand.
Your normal couch-bound weekend attire won’t cut it during a weekend at the track; tarmac-amplified heat and humidity plus the occasional run-in with a troupe of Umbrella Girls nixes that plan. Instead, race weekend is primetime for packing light, multifunctional duds and accoutrements that don’t skimp on style.
A New Home For American MotoGP
Each corner at the Circuit of The Americas is an homage to the most iconic turns from the world of Grand Prix. The track’s red, white and blue runoff areas make a declaration that’s even more clear when seen from above, perched atop the infield’s 250-foot observation tower: the international motorcycling scene has found a vibrant home in America.
Keeping Time at the Circuit Of The Americas
In racing, timing is judge, jury and executioner. Tissot, Official Timekeepers for all MotoGP races since 2001, are burdened with the proof of milliseconds. In this world of speed, their instrumentation deciphers the metrics of order within the chaos of twenty-three riders piloting 230 horsepower motorcycles at 220 mph. We saw them in action at the Circuit Of The Americas.
Island hopping in the North Atlantic
From the Archives: My bartering skills need work. Hungry and in search of fresh seafood at the farmer’s market, I sidestep locals blocking my beeline to the solitary oyster stand. Splayed out in front are seven mammoth slurpers of the Ruisseau variety. Countless foam coolers offer the promise of more, but there’s sad news: the baker’s half-dozen of bivalves will have to do. They are the last around. Then it happens: a huge shipment shows up with more oysters than I could hope to shuck. I blurt “gimme twenty” from behind a smile, newly-minted (molded?) plastic Canadian dollars flying from my pocket. If this were Seattle or Hong Kong I’d swear it was a setup, but in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, victory is mine.
Time to get hammered
From the Archives: Of all the tools in a man’s workshop, his hammer is perhaps the most personal. Chances are you still have your first forged striker, but we’ll forgive you an upgrade; it really is time. You’d be surprised how much hammer tech has come, but in the end, it’s still all about hitting the nail on the head. Here are five of our favorites for beginners to the most hardened steel swingers out there — whether you loop it, or let it hang from a belt is entirely up to you.
Shimmering a shade of blue clearly inspired by Caribbean waters, the Halios Tropik SS ($650) on my left wrist appears candy coated, looking infinitely more confident than I feel. A quick test of my regulator complete, I twist the Tropik’s unidirectional ceramic bezel to mark the beginning of this, my first real dive. I’m in the tropics to test this purpose-built diver on its home court.