Thanks to Cycle Source Magazine readers for voting the Biltwell Open Face Novelty Helmet as the "Apparel Product of the Year" for 2010. It's kind of weird, and popularity contests aren't really our bag, but it's nice to be told you are doing a good job once in a while, so we appreciate it. Buy the mag and see who else won what...
Please note a couple posts back, we've added Rob Galan, aka: Rouser to the blog staff.
Rob is a dear friend of everyone here at Biltwell and we're stoked to have him contribute once in a while as he sees fit. 'Ol Rouser is quick to smile, builds mean ass Sportsers and has awesome taste in long sleeve shirts. I met Rob a couple years ago when we did the long way EDR route. Me and some friends rode to Los Mochis in mainland Mexico where Rob met us and we caught a ferry across to La Paz at the bottom of peninsula. We spent the next week together banging through the baja. Since then we've blasted NYC and a couple other epic trips, and Rob is always fun to hang with and is someone you can count on for anything. There's not a surplus of people with those kind of qualities so he's one we hang onto. Thanks, Rob and welcome to the blog!
Anyone who knows Jim Lopresti, knows he's a great guy who would do anything to help a brother out. Now's the time to show him some support. He took a good spill a little while back, and now his tattoo shop and some friends are throwing a benefit shindig. If you are around Ansonia, CT on Dec 5th, hit it up.
OK, so technically it isn't a van, but man is it cool. Tyler and I ran into these two dudes in the middle of the Mohave in this bad-ass deuce and a half kitted out with all the good stuff. Dream truck.
I think someone left the "D" off the DicE party this year! Tyler from Lowbrow was looking for a good excuse to escape the cold back in Ohio and get some riding done, so we offered up a loaner Sporty and he and I took the long way to Vegas yesterday through Joshua Tree and the Mohave, weather be damned. We caught heavy rain 'til Indio then had it pretty nice up until about stateline where I ran out of gas and barely limped it in after leaning the FXR over and getting just enough go-juice to sputter into the gas station.
Dino's was walking distance from the Stratosphere and made a great place for the DicE shindig. Kyle from Lowbrow flew in and met us for dinner and the party. Good to see some old friends and have a few beers, but after that ride I shaded out of the gig about 10:30 and beelined it for bed. Riding in that wind and weather with a heavy backpack has me feeling like I hung onto the bottom of an airplane for the last two days...
We got a lazy start today about 10:30 or so and got hammered with cold rain for the first hour or so. It cleared up around stateline and then up the Halloran Pass there was actually fresh snow. This is nothing for those hardy cats from the SLC, but it was pretty damn cold for my So Cal bones! We caught some more rain and then took a break at Baker and warmed up. There we met up with a dude named Anthony who had just flown in the night before and bought a sporty in Vegas and was riding it home. He rode with us the most of the way and we made it home in record time. Probably 100 miles of splitting lanes combined. As cold as it was, hauling ass on a bike was way better than sitting in that traffic.
Hope you had fun Tyler, sorry 'bout the weather, and nice to meet you Anthony!
Ask and ye shall receive... The search for Sumo's new ride for next year's EDR didn't take long. Check this hardheaded time machine. She's rough, but like most Hondas, a runner. It's gonna get mothballed through the rest of the year but we'll get 'er race prepped by spring!
Alright, cat's out of the bag. We've got a new DOT-approved helmet called the Hustler.
The one request we've been getting since day one has been to do a DOT-approved open face helmet. Well, we finally did it. Actually, we've been doing it behind the scenes for more than a year now and finally have them in stock and ready to ship. We're starting with flat colors: Titanium, Black and Copper. We're working on Mega Flake and as soon as we're satisfied with the paint quality, we'll have 'em in stock.
We've received a flood of questions as news of the new Hustlers leaked out. Almost all requests have to do with size. Everyone wants to know how the size compares to our novelty lids, as well as the other brands of 3/4 DOT helmets. The bottom line is, there is no way to get a super small, low-profile helmet that is capable of satisfying DOT regulations. So, it's a compromise. You want a real helmet? It's gonna be a little bigger. Thats just the facts.
We thought we'd do a little photo comparo for you, and show these things in context. As you can see, there really isn't much of a size difference between our Hustlers, Bell's 500 and the Fulmer V2. The skirt of the Bell is cut a little shorter, so it appears a little smaller on the shelf, but looks about the same on a head. We lined Josh up and used him as the test dummy. (Thanks, dude) All three DOT lids were larges, though Josh could also squeeze into a Medium Hustler. Josh is a 7 1/4 hat size for reference.
Next we moved outside and railed around the parking lot a little in both our Novelty lids and the new Hustlers so we could take some pics of the helmets in their natural environment so you can see the difference. I'm the fat guy on the FXR, and I wear a size 7 3/8 hat and could fit in a medium or a large Hustler. Mike in the Copper Hustler wears a size 7 hat and felt comfortable in the medium. The Hustler's are way quiet, and after wearing our novelty lid for the last few years I was shocked at how comfy a DOT helmet can be.
The conclusion? If you want a DOT lid, understand that the added protection comes with some extra size whether you buy it from us or anyone else. If you want a close-fitting, low-profile lid with the biggest, crispest flake in the business, try the Biltwell Novelty helmet, just make sure you realize it's for novelty purposes only. The DOT choice might be a little harder, but in the end it'll come down to colors, details, fitment and what kind of company you choose to support. Thanks to everyone who chooses a Biltwell.
So if you don't know already, we are going to have DOT-Approved helmets ready to go within the next week or so. Since that's the case, we've got to develop a sizing chart, all kinds of stuff to explain how to measure your melon, etc so people end up with a properly-sized bucket.
Well, after doing some online research, this one goofy old illustration keeps coming up over and over, and looks way too old fashioned and generic to use like everyone else...
So, I asked Mike D. to model for me...
And then turned him into a tattooed Jesus. Thanks Mike!
Look for more info on the new DOT-Approved Hustler helmets soon...