Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teknic Xcelerator Gloves Review

In preparation for track days this year, I purchased the Teknic Xcelerator Gloves from Motoprimo in Minnesota. I was lucky enough to get all of my gear as part of a package deal, so I did not pay full retail price. The full retail price for the gloves is $180.


The Xcelerator gloves are Teknic’s top of the line racing glove. They offer a very high level of protection for the hands and wrists. I normally wear a large with Alpinestars and my other Teknic gloves, but with these I am a medium.

They have pre-curved fingers and palm to reduce hand fatigue when holding the handlebars. The palms are made with 0.8mm of very soft Kangaroo leather which gives a fantastic feel for the controls.


Kangaroo leather is a very strong, light weight leather which makes them perfect for gloves. Wikipedia: “When split to 20% of original thickness Kangaroo retains between 30 to 60% of the tensile strength of the unsplit hide. Calf on the other hand, split to 20% of original thickness retains only 1-4% of original strength.”

The palms have the Knox scaphoid protection system (SPS) which are the two plastic bumps at the heel of the palm. The system is designed so that upon impact the palms will slide rather than grip preventing a painful scaphoid injury to the small bones in the hand and wrist.


I can personally attest to the usefulness of the SPS system. In 2009, I had a slow speed lowside and was wearing a cheaper pair of Teknic gloves. The sliders in the palm took the brunt of the impact by sliding instead of injuring my hands.


The back of the glove is made of premium grade Japanese drum dyed cowhide. It is thick, but doesn’t impede movement unnecessarily. The leather is much nicer than that in the Alpinestars SP1. 


The back of the hand is covered in vented knuckle protectors and a replaceable airblade. On my last pair of Teknic gloves, I removed the airblade because it was too ugly. On these gloves, it blends in nicely.


The wrists have a strong plastic like protector on the outside of the wrist and a thick closed cell foam padding protector in inside which creates a lot of protection for the wrist including the carpal, metacarpal, and ulna.

IMG_0910 IMG_1157

The gloves are secured to the hands with four overlapping pieces of very strong hook’n’loop. They secure very tightly if desired and remind me of wearing a wrist brace.


  1. High level of protection
  2. Very comfortable


  1. Slow to put on due to the four flaps of hook’n’loop.
  2. Palm leather color should match the rest of the glove

I purchased these gloves specifically for track days this year. I wanted a high level of protection because of the high speeds anticipated, and these gloves definitely provide that protection. I have been wearing them commuting almost every day since I purchased them because they are so comfortable and I enjoy the increased safety. However, they are kind of a pain to get on and off because of the four overlapping layers at the wrist.

I would purchase these gloves again. If money was no object, I would look at the Knox Handriod instead because of the simple closure mechanism.

UPDATE: September 15, 2012 The seams on the fingers have come apart. The warranty is only one year. I'm not impressed with the build quality, and I question if they would have held up in a crash. While I was at the dealer having them looked at, I noticed the new models are double stitched in areas mine were not. The new ones may be more durable.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

In an effort to be more prepared and to compliment my tire plug kit, I recently purchased the Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator from Amazon for $29 with free shipping!

The Slime Tire Inflator is a small piece of gear which comes self contained in a handy zip up pouch. It measures about 2” x 6” x 6” and weighs roughly 2.2lbs (or 5cm x 15cm x 15cm and 1kg for you metric folks).

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

Inside the case, the cables are neatly held in a re-usable plastic bag. After I took everything out, I decided not to keep the bag and instead just use the tie wraps. Besides the power cables and pump, it comes with a little tire gauge. My was cracked in half upon arrival. I’m not going to get it replaced since I have a much nicer gauge. It’s not worth the shipping hassle.

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

All of the connectors in the kit are SAE2 which is the same as the common battery tender connection I have on all of my bikes. It also comes with its own battery harness and a cigarette adapter which should work nicely with the Ural.

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

The included SAE2 extension cable will easily allow the pump to reach any tire on your bike.

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

The air hose attaches on the side near the power switch. I was easily able to attach it and tighten it by hand. You could really crank it down with a 12mm wrench, but I didn’t find that necessary.

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

Here is the pump with both the extension and air hose hooked up. Very simple to use.

Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator Review

The air hose has an easy quick release attachment, but the fitment was a bit tight on my Yamaha which I used to test it. After a bit of pushing, I was able to get it to seat correctly and seal tightly. It works great on all my bikes.

The pump is not as loud as my other battery operated air pump (ear plugs needed) or my AC air compressor. It isn’t quiet either. It vibrates quite a lot while it’s on, but it gets the job done. It is also not fast, but again, it gets the job done. It’s small size is the main advantage. With a little re-arranging, I will be able to make it fit underneath my rear seat on the SV650.


  1. Small size
  2. Cheap price ($29)
  3. Lots of 12V connection options included
  4. It works!


  1. Not very quiet
  2. Not very fast - It took about 8 minutes to fill up a tire
  3. The air hose connections get pretty hot after a few minutes of use
  4. Tire gauge came broken

Overall, I am happy with my purchase of the Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator. Its small size will make it easy to carry on the bike to keep my tires inflated to their correct spec. I would buy it again.


UPDATE: October 20, 2010: I’ve used my slime inflator many times this year and it is still running strong. I carry it almost every time I ride. It has been very handy and saved me from being stuck with a flat. I also updated the post with an extra con #3. I would still buy it again.

UPDATE: June 8, 2013: I am still using my slime inflator. It works great, and I would buy it again. I’ve been thinking of buying another one, so I don’t have to keep moving it between bikes. I carry it on nearly every ride. It has been very handy.

Video on Vimeo:

Video on Youtube:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Uraling with a Manfrotto

My friend called me up the other night and was bragging how he had the entire week off of work. He suggested I take a day off too, so we could play with bikes and cameras. Fun!

The first thing we did was get the Ural naked.




naked Ural

We removed the lower leg fairings, the windshield, and the sidecar windshield. The Ural seems to have a bit more energy without those big sails on. It was also much quieter as neither of us experienced any buffeting.

I also switched to my other riding coat since the hi-viz is a bit intense in photos.


My friend took a lot of photos of me riding my different bikes. He was really impressed with the T2i.


He said it was very light compared to other DSLRs he’s used. He also liked how easy it was to get good photos without a lot of effort.  Since I started taking photos with the T2i, I haven’t had to edit many photos in picnik. I’m already in love with it, so I’m biased.

Ural turning right

ural turning right

Ural turning left

ural turning left

Hanging off the Ural around corners is important to keep weight on the outside of the tip over line to prevent the rig from capsizing. It’s very easy to get one of the rear wheels off the ground if you’re not careful.

The videos below are partially inspired by bobskoot and partially mapperjay. Bob knows cameras better than I and turned me onto the Manfrotto line of goodies. I picked up a Manfrotto 680B monopod a few weeks back. I mounted the GoPro HD on top of the monopod with the tripod adapter. We had a lot of fun making the video. Enjoy!

goproHD + monopod 

Vimeo Video:

Youtube Video:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lilydale Road Reopened


Yesterday, I took the Super9 out to play. I had fun practicing taking different pictures with the T2i. These three turned out rather well. I still have a ways to go in reading the manual and a lot to learn! It has been quite fun so far.


After work today, I took the SV650 down Lilydale Road. The road runs along the Mississippi River near downtown St. Paul. Due to the recent flooding it has been closed for the last few weeks and under several feet of water. A friend mentioned it was open, so I had to go take a look.

Smith Ave Bridge from Lilydale Road

The bridge above is the Smith Avenue Bridge also known as the “high bridge”. It is over 160 feet tall which is the highest bridge in St. Paul. The photo was taken from Lilydale Road.

Lilydale is still covered in dirt even though there are obvious signs that they have been trying to clean it. It’s quite a beautiful ride with the river on one side and Pickerel Lake on the other. The road itself is quite straight and not very exciting, but it feels like you’re riding down the river. Very scenic.

For these videos I used my new RAM handlebar mount with the GoProHD. It was a little bumpy, but I think acceptable. The GoPro chest mount is still my favorite. What do you think? What camera angle should I try next time?

Video on Vimeo:

Video on Youtube:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brunch in Duluth with Jay Cooke

This past Sunday, I finally had the time to go for a longer ride. It was good to get out and get some of the long distance dust knocked off. My body isn’t quite used to sitting on a bike all day yet.

I started off by riding up I-35 North towards Duluth. It being a Sunday morning, traffic was almost non existent which was nice as it gave me a chance to relax slightly and enjoy the scenery. The sky was clear and blue with the temps in the high 40Fs.

At the first gas stop near Askov, I managed to lose my keys! I finished putting gas in the bike, locked the gas cap, and replaced my tank bag. After securing it, I noticed my keys were missing. I spent the next five minutes searching all over the bike and my gear to find them resting comfortably in the left hand guard. They must have slipped out of my hand while I was putting the tank bag back on. Way too much excitement for a gas stop!

lost keys

Just before I arrived in Duluth, I stopped at the scenic rest stop on the bluff just south overlooking the city and the lake. If you travel to Duluth, this rest stop is a must stop. During the summer it can get quite packed, but I was lucky with only a few people visiting. The views of the harbor and Lake Superior are fantastic. If you get lucky, you might even see some eagles flying by.

duluth, mnIMG_0551

Yes, that is snow on that hill:

snow on the hills near duluth

From the rest stop, I continued on Skyline Drive. It is a nice scenic road that winds its way along the bluffs above Duluth. The road was in terrible shape! It is the worst paved road I have been on in a long time. Frost heaves, pot holes, and even a stretch that was wash-boarded. It gave me and my suspension a work out. When I stopped for photos, I was surprised to see the border patrol rolling past. I guess we need to watch out for those sneaky Canadians! :) (especially those with pink crocs!)

Skyline Drive

I stopped for a quick brunch at the Whole Foods Co-Op in Duluth. I like to eat light while I’m riding. I don’t like the sleepy feeling after eating a bunch of heavy food while on the bike. I had a veggie humus wrap and some black tea. I saved the cookie for Jay Cooke.

whole foods co-op, duluth, mn brunch

I rode around Duluth for a bit and stopped at the lake shore. Parking is horrible. They only have meters and they are not motorcycle friendly, so I didn’t stay long. There was a lot of other people out enjoying the beautiful weather.

Duluth Lake Shore Duluth Lake Shore

I left Duluth on US-2 and headed into Wisconsin. From US-2 I followed the shore via Belknap Street through a residential area which lead me to my destination road of Billings Drive. You can see the snow from above across the St. Louis River.


Billings Drive was a great road following the shore, weaving up and down in and out. I pulled over many times for photos.


It’s a very beautiful road, and I can imagine it completely packed during the summer months. There are a lot of bike paths and hiking trails leading away from it.

beautiful road

Of course no journey would be complete without a “road closed” sign!

road closed!

I back tracked quite a ways and eventually found a way around. My google maps printout had just enough detail for me to find an alternate route to WI-105 which I took back into Minnesota on MN-23. A quick stop for gas in New Duluth and I headed down MN-210 into Jay Cooke State Park.


MN-210 through Jay Cooke is a very twisty road, and it was a thrill to ride. I had meant to visit Jay Cooke State Park in 2009, but ran out of time.

Jay Cooke State Park Jay Cooke State Park

The park straddles the St. Louis River which enters Lake Superior through the Duluth Harbor. The park covers 8,818 acres and has some great camping and hiking available. The river turns to rapids and there are numerous waterfalls to view. There are supposedly some great wild flowers to see in the spring, but none were close to blooming while I was there.

Jay Cooke State Park Jay Cooke State Park  Jay Cooke State Park

I made the delightful return ride back down MN-210. I stopped many times for photos and just to gawk. I ended up taking off my gerbing and my liners as the temperature had soared up to 66F. I was cooking!

Jay Cooke State Park

I eventually met up with MN-23 again and took that south to I-35. For over 60 miles on MN-23, I saw less than ten other vehicles, half of them were motorcycles. It was a nice empty road to enjoy.


I eventually ended up back on I-35 and took it south back to the Twin Cities. I ended the day with almost 350 miles and about nine hours of riding. I will have to do parts of this ride again. I would like to spend more time in Jay Cooke too, as I was only able to see a small fraction of the park. Hiking in full moto gear is not fun!

Jay Cooke State Park

Here is a google map which includes part of the ride:
View Larger Map

Video on Vimeo:

Video on Youtube: