AFX FX-39DS Supermoto Helmet & Shield – Review

Looking for a budget supermoto helmet that will turn heads, yet be stealthy at the same time? Yes, I know that sounds like a contradiction, but that is what I was going for when I decided to buy this AFX FX-39 Dual Sport helmet. I already had street and dirt bike helmets, but none of them would cut it, in my opinion, for supermoto duty. I needed an entirely different helmet for this kind of riding. What do I do when riding my street legal supermoto? Pure hooliganism. These bikes aren’t meant to go fast, so I don’t need a high-tech aerodynamic motorcycle helmet, and a dirt bike helmet with goggles for eye protection just doesn’t work for me.

Fit

I would say that I have a pretty average or round-shaped head and this helmet fits well. I normally wear a size medium, which is what my FX-39DS is, and would say that it fits true to size. The chin-strap, unlike a D-ring style, is easy to adjust and works great. It’s a ‘set it and forget it’ feature that’s very easy to clip in and out of, and it has yet to come loose while riding. However, the end of the adjustment strap has nowhere to go but flop around while riding. It is annoying if I don’t tuck it into my jacket or helmet.

Comfort

A helmet that fits properly is more than likely going to be comfortable because… well, it just fits! This AFX lid is no different. The cheek pads and lining are soft, and form well to my face without any noticeable pressure points. I haven’t done any day-long rides because I don’t tour with my supermoto, but I have ridden for a couple hours in an evening and didn’t have any discomfort.

Noise

If there’s one major thing I don’t like about this helmet, it would be the wind noise. Yes, it’s pretty loud, especially with a naked supermoto (no fairing). But, that’s not that big of a deal for me since I wear ear plugs.

Ventilation

Riding up into the high 80s and lower 90s (Fahrenheit) my head didn’t have any problem staying cool. It has a vent on the chin bar, which, in my honest opinion doesn’t do much since air is already coming up underneath the helmet. It also has vents for the forehead, on the top, and the rear for letting hot air out. I do not live in an extremely hot climate, but I would imagine it can cope as well as any other full face helmet with all the ventilation.

Function

FX39-DS Helmet w/ Silver Mirror Shield
FX39-DS Helmet w/ Silver Mirror Shield

I previously mentioned that the new chin-strap retention system functions very well for quick fitting and removal. The shield works well and stays in place. It would be nice if it retracted a little bit higher, but that is a minor complaint. The only time I flip it up is occasionally when I stop. As far as vision goes, some people complained about distorted vision due to the extreme curvature of the shield compared to a standard motorcycle helmet shield. Most, if not all, of those people said that they got used to it after wearing it for some time. I did not have this problem, even from the beginning.

I am using the Mirrored Silver face shield with the FX39 that I bought as an accessory. After I figured out how to swap the shields it was pretty easy and can be done in about a minute or less. I didn’t realize that the new shield came with its own components so I don’t have to swap them out from the original shield.

Quality

For as cheap as this helmet is, the quality is really pretty good. I have only used it for one season, but nothing has broken or fallen apart like some of the motorcycle helmets have that I own. My AFX FX39DS is flat black, and the paint looks great. It looks similar in quality to $300+ helmets in its category. I have nothing to complain about in the quality department.

Style

Other than the price tag, the styling was probably the biggest reason why I bought this helmet. It looks like some of the most expensive dual sport helmets while keeping the price low for us “budget-minded” riders. Combined with the mirrored silver shield, the FX39 looks straight-up “Boss”. I looked at other dual sport helmets in this price range, and some of them I would not even want to wear because they look hideous.

Safety

Last, but certainly not least, are the safety ratings. The AFX 39 dual sport helmet is DOT and ECE-22.05 certified in all sizes except 3XL and 4XL(which are only DOT rated). DOT is the rating that is commonly used in the United States, while the ECE standards are based in Europe and are used in over 50 countries across the globe.

Pros:

  • Looks great
  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable
  • New chin-strap feature is easy to use
  • Vision is nice and wide
  • DOT and ECE certified
  • High quality for its price-point

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Loose chin-strap end flops around
  • Shield doesn’t fully retract

 

I will continue to use this helmet for my supermotard riding days because it fits well, looks awesome, and protects my noggin. Maybe some day I will upgrade to an almighty Arai or Shoei Dual Sport helmet, but right now I’ll stick to my Bang-For-Buck gear.

Click Here To Buy My AFX FX39DS Helmet!

-Tom Stark

Alpinestars Tech 3 Motocross Boots – Review


If you are going to race motocross, let alone ride dirt bikes, you better have the proper protective gear. One of the first articles of protection for your body should be boots. These come right after a helmet for importance because you need your feet and legs almost every minute of every day. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a lot of time!

Tech 3 Boots
Alpinestars Tech 3 Boots

I have been wearing a pair of Alpinestars Tech 3 motocross boots and they have been a great addition to my protective gear collection. There are several specifications that you should look for in a pair of motocross boots. These are: break-in time, type of material they’re made of, buckle/restraint system, comfort, sole, how much grip they have, and other little things.

Break-In

The break-in time is how long it takes for your boots to go from showroom rock solid to them being just flexible enough for your feet. Finding the pair of boots that break-in the quickest is not necessarily what you should look for. In fact, the faster they break-in the quicker they might wear out. Wearing brand new boots while racing is probably the worst thing you can do for protection. They will restrict your feet and be very uncomfortable. So it’s crucial that you break them in before going for a long ride or a race. Even though some motocross boots don’t require break-in now there are still many lower costing boots that do. The Alpinestars Tech 3 motocross boots do require a break-in period. It took mine about 3-4 hours of riding for them to be completely broken in. They were pretty stiff at first, like all boots, but they were just flexible enough after using them for a few rides.

Material Quality

These boots are definitely on the higher end of material quality, even though they are about the price of an entry-level pair of motocross boots. Alpinestars Tech 3 boots are made of high quality leather and abrasion-resistant polyurethane. I will personally say that these boots last a long time if you take care of them. I’ve had mine for almost two seasons and they still look like new. They are high quality motocross boots and will last longer than most.

Buckle/Restraint System

Although buckle issues may seem pointless at first, I hear of many riders having problems with the buckles on their motocross boots breaking or not staying on tight. The Alpinestars Tech 3 boots have a good and simple buckle system. There are four latches that are strong and easy to buckle and unbuckle. They have never come off while riding with them on. I have not had any problems with mine and don’t see having a problem with them in the near future.

Comfort

If you buy a pair of boots that aren’t comfortable then you are going to regret it, and forking out $200 on a pair of motocross boots that are worthless is something that riders do not want to do these days. So it’s best to know what you’re getting before you buy it. A simple way to see if you like the fit and comfort of motocross boots is to try them on at a store, although this is not always accurate because the fit differs once the boots are broken-in. My Tech 4 boots felt pretty good when I first bought them. There weren’t any sharp edges or anything scraping against my legs. As soon as I broke them in they felt great for how stiff and strong they are. The Tech 4 motocross boots gave me plenty of support while still being snug and pretty comfortable to my feet. These boots aren’t like putting on slippers, but they get the job done, and get it done in a good manner.

Sole/Grip

The sole of motocross boots can be very important for some racers. It’s because they grip the pegs, and if you can’t stay on the pegs then you are not going to stay on the bike. Aggressive soles will give you maximum friction with the pegs, allowing your feet to stay on them without slipping. The downfall is that they will wear out really quickly. The Alpinestar Tech 3 boots are about in the middle of having mild and aggressive soles. They are good grip and still last somewhat longer then other motocross boots. Mine are starting to get worn, but I’ve had them for about two seasons of riding. The calf plate/heat guard also gave me some grip against the frame of the bike. It is high quality and still in great shape.

The Alpinestars Tech 3 motocross boots are a perfect entry level, or even intermediate, pair of boots that last longer than most other motocross boots. They are also cheap enough for those wanting high-quality and comfort. Remember that your feet are very important, so make sure you protect them with a good pair of motocross boots.

Click Here To Buy My Alpinestars Boots

Have fun riding,

and stay safe.

-Tom Stark

EVS Shoulder Support Brace SB03 – Motocross Sports Review


Are you fighting a shoulder injury like me, but cannot hold back from riding your dirt bike? Having an injury in the first place sucks, but it’s worse when it is slowing you down or stopping you from continuing your typical hobbies. If you’re looking for any way to make it bearable, continue reading….

The EVS Shoulder Support Brace SB03 is like a band-aid for you wounded shoulder. Dislocated shoulders and rotator cuff injuries are relatively common in an extreme sport such as motocross, unfortunately, but this brace supports your shoulder if you have had one of these accidents.

EVS Shoulder Brace

Locked & Loaded

Keeping your shoulder in place is important if it has been injured, and that’s exactly what this should brace does. It supports your arm up, and then compresses to hold it in place.

Do-It-All Brace

What about the range of motion in your arm/shoulder? EVS has it figured out when it comes to function-ability; the SB03 works for any kind of physical activity because it doesn’t affect your range of motion enough to notice it. It’s adjustable, allowing you to fit and tune it to your individual needs. If you want more support, you got it! It pulls your shoulder into the rotator cuff for the most support, and comes with three different sizes of compression straps for a customized support.

Features

What more than support do you need out of a shoulder brace, you ask? Not only does the EVS shoulder support do its job of compressing your limb in place, it has an X-strap system that keeps the brace itself in place. Having the brace fall off during a race would be one of the last things you want. Also, its air-mesh material will keep your skin breathing in the hottest of days, and with TPR gripper pull tabs it allows you to get a good grip on them when installing the brace.

Pros:

  1. Works for both left and right shoulders
  2. Designed to help rotator cuff injuries
  3. Assists damaged and dislocated shoulders
  4. No restriction on range of motion
  5. Made from vented neoprene

 Cons

  1. Doesn’t fit well on some females
  2. May require 2 people to install
  3. Velcro may rub on skin (people with this problem often wear an under-shirt)

If you aren’t convinced already, take a look at some of the consumer comments that have a shoulder injury…

  • Good support
  • Great support for the shoulder
  • Best bang for the buck on a dislocated shoulder
  • Love it!
  • Works Like A Charm!!
  • Freedom to push myself again…

Buy My Shoulder Brace Here

-Tom Stark

 

 

 

Schampa Coolskin Balaclava – Best Motorcycle Face Mask


Do you ride your dirt bike on ice, in snow, or just plain cold weather? Give your face some warmth with the Schampa Coolskin Balaclava! No more snosticles, frozen lips, or immovable cheeks after a ride. You can breath better, and with the long neck section, you can tuck it in to help keep the cold wind from blowing down your chest.

No Annoying Seam!!

Have you worn a face-mask with that outrageously provoking seam going down the middle of your entire face?! And no matter what you did, it was next to impossible to keep it in one place while being comfortable… Well, those days are over with the Coolskin winter balaclava face mask with its fully flat-seamed construction. This alone can make it worth it if you want a smooth and comfortable fit on your face.

What Is Silkweight?

It is light-weight and uses silk-like material that is soft on your face. It stretches to fit around almost any size head, making it a versatile and must-have item of protection in your Gear Bag.

Schampa Coolskin Balaclava

Not only is it a one-size-fits-most balaclava, but this Schampa face mask fits under almost any dirt bike, snowmobile, or motorcycle helmet. This makes it a perfect gift to give to friends and family that ride all-year-round.

Dirt bike riding in the cold will be much more tolerable with this winter motorcycle mask.

The Schampa Coolskin Balaclava is currently getting 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, and is on the “Best Sellers” list.

Click Here To Buy My Black Coolskin Motorcycle Balaclava


-Tom Stark

 

Are The Fox Main Shard Goggles That Great?

Main Shard Goggles
Fox Main Shard Goggles

I have been wearing the Fox Main Shard Goggles for over a season now. I bought them because they look great and felt comfortable when I tried them on. What I was looking to get out of them is a pair of goggles that were fog-proof and scratch-resistant because these were a couple of problems with my older motocross goggles. A few more things that I look for in goggles is comfort, fit, and style.

Comfort

I don’t want to buy goggles that aren’t comfortable, and I don’t think you do either. That’s why I’m here so I can tell you whether these goggles are good or not before you go waste your money. When I first put the Fox Main Shard Goggles on they felt pretty much perfect, but I didn’t just base it off of that because I didn’t have my helmet on and I wasn’t riding with them. On my first race with the Main Goggles on I loved them. They were just as comfortable as when I tried them on at the store.

Fit

I haven’t used that many pairs of goggles, but I can definitely say that the Fox Shard goggles have the best fit on my face. The padding is so soft, yet thick, that it basically molds to my face. I was surprised how well these goggles fit for how cheap they were. I want to test other brands of goggles to see how they compare, but I would certainly buy the Fox Main Shard goggles again.

Lens

The lens is probably the most important part of goggles. I don’t know exactly what to look for in a goggle lens, but I did know that I wanted it to have an anti-fogging feature and to be scratch-resistant. When I looked at the Fox Main goggles it said that it had both features, which is the main reason why I got them, and to this day I’m glad I did. When I was racing in 40 degree weather, in which my old goggles would totally fog up at the starting gate, these goggles stopped the fog immediately. I’m not frustrated  before the gate is about to drop anymore because I can keep my goggles on without having to wipe the fog away. As for being scratch-resistant, I usually wear tear-offs with them, but the lens still doesn’t have a scratch on it. So, I can safely say that I am happy about these Fox Main lens.

Style

The style and graphics of the goggles don’t necessarily determine what pair I buy, but it’s nice to have goggles that look cool. Fox always makes great looking gear, and the Shard goggles are a good example of this. I really like the looks of these goggles, and the colors don’t fade very easily. They have the style of a $100 pair of goggles, but are at an entry level price.

The Fox Main Shard Goggles are an excellent buy and I would recommend them to any rider that want comfortable, and stylish goggles that fit well at a bargain price. I have yet to this day learned how to adjust the fit of the goggles though, but I don’t really need to because they fit me fine out of the box. That is the only real complaint I have about these goggles. I might read the manual though if I really need to adjust the size of them.

Have fun,

and ride safe!

-Tom Stark