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  • Featured Content

    Acerbis X-Move 2.0 Boots
    Designed in Italy, the X-Move 2.0 boot is built with top grain leather and offers maximum support and comfort right out of the box. With features like a reinforced steel toe box, a leather upper, a vulcanized rubber gaiter to keep the elements out, 4 aluminum buckles with a quick release/locking system, and a leather heat resistant panel on the upper/inner section of the boot, the X-Move 2.0 boot is the top choice for any serious racer. Reinforced steel toe. Leather upper. Customized vulcanized rubber gaiter. 4 new aluminum buckles with memory and a quick release/locking system. Leather inserts with excellent resistance to heat. CERTIFIED EN13634.  
    Posted by Bryan Bosch on Mar 24, 2017

    Monster Energy Supercross: Detroit, is it time for change in Supercross?
    Monster Energy Supercross: Detroit, is it time for change in Supercross? The 12th round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross concluded in Detroit leaving behind some hard to ignore layout deficiencies on the Ford Field.  While the series progresses to St. Louis I find myself asking more questions about the overall structure of the series (as it continues to grow and become more mainstream) and less questions about who will or will not be crowned the champion.  At the pinnacle of Supercross why was there not enough dirt to cover the stadium floor and how did the stadium floor start peeking through after only 2 laps in the first 250 heat?  Is it time to look at different track building techniques?  Here are some different ideas :       Another series challenge is the need of updated timed qualifiers.  I would like to see the top 20 timed qualifiers split in the heats.  Rewarding the top half of the field, top 10 in each heat get a 2 second advantage over the other half of the gate, prevents slower guys from becoming moving road blocks.   The rest of qualifying should follow suit, if you don't qualify out of the heat or win your semi, during the Main event you take off in the second wave.  Again, this will reward the top qualifiers.  This will also give us the elite matchups in the front of the field, Dungey vs Tomac and the moving roadblocks like Alessi and Friese won't be in the way.  Every other major form of racing rewards fast qualifying.  This will also make the first turn far safer, and while it's cool seeing 22 of the worlds fastest 450’s funnel into a couple lines, the bikes are too fast and have outgrown the current starting procedure.  This will help keep the stars healthy and on the track, but still maintain the  entertainment factor. The final issue in review is how quick the riders figure out the fast lines.  With dartfish and overlapping video these teams have taken out the guesswork of finding the fastest line.   If part of the track was not opened until the night program, riders may have more difficulty discovering the fasted line before the race has started.  Give the guys a hot lap and then turn them loose!  While this doesn’t seem to promote safety, it rewards riders who can learn new sections quickly, making the series more interesting as we will see different rider’s skills outside of dirt preference.  Also, the much debated “chase” format has been discussed and in this era of short attention spans, smart phones, and instant gratification we have lost the appreciation for a season long war.  If we want to attract a new generation of fans, we need to up the intensity and make sure the champion is not crowned halfway through the series (like Dungey in 2016), we can't count on Eli making it interesting every year. These are just a couple things I feel need to be addressed for the future of Supercross, what do you think?  Should we add a shark pit or have riders change a tire for starting position? Let me hear your ideas.
    Posted by Chris Cooksey on Mar 27, 2017

    JASO Explained Part 1: 4-Strokes
    JASO Explained PART 1: JASO 4-Stroke Engine Oil Specification        The Japanese Lubricating Oil Society or JALOS is the organization that regulates the performance of various motorcycle specific engine oil types. JALOS is the organization that regulates and oversees the implementation of the JASO motorcycle engine oil specifications. For motorbike applications, there are two separate JASO categories for 4-stroke and 2-stroke applications with numerous subdivisions within each category. For this article I am going to focus on explaining the 4-stroke category.        Let’s begin with a quick background of the 4-stroke JASO specification. In 1998, JALOS organized the first widely accepted standard for evaluating performance of motorcycle engine lubricants. This was necessary due to an increasing number of automotive oils meeting the energy conserving and resource conserving specifications through the additive technology of friction modifiers. Because these friction modifiers are not designed for compatibility of wet clutches, problems were occurring in motorcycles with combined engine and transmission oil sumps. The MA specification was launched in 1998 with the attempt to differentiate between products that were suitable for wet clutch applications and those that weren’t. This was done in collaboration with the major motorcycle manufacturers of Japan at the time, so it was a fairly industry-wide desire to identify the products that worked most effectively. The first two categories introduce by JALOS were the JASO MA and the JASO MB performance specifications. The MA category was originally meant for good clutch compatibility and MB was for products not compatible with wet clutches, or in other words; products that contain friction modifiers and cause clutch slipping.        In 2006 the T903:1998 specification was replaced by the T903:2006 specification which underwent a big change to the clutch friction test results and their interpretation. The MA specification for JASO performance in wet clutch applications was further broken down into three oddly distinct yet overlapping categories. In 2011 the T903:2006 specification was then replaced by the T903:2011 specification in order to further refine those friction result ranges for each category. The charts below lay out the exact ranges for each category during each update and make it simple to see how they are currently broken down. Table 1: JASO T903:1998 Clutch Friction Specification Table 2: JASO T903:2006 Clutch Friction Specification Table 3: JASO T903:2011 Clutch Friction Specification Table 4: JASO T903:2016 Clutch Friction Specification MB – To be classified as MB, at least one of the three results needs to be within the MB ranges. It can be any one of the three, it could be two of three or it could be all three, but at long as at least one result is within the MB range, the entire oil performance is considered MB. MA1 – To be classified as an MA1 oil, all three of the results must be within the MA1 range. MA2 – To be classified as an MA2 oil, all three of the results must be within the MA2 range. MA –  To be considered MA, all three results must be within the MA range. Since the MA range encompasses both the MA1 and the MA2 specifications, it can become a little confusing. Technically, if a particular oil meets the MA1 specification, a lubricant marketer can call it an MA oil and the same applies to an oil that meets the MA2 specification. If an oil’s results are mixed and some of the results are within the MA1 range and some are within the MA2 range, then it can only be classified as MA.        So that is how the clutch compatibility is currently tested. The SAE #2 bench test is the most current testing protocol to determine performance at the time I am writing this article. To put it simply, MA covers the entire clutch compatible range, MA1 is the lower friction half of that specification and MA2 is the higher friction half of that specification. These friction test results are the only differences between the four JASO categories for 4-stroke motorcycle engine oil.        The result names of DFI, SFI and STI are kind of nondescript and difficult to assign a practical property to. It took me quite a long time in the industry before I found a adequate enough description of each one to fully understand the results myself. Here is a basic description of what each one means: Dynamic Friction Index (DFI) – Is a measurement of how power is transferred while being operated under slipping conditions or in other words, how the clutch feels as it is engaged when already spinning. Static Friction Index (STI) – A measure of how much torque can be applied to an already fully engaged clutch before slipping occurs. Stop Time Index (STI) – A measurement of how much time it takes for the clutch to engage when the lever is released.     There are other tests that are required for JASO compliance that relate to performance characteristics other than wet clutch compatibility tests. Here is the exact specification followed by a brief description of each item. (Warning: there are a lot of technical terms coming up that you might want definitions for, many of these terms and tests are already listed in the glossary page at Mototribology.com.)                               Table 5: JASO T903:2016 laboratory bench testing requirements. These specifications control the chemical and                                   physical properties of motorcycle specific oils. Density – A measurement of mass per given volume Flash Point – A way to measure the flammability characteristics of a fluid. It is measured by determining the temperature at which the oil vaporizes rapidly enough to make the volume of air directly above the liquid flammable. Kinematic Viscosity - A measurement indicating a fluids ability to flow. The more viscous oil is, the thicker it is. This is sometimes referred to as low shear viscosity. While the result at 40°C only needs to be reported, the result at 100°C must correlate to the designated SAE viscosity grade on file for the product. Viscosity Index - A number which is calculated using the kinematic viscosity of a fluid at varying temperatures. Simply put, it is a measure of how stable the viscosity is over a wide temperature range. The higher the viscosity index number is, the more stable a fluid is with regards to viscosity. Low-Temp Viscosity, CCS – The low temperature viscosity of an oil in high shear rate conditions. High Temp. High Shear Rate Viscosity at 150°C (HTHS) – The high temperature viscosity of an oil in high shear rate conditions. Sulfated Ash – The metallic ash content of an oil after it burns. This is a part of how to evaluate an oil’s cleanliness. Acid Number – The acidity of an oil. This is sometimes referred to as Total Acid Number. Base Number – The alkalinity of an oil. This is sometimes referred to as Total Base Number. Evaporative Loss – The mass of oil that will evaporate at a specified temperature. This relates to oil consumption rate and an oil’s viscosity stability. Foaming Tendency – The resistance an oil has to a head of foam both forming and persisting on its surface measured at three different temperature conditions. Shear Stability – The resistance for an oil’s molecules to be sheared or reduced. This property relates to viscosity stability. Color – I sincerely hope this needs no description Elemental Analysis – A quantitative measurement of the concentration of chemical elements in a material. Phosphorus is the only element that is controlled or limited by JASO. Infrared Absorption Spectrum Analysis (IR Scan) – A type of scan that identifies chemical bonds. Figure 1: Example of an IR scan        This stuff can be confusing, I know. So if any of it is still unclear to you, feel free to PM any questions.       You may have noticed that most of the tests on this list are only reported to JASO and don’t actually have any required values. This is because many of these tests are simply used as identifiers. JALOS periodically does “secret shopper” testing and pulls products off the shelves to make sure that the oil being sold matches the formula which was filed with JALOS. This has the dual purpose of ensuring that the originally filed results were accurately reported and that formula changes were not performed without re-qualifying the oil with JALOS. With so many different properties being reported, it would be easy to identify a simple manufacturing variance compared to an actual formula change, so it effectively keeps lubricant marketers from being dishonest when advertising a JASO registration.     So that is the entire JASO 4-stroke engine oil specification minus the labeling requirements and then all it takes is a deposit of ¥40,000 (approximately $400 USD) to the JALOS bank account to be added to their list and to display a JASO box such as the one below on the back label of an oil. Figure 2: JASO registration box for rear labels of motorcycle engine oils. Only products that are officially registered with JASO and are included on the JASO filed engine oil list are permitted to display this box on their label. So if you see the box, you should be able to look it up on the list to confirm its registration. You can also find the company that owns each formula and if you read the oil code you can tell exactly what country that product is manufactured in. By looking at digits two, three and four of the oil code, which are specified by a corresponding country code in Appendix 3 (Page 19) of the JASO T903:2011 specification document, you can tell the exact country of origin for every product on the list. Figure 3: JASO oil code example. Why JASO is Important Now you may be asking yourself, is registration really that important? It is true that registration is not required to market a product for 4-stroke motorcycle use, but the fact that a product is registered does give assurance from an independent third party that a product does perform as claimed. There are many many brands and products out there that claim to “meet JASO MA requirements” or they may say “meets JASO performance specifications” or something else along that same line. If there is only a claim and no box, then you simply need to take that company’s word for it that they comply, and if there is no official registration, it is only that company’s promise that they are formulating honestly. The products that claim to meet JASO requirements more than likely do, but there is certainly a higher chance that a company that does not register may not be testing to ensure that performance. Registering with JASO does have a downside. It makes it difficult to improve formulas any more frequently than once every few years because of the cost involved for each reformulation, so it can make it difficult to adapt to quickly advancing technologies. The JASO specifications give a benchmark for motorcycle specific oils that highlights the performance needs that are different from standard automotive oils. By addressing those differences and working with both motorcycle manufacturers and lubricant manufacturers, JASO continues to update the specification every five years or so to remain in step with the most up-to-date technologies; by keeping up-to-date with the technology advancements always happening, it makes sure that oils are able to advance without risking the loss of their JASO registration simply for trying to improve or do things possibly outside the ordinary to create a uniquely performing product. What’s Next?        The T903:2016 specification was released in April, 2016 and is now implemented. There was an attempt to bring in a new test to quantify gear protection, but there were problems validating the test procedure so it is not planned to go into effect until 2021 now.        The clutch test was revised to give a more accurate differentiation between the categories. So the updated ranges and test pieces now offer a more precise and useful test.        As mentioned above, gear pitting is an issue they want to address. It was not able to be implemented in the 2016 specification but it is still of interest for eventual inclusion into the specification.        The FZG Gear Test was the original test considered to analyze gear pitting performance. Unfortunately the FZG test method proposed for measuring pitting protection has been deemed too unreliable to be standardized. There is a lack of repeatability between laboratories performing the test and the cost of each test was determined to be too costly in the end.        An alternative test called the Thrust Needle Bearing Test has been suggested as an alternative to the FZG as an indicator of gear pitting protection. The test result has a close correlation to the FZG results and is very cheap to run relative to the FZG gear test. Unfortunately this test is also experiencing a lack of repeatability between laboratories at this time.        Unfortunately before the specification can include a new test, the test must display a strong correlation between facilities and a highly repeatable test method. Different users and laboratories must be able to obtain results within a reasonable margin of error, but until that happens, this new test will not be part of the specification. By 2021, they may have a new procedure developed that can work for this purpose. Here are some links to the JALOS website for anyone who would like to review the official documents: JASO T903:2016 Specification JASO 4T List of Filed 4T Engine Oils
    Posted by MotoTribology on Mar 14, 2017

    MSR NXT Riding Gear
    I just unboxed my MSR Legend '71 jersey and pants, as well as a couple pair of MSR Impact gloves, and MSR VXII boots.   I was looking for some less expensive gear to thrash at work.  I chose the 71 series for two reasons; the American flag, and it recognizes the over 40 crowd.  That's me. The jersey, well it's a jersey.  It is all about styling.  It breathes well, fits over armor easily, and should hide stains well.  I think I saw Brock Harden wearing something similar from MSR last year, and while it may not look as good on me, there is no way I could kill it's coolness.   The pants are nice.  While I miss not having pockets for knee pads, it offers its own protection for that frequently impacted joint and they will slide easily over strap-on protection.  At first I thought they were too small, but then I noticed the velcro straps on the side.  They fit perfect.  I like the adjustable fly closure.  Most pants only adjust at the hips and require frequent adjustment, which wears the velcro out.  These have a ratchet type adjustment on the front that allows them to be snugged up without wearing out the velcro.  Nice.   There are some velcro tabs on the inside of the hips that I am guessing is to attach hip pads. Wearing them feels like you are wearing nothing; totally unrestricted movement.  All the usual wear points are protected with heavy material and the air flow is very nice in the warmer temperatures.  Sorry, no pockets.  These are race pants.  I would love to have at least one pocket for ear plugs, pocket knife, cash, etc. The boots show how much things have changed.  Back in the day these would have cost double.  Unlike my crossfires, these boots are for big boys, but snug up well on my chicken legs.   My crazy Indian friend has tree trunks for legs, and he found this was the only boot that would fit him.    The foot compartment is a little wide for my tastes, but socks can fix that if need be.  The extra space should make them cooler in the summer months.  No hinge requires makes them a little more restrictive, but also requires them to be more flexible which reduces protection a bit.  The buckle system is easy to use, getting in and out takes half the time and effort as crossfires.  They are plastic, so it wouldn't hurt to get an extra buckle just in case.  The sole has a generous lip which makes finding the shifter and brake easy.   The gloves are exactly what I wanted.  Something heavier than the standard MX glove, but a little lighter and cooler than my Klim Dakars.  This is it.  Good knuckle protection, and none of that rigid crap that ends up doing the damage.  Yes, I know carbon fiber knuckles look cool, but they aren't.  Tough palm material that extends through the fingers should make them last a while.  The grippy stuff on the finger tips makes manipulation of your world easy.   My only real complaint at this point:  What, no stickers?  
    Posted by Bryan Bosch on Feb 20, 2017

    New Product! Fly Kinetic 2017.5
    This past weekend Fly Racing launched their 2017.5 Kinetic Mesh just in time for the summer.  Fly racing is based in Boise, ID, many former professional racers now work at Fly (Jason Thomas “JT$”, Cole Siebler, Kyle Gills, Jeff “NorCal” Northrop) and the designers take their input seriously when designing the gear.  Fly Racing gear is founded on quality and comfort, including high end features at a mid level price point.   After riding in 80-95 degree heat last Saturday at MesquiteMX I’m still blown away by how well the gear fits. The Kinetic Mesh gear isn't the “pajama style” vented gear from 3-5 years ago.   The older gear left me looking and feeling ridiculous with an untucked jersey and sagging pants.  With the new 2017.5 Kinetic Mesh, if it wasn't for air flowing through me I would have thought I was wearing regular gear.   The Kinetic Mesh Pants retail for $114.95 and $38.95 for the Jersey.  Go to www.flyracing.com for more information, all sizes and colors are available in the TT Store.   Check out Jeff “NorCal” Northrop as he explains further the features and benefits of Fly 2017.5 Kinetic Gear.  
    Posted by Chris Cooksey on Mar 14, 2017

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