It's so hard to believe 2006 is here - I still can't get over it.
Last year we named the Shark RSR as the webBikeWorld "Helmet of the Year". It was a spur-of-the-moment, arbitrary decision based on our opinion of that product.
But the award generated lots of interest, so we're doing it again, albeit somewhat differently.
2005 was an incremental year; that is, there weren't any real breakthroughs and no helmet impressed us enough to even do another Helmet of the Year.
But there were some useful, cool, interesting and unique products, so we're giving them the "webBikeWorld Best Motorcycle Products of 2005" award.
There's absolutely no science behind this; it's purely our opinion. We're not in agreement on the choices, so we've added our name after each entry (and they're in no particular order).
We think you'll be surprised at some of our picks, but just remember that our definition of "best" includes "best value for the money". Enjoy!
Motorcycle Helmet of the Year
Huh? You're kidding, right??
Nope; we're serious.
Maybe not what you think of when you hear the words "best" and "motorcycle helmet" in the same sentence, but for 150 bucks, this is, believe it or not, one of the most comfortable helmets we evaluated in 2005.
It's both DOT and Snell approved; it has an internal fit like an Arai Quantum II; a liner that betrays its low price; and acres of chin room. Sure, it has a couple of faults, but the CL-14 is a good reason why HJC is the #1 helmet company in the U.S.A. ("Burn").
Come on, it doesn't get any wackier than this! Whimsical helmets that actually work.
ECE 22.05 approval only, but put one of these babies on and you'll be the life of the party! Chicks dig 'em too!
Motorcycle Clothing of the Year
Another surprise, and again probably not what you think of when pairing the words "best" and "motorcycle jacket".
But not everyone has $500 or more to spend on motorcycle clothing. This jacket is very serviceable; it's soft and comfortable; and it goes great with a cheap pair of Tourmaster overpants.
Don't be intimidated by status brands; you don't have to spend much to get better protection than a pair of jeans and a windbreaker. Why do I find myself always reaching for this jacket when I have a dozen others to choose from? (Rick)
Honorable Mention: Sliders Kevlar Jeans
I don't wear 'em that often, preferring instead full leather. But gauging from our email, motorcycle jeans are super-popular with webBikeWorld visitors.
These are great-looking; you'd be hard pressed to tell they're lined with Kevlar. They fit perfectly and they're comfortable as all get-out.
Women's Motorcycle Clothing of the Year
Segment-busting style, comfort and class. I wear this everywhere! Finally, clothing that's really designed (emphasize "designed") for women (Lori).
Heated Motorcycle Clothing
Expensive as jade, but unlike anything else on the market.
The fabric is the conductor, so there are no bulky wires and no hot spots. Super high quality; feels like a street vest; simple and robust connectors and a nice controller. And by the way, it keeps me beaucoup warm ("Burn").
Motorcycle Gloves of the Year
I have no idea if these will actually protect my hands better than a pair costing three times as much, but they're thicker than grits, tougher than iron and THEY STAY ON. 'Nuff said (Rick and "Burn" agree on this one).
Motorcycle Accessory of the Year
Absolutely the best invention for hauling motorcycles on a flatbed trailer, bar none. I wish there was a U.S. distributor. Combined with the Bike Grab front wheel chock, your trailering worries are over (Staff).
Master Listing of All wBW Motorcycle Product Reviews