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Best Motorcycle Products of 2005

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 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!

HJC CL-14 Motorcycle Helmet HJC CL-14 - 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"

Draxtar P-104 GPA Aircraft
Draxtar P-104 and GPA Aircraft - 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! - Staff Pick

Tourmaster Advanced Jacket

Tourmaster Advanced Jacket - 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

Sliders Kevlar Jeans

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. 

By the way, don't forget the Bohn body armor, and finish them off with a pair of Vendramini Aero boots! - Bill

G-Line Doheny Women's Jacket

G-Line Doheny Women's Jacket - Segment-busting style, comfort and class.  I wear this everywhere!  Finally, clothing that's really designed (emphasize "designed") for women. - Lori

EXO2 StormRider Heated Vest

EXO2 StormRider Heated Vest - 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"

Marsee Motorcycle Race Gloves Marsee Motorcycle Race Gloves - 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.

Tyre Down Wheel Holder

Tyre Down - 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

Honorable Mention

The Garmin i5 isn't a motorcycle GPS, but it's incredibly easy (and fun) to use.  It probably won't take you the way you'd normally go, but if you already know where you're going, why are you using a GPS?  One of the coolest electronic gizmos we've played with in a long time.  -  Staff

Pak-Lite is an LED cap that sits on a 9 Volt battery and turns it into a very bright flashlight.  Ingenious! 

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