by Rick Korchak
Editor and Publisher
January 1, 2013 - Best wishes to all of our visitors, contributors and affiliates for a happy, healthy, joyous and prosperous 2013! 2013 also marks the 13th year of webBikeWorld -- an eternity in Internet time!
New Year's Day means that it's time once again for the webBikeWorld.com Motorcycle Product of the Year Awards to recognize our favorite motorcycle products and accessories, chosen from all of the interesting gear we reviewed in the prior year.
The criteria for the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Product of the Year is simple: We choose what we like -- the product or products that, for one reason or another, have stood out among their competitors.
The webBikeWorld.com Motorcycle Product of the Year Awards are designed to give recognition to those products which, in our opinion, combine the most unique, interesting and useful features, along with the best value, to make them leaders in their class.
This is a completely subjective exercise with no science and full of the illogic of emotion. You may or may not agree with our choices and that's perfectly fine.
Note that the categories may vary from year to year, depending upon the products. Also, there may be more than one winner in each category, again depending upon the number and quality of the products reviewed during the year...and there sure were plenty of products to choose from in 2012!
As always, webBikeWorld wouldn't be what it is without the many evaluators, contributors and writers who have contributed much of the knowledge and content on the website. The variety of opinions and the excellent communication and photographic skills are what make webBikeWorld.com such a valued resource.
The excellent and detailed feedback sent by webBikeWorld visitors also helps to enhance each webBikeWorld.com product review and article. My feeling has always been that webBikeWorld visitors provide the best and most insightful feedback that can be found on the web and it is very useful for other riders.
Managing and maintaining webBikeWorld takes a lot of cash and I also would like to thank all of our visitors for supporting the site through your purchases at MotorcycleGear.com, RevZilla, British Motorcycle Gear and Amazon.com.
Those affiliates are the primary source of revenue to run the website. There are no banner ads used on the site or in our videos. Ads are kept to a minimum to maintain a clean "look and feel" and to keep a focus on the products and on the highly detailed technical reviews. We also use the Google AdSense program on content pages for additional revenue.
It only work if you -- our valued readers -- continue to use the webBikeWorld Affiliate links to purchase any of your gear from these outstanding retailers. And don't forget: by doing so, you'll get the best deals and the best customer service in the business.
Each of our affiliate retailers are highly respected and the best in the business -- we wouldn't have them as affiliates if they weren't! They also have liberal return policies, outstanding customer service and can do international shipping.
Your support also means that webBikeWorld can continue to provide funding to our favorite charities. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity each month and we're very proud of this program and thankful for our ability to help others. I'm very pleased to announce that since 2003 we have donated over $48,000.00 to charities around the world!
From all of us to all of you, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2013!
Owner, Editor and Publisher
► webBikeWorld Motorcycle Product of the Year Awards ◄
2012 Motorcycle Helmet
of the Year: The Nolan N85
The Nolan N85 (review) was a surprise hit at the 2012 Dealer Expo in February of that year and it impressed even more when we ran it through the full review process in June.
The N85 uses a time-tested recipe for success: offer more for less. I'll repeat what we wrote in the review: I have no idea how Nolan can make a helmet this good at this price. It's the helmet bargain of the year.
The review also made this bold pronouncement: "...we can comfortably state... that the Nolan N85 is currently the best helmet you'll find for under $250.00." And, it's 100% made in Italy, right in the Nolan factory (see our report and video).
As the remainder of 2012 streamed by, nothing happened to change our opinion. What's even sweeter is that the N85 is selling for just a touch over $200.00, making it an even better bargain.
The Nolan N85 is the most helmet you will find for the money, period. It is built like a tank with superb Nolan quality. And that's why it gets the 2012 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Helmet of the Year Award!
of the Year: Clover "Tekno" Jacket
The Clover Tekno jacket (review) is the world’s first motorcycle jacket with detachable layers that is certified to the CE EN-13595 series Level 2 standard. That it comes from a small but unique Italian motorcycle clothing manufacturer with a long history of innovation makes it all that much better!
The Tekno jacket meets the CE standard for three of the most important tests for motorcycle clothing: EN 13595-2 impact abrasion resistance; EN 13595-3 for burst strength and EN 13595-4 for impact cut resistance.
This means we finally have a motorcycle jacket that has been designed to perform and protect as expected. Too many motorcycle clothing manufacturers make bold claims with a laundry list of acronyms on their products that are supposed to make us feel like we're buying the right thing.
Now we have standards and independent lab tests to back up those claims. We can only hope that the rest of the industry will take up the challenge.
Slip into the Clover Tekno jacket and you'll feel the protection. And it's coming to the U.S.A. in 2013!
The Tekno jacket protects, performs and it's available. That's why it gets the 2012 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Clothing Product of the Year Award!
Motorcycle Gloves of
the Year: VQuattro "Squadra" Heated Gloves
Here's another company name you may not recognize. Americans love underdogs and Clover and VQuattro are the very definition.
All of the VQuattro gloves we reviewed are first-rate, with super-high quality and performance to back it up. But the VQuattro Squadra gloves (review) are stylish, comfortable and they meet the CE 13594 safety standard.
And here's the bonus: They also feature wireless heat in the fingertips, powered by an on-board battery.
While battery powered gloves aren't new (we've reviewed several), the VQuattro gloves have style, protection, the mcFIT waterproof and breathable membrane with it's special attachment construction.
And the bonus is that you barely notice that there's an on-board battery, wiring and controls attached.
VQuattro gloves are nearly impossible to find, but worth the search.
That's why the VQuattro Squadra gloves get the 2012 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Gloves of the Year Award!
of the Year: Cardo Scala Rider G9
It was a close call this year, with many new intercom systems released, but the Cardo Scala Rider G9 (review) gets the nod.
Its large form-factor and potential installation limitations are more than offset by the technology packed inside and the extremely good headset.
It has many useful features and without a doubt, the most effective audio gain control or AGC found on any Bluetooth helmet headset today.
We're not yet convinced about updating the system via the G9 social media based website, but this venue does present users with a lot more features that can very much enhance the ownership experience.
There were many new motorcycle intercom systems released in the last year but the Cardo Scala Rider G9 gets the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Intercom System of the Year Award!
Runner Up: The new UClear HBC200 system (review) has, without a doubt, the best standard headset and its audio processing capability is simply the best we have ever used, period.
Product of the Year: GoPro Hero3
2012 nearly passed us completely by when this latecomer finally hit the stores.
We've been critical of GoPro cameras in the past, and the form factor is still problematic, but the GoPro Hero3 (review) was impressive right out of the box.
In fact, within the first, oh, about 15 frames or so, we knew we had a winner. The video quality from this camera is stunning and it rivals that of many $1,000.00+ hand-held video cameras.
The Hero3 is expensive and it's difficult to mount on a helmet or a bike, but the same can be said for every motorcycle "action" camera and none even comes close to the video quality of the Hero3.
That's why the GoPro Hero3 gets the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Electronics Product of the Year award!
Provider of the Year: Sena
Sena is a relative newcomer to motorcycle communications, but not to Bluetooth technology.
The company makes a full line of Bluetooth communications systems including the Sena SR10 Bluetooth Hub Adapter (review) and the most excellent Sena SM10 Bluetooth Audio Sharing Adapter (review).
Sena has worked hard to bring new products to market that address broad-based consumer requirements and with the SM10, Sena has provided an extremely cost-effective audio-sharing solution for on-board audio systems.
Everything is firmware upgradeable and from the Sena SMH10 intercom (review) to the petite and affordable SMH5 (review), Sena offers a solution for virtually any motorcycling or recreational activity and, provides great customer support along the way.
That's why Sena gets the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Bluetooth Technology and Applications Provider Product of the Year Award!
Product of the Year: Forcefield Pro Shirt
Safety and protection have always been primary webBikeWorld concerns and we've been promoting safe gear, helmets and clothing for 13+ years.
The Forcefield Pro Shirt (review) is so comfortable that there's no longer any excuse for not wearing your protection under every motorcycle jacket.
It includes CE Level 1 protection in the shoulders and elbows and a built-in Level 2 back protector.
The back protector is a key safety component, but up until now, most back protectors are too uncomfortable to wear. Not so in the Forcefield Pro Shirt however -- you can have your medicine and you'll like it, too!
Forcefield makes some of the best protection in the world and the Pro Shirt brings it to the masses in an easy-to-use format. That's why the Forcefield Pro Shirt gets the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Protective Product of the Year award!
Flashlight of the Year:
They're not really motorcycle related, but we've been reviewing flashlights for about as long as webBikeWorld has been in existence.
And never have we come across something as interesting -- and powerful -- as the FandyFire UV-S5 (review).
This is a mind-blowing light that's bright enough to be nearly useless as a flashlight -- which makes it all the more interesting!
But when you need light -- and lots of it -- the FandyFire is the way to go. Amaze your friends and neighbors when you switch this baby on and hear the screams of fright!
It's big; it's bold; it's powerful (and it's well made and a relative bargain).
That's why the FandyFire UV-S5 gets the "novelty" category 2012 webBikeWorld Flashlight of the Year award!
Best wishes to everyone for a happy, safe and prosperous 2013!