Hello again! It's been awhile since I have spent anytime with you and I definitely missed it. Now I'm back with a new column, a fresh outlook, and new adventures to share.
The first thing I want to do is ask you about which topics you would like to discuss? Whether it's riding techniques, technical safety items, or new gear and accessories, ask away and I will get the answers.
The idea isn't necessarily to preach to you about "safety, safety, safety" or try to jam ATGATT down your throat. The idea is to show you what's out there, why it's out there, and encourage you to make your own decisions, but with more information at your disposal.
The great thing about writing a column like this is that the sky's the limit. With that in mind I want to share a product I stumbled across the other day...
ROAME Riding Shoes
ROAME is working on a pair of riding shoes that are equipped with CE certified D3O armor, with a wireless link that connects to a module mounted on your motorcycle. Why the wireless link? So the LED blinkers in your shoes match your motorcycle's lights — brakes and turn signals are all in sync with your shoes.
Via ROAME: "Three years ago, I set out to develop the ultimate motorcycle shoe. The goal was to make it safe while still having something that you would be ok wearing off the bike when you get to your destination and walk around. Something that was safe, comfortable, and stylish. We sought out the leading company for impact protection 'D3O' and integrated their product into our shoe. D3O is a UK based company, and their orange padding is light and flexible in its natural state, but under hard impact, it becomes more rigid (momentarily) to offer protection. D3O products are CE Certified. For sliding, we used abrasion resistant leather. But we didn't stop there. We patented and developed out own wireless blinker/brake light system and integrated it into the shoe. After adding our small box to your motorcycle's existing lighting system, our shoes become an extension of the motorcycles blinker/brake light system. When you use your left blinker, the left shoe lights up, the right blinker lights up the right shoe, and the brakes light up the back of both shoes. The last three years have been a journey, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Finally a motorcycle shoe that is safe, comfortable, and fashionable."
There was a time when I didn't think much of products like these. I figured the stock lights on a motorcycle was good enough. Oftentimes I removed the turn signals and tail light, and installed an integrated setup or flush mounts depending on the type of bike. Then I moved to Maryland. It was then I realized that not only had I made myself less visible, but the drivers here also weren't looking for me anyway.
One of the earlier modifications I used to become more visible was the module from Gear Brake. You can read that article here. What a difference that little module made to the brake lights! No more tailgating, and because it was inertia based, I could simply roll off the throttle to light it up. The results were great as it got people to back off into corners and other areas.
I'm not sure how compatible the two systems (ROAME and Gear Brake) would be, but this would be a combination of devices that make a ton of sense.
Right now, there's only one model offered by ROAME, but if their (soon to be launched) Kickstarter campaign does well enough, who knows what may come next.
Tell us what you think of the shoes and throw out some story ideas. You never know, I may write your idea next.