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Articles by Sean Smith
AGV gets real with the Pista GP
AGV has upped their game with the new AGV PistaGP. They used a freakin' lazer to scan Valentino Rossi's head and designed the helmet from the inside out around the resulting 3d model, unlike the traditional method of creating the outer shell first then going inside. The new visor mechanism is minuscule at 71% smaller than before. And then there's the shape: small, lean and reptilian, it looks ...
Mar 23 2012
This is the city gear that saved my life
About a month ago, I had a terrible motorcycle accident here in LA. Six broken bones, a week in the hospital and three surgeries. About as bad as it gets, right? Well, not quite. That's thanks to the gear I was wearing — head-to-toe protection. But, I wasn't in leathers or ungainly Cordura or anything like that, I was in jeans and a jacket; the kind of thing I wear to go to a meeting or a bar. C...
Feb 25 2012
Two guys, one really bad crash
On January 28th, I had a terrible bike crash and ended up in hospital for a week with six broken bones. In a shocking case of inadvertent symmetry, that bike was an Aprilia Mana, the same bike Wes used as a mobility bike last summer when he broke his left arm. My head’s been pretty fucked up on painkillers since, but finally, here’s the story of what happened in the crash, afterwards and how I...
Feb 17 2012
Dainese D-Air: the safety race is on
Both Dainese and arch-rival Alpinestars have spent the past decade developing real-life, airbag-equipped superhero suits and now they're ready for public consumption (even though no dates have been given on purchase availability). Alpinestars spilled the beans on TechAir back in August and, this week, Dainese did the same with this new D-Air suit, finally ready for public consumption. The safety a...
Jan 27 2012
Motorcycle drifting > car drifting x2
Remember when Nick Apex had a drift-off with a ‘vette-engined RX-7 around a race track? Remember when Icon destroyed a Porsche 928 in the name of douchebag awareness? Well, put the two together, add public roads, a V8 Mustang cop car, Triumph Speed Triples, Ernie Vigil and plenty of tire smoke and you have Icon’s latest video, High Plains Drift 2. You’re exclusively seeing it here on HFL fir...
Jan 13 2012
Gear: Aerostich Courier bag and iPad sleeve
A bag for most seasons that won't break the bank.
Jan 12 2012
A race bike for the (off) road
The KTM 350 EXC-F is a bike a lot of people will buy to go racing. It weighs 250 pounds and its fuel-injected, four-stroke 350cc motor produces an honest 45bhp. There is nothing second rate or cheap anywhere on the bike. And, if you can afford a service every 15 hours, it's theoretically possible to to ride this honest-to-god race bike from your home to the trails. Photos: Grant Ray Why a 350?...
Dec 23 2011
Why you want a Triumph Bonneville, even if you don’t know it yet
Since 2001, the Triumph Bonneville has always just sort of been there as a good-looking, if unexciting retro bike. Reliable, shiny and affordable, but not the kind of thing you’d lay awake at night dreaming about. For 2010 and 2011, that’s just changed, totally. Triumph won’t tell you that the humble Bonnie is suddenly one of the most most desirable motorcycles on the market. But, don’t wo...
Dec 9 2011
Is the BRD RedShift SM really faster than an ICE supermoto?
The RedShift is fast, designed to compete directly with existing motocross and supermoto bikes.
Dec 8 2011
Gear: Dainese 4-stroke gloves
The first pair of riding gloves I ever bought were a pair of old Alpinestars SP-Ss. I thought they were pretty cool and the price was right. After crashing in them (and getting lucky), I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something inherently un-safe about short gloves. What's unsafe about short gloves? The simple fact that they almost always leave the pointy part of the Ulna exposed. If th...
Dec 2 2011
Details: Honda CB1000R
The Honda CB1000R isn’t, as you might assume, a naked CBR1000RR. The two bikes share lower engine case design that makes the engines appear the same from the outside, but the CB1000R makes a whopping 53bhp less. Is being a completely different bike from the CBR necessarily a bad thing? Photos: Grant Ray Why the CB1000R is not a naked CBR1000RR The CBR1000RR has a twin-spar aluminum frame
Dec 1 2011
Touring & Sport-Touring
Gold Winging: Learning to Love the Dainty Elephant
Not just for summer, not only for dads.
Nov 18 2011
The 163lb direct-injected two-stroke Ossa Explorer you can't have
On paper, it's a dream bike. How cool would it be to ride around on an incredibly light weight trials bike with a seat? In the real world, there are two problems: It's not coming to America and, even if it did, its two-stroke wouldn't be clean enough to meet US emissions. Adding insult to injury are the Öhlins suspended Enduro 250i and 350i twins that also use the new motor. Ossa is light on inf...
Nov 16 2011
2011 Suzuki GSX-R 750: too good for squids
No matter how many vest-wearing squids ride (and crash) GSX-Rs, there will always be something special about them. The GSX-R 750 didn't create the fully-faired sportsbike genre, but in 1985, it was the first one to have all the pieces: fully adjustable forks and shock, aluminum frame, 390lbs and 106hp. Twenty seven years later, the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 750 is still the fastest sportsbike you can ride...
Nov 14 2011
Touring & Sport-Touring
Go North Young Man, Go On a Honda Gold Wing
This is a fantastic idea and nothing bad can come of it!
Nov 9 2011
Vespa's unpronounceable future
The Vespa Quarantasei (46 in Italian) is a concept inspired by the 1945 MP6 prototype and it's more wasp-like than ever. Times have changed though and engine technology has made significant advances in the last 65 years. While the Quarantasei is a styling concept, its engine is the real deal. The new motor is an air-cooled, fuel-injected 3-valve 4-stroke. It'll be available as either a 125 with 1...
Nov 8 2011
Ducati 1199 leaks ahead of EICMA
Due to be released at EICMA this week, the new Ducati 1199 Panigale has leaked. Check out the gallery for the first clear shots of the 195bhp, 395lbs (wet) v-twin. We've already covered the 1199 extensively, but these shots do reveal a few new things. DES (Ducati Electronic Suspension) is clearly visible on both the front Öhlins NIX30 forks and rear TTX-36 shock of the S model. This will be the f...
Nov 6 2011
The difference a pipe can make
This Aprilia Shiver 750 and its similarly styled stablemate, the Aprilia Dorsoduro, are two very nice looking motorcycles, with one exception — they both suffer from a significant case of junk in the trunk. The stock exhausts, tasked with quieting the booming of two large cylinders, are simply huge. Aprilia’s gone through significant trouble flattening the profile of the cans so the tale looks...
Nov 1 2011
How APRC works on the road
You've seen the fancy videos, the technical breakdown info-graphics and read the first person accounts about how completely awesome APRC is. But if you're not a racer, why should you care? Technology from racing has been improving the street riding experience for decades. In the 1960s racing technology brought us powerful four cylinder engines with a ton of reliable smooth power. In the 70s we got...
Oct 26 2011
Ducati Superquadro: huge pistons, short stroke, 195hp, 15,000 mile service intervals
Today details surrounding the Ducati Superquadro superbike engine are finally being released. Horsepower is 195 at 10,750rpm, valve adjustments come at 15,000 miles instead of 7,500, timing belts are replaced with chains and gears and a wet slipper clutch replaces the clattering dry unit of past Ducati Superbikes. Welcome to the future. Update: Now with English sub-titled video The motor is a gr...
Oct 10 2011
Learn to go fast on a Honda CBR250R
So you want to go fast on a motorcycle, huh? Well, you could do what all your peers did and buy a brand new liter bike, crash it and either hurt yourself badly or never ride again. It'll probably end up being both. But what if we told you there was a third way? Instead of looking for the bike to do the speed for you, learn to speed yourself. Do that and a whole new world will open up to you, you'l...
Oct 1 2011
Gear: Dainese Greyhound Pelle
This jacket is quickly becoming a favorite piece.
Sep 29 2011
The CBR1000RR's Balance Free Rear Cushion explained
So far as a defining mechanical unique selling points go, "balance free rear cushion" isn't exactly the most evocative description. Not only does it evoke pillows rather than greasy parts, but it just lacks the pizzaz of terms like "EXUP," "Deltabox," and "SRAD." That's too bad, because the 2012 Honda CBR1000RR's neat new trick is actually seriously neat. Here's how it works. First, here's wha...
Sep 29 2011
36 hours in San Francisco on a Yamaha Zuma
San Francisco is an awesome town. There's great food, weird people and so much to see in the city crammed between ocean and bay. But, that means it's also filled to the brim with tourists, making travel by car all but impossible. A good alternative to being stuck in traffic, paying exorbitant day parking rates or being limited to as far as you can huff it on foot is zipping around on a scooter. Th...
Sep 28 2011
Adventure & Dual-Sport
Products & Services
Repair and Maintenance
Energica Motor Company
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