If you were an 1980s kid then ‘The Pump’ means only one thing: The Pump shoe from Reebok. The manual air pump system allowed air to inflate cushions to form the shoe better to the person wearing it. Targeted at the basketball industry, the shoe was a huge hit in the early 90s and air cushioning found its way into more than just shoes. Now 20 years later the simple idea of an air inflated custom fit can be found in the offroad world with the LS2 MX456e Helmets.
They began as a helmet manufacturer in 1991 in China. In 2006 they decided to brand their own helmets and LS2 was created. After years of growth, both geographically and in quality, they became available in the US in 2010 through Allwin Powersports Corporation. Today you can buy dozens of different types of helmets for on-road, off-road and snow powersports. The flagship of the offroad helmets is the LS2 MX456e.
LS2 sent us a beautifully patriotic USA version of MX456e to try out. Out of the box the fit was already pretty snug but after a few rides we were able to try out the inflation system. As promised, the cheek pads inflate with each press of the button, bringing back those pre-game basketball memories. If you have trouble finding the right fit in a helmet or want a custom fit this is truly the way to go.
The LS2 MX456e uses a tricomposite fiberglass shell. There are vents at the mouth, the jawline, the back and two closable vents above the face opening. There are also vents at the top of face opening. The visor is mounted at three points with screws that can be tightened with a screwdriver or a coin to get them more than just hand tight. I know I’ve has visor screws fall out on trails before. The visor also has a removable extension. The odor and bacteria resistant liner is fully removable for cleaning. Ready to ride it weighs in at just under 3.2 pounds.
Not sure if a Chinese helmet is tough enough for you? How about the fact that is is the helmet of 5 time Dakar Rally motorcycle winner Cyril Despres.
The LS2 MX456e is available in sizes XS to 2XL and in 10 different colors. It is DOT certified and ECE approved. MSRP on the LS2 MX456e is $189.95. For more details on the LS2 MX456e check out http://ls2helmets.us.
It’s the season of giving and we’re going all in. We’ve teamed up with Gorilla Whips to give away, not 1, but 2 of their wireless LED whips! This comes on the heels of our recent review of the Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whips found here. The new wireless LED whips do away with the inline controls for changeing colors, pattern, etc. and trade up to a multifunction remote that puts each option at your finger tips much easier. Check out Gorilla Whips for more infomation about their awesome whips at http://www.gorillawhips.com. To enter our giveaway to win a Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme wireless Whip, visit our contest page and enter your email address. Bonus entries for liking WeekendATV.com and Gorilla Whips on Facebook. Happy Holidays!
One of the major trends in the accessory market is LED safety whips. Many parks, especially sand dunes, require safety flags elevated high on whips to make riders more visible coming over a dune or hill. Changes in technology have allowed LED whips to become more visible than flags as the lighted whips are akin to light sabers hanging off the rear rack. Riding areas open after dark look like a sci-fi movie as neon colors dash through the dunes and trails. So we contacted Gorilla Whips to try out the Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whip.
While there are several companies producing LED safety whips, Gorilla Whips are unique. Instead of purchasing a dedicated color, the Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whip has 20 different colors built-in. An inline remote control allows you to cycle through the 20 colors to choose your favorite. Your final selection is remembered, even after you power off the whip, for the next time you turn it on. The inline remote also allows you to rotate through 19 different patterns. Instead of the whip just glowing a solid color it can flash, fade between colors and create a random light show. A final button acts as the on/off button and can change the speed of the selected pattern.
If you purchase a Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whip you will receive the whip, your selected flag, a wiring harness with a quick-release, quick connect wire splices, the billet aluminum whip mount and its mounting hardware. Installation is simple enough that instructions are not included but they do have an installation video on their YouTube Channel at http://youtu.be/cSTf2WX3X8M. The billet aluminum whip mount is bolted to the mounting hole that your ATV likely already has on the rear rack or grab bar. This whip is inserted snuggly into the mount and secured with a quick release pin. The wiring harness is then assembled and connected to the battery or other power source. That’s it. The wiring harness on the battery side is the same as most trickle chargers meaning quicker installation if you have a trickle charger already.
The Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whip is available in 3′, 4′ and 6′ lengths. Our 6′ model contains over 215 super bright LEDs. While we’re not able to compare the Xtreme Whip’s brightness to its competitors, Gorilla Whips backs their claim in their stronger, brighter, better guarantee. And if you manage to break it you can receive a discounted or even free replacement with their crazy crash guarantee. We did experience an issue where a small segment of the LEDs in our whip would flicker or not work at all. Gorilla Whips replaced it at no cost.
The Gorilla Whips LED Xtreme Whip carries a price tag of $119, $129 and $139 for the 3′, 4′ and 6′ lengths respectively. That puts them in the higher price range compared to others, but again, you aren’t locked into a single color or pattern making them an incredible value. Their newest model even has a wireless remote control. Gorilla Whips also offers standard ATV whips and replacement parts. To order your own check out http://www.gorillawhips.com.
Like many of you, I frequent several large ATV communities and groups on Facebook and other sites, looking at pictures of your rides, great deals and various information. Unfortunately it’s rare to not see a post from someone about a missing ATV or UTV, stolen right out of their backyard. Powersports thefts are prevalent everywhere. Lockstraps creator Jeff Cranny had a similar experience in 2009 when his motorcycle and gear were taken right out of the back of his truck. It was following that experience that the idea of Lockstraps was born.
At a glance, Lockstraps are just tie-down straps with a combination lock carabiner replacing the normal hook. If that’s all you take away from them then you have sold yourself very short. They are much more than that.
Let’s start with the carabiners. Each end of the Lockstrap features a carabiner, allowing you to securely anchor each end of the strap and anything its be routed through. The carabiners are made of #64 hardened/heat-treated steel. The loops are big, 6 inches by 3.5 inches. A 3 digit combination lock means you don’t have to keep up with another set of keys, yet makes the lock quickly accessible when you need it. You can set your own combination and change it anytime.
The strap is 1.5 inch wide, heavy-duty nylon; and thicker than any other strap I’ve used. Galvanized steel rivets used have a working load of 500lbs and there is an extensions on one end of the cable to keep the carabiner from direct contact with your toys to prevent scratches to your paint of plastics. Now when I first showed Lockstraps to a friend of mine his reaction was “That’s cute” as he pulled out a pocket knife, threatening to make quick work of the nylon. That’s when I pointed out the steel cable embedded in the middle of the strap, from one end to the other! In our tests, we found that it took a set of steel snips to be able to cut through the braided steel cable. Despite the cable Lockstraps are very flexible and easy to manage.
The Lockstrap tie-down is 8.5 feet long. The also have a 24ft version and a 2ft version each with only one carabiner. The 2ft version is perfect for locking your helmet to your ATV. You can also purchase the carabiner alone for endless other security uses, like securing your existing straps.
Sure, with the right tools, someone could still make off with your prized possession, but ultimately there are few things you can do about a determined thief. Lockstraps will thwart the opportunistic theft and delay a fast getaway for the more prepared thief. Very few items will have a better return-on-investment. We use Lockstraps religiously now as one of our tie downs. It offers peace of mind for meal and hotel stops as well as just being at home. The Lockstrap tie-down is $39.95. The 2ft model can save your $200 helmet for only $24.95.The 24ft Universal strap runs $44.95 and a stand alone carabiner is $15.95. To see more applications for Lockstraps and to order your own check out http://www.lockstraps.com.
Love them or leave them helmets are very much a part of the powersports industry and there are a lot of names in the helmet market. Among those common names is AFX. AFX North America, Inc. was established in the mid-1990s. The founders saw big helmet companies were regularly increasing the price of helmets without offering new innovations to justify that cost. So, in true American fashion, they began creating their own helmets designed to give users feature-rich helmets at reasonable costs. The new AFX FX-21 helmet is proof that after almost 20 years in business they still stand behind that business model.
The AFX FX-21 helmet has an aggressive design. Traditionally helmets have curved in around the bottom, but a recent trend has been that helmets flare out at the lower back of the helmet. While style is all in the eye of the beholder it adds a nice change. It does not interfere with the mobility of the helmet at all. Another innovation in this model is the goggle strap guide across the back, also a trend across the industry. This formation across the back of the helmet keeps your goggle strap from sliding up or down across the helmet and keeps it properly lined up during riding.
The AFX FX-21 helmet is cleaned like most helmets by simply wiping it down. The liner and cheek pads are easily removable for cleaning. They do have to be hand washed; machine washing is not recommended. Being able to machine wash the liner and pads is the biggest improvement we would like to have seen. They do hand wash pretty easily and dry out in a couple of days. Everything snaps back in place with no issues. Ventilation is provided at the mouth (which is filtered by a thick, foam pad), vents on each side of the jaw, two just aft of the top of the helmet and a pair at the back of the head. There are also vents at the top of the eye opening which direct air into channels that run over your head and down the back of the neck. None of the vents can be closed off. It also includes an adjustable visor that can be removed.
On the safety side, the AFX FX-21 Helmet uses their trademarked CONE-HEAD Technology. According to AFX, the outer shell and the impact absorbing, foam liner are fused together. With this design the force of an impact is pushed out to the sides rather than taken full by the helmet and skull. It also helps with the helmets weight; only 2.95 lbs for a size large. The AFX FX-21 Helmet is DOT certified and meets the standards for AMA and several others. The fit is good and snug and plenty comfortable for a day of riding.
The AFX FX-21 Helmet is available in 3 solid colors and 8 colors of the pattern shown in our sample. Solid colors carry an MSRP of $129.95 with the patterns at $139.95. AFX helmets are available through a select few retailers. To find one near you check out http://www.afxhelmets.com. The AFX FX-21 should be a consideration when looking for a good budget priced helmet.