Sonic Touring Boot, Spidi City Survivor Jacket, And More - Motorcycle Gear - Cruiser Tested

CR Tested
Cycle Pump Adventure tire inflator $100
This thing is built like a brick or-more correctly-aluminum outhouse. With a sturdy case keeping grit at bay, the compressor uses a heavy-duty piston pump design, which is gear-driven by a motor that features a permanently lubricated shaft bushing and "hardened" mounting points to prevent vibration from jarring things apart. Since the pump only draws 10-12 amps under a full load, you needn't run the engine unless your battery's suspect. The 8-foot power cord uses a standard SAE plug, with one BMW-style and cigarette-lighter/accessory outlet adapter cord, and one with alligator clips and an inline fuse. The 24-inch air hose incorporates a locking chuck, and an 8-foot extension cord and instructions come standard. The whole shebang is the size of a hardcover novel and will be a lot handier in the event of a flat. I inflated a 130x70x18 tire to 35 psi in under two minutes-way better than a hand pump. -MZ (425) 673-1023

CR Tested
Joe Rocket Sonic Touring Boot $140
If you're still wearing sneakers on the ride, it's time to upgrade. Consider the Sonic boot, a full-height, slip-on number with hook-and-loop top closures and a ratcheting metal buckle to snug up the ankle area. Sizing runs wide, but the buckle should take up any extra volume. With full leather construction, the boots also have a waterproof, breathable Dry-Tech liner, which we were able to test in heavy rain (without feeling any moisture inside). The flip side is that on summer days, the Sonic can feel warm. The thick sole is initially stiff, but does break in, and we appreciate the sturdy feel. Overall, the Sonic is well constructed, provides good crash- and weather-protection, is comfy on and off the bike and looks good, to, uh, boot. The price is right, too. -EK

Joe Rocket (800) 635-6103

CR Tested
Spidi City Survivor Jacket $440
No matter which roadway I'm rumbling over these days, it feels like urban angst is threatening to ruin my ride. Could be why I've taken a shine to Spidi's aptly named jacket-the Euro-styled City Survivor's got the goods. Full-on CE-certified armor (as opposed to CE-approved) in the shoulder and elbows adds substantial protection without being too intrusive, and while the 0.8mm Italian leather feels ultraplush, it's thick enough to outdo most textile jackets on the abrasion-resistance meter. The trade-off is that it's too warm for midday summer rides (especially if the removable liner's attached), but I like the Survivor's front-and-center pocket arrangement-it means my electronic doodads can be snagged with a minimum of fumbling (no hook-and-loop, just snaps). And I definitely stand out from the rest of the townies. -AC

Spidi available via Motonation (877) 789-4940

CR Tested
RevIT! Mistral Pants $230
If you're looking for new summer riding pants, the Mistrals might be the answer. "Mistral" is a cold wind in southern France, but these pants are designed to work on both hot and rainy days. The textile trousers offer mesh panels on the lower legs and thighs for great ventilation, along with a zip-in removable liner with a waterproof and breathable membrane (called Hydratex). Even with the liner, though, you don't want to wear these in below-60-degree temps without an additional insulation layer. They're very comfortable in the riding position and cut higher in the front and back than most pants designed in the U.S. In addition to CE-approved armor in the knees, these also boast much-welcomed CE-approved foam in the hips. We give the Mistrals an editorial thumbs-up. -EK


CR Tested
HJC AC-12 Carbon Helmet $420
One of the first pieces of new gear that I've received here at Cruiser, the HJC AC-12 Carbon is undoubtedly one of the coolest. As the name implies, the shell is constructed entirely of carbon-fiber composite and resins. The helmet has a beautiful, deep gloss finish and titanium-colored vents. Throw in a dark smoke faceshield and you're ready to menace the world. The fit is snug and secure, with firm cheek pads, and the liner feels pleasant on the skin. The tool-less shield mechanism works great, the vents are very effective and easy to operate, and the helmet required no break-in time. It's pretty quiet with the vents and shield closed, though a little breezy around the face. Overall, a terrific lightweight helmet. -EK

HJC Helmet

CR Tested
PanOptx Smartskin Pro Gloves $40
I've been wearing these silky-soft babies for a week or two now and have nothing but good things to say about them. They're supple and well made, with nice tight stitching and some neat extras like a pull-tab to help get them on and an elastic wristband for a snug fit. They also dried quickly and retained their fit after being soaked through when I got caught in a summer thunderstorm. Obviously, no deerskin glove offers a lot of crash or weather protection, but for comfortable, casual summer time riding these things are just the ticket. -MZ

Panoptx (925) 484-0292