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Chain Monkey chain adjuster

Chain monkey 

Here’s a neat, easy-to-use tool to help take the guesswork out of adjusting final drive chains. An adjustable stop on the Chain Monkey chain adjuster is set to correspond with one of six different settings for different tension ranges. The tool is then slipped over the chain and the domed rod adjusted to the stop, setting chain slack. Pull the chain tight with the axle adjusters, make sure the wheel is square, tighten the axle, remove the tool and it’s done. $34.99.

Honda SL/XL Reproduction Exhaust System

Honda SL/XL repro exhaust

Honda SL/XL specialist Marbles Motors now has available a complete exhaust system for the Honda SL100/SL125 and XL100. The system includes the spark arrestor/diffuser and comes complete with the chrome muffler guard as well as the boot guard on the header pipe. The header pipe has the later design flange adopted by Honda for added strength. Bikes with the smaller flange will need to have the muffler collar cut down. Comes as shown with all parts installed. $375.

10S Headset by SENA Technologies

Bluetooth headset
I’ve always been skeptical of the idea of in-helmet communication devices, even scolding friends for phoning me using an in-helmet setup while riding. Granted, I am something of a minimalist, which for me begs the question: Who really needs — or wants — a communication device? As it turns out, I do. 
 
My first experience with the SENA 10S headset was on a ride through the Flint Hills of Kansas with my girlfriend and perpetual passenger. We clocked 500 miles on a two-day excursion through gorgeous rolling hills, and it was one of the most enjoyable motorcycle rides I’ve ever taken, in large measure — surprise for me — thanks to the 10S. 
 
Easy to operate, the 10S features a single, large dial to jog between different settings. Intercom pairing with another headset (Sena or otherwise) is a snap and the 10S can be connected to three other units simultaneously for group communication. You can link with up to two mobile phones, and you share music with your passenger, a nice option. A simple tap on the jog wheel activates the intercom or answers calls, and sound quality is remarkably good thanks to quality 39mm speakers that tuck nicely into the ear pockets in most helmets. Talk time is a claimed 12 hours, with an impressive 10-day standby. 
 
Using the 10S, my skepticism quickly gave way to enjoyment, and I was surprised by how nice it was to be able to talk about a picturesque herd of cattle grazing on a hillside as we passed and how convenient it was to say, “Hold on, I’m gonna goose it!” before I goosed it. But to me a headset still seemed merely a convenience, not a necessity, and I wasn’t yet sold on the idea that it was an important addition to my riding gear. 
 
A few weeks after the Flint Hills ride, I passed the 10S headsets to a co-worker to try out. As they say, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” That same weekend I was back on the bike, my perpetual passenger riding pillion. Setting out on my trusty 1977 Suzuki GS750, it didn’t take long for both of us to realize we missed having the 10S. My riding partner and I were immediately reduced to a caveman-like system of nods and hand gestures to communicate, and by the time we got to our destination, a Sunday morning ride-in at a Kansas City coffee shop, I had a laundry list of musings from the road. We passed a showroom of classic cars, a Mexican bakery, a particularly foul piece of roadkill, and numerous texting drivers, occasions that could only be denoted with a primitive point (or other primitive hand gestures in the case of the texting drivers). 
 
Since getting the 10S back, I’ve become even fonder of it. The Bluetooth connectivity feature allows me to play my favorite playlists from my phone and control volume with minimal interaction. And contrary to my fears, I don’t get distracted by it, although I’m still not convinced anyone has any reason to make or receive a phone call from the pilot position of a motorcycle. 
 
For me, far and away the biggest benefit of the 10S is fully sharing the ride with my passenger, and if she decides someday to get her own motorcycle, the 10S’ 1-mile range will make it easy for us to discuss road hazards, bathroom breaks — or the bee that found its way inside my jacket. It’s now a must-have part of my riding gear. Price: $239 single headset, $439 dual pack.

Honda Brake Conversion Kit by Dime City Cycles

Dime City Cycles  Dime City Cycles

More proof that racing improves the breed comes from Dime City Cycles, who are developing a 3-piece brake conversion kit to replace the rod-actuated rear brake setup used on vintage CB350s and similar bikes. Learning from his time on the track with their CB350 in AHRMA racing, Dime City’s Herm Narciso developed a cable-actuated rear brake setup to eliminate the possibility of unintended braking on full swingarm compression, which can result in brake rod pull. “It’s not enough to stop you,” Herm notes, “but in a bumpy corner it can get your attention.” The cable also aids converting to rearsets since you don’t need to adapt the brake rod.

We installed an early beta version on my son Charlie’s project 1972 CB350, and Herm’s definitely got something here. Installation was straightforward and brake actuation excellent. Production kits will feature a revised rear bracket for more direct cable pull and the bracket will accommodate the Honda’s stock brake plate stay bolt. Expected price: $69.95.

Arctic Grip Heaters by Aerostich

Heaters by Aerostich

Minnesota-based Aerostich is well known for its line of cold-weather riding gear, and their Arctic Grip Heaters are perfect for riders looking to stretch the season as far as possible. A pair of wafer-thin heating elements that install between the handlebar and the grips, the right and left heaters are calibrated differently for maximum heat control, with no throttle-side resistor needed to equalize temperature. The grips come with everything for installation including a 3-position hi/low/off switch. For 12-volt systems. $47.

The Complete Book of Moto Guzzi by Ian Falloon

Cover courtesy Motorbooks

Motorcycle historian Ian Falloon, author of more than 20 motorcycle books, has produced yet another must-have addition to your library, The Complete Book of Moto Guzzi: Every Model Since 1921. Although Falloon is perhaps best known for his detailed and exhaustively researched books on Ducati, the early bevel-drive round case V-twins in particular, he’s no stranger to Moto Guzzi, having owned and ridden iconic 1970s models including the first series V7 Sport and the Le Mans.
 
Falloon’s first Moto Guzzi book was the critically acclaimed The Moto Guzzi Story: Racing and Production Motorcycles from 1921 to the Present Day. First published in 2005, it was updated in 2008, in between which he published The Moto Guzzi Sport & Le Mans Bible, a close examination of two of Moto Guzzi’s most acclaimed V-twins of the 1970s and 1980s. 
 
This latest work is his most comprehensive yet on the famed Italian marque from Mandello del Lario, a detailed look at every production Moto Guzzi motorcycle ever produced (with the exception of some commercial, military and police-only models), starting with the first Guzzi, 1921’s 500cc Normale, and leading up to the present-day 2017 model range. 
 
Following a chronological format, Falloon sharpens the focus of Moto Guzzi’s model development by looking at model evolution through the lens of specific eras rather than specific decades. Chapter 3, for example, looks at what Falloon calls Guzzi’s “Golden Era,” the period from 1945-1957 that saw the development of some of the company’s most innovative racing motorcycles, including the continuing development of the Bicilindrica, the Gambalunga, the innovative 500cc inline four Quattro Cilindri, the twin cam Bialbero, and of course the unforgettable 500cc V8 GP racer.
 
Scores of period photos give the reader a feel for the bikes examined within the context of their time, while contemporary color images of original and restored machines highlight the quality and beauty of the many machines turned out by Moto Guzzi over a period spanning almost 100 years. 
 
Authoritatively written and beautifully presented, with 350 photos and illustrations, The Complete Book of Moto Guzzi is a needed addition to the Moto Guzzi story and one that belongs in the library of every fan of motorcycle history. Motorbooks; 256 pages, $60. To order a copy, visit our store.

Rest in Peace, Jack Silverman

Sidecar

Jack Silverman directed the restoration of the ex-Willi Scheidhauer 1955 Ducati 125 GP, with Evan Wilcox recreating the dustbin fairing working from period photos. Photo by Jose Gallina

The vintage motorcycle community lost a valuable friend with the passing of Jack Silverman, who died in August at age 77 after a two-year battle with encephalitis. A longtime resident of Aspen, Colorado, Jack had a long history with motorcycles even though he didn’t earn his racing license until 1996, when he was 56 years old! 
 
Jack absorbed his family’s fascination with American Indian art and spent years reproducing serigraphs of early Indian carpets and tribal pots. His eye for design and excellence became an obsession as he researched and restored a series of 1950s Ducati Marianna 125 GP motorcycles. Jack frequently visited Italy, tenaciously tracking down rumors of derelict machines with great success, including resurrecting the Giuliano Maoggi #266 Ducati Marianna, winner of the 1956 Motogiro d’Italia. Maoggi enthusiastically autographed the gas tank for Jack when he saw his old steed looking like it did 50 years ago. 
 
Jack’s projects to recreate the bygone era of classic motorcycle racing’s history of fully faired, small-displacement bikes were nothing if not ambitious, and one of the most satisfying aspects of his obsessions was to actually experience the joy and thrill of riding these bygone masterpieces. Viva Jack!