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Jesse Ansley

leatt gpx 5.5 review
Leatt recently released their new neck brace called the GPX 5.5. Today, neck braces can be found in most everyone’s gear bag. However, some opt out of wearing neck braces due to factors related to comfort and fitment. Leatt has aimed to create a neck brace that comfortably fits a wider range of shapes and sizes, is easier to take care of, and outlasts its competition.  Is it really as good as they claim? We’ve put it through the ringer to find out.

Durability & Maintenance

The new Leatt 5.5 has a new, slim design. Leatt switched from foam and fabric padding to hard injected, non-removable padding that can withstand a lifetime of abuse. This is a plus because the padding on the previous models wore out fast. The velcro never stuck and if you wanted it clean the padding you had to put it in the washing machine, which speeds up the wear process. To clean the GPX 5.5, all you need is a damp rag.

The Feelback view of gpx 5.5

The feel of the Leatt GPX 5.5 is unbelievable. Leatt made the new neck brace slimmer and lighter, yet maintained their promise to safety. They come stock with removable pads on the shoulders and chest rest to aid in comfort. It’s up to each individual rider if they would like to run them or not. If you are used to the older Leatts, you may opt for the padding. If you’re coming from a different neck brace, like the Alpinestar Bionic Neck Brace, removing the pads might fit your preferences more closely. Anyone familiar with wearing a neck brace would most likely not be able to notice that you’re wearing the Leatt GPX 5.5.
Since Leatt was aiming to make a neck brace that more people would want to wear, they’ve increased the range of motion. Looking around isn’t as strenuous as it used to be. The added maneuverability has also made it easier to find helmets that will work in harmony with the Leatt.

Performance

We didn’t test to see if the Leatt GPX 5.5 would keep us from breaking our neck, but we believe Leatt is the industry leader in neck brace development. We don’t know the engineering and technology that goes into making Leatt neck braces, but you can visit www.Leatt.com for more information.

Why is this Brace so much better? leatt 5.5 folding back

First off, the Leatt 5.5 has easy adjustability. No more allen bolts, no more chips, and no more spacers. All you do is unclip the adjustable “levers” on the front and back, and it slides back and forth. The spinal piece folds in to help with space in your gear bag. Also, the spinal rest is separated into to two strips, which flex during crashes to help reduce pressure on the spine. The new neck brace also has strategically placed weak points that are designed to bend and break if there is ever excessive load. If you break your neck brace while riding, it probably did its intended job . Would you rather buy another $369 neck brace or spend a few thousand in medical bills? This is almost a completely different neck brace than the older versions. If you’ve tried a neck brace before and decided it wasn’t for you, give the Leatt GPX 5.5 a try. It is more adjustable and more accommodating than any of its competitors. Leatt has produced one of, if not the best neck braces out on the market today with the GPX 5.5.
MSRP: $369
Sizes: (Adult: S/M, M/L) and (Junior, one size fits all).
Colors: Black/Grey, White/Black, Orange/White/Black, Red/Black.
Pros:
  • Slimmer feel, lower profile
  • Easy adjustability 
  • Two piece spinal plate for comfort and safety
  • Hard injected non removable foam is more durable
  • Button-style clip instead of latch makes easier to take on and off
  • Several different color-ways
Cons:
  • No pads means no more switching colors. 
  • Button clip will have to be taken apart and cleaned/grease to work properly after mud races

 

Jesse Ansley
jesse ansley gncc

Outside of filter covered with oil
It seems that everyone has their own way of taking care of the air filter on their noble stead. However, you’d be surprised by how many people do such a simple task the wrong way. Now, I’m not saying there is only one way to oil an air filter correctly, but there are a dozen different ways to screw it up. Here I’ll go through and explain how to oil an air filter in a way that has been tried and tested for decades.

Things you will need:

Air Filter Maintenance Materials

1. Air Filter
2. Foam Filter oil
3. Pair of elastic gloves
4. Quarter bucket (catch can for access oil)
5. Brake Parts Cleaner or WD-40
6. Rag(s)

Step 1: Turn Filter Inside-Out

Motocross Bike Air Filter

First, you want to turn your filter inside-out. By doing this you give the inside of your filter more of an opening to get every spot possible. As we all know, un-oiled sections of an air filter will allow dust, sand, and other debris to bypass the foam and work itself into carbs, injectors, or ever worse, the engine.  

Step 2: Evenly Oil the Inside of the Filter

Oil the Inside of Filter First

Now you can start oiling. When you start to pour your oil, make sure you are working your way around the filter. It doesn’t help if you put a lot in a little spot. The idea is to get every inch of the foam coated in oil. If it makes things easier, have someone pour the oil slowly while you turn your filter. Once you work the oil in the foam the inside should look like the picture above.
No spots, evenly oiled.

Step 3: Flip Filter Right-side Out

Outside of filter covered with oil

After the inside of the filter has oil throughout the foam, you can now turn your filter right-side out (the correct way). If you worked your oil in well, the outside of the filter should be a spotty blue (or the color of your foam filter oil). Do the same thing as you did on the inside. After you get done your outside should look like this. 

Step 4: Sealing the Air Filter

Grease the Air Filter Rim

I personally do not put grease around the ring of my filter. Greasing the rim of air filters became popular decades ago, when filters and filter cages didn’t quite create a good seal. These days, most bikes come with better performing airboxes and don’t require grease. If you opt out of using grease like me, you need to make sure you have air filter oil all the way around the rim of the filter. This is important as well because dirt seems to sneak by if your not careful. Owners of KTM’s should take extra precaution, as the airbox/cage design can be tricky to get a proper seal. Triple checking that you have good contact all the way around the filter during installation is crucial for prolonged engine wear.

Once you have carried out these steps, you have successfully oiled an air filter. Make sure you don’t have to much oil applied causing your bike to load up from lack of air. The filter should not be saturated with oil. A light, even coat is key.
Why do we oil air filters inside to out? Because with this method you are able to work oil into the filter, rather than just placing the oil on top, giving you better protection from the elements.

Author: Jesse Ansley

Everything you need to know about the 2014 Alpinestar Tech 7's

alpinestartech7

These days, every guy at the track seems to have high end boots. Alpinestar released their newly designed Tech 7 boot earlier this year with the “baller on a budget” in mind. My question was, are they actually a good boot or just good looking? Here is my presonal review on the new “2014 Alpinestar Tech 7′s”.

The Looks

As a previous owner, I do have to say the new 2014 Tech 7′s are very cool looking. You can also get them in 6 different color-ways that match every bike under the sun. Another plus is that these boots look almost identical to their $600 brother (Tech 10′s) but for nearly half the price.

Tech 7 Boots

The Feel

Not only do these boots look killer, but they are really comfortable as well. For myself, I felt no need to “break” these boots in. I slipped them on and was immediately at home. However, I have spoken with other riders that have had a tuff time getting them to the point where they were comfortable.

The Performance

If you are an aggressive rider that is known to be hard on boots, the Tech 7′s might not be the best fit for you. I like to grip the bike with my boots, as do many riders. Within a couple rides rubber traction pads that come in contact with the frame of the bike were wore off. The worst thing is that the sides are non-replaceable, so you are stuck with minimal grip. Another grey area of the Tech 7′s is the toe cap of the boot is soft, which is very good for feeling your shifter and brake pedal. However, the major downfall to that is the molded to cap falls apart very easily.

Okay, so we’ve all been there. Mid race, you notice your boot feels looser than you remember. You look down and half your buckles aren’t buckled. The Tech 7′s do not stay fastened. Ever. End of story.

What I Really Think

All and all, the Alpinestar Tech 7′s are very good for some riders and not so good for others. What I mean by that, is for casual riders the Tech 7′s will be just fine. They’re comfortable, protective, and look great. For racers that are looking for the upper echelon of motocross boots, you won’t find it with the Tech 7′s. These boots lack the ruggedness it takes to withstand the beating of someone riding hard and often. I personally made the switch to the Gearne SG12′s. I’m still playing with them, but when I feel comfortable I will write another review on how they compare.

MSRP: $349

Pros:

  • Light Weight
  • Price Point
  • Look Great
  • Good Feel
  • Comfortable
  • No Break-in Time

Cons:

  • Buckle System
  • Durability

 

Author:  Jesse Ansley