• Kickstart Corner

    Kickstart Corner is a moto blog edited by Chris Worden.

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  • Product Evaluation: Alpinestars Tech 7 Motocross Boot

    With so many options in the boot market these days it's difficult to make an informed decision about what to slide over your foot before you go to kickstart your bike. Protection, price and style are among the top reasons consumers pick out new duds, but the purchasing decision goes well beyond that; durability, comfort and past experience play a major role in where you spend your dinero, too.

    There are few boots in the market though, in the sub $300 category that offer high-end protection, style and comfort. Which is specifically why I wanted to get my hands on a set of Alpinestar's Tech 7 motocross boots.

    Priced at $299.95 the Tech 7 comes with many of the technical features that make the Tech 10 such a remarkable boot. Full grain leather runs the length of the shell closest to the bike, polyurethane molded construction provides strength and safety, while Alpinestars' exclusive high grip rubber double density compound outsole wraps your foot in one piece of molded plastic.

    To this editor, the molded outsole may be the biggest selling point of the Tech 7. This double density sole serves as both highly protective and highly responsive to the things happening outside of the boot. Motocross and off-road riding requires an enormous amount of finesse, and if you can't feel the bike underneath your feet, you're in trouble. This is where the Tech 7 really shines. As the bike moves and works under your feet you get feedback through the boot that's convincing enough to tell you what's going on while being subtle enough to remind you that your foot is wrapped safely in polyurethane and leather.

    The biggest point of contention to some is the lack of the inner bootie that comes stock in a Tech 10. This often bantered about bootie has received both cheer and jeer amongst the moto crowd; either you love it or hate it. This editor both loves the bootie and can safely live without it (I know, I'm leaving myself wide open for dirty jokes here.)

    While the Tech 7 lacks the sock-like bootie of the Tech 10 the footbed is comfortable, with enough room to keep the feet happy yet tight enough to keep control and feel the bike underneath your feet. The buckles so loathed by many in years past are greatly improved now, they snap closed easily, adjust on the fly and more importantly, they stay closed for good. This is a huge improvement.

    Overall, the Tech 7 is a remarkable buy at $299.95, a boot that should last you many seasons should you treat it correctly. Four color options promise to match most styles these day's and should you need to replace anything on the boot, Alpinestars has the parts available for sale individually.

    Price: $299.95
    Sizes: 5-16 US (38-52 EUR)
    Colors: Black, Black/Red, White/Grey, White/Blue
    More: www.alpinestars.com

    Dowload the Technical Data here (234kb PDF)
    Channels: Moto
  • Andrew Short Red Bull Motocross of Nations Recap

    Andrew Short checks in with a video recap from his experience at this year's FIM Red Bull Motocross of Nations in Lakewood, Colorado. Find more about Shorty over on www.andrewshort.com.

    Channels: Moto
  • Andrew Short signs with KTM

    After a very successful summer rounding the country in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and defending his country at the FIM Red Bull Motocross of Nations, Andrew Short has joined the Red Bull KTM Racing effort for the 2011 season.

    Short intends on contesting the open class for both the upcoming Supercross and Motocross season. Flanking him in the big orange rig will be KTM's Mike Alessi and MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin in the National MX competition. Additionally, Ken Roczen, also new to the Red Bull KTM factory team in 2011 will compete in the AMA Supercross Lites class. Roczen plans on returning to Europe to ride for the KTM factory team upon the conclusion of the 2011 Supercross series.

    Pit Beirer, head of KTM Racing: "With Andrew, Mike, Marvin and Ken we have a solid lineup for our first year as a full factory racing team in USA competition. Under the guiding hand of Roger DeCoster, one of the most experienced and respected figures in the sport, we expect that this team will lay the groundwork for emulating the success we now enjoy in Europe."

    "I have known Andrew for many years and of course we had closer contact this year when preparing and racing for the MXoN. I am looking forward to working with him and the other KTM riders as we begin testing and preparing for the coming season. We now have a strong team and one with real potential." said Roger DeCoster about Shorty.

    Related Reading
    First Interview - Andrew Short talks about signing with KTM!
    Channels: Moto
  • All-new Dunlop Geomax MX71 Tires

    Dunlop has created a new set of Geomax tires built specifically for the demands of hard-pack and blue-groove conditions. The new MX71's follow the MX51 (intermediate) and MX31 (soft terrain) tires. Here's what Dunlop wants you to know.

    MX71 Front

    The introduction of the Dunlop Geomax™ MX71 tire, which is designed to deliver optimum performance in hard-pack riding conditions, is the latest in the line of next-generation motocross tires released by Dunlop in the past year. Following on the heels of the intermediate-terrain MX51 and the soft-terrain MX31, the MX71 combines Geomax proven carcass construction and compounding with state-of-the-art tread design to deliver enhanced performance in hard-pack/blue-groove conditions.

    MX71 Rear

    Carcass Construction
    The successor to the popular D745 and D739, the Geomax MX71 employs the same carcass construction first unveiled in the D756RR racing tire, and successfully introduced in the MX51 and MX31. Modern-day four-stroke Supercross and Motocross machines place great demands on tires, and competitors utilize riding styles that emphasize the need for immediate traction and durability without sacrificing handling. These demands are especially apparent in Supercross, where hammering through hard-packed whoops, railing through berms, nailing jump faces and landing off jumps is the norm.

    In these conditions, lower tire pressures can yield a larger footprint for added traction and help moderate the jarring forces transmitted to the suspension and the rider. To reap the benefits of lower tire pressures while also maintaining optimum handling, the MX71's carcass is significantly stiffer than previous-generation hard-terrain tires. This was accomplished by incorporating a ply of high-density polyester cord engineered at angles derived from prototype racing tires developed by Dunlop-supported factory racing teams. The resulting reinforced carcass provides a more stable platform that eliminates the loose feel often associated with lower tire pressures. Dunlop test riders confirmed that the new construction tracked better, held a line more easily through fast sweeping corners with less rebound over bumps and whoops, all of which increased rider confidence.

    GRP Tread Design and Advanced Compounding
    Once Dunlop had engineered the tough, durable Geomax carcass, it became the foundation for the application of the company's latest tread design and compounding know-how. Extensive modeling using three-dimensional FEM (finite element modeling) and FEA (finite element analysis) resulted in the creation of a series of prototypes tested extensively at Dunlop's Huntsville Proving Grounds and throughout the 2008-09 AMA Pro Racing Supercross and Motocross series by Dunlop's professional racers. The resulting patterns for the Geomax family of tires were branded GRP™, or Geomax Reinforced Pattern™.

    Dunlop's GRP tread profile enhances performance and tread durability, a result of Dunlop's use of proprietary compounding technology that employs ultra-fine, long-life carbon black. The resulting tread produces consistently high grip over a broad range of operating temperatures and surface conditions.

    Use of this compounding technology allowed Dunlop engineers the freedom to "open up" the center-tread area of the GRP design for a greater land/sea ratio. This results in the tread blocks dynamically digging in for enhanced traction, rather than floating or spinning on the looser top surface. The benefit is improved straight-line acceleration and braking performance. Similarly, more tread volume in the shoulder area yields high grip and enhanced handling and bump absorption.

    The directional front tire incorporates a GEOmetric block shape on the shoulder knobs along with cross-stitched block placement for enhanced cornering traction and braking grip, and more predictable slide control. The directional and asymmetric rear tire pattern Dunlop calls the "Double Tornado Wave" is an exclusive tread block distribution which produces enhanced grip at various lean angles. The unique placement of "camber traction knobs" provides enhanced forward traction at various lean angles when exiting corners and makes it easier to cross over ruts when tracks get rough. Both the front and rear tire tread blocks have a large base radius for increased strength, and toughness is enhanced by a tie-bar that connects and reinforces the tread blocks to enhance wear resistance.

    Every tread block on the front tire and each shoulder block on the rear tire features recessed biting edges which yield more traction for greater grip throughout a wide range of terrain conditions.

    Real World Performance
    With 105 national championships in the dirt, Dunlop knows about competition. And there can be no product-testing crucible more demanding than the arena of professional AMA Supercross and Motocross racing. Dunlop's Geomax designs--consisting of the hard-pack MX71, the intermediate-terrain MX51, and the soft-terrain MX31--were developed with the assistance of some of the world's most demanding riders, including Honda Red Bull Racing's Andrew Short and Davi Millsaps, and Geico Honda's Kevin Windham and his 2008 Supercross Lites East champion teammate Trey Canard. From their evaluations emerged the most significant line of Dunlop motocross tires in a decade. As a result, many more top-level AMA riders have joined the Dunlop Geomax ranks for 2009 and 2010, from disciplines ranging from high-flying Supercross and Motocross, to scorching Baja desert racing, to national-champion mini riders. Now, with the release of the Geomax MX71 in mid-2010, every weekend warrior can ride on the same rubber as his or her riding heroes.

    Wide-sized Benefits
    - Dunlop innovation developed to harness and transmit power to the ground.
    - Provides a larger footprint for enhanced traction and improved bump absorption.
    - Fits on standard-sized rims.

    Conversion Chart
    80/100-21 - 90/100-21
    100/90-19 - 110/80-19
    100/100-18 - 110/90-18
    110/90-19 - 120/80-19
    110/100-18 - 120/90-18

    Geomax Reinforced Pattern
    Dunlop's Geomax tires incorporate knobs placed in a unique shoulder block distribution for enhanced traction and tenacious grip across a wide range of riding conditions.

    Geomax MX71 Sizes
    Size - Load/Speed - POSITION
    70/100-17 - 40M - FRONT
    70/100-19 - 42M - FRONT
    80/100-21 - 51M - FRONT
    90/100-21 - 57M - FRONT
    90/100-14 - 49M - REAR
    90/100-16 - 52M - REAR
    110/90-18 - 61M - REAR
    120/90-18 - 65M - REAR
    100/90-19 - 57M - REAR
    110/80-19 - 59M - REAR
    110/90-19 - 62M - REAR
    120/80-19 - 63M - REAR
    Channels: Moto
  • EVS Launches Nitro Circus Product Line

    Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Circus crew have been relying on EVS protection equipment for a long time to keep their often-flying limbs as safe as possible. With the growing popularity of the Nitro Circus, EVS thought to brand a special line of their product after the crazy gang. For a look at the full lineup, visit EVS' site.

    Channels: Moto
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