Latest Product Reviews

RSS RSS Icon

Ride Engineering CRF450L Lowering Arms

Vital Review

“Tested: Ride Engineering Honda CRF450L Lowering Link”

Ride Engineering CRF450L Lowering Arms

The Good:

Improves traction, handling, and ability to touch the ground.

The Bad:

A little pricy.

Overall Review: Changing a dirt bike’s linkage can do a host of different things to a bike. For motocross, the goal is typically to change the way the bike handles and to modify the shock characteristics. Yet a longer link specifically for lowering the seat height is also an option. That is exactly what we tried on a Honda CRF450L using Ride Engineering Lowering Link.  Even if you are average height, touching the ground or dabbing through tough off-road terrain can be a challenge on a normal, full-size dirt bike so lowering the overall stance of your bike isn’t just for short people. The Honda CRF450L has a Read More »

509 Altitude Carbon Fiber With MIPS Helmet

Vital Review

“Tested: 509 Altitude Carbon Fiber Off-Road Helmet with MIPS”

509 Altitude Carbon Fiber With MIPS Helmet

The Good:

Light, comfortable, MIPS, cool magnetic buckle system

The Bad:

Liner is a little old school, you have to trust the magnetic buckle system

Overall Review: I try to tread lightly when talking about helmets. I find it akin to talking about religion. People have faith in DOT, or SNELL, or ECE, or MIPS, or ODS, or any of the many tests and protection systems in a helmet. And until the helmet industry comes up with a new rotational testing procedure to make everyone happy, this debate will continue and without taking a digger in every helmet we get, we can’t get into the “protectiveness” of helmets. We just have to look at the features included by the manufacturer. Moving on to this specific helmet, the 509 Altitude Carbon Fiber Helmet with MIPS comes from a brand Read More »

Sidi Atojo SRS Boots

Vital Review

“Tested: Sidi Atojo SRS Boot”

Sidi Atojo SRS Boots

The Good:

More ankle protection, great bike grip, lighter, still flexible, better for wider feet

The Bad:

Less replaceable parts, try on before you buy.

Overall Review: In 2017, Sidi introduced the Crossfire 3, the third iteration of the top-of-the-line Crossfire motocross and off-road boots that the Italian company offered. Three years later, we now have the all-new Sidi Atojo SRS boot, which is not another version of the Crossfire, but a new-from-the-ground up motocross boot. When I asked Sidi if the Atojo was replacing the Crossfire 3 in their lineup, they said no, it is just another high-end offering. First, let’s talk about the weird name real quick. It isn’t a made-up, nonsensical moniker or some Italian mythical creature. It is named after three Sidi-sponsored racers who all helped Read More »

Pro-Carbon Racing Bashplate

Vital Review

“Tested: Pro-Carbon Racing Bashplate | CRF250R”

Pro-Carbon Racing Bashplate

The Good:

A lot more coverage than stock, much thicker and more protective than stock, looks amazing and cleans up well, very snug fit

The Bad:

Heavier than stock, internal finish is a little rough, but you don't see it so it doesn't really matter

Overall Review: Depending on what you are trying to protect, you have lots of options when it comes to skidplates, bashplates, glideplates, or any other name you want to give the guard on the bottom of your bike. It might be obvious but I am a sucker for carbon fiber. I love the look, the strength, and even the sound. Yeah, weird, I know. To replace the stock plastic skidplate on our 2020 Honda CRF250R, I reached out to Pro-Carbon in the UK since they have a huge range of carbon fiber protection pieces for all modern motocross bikes. They sent the Pro-Carbon Racing Bashplate specifically for the 2018-2020 Honda CRF250R, Read More »

No Toil Super-Flo Air Filter Kit

Vital Review

“Tested: No Toil Super-Flo Filter Kit”

No Toil Super-Flo Air Filter Kit

The Good:

Power gains that can be felt from the mid-range all the way to the limiter. Filter itself seems to be significantly more breathable than the OEM filter, all while still being a multi-stage filter. Slimmer profile makes getting the filter in-and-out a bit easier compared to the OEM filter set up. A high-density polymer filter cage keeps cost to a minimum while still being rigid enough to press a tight seal to the airbox. Cost is a huge benefit here, at $49.95 you get a lot of bang for your buck.

The Bad:

I wished the filter screw had a larger base to cover a greater area at the top of the filter, or that the filter had a rubber grommet where the screw went through. Keep in mind the OEM filter has neither of these as well, regardless, even without either of those I never saw any areas of dust/dirt seep through, even after riding through both thick Glen Helen and Cahuilla Creek sand.

Overall Review: Tester Profile:Chris Siebenhaar Height: 5' 11" Weight: 175 lbs Bike: 2020 Kawasaki KX250 All dirt bikes these days, in stock form, have a metal screen as part of the the air filter cage that holds the foam air filter in place. This is to give the floppy foam filter some structure, but mostly to prevent any chance of a backfire spark to travel back through the intake and ignite the air filter, which is flammable and covered in oil, which, most of the time, is also flammable. But, if the filter and filter oil were both flame-resistant, there would be no reason for the screen, right?  Well that's Read More »

onX Offroad Navigation App

Vital Review

“Tested: onX Offroad Navigation App”

onX Offroad Navigation App

The Good:

Cheaper than any other navigation tool (other than a paper printout), Simple to use, Find new places to ride, Don't get lost, You already have a phone.

The Bad:

Have to keep your phone charged, some preplanning required for offline operation.

Overall Review: I’m your average tech user. Not the first guy to grab the latest electronic gizmo, but not scratching my head when it’s time to upload a new engine map into the YZ450F using Wi-Fi. I’m also more inclined to use tech that I already have and know, rather than getting a bunch of different specialty devices that only do one or two things. Enter the onX Off-Road GPS Maps App. For those die-hard off-road riders out there, I’m sure more than a few of you have GPS devices on your bikes and have been using them for years. While I have played around with Garmin and Trail Tech devices in the past, I haven’t owned Read More »

2020 Yamaha WR250F

Vital Review

“Bike Test: 2020 Yamaha WR250F Review”

2020 Yamaha WR250F
Trickle-down economics may be a bit controversial but trickle-down dirt bike technology is pretty awesome. In 2019, the Yamaha YZ250F got an all-new frame, heavily updated motor, and a trove of other changes that kept the blue machine at the top of the shootout podium (ours, at least). Obviously, the YZ is a motocross bike and the changes were focused on making it a better one. But that doesn't mean that they won't work for on off-road bike.  Case in point, the 2020 WR250F. Now, all three 250cc four-stroke dirt bikes from Yamaha (YZ, FX, and WR) share the same frame and most of the the same engine architecture. But as you move Read More »

Dubach Racing Development NS-4 Full System SS/AL

Vital Review

“Tested: Dr. D NS-4 Full Exhaust System SS/AL KX250”

Dubach Racing Development NS-4 Full System SS/AL

The Good:

Overall a really great exhaust system. It increases performance where the bike needs it the most, has robust construction, great fitment, is easily rebuildable, improved looks over stock and sheds a little weight while it's at it, all for a minimal price (in the 4-stroke exhaust world).

The Bad:

It's cons come from what it's not trying to be; exotic. So don't read that as a bad thing. For just shy of $640, it's hundreds of dollars less than some of the Titanium systems on the market, so expect the difference in price to be reflected in terms of sheer beauty (think Akrapovic) and weight.

Overall Review: Tester: Chris Siebenhaar Bike: 2020 Kawasaki KX250 Mods: Completely Stock Weight: 7 lb - 4 oz Weight Savings: 1lb - 3 oz Whether Dr. D means “Doctor Dubach” to you, or “Dubach Racing Development”, one thing is for certain, the Doctor has a long list of first-hand racing and testing accomplishments that few in the industry can match. All that knowledge has been distilled into Dr. D products, from his ingenious engine relocating kits (mainly for Yamaha’s), to exhaust systems for every current motocross manufacturer. Recently, I was able to test their NS-4 exhaust on a 2020 Kawasaki Read More »

MSR NXT Gear

Vital Review

“First Ride: 2020 MSR NXT Gear”

MSR NXT Gear
A few years ago the MSR Gear (Malcolm Smith Racing) switched hands form MAG (Motorsport Aftermarket Group) to the online retail giant Rocky Mountain ATV/MC. Poking around the site, we were surprised to see the 2020 MSR NXT Gear with such a fresh look and it piqued our curiosity. So, we hit them up and got a set to see if the gear feels, fits, and performs as well it looks. The MSR NXT Gear is in a slightly unique position as being a premier line of gear but still a house brand. The MSRPs stated by RMATVMC are sort of arbitrary since they can decide what to ultimately charge for the gear as they own the brand. It Read More »

Alpinestars Sequence Chest Protector

Vital Review

“Tested: Alpinestars Sequence Chest Protector”

Alpinestars Sequence Chest Protector

The Good:

Comfortable, Lightweight, CE certified.

The Bad:

Ventilation is just OK, Lower section of the back piece doesn't conform completely to lower back.

Overall Review: Tester Profile: Chris Siebenhaar Height: 5' 11" Weight: 175 lbs Product Size: M/L The Alpinestars Sequence Chest Protector is an under-jersey style chest protector that is comfortable, lightweight and rather affordable. Since there are no hard-shell plastic plates or buckle closures, the Sequence Chest Protector manages to shave off quite a bit of weight without sacrificing protection. The bio foam that is used on both the front and back of the chest protector is CE certified, aiding in impact protection. The first thing I noticed when putting on the chest protector, was just how form fitting the Sequence really Read More »