Getting dirty is the name of the game this holiday season, at least for Off-Road Editor, JC Hilderbrand. So what are the top picks from Hilde's 2009 gearbag?
Sidi Crossfire Boots
We ride in a lot of boots, but for me, this is the best of the best.
There aren’t many motocross boots better than the Sidi Crossfire – and not many more expensive. If there’s someone who you really want to impress with a holiday gift, these are the way to go. Pivot-design ankle, perfect buckle system, replaceable parts - if they star to wear out, you can just get replacement parts for next year’s present. Sidis are the gift that keeps on giving. Santa’s elves are pretty crafty little buggers, but you know those little curly-toed slaves couldn’t put together something this sophisticated, protective and all-around awesome. But, if it meant getting a new pair of Crossfires, I’d start believing and writing letters daily.
Dunlop MX31 Tires
New tires are important for safety and performance. Dunlop has a new soft terrain model with the MX31 series.
MSRP: $32-98 (front), $34-115 (rear)
There’s always that buddy who tries to get every last ounce of traction out of his tires. Do them a favor this Christmas and set them up with a fresh set of hoops. It’s the wet season so there’s never a better time to buy new tires. Not only do you need fresh knobbies, but a specifically designed soft-terrain tire like Dunlop’s new Geomax MX31 will have you roosting harder than ever. Pick up a second set for yourself and tell the missus that it’s for safety’s sake. If she kicks you out then you’ll have a perfect excuse to put those tires to good use.
FMF Q4 Slip-On Exhaust
Silent but deadly...
Know someone with a bike that’s sounding pretty raspy these days? It doesn’t take long for stock exhaust systems to start breaking down. Whether you use the FMF silencer packing
or just opt for a completely new muffler, there’s no reason to let that noisy bike go unattended. Support responsible riding. Quite exhausts are the key to our riding future, so be sure that your family and friends all know the importance of staying low-key on the trails. The FMF Q4 slip-on exhaust
drops your decibel output to a very respectable 96 dB and often below 94 depending on the bike model. It also has the added benefit of a spark arrestor which means it’s a perfect fit for motocross bikes that want to get off the track. Save weight, add performance, increase stealth and make your bike one step closer to legal off-road use – there’s no reason not to have one.
ProTaper Tie Downs
This one’s a stocking stuffer. Every motorcyclist needs tie downs whether they ride dirt or street, and ProTaper has given the essential two-wheel accessory an upgrade. Carabiner hooks and swivel attachments mean easier use and never a twisted strap. Old, ratty tie downs can bring trouble if they give out, but these ProTapers are so good you’ll want to switch even if your current straps are brand new. It’s tough to make a simple concept better but ProTaper has done it and you won’t want to miss these, plus they’re cheap enough to get for all your moto friends. Sure beats the hell out of fruitcake.
MSR Velocity X Helmet
It's time to deck the halls, not hit the deck, but be prepared with a MSR helmet.
The holidays are all about enjoying your time with family and friends. The best way to make sure you don’t spend it with hospital staff instead is to wear a decent helmet, and the one we found this year that matches value with performance is the MSR Velocity X helmet. If you already have MSR duds then this is an easy pick, but multiple styling options and non-offensive logo placement means you’re free to mix and match it with any riding gear. Don’t be surprised to see Santa wearing one this year as he navigates those slippery rooftops. The jolly old elf needs a good brain bucket with all that reindeer power on tap, plus he’ll appreciate the light weight and good venting when lugging that hefty toy sack around.
MotoUSA Magazine Subscription
Who says you have to be lonely in the loo? Let MotoUSA keep you company.
If it’s too cold and wet to get out and ride, keep the fire burning and cozy up with the latest issue of MotoUSA Magazine
. Inside each issue you’ll find world-class photography that’ll make you Kawasaki-green with envy. If you can’t head south for the winter, leave it to us for globetrotting moto antics that will warm up any cold winter day. MotoUSA is expanding to five issues for 2010, so pick up a subscription for $19.99 or a single issue for just six bucks. This is good even for your street-riding buddies. Of course, you could always send those guys a battery tender
and laugh at their stabled steeds, but that’s just mean.