Donny Devito, President and Chief Operating Officer of KIRSH Helmets, is the go-to guy for introducing the latest technology in helmets – the KIRSH’S CHM-1 Helmet Technology.
I met up with Donny at the 2022 Flying Piston Benefit during Daytona Bikeweek and discussed his latest product offering, the CHM-1, which features fluid displacement technology.
What is this Fluid Technology?
KIRSH’s innovative liner features fluid, not Styrofoam. Because of its fluid, it performs better at both low and high-energy impacts, from any direction at any one point in time.
KIRSH says that the silicone and fluid construct mimic the body’s natural protective functions. The brain sits in fluid in the skull. And now with this technology, the skull sits in the fluid within the helmet.
This allows for less mass, reducing impact torque, and a fluid buffer that more effectively protects the skull and brain… meaning that it has better brain protection. And the malleability of the liner ensures that it conforms uniquely to each user’s head, ensuring better protection and a custom fit, which means much greater comfort.
How does the CHM-1 Feel on a Ride?
I sent a text to Bill Brissette about his real-world road test with KIRSH. We set a time to confab about his test. Bill is a hardcore long-distance rider that within 4 months put 10,000 miles on a new bike wearing the CHM-1 helmet. Previous bikes clocked 112,000 miles in six years and 158,000 miles in nine years.
Bill Brissette on the gas with KIRSH
He said that in high wind conditions, riding between 65 to 80mph, the helmet acts like a gyroscope. “My head’s never been so steady and stable,” explained Bissette. “It’s really bizarre. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Bill also said that the gel shapes to the contours of your head and at the same time you can feel cooling because you feel the air circulating around your head.
And the fit? “They really fit snug nicely across the face so I don’t have any strap smacking me or moving around or making a whiny noise in the wind,” commented Bill.
6 Questions with Donnie Devito, President of KISH Helmets
Question: Why when everyone is sourcing products overseas is he building an American-made product.
Donnie Devito – We found out that v-twin riders really valued American-made products. And we know it is better for the United States.
Question: KIRSH Helmets employ veterans and Americans with disabilities. Why is that important?
Donnie Devito – Both veterans and Americans with disabilities show up. They work hard and care about the work they do. And they get excited about doing things to make a difference.
Question: Why do you think that you get so much loyalty from your product?
Donnie Devito – The proof is in the ride. Riders come back and say how stable that helmet is. They experience the freedom of riding without having to think about the helmet. You don’t have to think about buffeting and the discomfort that comes from that or neck strain or head wobble. You can look around and actually enjoy your ride and focus more on the experience of riding.
Question: In Sturgis last year I saw a peculiar sight. At your booth, you were pulling helmets out of a refrigerator. Why?
Donnie Devito – It’s probably one of the best features. Riders can chill the liner for 10 minutes and get a couple of hours of a cool head.
Question: So what’s your most popular color of helmet?
Donnie Devito – Matte black or gloss black, no surprise there. Also very popular is our hydro-dipped patriotic helmet.
Question: Where can you get a helmet?
Donnie Devito – Check out the website at KIRSH Helmets. You can get it online from us or go to the dealer locator on the site. Also, check them out at the Indian Motorcycle Sturgis located at 2130 Main St, Sturgis, SD 57785.
Win a Signed Billy Lane Sons of Speed KIRSH CHM-1 Helmet
Experience the technology for yourself. A custom builder signed KIRSH helmet from the Flying Piston Benefit that features Billy Lane’s Son of Speed racing. It’s up for auction at the 2022 Sturgis edition of the Flying Piston Benefit. Check out the online Flying Piston Benefit silent auction – https://qtego.net/qlink/flyingpiston
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Articleby Rogue – Founder of Biker Lives Matter, Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame
I have been asked a lot why I and some others started an organization named Biker Lives Matter and why it is important to me. My answer is simple, there is a need for an organization that calls attention to the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods from motorcycle crashes.
In the 1970s, I became involved in motorcycle rights and safety. At the time, motorcycle injury and death rate were high so the government and insurance companies began trying to pass laws that they hoped would help protect motorcyclists when crashes happened.
I have been riding motorcycles for 69 years and both my life and that of the others who ride has always been important to me.
I have seen many people injured and I know too many that have died.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones to still be riding at the age of 83 years old.
When I came across an Australian Hamster, Keith McClure, who was manufacturing light, tough and DOT approved Polo helmets I had to check them out, test them and have them modified by George “The Wild Brush.”
The fact that this helmet meets and exceeds D.O.T. Safety Standards FMVSS 218 ….
POLO Helmet sits low and snug won’t blow back in the wind.
Simple! Mushroom or no mushroom look? Go for the Low-profile Polo No Mushroom Head Helmet.
‘Nitro Circus’ star, ex-motorcycle racer team up to open creative business campus in Zaferia
A gearhead and an adrenaline junkie meet at a trade show. There is no punchline.
Andy Bell and Roland Sands hit it off immediately nearly 20 years ago and have been friends ever since. The two went on to create separate businesses—Roland Sands Design and Sweatpants Media—and, after years of operating out of their respective headquarters, have come together to create a joint home base in Long Beach’s Zaferia neighborhood.
The companies together purchased a multi-building property at 1365 Obispo Ave. with a vision for a creative campus. Along with their firms, the graphics company Spin Imaging and Moxi Roller Skates also will call the campus home in a building separate from Sands’ and Bell’s space.
“We just wanted like-minded but different companies here to fuel a vibe of people that are stoked and doing rad stuff,” Bell said.
“People we can hang out with,” Sands added. “Fabrication, 3D fabrication, film, photography, graphics, printing—it’s all here. Almost any project is possible here, and that’s a pretty special thing.”
The friends almost missed out on the space, Sands said. The building was listed in 2018, but he was not in a position to take on the project by himself—and Bell was not ready to jump into such a massive undertaking. But when another buyer went into escrow on the site, the pair said they instantly knew they made a mistake.
“This place was built in the ’40s, and it’s gorgeous,” Sands said.
After months in escrow, the deal fell through, and Bell and Sands pounced. They bought the property for about $3 million in July 2019.
The Roland Sands Design custom motorcycle shop inside the company’s new Long Beach headquarters
The tenant had a few months left on their lease, so the roughly $2.5 million buildout did not get underway until just before the pandemic, which slowed progress on the rehab. But after nearly two years, the companies are celebrating their grand opening Saturday.
The space features a retail store (open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), a screening theater, 3D and other fabrication facilities, a wood-working space, a motorcycle garage, design rooms and a slew of offices. It also includes a bar, a two-chair barbershop for special events for clients that could also be utilized by a tattoo artist, and dozens of motorcycles and helmets on display.
A third building is currently set up as a jam space for musician friends of Bell and Sands. The room has a stage and is full of vintage and modern musical equipment. The two said they have toyed with the idea of turning it into a legitimate music venue, but that won’t happen until well into the future, if at all.
Bell and Sands each had a career riding motorcycles—the latter racing on the roads of the U.S., the former flying through the air in freestyle motocross—before they met each other in the early 2000s at a motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis.
Sands, a Long Beach native, grew up around motorcycles.
“I was fully immersed in the culture because my dad was in the motorcycle industry,” Sands said, adding that he would work in his dad’s shop as a kid.
In 2005, after a racing career that included winning the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250cc Grand Prix Championship, Sands turned his success—and name—into a brand. The firm specializes in creating custom bikes and parts (some of which are 3D-printed). The company has grown to include a clothing and apparel line as well as a racing team.
Bell, meanwhile, was not so much into the technical side of the sport.
“I’m more of an adrenaline junkie,” Bell said, sitting in his new office complete with a beer tap. “I never liked building and working on the s—, I liked riding and jumping them.”
After his professional freestyle motocross career, Bell went on to become a stuntman, appearing on numerous TV shows and films, including “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Jackass 3D.” Most notably, Bell starred in the “Nitro Circus” films and MTV series alongside Travis Pastrana and a host of other extreme-sport athletes.
Bell founded Sweatpants Media in 2012.
“I needed a change from getting hurt for a living and all the crap we used to do,” Bell said. “I didn’t know anything about production, but I’d been around it as talent. I’ve never owned a real business before and a decade later, here we are.”
Today, Sweatpants has numerous high-end clients, including Toyota, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lexus and Japanese powertool manufacturer Makita. With over 15 million views on YouTube, Sweatpants’ “The Pitch” for Toyota was the most widely viewed commercial in the U.S. in the third quarter, Bell said.
“The Pitch” – 2022 Toyota GR Supra Commercial by Sweatpants Media (15 million+ views since June 2021)
Bell and Sands try to utilize each other and their respective businesses as much as possible. The companies have teamed up on projects, including creating a custom bike for BMW with an accompanying video. After the premiere, the pair and their wives rode BMW bikes around Italy’s Lake Como.
On another project, Sweatpants flew three Toyota trucks into Vietnam and then drove them across the country. Sands and Bell were two of the three drivers who made the trek.
“We don’t like to fake s—,” Bell said. “Instead of pretending we were in Vietnam and pretending we flew trucks under helicopters, we actually did it. There is a tinge of adventure in everything we do.”
“We like to combine work and play,” Sands added.
Sands convinced Bell to move into a house around the corner from his on Naples Island in 2010. The best friends were neighbors for years before Sands moved to Park Estates.
For the last 12 years, Los Alamitos was home to Sands’ business, but he said he has always wanted to open a space in his hometown, closer to where he lives. For nearly nine years, Sweatpants operated out of the historic Villa Riviera in Downtown. But the two are looking forward to the quasi-business merger.
“We’re stoked. It’s fun being best friends and business partners,” Bell said. “There’s a little bit of yelling and a lot of hugging; a lot of wanting to punch each other and then a lot of wanting to drink beers together.”
“Thankfully for us,” Sands added, “we want to drink with each other more than we want to fight.”
The Roland Sands Design retail space at the company’s new joint headquarters with Sweatpants Media
Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.
An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle.
One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one.
Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill.
Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles
An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle
Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.
An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger.
One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.
If you’re looking for a road trip with a difference, then Harley Davidson may have the answer – and you don’t need to own a Hog to make it happen.
Seen in iconic movies such as Easy Rider – ridden by Peter Fonda – and even Arnie in Terminator 2: Judgment Day – nothing says cool like a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and if the highway has been calling you, this might be the way to get up close and personal with the American outdoors.
Motorcycling is an option to beat weekend traffic and find a different kind of freedom for your staycation – and you don’t need to fork out a fortune and own one of the bikes. In fact, you can rent one for a holiday with affordable cruising daily prices or touring per week rates, choosing from a wide range of models such as Heritage Classic bike or Ultra Limited.
What motorcycles can I rent?
A variety of new models are available at hundreds of convenient locations all around the world. Browse and enquire on-line or check your local Harley-Davidson® Authorized Rental Dealer for more information. Have a look at the current models to see which one appeals to you.
Where can I rent a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle?
There are hundreds of convenient locations all around the world where you can rent a bike for your holiday, extended test ride, or while your bike is being serviced.
What happens after I inquire online?
You will receive a confirmation email. Outside the USA you will be contacted by the Harley-Davidson® Authorized Rental Dealer you selected to discuss your rental requirements.
When you pick up your rental motorcycle, ensure you bring your full driver’s license with the valid motorcycle endorsement, along with your major credit card and your sense of adventure.
What do I need to hire a bike?
A full and valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement
A major credit card
The minimum age to hire varies globally, In the USA you must be 21.
What gear do I need?
You will need a helmet and the right gear to ensure you are comfortable and protected on your ride.
USA: DOT-approved helmets are required. All rentals include the free loan of DOT-approved half-shell helmets for riders and passengers. Many locations also loan 3/4 or full-face helmets free of charge, subject to availability at the time of pick-up.
Outside the USA: CE approved gear are required – helmet, pants, jacket, boots and gloves.
Your dealership may have gear you can hire or there is an extensive range in their showroom to buy.
One of the best parts about owning a motorcycle is having a front-row view to all things nature. There’s nothing standing in between you and all the colors of the natural world. Fall is one of the best times to go cruising through the wilderness. Leaf peepers are known for chasing bright yellows, reds, and oranges all over the country as autumn sets in. Chances are there’s a great leaf-oriented stretch of road near you.
Get Your Bike Ready for the Trip
Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have everything you need to explore the open road. Some of these routes can be quite remote, so you need to have a plan in case things take a turn for the worst.
Above all else, use helmet communication to keep in touch with your loved ones on your trip, especially if you stray far from home. You should be able to call for help or check your GPS without taking your eyes off the road. You drove all this way to look at the leaves, after all.
Looking down at your phone can be a recipe for disaster. You also need to keep your hands on the handlebars at all times to stay in control. Use a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet to use your electronic devices hands-free for more peace of mind behind the wheel.
Your phone may not be there to rescue if you get lost or get into a wreck. Consider bringing along paper maps of your destination and a backup communication system, such as two-way radio, in case you don’t have access to cell service.
The country’s “third coast” is known for its rich forestry and sprawling coastlines and Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees is perhaps the best example of both. The branches of the trees extend over the road, creating what looks like a tunnel.
Most of the action takes place on M-119. You can catch it at the north end of Petosky. The tunnel official starts in Harbor Springs. Follow the route for another 20 miles around the edge of Lake Michigan. The bluff, which runs around 140 feet above sea level, keeps you up high for a panoramic view of the coast. Be sure to slow down or stop when taking in the sights. The state road narrows at several points, including the infamous Devil’s Ridge. Lots of drivers will probably have their eyes on the trees, so don’t be surprised if they make a mistake.
Coastal Route One – Maine
Route One has a reputation across the East Coast. It makes for a stunning drive, whether you’re coming from Key West, Florida or New York City. We suggest taking it all the way north to Maine, where you’ll see some of the most picturesque roads of your life. New England is full of many charms, including open farmland, quaint towns full of history, and weaving coastlines, and Route One lets you see the best of everything.
You’ll need to take I-95 about 90 minutes north of Boston to the Maine border. From there, hop on Route One to cruise through small towns like towns as Kennebunkport and Ogunquit, both of which are teeming with lush forestry. The road takes you along the coast, which gives you the chance to explore the area’s many islands, nooks, and peninsulas. You’re bound to pass a lighthouse or three.
There’s a certain humble charm to the remote towns of Northern Vermont. Turn down the noise of your engine to enjoy the peace and quiet as the water laps against the rocky shore. Wildlife can get pretty bold in the more rural parts of the state. Don’t be surprised if you run into a moose as soon as you get out of the city.
San Juan Mountain Skyway – Colorado
If you love the mountains, head out west to Colorado to experience the thrill of the San Juan Mountain Skyway. The road gets its name for its steep incline and sharp turns. The road goes from 6,200 feet above sea level near the city of Cortez to over 11,000 feet near what’s known as the Red Mountain Pass.
It gives you the ultimate mountain experience, complete with expansive river valleys, peaks over 14,000 feet tall, and trees that feel larger than life. The arching road gives you a cascading view of the trees during the fall. You can see several miles into the distance in some parts.
The road starts in Durango, CO, the largest city on the path. This is the time to stock up on supplies. Your choices start to thin out from here. Follow the road north via U.S. 160 to Mancos. Consider stopping by Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde National Park while you’re in the area if you feel like seeing more of what this iconic state has to offer. It continues for a total 235 miles, or 7 hours, going all the way up to Telluride and Silverton.
It’s best to start your trip in the early fall, as some roads turn icy early in the season. The mountains have a climate all their own, so be prepared to encounter some snow along the way. Bring along a few extra layers to stay warm on your motorcycle as temperatures fluctuate.
Nothing beats the gorgeous palette of fall foliage. Chart a course for one of these autumn destinations to enjoy the ride of your life.