4M All Riders Newsletter: March 2022
Welcome back to the All Riders monthly newsletter brought to you straight from the Matt Cave!
This is "4M: The Matt Cave Moto Monthly Mailer".
So... I just finished my latest Matt Cave Moto "M²" video of ARMD supporting vendor Seminole Powersports North installing Perrelli Diablo Rosso III tires onto Rotobox carbon fiber rims, then installing the whole lot onto my 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2. Check it out here:
I thought I'd stay in the theme for the subject of this month's newsletter and hit you up with a little bit of the history of carbon fiber.
So, when I think of carbon fiber, I think of a pretty modern, super strong, maybe even "space-aged" material that NASA probably designed (along with the Tempurpedic mattress, FYI) for use on the space shuttle or space station back in the '80s or something. The truth is that carbon fiber has actually been around for more than 150 years! Can you believe that? Well, the thing is that it has only been through manufacturing process improvements in the last half-century or so that it has been able to live up to its current reputation as the king of super strong, super light stuff. So, how and why was it invented, you ask? I'm glad you asked, cause that's what I'm about to write about.
So, this guy Joe first created carbon fiber in 1860 to use in an early light bulb. Remember those 'incandescent" things that were too dumb to turn on when you clapped or fiddled with an app on your phone. Yeah, those old things. Yes, for you young whipper-snappers... it's true... we once only had the option to "turn on" the lights ourselves. I digress. Anyway, this Joe guy decided that he needed a better conductor for said bulbs, so he gathered up some cotton and bamboo. That doesn't make a whole lotta sense, I hear you telling me. How can cotton or bamboo work as an electrically conductive filament for a lightbulb? I'm glad you asked-I'm gonna tell you.
See, all Joe needed to do was bake those cotton and bamboo filaments at high temperatures to cause "carbonization" to take place. Say it with me class: "CAR-BONE-EYE-ZAYSHON." Good! Write it down... it will be on the test. Carbonization is converting of organic matter like plants or dead animals into carbon through destructive distillation. Even Thomas Edison used cellulose-based carbon fiber filaments in some of the first light bulbs to be heated by electricity. Their high heat tolerance made them ideal electrical conductors. The baking method for carbonizing the organic matter is called "pyrolysis." "PIE-ROL-LEE-SIS. " In case you wanted to know more about pyrolysis, pyrolysis is a thermochemical treatment, which can be applied to any organic (carbon-based) product. It can be done on pure products as well as mixtures. In this pyrolysis, the material is exposed to high temperatures and, in the absence of oxygen, goes through chemical and physical separation into different molecules. So carbon fiber filaments became all the rage, and they enjoyed a pretty solid stint as top-dog. That was until tungsten became a thing. Tungsten became the lightbulb filament of choice in the early 1900s, rendering your boy carbon fiber obsolete for something like the next fifty years.
It was not until 1958 that some fella named Roger Bacon (his friends called him RB) actually produced the first petroleum-based carbon fibers while measuring the triple point of carbon. You know how tricky measuring the triple point is, right? Well, he was trying to do this by heating strands of rayon within an argon shielded space. He began to notice the filaments growing on the negative electrode of his arc furnace. He noted his findings in his "Really Important Stuff" bunder. Unfortunately, the resulting fibers were a mere 20% carbon and did not have nearly the stiffness and strength properties that are so highly valued today (that's what she said). So, RB's process left something to be desired.
In the early 1960s, Dr. Akio Shindo made the smart move of using polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as a precursor. Say it with me, class: "PEE-AYE-EN". Anyone who has seen Walt and Jesse cook a batch knows what precursor is, so I won't get into that. PAN as it were, is a synthetic, semicrystalline organic polymer resin that allowed Dr. A to create carbon fibers that were 55% carbon using a much more cost-effective production method.
Just when Dr. A thought he was the shiz, some British dudes patented a new carbon fiber manufacturing process. This much better process created a much stronger carbon fiber product than previous processes yielded. These guys sold the whole operation to Rolls Royce. Although they were already producing carbon fiber, this new process was like the blue stuff vs. Jesse's "Cap N Cook" chili powder crap. This new process allowed Rolls to use carbon fiber for their jet engine fan blades.
1970: A joint technology agreement allowed Union Carbide to produce PAN-based carbon fiber previously only manufactured by Toray Industries in Japan. Since the late 1970s, several other types of carbon fiber yarn have entered the global market. Over the earliest versions, these new fibers contain up to 95% carbon fiber and have considerably increased tensile strength and modulus (a constant factor or ratio) of elasticity. Toray Industries now manufactures carbon fibers with a tensile strength of 4,0000 MPa and a modulus of 400GPa. (that's like super good, yo). Additionally, improved processes have aided in decreasing production costs. These improvements in strength, elasticity, and cost led engineers in the 1990s and 2000s to finally fully understand the vast potential of carbon fiber in a variety of manufacturing applications, making it a favorite design choice today.
Fancy yourself a Carbon Cowboy? If roping wayward iron steeds is your jam, you can get one of these here. This thing is real, and it aint cheap at $299.00
Some information abotu Carbon Fiber Wheels direct from BST (another manufacturer of carbon fiber wheels):
1) Are carbon fiber wheels safe?
Carbon fiber wheels have been around for some considerable time and have been proven to be safe when designed and manufactured properly and, as with any wheel, used within their design parameters. One of the parameters is the maximum static weight of the motorcycle for which the wheel is designed (BST sportbike wheels are designed for motorcycles that weigh up to 617 lb dry) and have more than adequate strength and damage tolerance for any usage within road/street, sport or race environment. Safety is dependent on more than just strength and stiffness. Due to improved handling and therefore lower driver fatigue and effort, BSTs make a positive contribution towards driver safety.
2) How do carbon fiber wheels compare to the conventional competition?
Wheels manufactured from metal are either cast, forged, machined, or manufactured as a combination of the three processes. Aluminum wheels have been around for many years. They are relatively easy to manufacture and also relatively cheap, but they are heavy because of the density to strength ratio of Aluminum (how much strength you can get for a kilogram of Aluminum). To improve the weight you can either choose a material that is lighter or one that is stronger, or one that is lighter and stronger. Using magnesium, which is lighter but not necessarily stronger, you can improve on weight slightly.
The problem with magnesium is twofold: first – its fatigue properties are poor and so are the corrosion properties, so a wheel may not last very long even if perfectly cast and machined. The second problem is worse – very often micro-porosity occurs during the casting process, which has a negative impact on both fatigue life and corrosion. So magnesium wheels can be nice and light but may not last very long, sometimes less than a racing season. This makes magnesium wheels good for racing but unattractive to the man in the street. The only solution is to find a material that is lighter, stronger, fatigue-free, and corrosion-free Carbon fiber. As an engineering material, carbon fiber is far superior to Magnesium or Aluminum alloys.
3) Are there really any performance benefits or gains?
You’ll gain in many ways this is the best performance-enhancing product you can buy. BSTs will make a dramatic difference that will gain you speed and responsiveness with less effort and fatigue. It’ll feel like you’ve added a few horses to your engine but at a very reasonable price. Best BANG per $$ for performance
Extra performance: Low mass and lowest Moment of Inertia results in a lower unsprung mass; this means faster cornering, later braking, improved acceleration in all, faster lap times. Imagine the difference you’ll experience from dropping 11.2 lbs off the weight of your bike! That’s the difference in weight between the standard GSXR1000 wheels and the BSTs.
Extra Riding Fun and Rider Safety: The huge drop in weight means that handling improves dramatically quicker lap times with less effort and astonishing responsiveness means less fatigue.
Carbon fiber is a fatigue-free material resulting in longer product life;
Carbon fiber composite is a very damage-tolerant material. In the event that a wheel is damaged, the damage propagates less easily;
Very low corrosion susceptibility.
Extra Cool Looks: Whether you are into performance or looks, this wheel attracts attention gleaming, black, woven-look finish and “soft” styling makes a stunning addition to your motorcycle.
The views of UK SuperBike magazine:
“what else can you do to a bike – for that money – to make it so much faster?“
UK sports bike magazine, SuperBike, performed an independent two-day test at the Almeria circuit in Spain using a 2002 Honda CBR900RR (954) FireBlade.
” The first day’s testing took place with standard wheels and the only change for the second day was the substitution of BST wheels.
Weather conditions were unchanged and the following was observed:
Acceleration was noticeably stronger with the rider reporting “it felt as though it had gained ten horsepower “
The bike could be braked later
The bike could be turned more easily
Top speed at the end of the main straight was increased by 5mph
Lap times fell by a full 3 seconds although the rider did report “pulling the pin out” as he felt very confident on the bike during the second day
These results are consistent with performance gains normally found by virtue of the combination of reduced unsprung weight and reduced rotational inertia provided by BST wheels. Even if a bike is not being used on a circuit, the same benefits of increased performance and rideability also apply to road/street use. “
4) What is TUV Certification?
Both BST and Rotobox wheels are TUV certified. What Does TÜV Product Certification Mean? Highly recognized worldwide as a trademark of trust and quality, a TÜV certification ensures that a product, service, or process has been tested for safety and that it complies with the requirements of national, regional, and international regulations.
Carbon Fiber Wheels vs. Stock Metal Wheels:
Why did I go with Rotobox wheels instead of BST?
Why did I go with Rotobox wheels instead of BST?
I was actually on the fence for a long time. While doing my research, I found that the BST website was pretty antiquated and slow loading. It showed the different rim options, but it was uninspiring and outdated. While I actively tried not to allow that to influence my decision (after all BST is in the business of making carbon fiber rims, not websites), it ultimately had an impact. If the business cant stay competitive and stay up with the times, what does that say about their business practices? I was thinking more about customer service than how well they make their wheels. By contrast, Rotobox's website is state of the art. It not only allows you to view the different options with stunning images of wet, liquid, sexy-looking resin-coated carbon fiber, but it also allows you to rotate them in 3D and zoom in. The other thing about the website and Rotobox's offerings that BST is sorely lacking is a way to customize the rims. At the time of this writing, BST had ZERO customization options and thus no way to customize the wheels online. I went with a minimalist approach to my rims, but I added green lettering and green valve stems to match the green on my Ninja H2. Rotobox offers a huge array of graphics and paint design options to seriously make your rims stand out if you are into impressing with your wheels. They also allow you to choose your anodized aluminum hub colors and (as I mentioned above) chose your valve stem color. Check out this screenshot of their wheel-building website page.
More information from BST: https://blog.brocksperformance.com/bst-frequently-asked-questions/
What's Happening in March?
BIKE WEEK and the Deland Bike Rally: 3/5/22
We will have our booth set up at the Deland Bike Rally Downtown Deland on March, 5th. We set up there in order to get the word out about our awesome community, the ARMD membership program, and simply hob-knob about motorcycles all day long. This time we have our Cardo Packtalk Bold Duo Giveaway going on, so we will announce the winner of said promotion at the end of the rally. Please come on by and see us.
The big news this month is that we successfully completed the Great GoPro-Motion Giveaway where one lucky winner won a GoPro Max 360 waterproof 360 degree camera. That was way cool, and if I know the winner like I think I do, then we will see some pretty cool footage from that sucker pretty soon.
Normally we would cool off a bit between giveaways, but this time we are going back-to-back in order to take advantage of the Deland Bike Rally coming up on 3/5/2022. The Deland Rally sits on the first weekend of Bike Week. All Riders likes to set up our tent to get the word out about who we are and what we do. We try to sell a t-shirt or two, and maybe a few ARMD memberships while we are there. We figured that the culmination of a really cool giveaway would help make the rally memorable. So, we are now raffling off a set of two Cardo Packtalk BOLD communicators at the rally. You can buy entry decals now, or wait until the day, but we will be drawing the winner's name right before we close shop at the rally.
With this giveaway, we are giving away a "DUO" set, which means two Packtalk BOLDS come in one package with everything you need to set up each one on one helmet. This is meant for couples, or as a deal for two people to go in together. Both units are paired via Bluetooth from the box. So, if you are only worried about being able to talk to your one buddy or spouse, you will be good to go. I would still recommend experimenting with DMC (mesh mode) though because it is the superior communication technology. You get a longer range and easier, more consistent connectivity with mesh... and you can connect with up to fifteen riders using mesh mode.
Packtalk Slim vs. Packtalk BOLD. Same great tech in two different packages. Learn about communicators here.
ARMD Members enjoy the benefit of buy one, get one entry to the giveaway with coupon code ARMDFREE. If you are an ARMD member, then take advantage. If you are not, follow the link to learn about the program, and get involved. If you are an active, avid motorcyclist (or consumer of any kind really) this membership pays for itself in no time at a mere $40/year.
Not only will the discounts it entitles you to and the raffle/giveaway perks make it pay for itself, but you will also be supporting the All Riders International Motorcyclist Community. That means you will be making all we do possible. If that does not give you the warm and fuzzies, then you are probably a serial killer. If that is the case then, well... buy in anyway. You can't kill all the time, and when you aren't killing for jollies, you will probably want to be riding your motorcycle.
EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The Dan's Wednesday R.A.D. (Ride After Dark)
This RAD (ride after dark) is a new Wednesday night ride hosted by Dan Soucy and Dan Timonere that will be in effect until Chuck's Wednesday Ride to Nowhere returns. This ride will always start at the Shell station at the intersection of Howland & Catalina Blvd's in Deltona and will always end at OB's in Deland for their bike night. How we get there will be a mystery and we may not know until we pull out of the parking lot. The ride can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the weather and the route. Hope some of you will join us.
Matt's Weekday Wind Through the Woods Ride Part II:
Following the success of the first Matt’s Weekday Wind in the Woods Ride, I bring you the sequel.
For the second installment of the Weekday Wind Through the Woods ride, we will start with KSU 10:00 am, then we will be heading to Puddle Jumpers in Tavares. This will be an excellent scenic ride extending about 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Then we will enjoy a nice brunch at Puddle Jumpers restaurant. This will be an easy-paced ride hovering around the speed limit, with the possible absent-minded bump up to ten mph or so.
Hope to see some of you out there!
First Fridays Moto-Meetup: This first Friday we head back to MELLOW MUSHROOM in Port Orange. Same time... 7:00pm.
Chuck's Compression Release Cookout:
It's coming Saturday, March 12, 2022. The question is, "Will You Be There?" Yes my friends, another excuse to eat, drink and tell B.S. stories about how we have all become better riders since the last picnic!
We will start the day with a 90 minute "Compression Release" bike ride leaving the Boehm house at 11:30am sharp. When we return about 1:00pm, the food will be waiting and we will start cooking. At 1:30pm the axe throwing trailer arrives. Yes, two lanes of hatchet tossing will be at the affair, along with coaches from Wise Axe to help us stick it on the targets. Let the lumberjack inside you out and try your skills at throwing an axe. This activity is included in the price of admission, which is FREE! If you do not want to join the ride, feel free to stop by the house at 1:00pm for the "Compression Release" cookout.
Dan's 2nd Sunday Sunrise Scoot:
Hope you can join us for the fourth running of "Dan's 2nd Sunday Sunrise Scoot."See the event details on Facebook, Meetup.com, or the All Riders Calendar. "2nd Sunday Sunrise Scoot"...It's Better than Coffee and Won't Make You Pee..
Dan's "2nd Sunday Sunrise Scoot"...It's Better than Coffee and Won't Make You Pee...
Dan's Full Moon Ride: March Edition Friday
The February FMR will be on Friday, March 18th. Check out the Facebook event listing for details, or see the Meetup.com post, or the All Riders Calendar.
Chuck's Wednesday Ride to Nowhere RETURNS! It's right around the corner. The Ride to Nowhere will be back starting March 16, 2022 and run through November 2, 2022. Rides will be posted in the next couple weeks.
Third Thursday Moto-Meetup: Thursday, March 17th. As always, Third Thursdays Bike Night will be at Abbey Bar & Odd Elixir downtown Deland. Amazing staff, great beer, wine, mead, and some finger food to boot. We start at 7:00 pm.
You also get 10% off of your entire bill with your current ARMD membership card.
Check out Abbey Bar:
Follow the link above for t-shirts, patches, membership cards, and work shirts.
As always, if you would like to check out some fantastic reviews and interviews, check out our relevant pages:
If you are new to riding or want to bone up on some group riding info or learn about how we do things at All Riders, check out:
We also link to the AMA database of motorcycle laws in the USA at All Riders 101.
If you want to learn more about or membership card program: ARMD, go here:
Please take some time and check out the rest of the site, and if you have any criticisms, ideas, corrections, or worthwhile general observations, feel free to email me at:
ARMD SUPPORTING VENDOR HIGHLIGHT:
Looking to buy a new motorcycle dealership? No? How about a new home? •Offering 1% off of commission of the sale of property for ARMD Members. *ARMD Members, Veterans, Military personnel, Teachers, First Responders, or Medical Workers who use Southern Title for closing can get 50% off of closing fees*
Beth Dalton Justice Discom Realty Inc. 2845 Enterprise Rd. Suite 107-A Debary, FL 32713
386-668-9128 Ext. 104 386-279-5097 Cell
Thanks for stopping by. Rubber down!