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Time… It’s something more precious than any amount of money. When you get older time becomes more valuable and as you all know when you get older there seems to be less time in the day to get things done. When at the track, I get asked questions like “what do you ride on your own time” or “what product do you use on your own time, when you’re not testing something”? After getting these questions asked to me several times, I thought it would be a good idea to start a monthly article on what I like to use on my own time. Even though my own riding time is rare, there are times when I just go ride to just enjoy the ride, not for the sake of testing something.
Coming from a business standpoint, people assume that I only use or test companies products that pay me, but in most cases that is simply not true. I left Dirt Rider Magazine to create a testing media outlet that has transparency and lets people in on what is REALLY happening within the walls of a media outlet. I didn’t want any hidden agendas and I didn’t want to just be an editor that you can only talk to through a magazine or website. I hated being at Dirt Rider and having to talk highly about a product that simply wasn’t good, just because they were spending money with the magazine. I hated hiding behind the print advertising wall. I lost sleep over it. I would come home moody because it just didn’t feel right to me. Telling the consumer to go ahead and purchase a product when it’s inferior not only ruins integrity, but it throws consumers money into the trash. It bothered me.
I grew up with a father that didn’t have a shit ton of money and he would rely on magazines to guide him into the right purchasing decisions. Hell, I barely had a relationship with him because he worked so damn much. The times we did get to spend together usually revolved around dirt bikes, so getting the correct parts put on our bikes made our time spent together less stressful on him. However, that wasn’t always the case. What I didn’t know (at that point in my life) was that time together, with dirt bikes, had costed him a lot of money (as well as labor). Sometimes my dad would purchase a product that he thought he or I needed, but found out later, through trial and error, that he was misinformed. It turned out it wasn’t as good as stock, was a POS, or didn’t fit right, but because “the magazine” said “it was a must have” he went out and learned the hard way. When I started working for Dirt Rider I really thought we were going to take the “hard way” out of purchasing products and/or machines for readers/consumers. That theory wasn’t always the way it worked out at the magazine, because we normally had some hurdles to jump through before that would happen. Little did I know in that world the edit side of things do not met eye to eye with the sales side of things at times.
Of course any business has to make money to operate, but what if you believed in a product so much that you only took those advertising dollars from the ones YOU truly believe in? That was my thought process when I was thinking of leaving the magazine to start my own deal. I wanted that motto to be my guideline when I started Keefer Inc. Testing. I knew I probably wouldn’t make as much money as the other big media outlets, but I didn’t care. I would rather be able to sleep at night than have the weight of steering a fellow blue collar type of rider, like my dad, into the wrong direction with a product or machine. Maybe this is a horrible business model and I am doing it all wrong, but to me it’s something I can truly do that lets me sleep well at night. I had certain companies in mind that I grew to love after testing them over the years and I knew that they had great products, so I went after those companies to see if they were interested in advertising with my brand. I wanted to push those products more on the Keefer Tested Podcast and wanted to have those companies a part of the Keefer Inc. Testing mission statement so to speak. Hell, who knows? Maybe it was that damn movie Jerry McGuire that got me inspired, but I needed to know “who’s coming with me”.
Now I won’t sit here and tell you that every single company or product that I like has come on board to advertise with us, but that doesn’t stop me from using said product. I would rather spend my own money on something that works than get something free that doesn’t. If a product is good, I am not scared to go purchase it myself, for my own use, on my own time, and of course let you all know about it. If it isn’t a great product, I want you to know about that as well. I am not here to bash companies products when they are not great, but I will let them know about it so they can try to make it better. Not everything works well on every bike or body and that company has the right to know that they need to be better. Just because we take advertising dollars from one company doesn’t mean we will not test other competing brands and give you the straight scoop on if that’s a great product or not. We are trying to create an open line of communication between the consumer and the media testing world. Yes, our time is valuable, and so is yours, but if we can give you quality feedback that can help you smile, once you’ve used what you’ve purchased, it’s a win win situation.
So now that you have some background on why I am typing these articles, here is the first installment of “On My Own Time”. We will be diving into one company/product a month, some that advertise and some that don’t, but that doesn’t matter to me, because if I am using it on my own time, it could be worth yours as well. If you have any questions on any product you see here on keeferinctesting.com you know I will do my best to help you. Simply email me at email@example.com and I will do my damndest to steer you in the correct direction.
Fly Racing Lite Hydrogen Pant/Jersey
Fly Racing has been a part of Keefer Inc. Testing since the beginning. Why? A couple reasons. It’s because they have a great product and also the people behind WPS/Fly Racing are genuine enthusiasts of our sport. I have been a fan of the Lite Hydrogen gear since their pant was redesigned in 2018. That pant incorporated the BOA system. Fly Racing is one of about three gear companies that I would spend my own money on (we will talk about the other two companies in a future “On My Own Time” articles) and below are the reasons why I like this product so much.
I am extremely happy with the BOA system on the Lite Hydrogen pant. Every time I wear another set of gear I am looking to tighten the BOA reel, but quickly realize that there isn’t one available. If there was one thing I don’t like about other minimalistic pants is that they can be too stretchy in the rear yolk panel while accelerating out of corners. That can leave me with an untucked jersey as well as pants sagging down by lap three. I don’t have an ass! If you have an ass, maybe you DO NOT have this problem, but for my flat ass this is noticeable quickly. With the BOA system all I have to do is turn in the reel and tighten, so that my pant is securely locked to my waist. If you want to loosen the waist area you simply pull the BOA reel outwards and it releases the tension on the pant. The Lite Hydrogen pant has held up great against my knee braces (especially the leather) and although this is a very lightweight pant it has superb durability. The Lite Hydrogen pant is not as light as the FOX FlexAir, but has held together better over time for me and ventilates very well.
If you are a bigger guy don’t fear because Fly sells the Lite Hydrogen pant in up to a size 38. I have seen a pair of 38’s on my large sized buddy and it doesn’t look abnormal at all. Also chances are if you’re a size 40 the 38 is stretchy enough that you will be able to fit without any issues. When comparing the FlexAir and Lite Hydrogen cuts, the Fly pant is not quite as tight, has slightly more stretch, and doesn’t hug against your legs as much. This left me with a little more room for an array of knee braces that I test. The colors that Fly came out with in 2018 is so much better than the colors they had in 2017. Bright yet clean colorways are what I prefer and that is exactly what the Lite Hydrogen is. Although I am not sure Fly recommends putting your pant and jersey in the dryer, I have done so on many occasions and the BOA reel sticks works flawlessly. Over the years the Lite Hydrogen pant continues to evolve and be one of the leaders in comfort and durability. It’s tough to get a lightweight pant that can last more than a few months, but these suckers have held up to the abuse that I can give.
The Lite Hydrogen jersey ventilates very well and the low profile/open cuff design is one of my favorite aspects of this jersey. Sometimes when you get an open cuff design the jersey will ride up your arms during a moto, but the Lite Hydrogen jersey’s cuff will stay in place and not go all Mike Alessi on you. The athletic cut of the jersey is on the snug side, but again not as tight as a FlexAir jersey. It’s important to note that the Lite Hydrogen is not as tight as the FlexAir for the bigger dudes with some extra weight in the belly region. Don’t fear the spare tire because Fly offers a 2X and I promise you will not look all EMO with a snug fitting jersey. Once you slip the jersey on you can feel how soft it is as Fly Racing’s material will not irritate your skin. You will also have enough stretch for an under protector if you choose to wear one (which I did on most occasions). Mrs. Keefer has washed the pant and jersey several times and the colors have not yet faded or dulled out. I also liked that Fly updated their collar in 2019 to a lycra collar that doesn’t grab a hold of your neck like a WWE wrestler.
I remember when Fly Racing wasn’t even in my thought process when it came to picking out gear to wear on my own time. Back in 2011-2013 I always dreaded having to wear Fly’s stuff for photos because it was so hot, baggy, and just didn’t look that great. Fly has evolved their line of gear and have made the Lite Hydrogen one of my favorite sets of gear to wear “On My Own Time”.