Swap’s Stocking Stuffers | Presented by Cycle Gear
Today, I am breaking the 100 dollar barrier and venturing north, all the way to $160. But you know what? The Oakley Airbrake is worth it. How can a motorcycle goggle be worth $160, you ask? A better question might be, “How much are your eyeballs worth?” In addition to the radical look of the Airbrake, the important defining factor of the Airbrake is the injection-molded Plutonite lens, and the way it is attached to the goggle frame. In addition to being pre-curved and optically correct, the Airbrake lens is twice as thick as a traditional flat, stamped goggle lens, and offers more than double the protection from flying roost and rocks. A golf ball-sized rock, roosted off the rear tire of a modern-dfay 450cc motocross bike can reach lethal velocities, and can certainly blow right through a thin, stamped lens. Furthermore, it can dislodge a traditional lens from a traditional frame channel. The Airbrake lens is mounted in front of the frame, and locked into place with a lever on each side. It physically cannot be dislodged towards your face by a flying rock.
Think I’m full of baloney? Here’s a funny story for ya’… When I first started racing with the Oakley Airbrake, one of my buddies who shall remain nameless (Kevin Stevens) was making fun of me and my “chi chi” goggles. I explained to him the testing process that I had witnessed, and how I believed the Airbrake to be a safer goggle. He laughed and said that he had never been roosted that hard before, and declared that he would keep wearing his tried and true XYZ goggles. Literally 30 minutes later, I accompanied him to the starting line to watch him race. After starting second, he entered the track behind the leader, but pulled over almost immediately and went into what looked like seated convulsions on the side of the track. When I made my way over to him, he was shouting, “Look at this, look at this!” and pointing to his goggle lens. A rock had struck him smack-dab in the middle of the lens and blown it out of the frame. The lens had a distinct dimple in it where the rock had hit it, and the lens also apparently pushed so far inward that it struck him in the eye. In between screaming that he was blind and how he hated his XYZ goggles, my buddy (Kevin Stevens) tried to rip his goggles off in anger, much like you see a 125 beginner kid do after he loops out on the starting straight. Problem was, though, that he was wearing an early Bell Moto 9, and the sides of the visor trapped his goggle strap as he tried to yank them off. That’s when he started screaming like Hulk Hogan and actually stretched the strap to unbelievable lengths. When he finally got them off, he threw them across the track. Within seconds, a kid who was sitting in the stands jumped over the chain link fence, grabbed the goggles, and split! Since my buddy’s eye was ok, the entire thing was quite comical. That week, he ordered a pair of Oakley Airbrake goggles. And so should you.
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