Pentax Optio W90 Camera Review

Wherever I go, I always try to bring A camera, and I don’t mean the one in my phone. This can be challenging while riding a bike due to the fact that the equipment needs to be limited in size and is almost guaranteed to be exposed to the elements — and my appetite for destruction. So when I came across the Pentax Optio W90, I was excited.

Don’t let this camera’s small size fool you. It was designed with adventure in mind. In other words, it’s dustproof, waterproof down to 20′, shock resistant from a drop of up to 4′, and cold proof down to 14 degrees F. To add to those specs, the camera has a 12 MP sensor and a 5X optical zoom lens that covers focal lengths of 5mm-25mm. A 2.7″ LCD on the back of the camera allows for easy image composing and reviewing. There are eight shooting modes to choose from and 12 digital
filters to add visual effects. Operation of the camera is simple and quick; it takes just over a second to turn on. The camera will run continuously for about two hours so the included charger needs to come along on road trips. The price of this camera is under $300, but as with most electronics, if you shop around you can find it for closer to $200.

This is Pentax’s 11th generation waterproof camera, and it not only looks the part, it also delivers on all levels. To date, the camera you see here has logged more miles on a motorcycle than some riders I know with no problems to speak of. The fact that it has survived my infamous Hulk smashing rampages says a lot about it, too. It is far from a professional digital SLR, but I am pleasantly surprised with the capabilities and durability of this camera, especially since it is a relatively inexpensive point and shoot. AIM

PENTAX Imaging Company, 800/877-0155,

Product Review By Joe Knezevic

Story as published in the June 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine.

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Footwear Laramie Boots

I don’t know about you, but when I’m OUT and about on a motorcycle, I rely more on my riding boots than any other piece of gear. And I expect real comfort on and off the bike.

I need my riding boots to be sturdy enough to handle good weather and bad. They must also offer above-ankle protection. I expect them not to slip on the brake pedal or the ground. It’s also important to me that they look good.

As an editor of a motorcycle magazine, I ride a lot of miles on many different motorcycles, and the last thing I want to do is find myself distracted by my boots. Knowing how important riding boots are, I try to keep mine in reasonable condition, but I don’t baby them. I have had great luck with Harley-Davidson boots and typically get two or three years of hard use out of them.

I like the look of the Laramie boots from Harley Footwear. They have a good thick rubber sole with plenty of grip on a wet or oily road surface, a decent look, and are tall enough to cover my ankles. I could do without the Harley Bar & Shield logo on the side and the Harley badges on the laces. I appreciate the zipper on the side of each boot making it easy to pull on or off, and the laces allow me to make the fit as snug or as loose as I like.

Some boots I test don’t make it a hundred miles before they get tossed, but these Laramie boots have already lasted more miles than that. I have found them comfortable all day long, on and off the bike, and they aren’t even fully broken in yet. I’ll miss my old boots, but think I am going to like these new Harley Laramie boots a lot. AIM

Visit your local dealer,

Product Review By Buzz Kanter

Story as published in the June 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine.

Custom Design Studio Unveils New Bug Catcher

Novato, CA – Kirk Taylor and the crew at Custom Design Studio are at it again. Renowned for their award-winning ground up customs, paint work and custom parts, CDS has constructed a practical solution to a common predicament.

The CDS “Bug Catcher” consists of a domed shaped screen designed to be easily inserted into the throat of your S&S carb. Once pressed into place you can bolt on a traditional S&S Style velocity stack. The base/frame is made of stainless steel, so not only does it look good but it’s durable and keeps your carb debris free. No more ugly covers over the bell on the stack! The CDS Bug Catcher sells for $40. To order call Custom Design Studios at (415) 382-6662 or email them at

Custom Design Studios was established in 1988 by Kirk Taylor and is located in Novato, California.  Taylor’s vision combines artistry, mechanical savvy and solid construction.  He believes that builders “shouldn’t limit themselves when it comes to expressing their vision of art.”  In addition to CDS’s service, assembly and parts operation, the company also has a full paint department and a fabrication shop. CDS can handle all the needs of the riding public from oil-changes and tires to beautiful one of a kind customs.

For more information about Custom Design Studios, please visit, or call (415) 382-6662.