PRODUCT REVIEWS: Necessities For My Trip

Lip balm, lens cleaner, and a Harley-Davidson knife

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor

If you’re a regular reader of WRN, you know I took a 26-day ride on my motorcycle this past summer hitting three different events I needed to attend for business. I traveled from my home in Montana to Sturgis, South Dakota, then down south to Colorado and back to Montana covering 3200 miles. Here’s a quick review of some handy items I used on my trip.

I covered 3,200 miles on this trip. My husband snapped this photo of me rolling into our driveway at the end of my journey.

ChopSaver For Lips
I know of no woman who doesn’t use something to keep her lips moist. And being a motorcycle rider, dry, chapped lips can quickly become a problem.

Women love their lip balms, lipstick, and lip glosses. My riding friends (l-r) freelance writer Sheryl Bussard, WRN contributor Pam Collins, and Cycle News contributor Michelle Baird with their lip necessities.

Right before I left, I received ChopSaver lip balm in the mail. Cute name for lip balm originally designed for musicians who are always licking their chops because of the dryness caused from blowing into an instrument. Dan Gosling, a trumpet player, invented ChopSaver, an all-natural lip balm, when his lips remained chapped and sore after using commercially available lip balms. Smart marketing on his part by reaching out to motorcyclists.

Chopsaver comes in two versions: original and SPF 15
The lip balm is clear and neutral. You can see I#39;ve been using them.

I’m a regular user of Chapstick; I’m one of those people who has lip balm on my lips all the time. I use it under lipstick. The all-natural kick I’ve been on moved me away from the chalky chemically Chapstick to Burt’s Bees lip balms. Seeing ChopSaver’s all natural ingredients such as shea butter, mango butter, aloe, vitamin E, avocado and plant oils got me excited. No chemicals at all.

The texture of ChopSaver is smooth, but not slippery; slightly smoother than my Burt’s Bees honey flavored balm I was regularly using, and way smoother than Chapstick. I give ChopSaver high marks for staying on my lips for a long time. Normally when riding, I re-apply lip balm every time I stop, about every 100 miles in normal riding conditions. ChopSaver lasts way past that assuming I’m not drinking and eating which would wipe it off. I put it on before I got to bed, and in the morning I still feel it on my lips.

There’s a hint of citrus to keep it interesting but definitely not overwhelming. I don’t like major flavored lip balms. ChopSaver costs $9.90 plus $3 shipping and handling for a pack of two. The more you buy, the price goes down. Visit The price is worth it. I love this stuff.

Packing Protection
For some reason, this solo trip I felt the need to travel armed –- with a knife. If I felt like I was threatened in any way, I’d have the knife hanging on my belt. As it turned out, like always, there are never any threats when riding around by myself, but it was nice to have a knife for cutting my apples and tomatoes in my hotel room.

Harley-Davidson recently partnered with Benchmade Knife Company to license a line of knives. I tested the Mini-Hardtail 13150-1 shown below. The blade measures 3.25 inches and is just sharp and pointy enough to be threatening. It does slice through the skin of my snacks better than my vegetable knives at home.

The Mini-Hardtail knife is lightweight weighing a scant 2.5 ounces. It comes with this microfiber carrying pouch.
Harley-Davidson is etched into the Valox handle (a thermoplastic polyester resin). The opening “thumb stud” is located on both sides of the knife making it easy to extract the blade with one hand.

The blade is made of D2 high grade tool steel. Adding to its clean design, the Mini-Hardtail features the Harley-Davidson Bar amp; Shield on the blade and Harley-Davidson is molded into the handle. The knife retails for $90 to $105 depending on the blade configuration and coating.

If I knew there was a pink one, I#39;d have gotten it instead. This limited edition pink Nightshift sets itself apart with its unique tread and pink glass-filled thermoplastic handle. The carbon stainless steel blade has Harley-Davidson scripted on the side. The Bar Shield logo is molded into the handle which includes a reversible carry clip. Price is $90.

Harley-Davidson knives are available through authorized Harley dealers, and can be purchased online at You can browse the many style of knives available there too.

Seeing Clearly
I wish I had this lens cleaner before I left on my trip, but when I got home Clear Shot was waiting for me to test. I had a dirty helmet face shield and sunglasses. Clear Shot is another product developed out of need. Charlie King, an avid dual sport rider, couldn’t find a product to clean off his face shield that would be also rugged and durable enough to take in his motorcycle saddlebags. So he developed not only the cleaner, but a tough ABS plastic carrying case that appears almost waterproof with its rubber end caps that pop tightly into place.

Clear Shot comes in this sturdy hard plastic case measuring 5 inches across by 3.5 inches high.
One tube stores the 2 oz. cleaning fluid; the other tube stores the two microfiber cleaning cloths, one at each end.

The cleaner is an anti-fog cleaning fluid that is safe for all coatings, prescriptions and lens materials. I sprayed it on my Arai face shield and used the blue thicker, tougher grade chamois-style microfiber cloth to wipe off the tough bugs and dirt. It took a little bit of muscle to get the bug guts broken down. I actually prefer to use water for this part so as not to waste the small amount of cleaning fluid contained in the bottle. Then I sprayed on more cleaner and used the finer optical grade finishing cloth to shine up the shield. This is where the cleaner shines excuse the pun. I also used it on my three pairs of sunglasses.

I’ve tested and own lots of lens cleaners and this one moves to the top of the list. It really shined up the shield leaving no residue or streaking like some other products do. Charlie markets Clear Shot not only to motorcyclists but also to outdoor sports people like hunters, fishers, hikers, campers, snowmobilers, skiers, etc., where a clear clean sunglasses, googles, etc., and a sturdy and compact way to carry the cleaner is a must. Price is $20. More information is at

3 thoughts on PRODUCT REVIEWS: Necessities For My Trip

  1. Dear Genevieve,

    I love all the articles that are in your newsletters. I also love to read about the solo trips that you make. I have wanted to take a solo trip but my husband is afraid for me to travel alone. I would love to strike out on my own and just ride maybe to my daughter's home in North Carolina but hubby states he would be scared to death the whole time I was gone. How do I get him to relax?

    Thanks for your inspiration and travels for us girls who love to keep the shiny side up!

    1. Sandra,
      Here is some general advice, but I don't know you so perhaps your husband's fears are warranted. Only you two know the answer to that.

      Your husband's anxiety about a solo trip of yours is him expressing lack of confidence in your ability to do a trip alone. It's one thing for him to be concerned for your well being, but not allowing you to do something you want to do is him controlling you in a passive way. Negative energy is not what you want should you embark on a trip.

      Many women travel solo on their motorcycle. I've written plenty about how to travel by motorcycle solo and how to conduct yourself in public places (gas stations, hotels, etc.) so as to not attract undesirable attention. Traveling solo is very empowering and can do wonders for a gal's self esteem. You do need to take proper precautions for your well being but really, there's nothing to be afraid of.

      Your husband needs to let go of the proverbial leash and let your spirit soar. Assure him you'll check in with him every day, or at every rest stop if that's what he needs to cope with your absence. When you return from the trip, I guarantee you'll be a new woman, confident in your abilities and excited about your next adventure. And he as your husband, will reap the benefits of your newfound sense of self.

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