This week Aldi supermarket are doing lots of basic motorcycle gear cheap. Pop by and check it out. Details of what’s on offer can be found here.
My wife had a quick look, came back with a couple of different neck tubes. Seem reasonable, though not super thick, but very cheap. They also have some Kevlar trousers, but very thin denim and minimal padding on knees only.
Still, you might find something useful.
Sods law. Weather turns cold again and my lovely Gerbing’s XR12 Hybrid heated gloves pack up again. 🙁
As great as they are, I’m really beginning to have doubts about their reliability. Bought them new in November (4 months ago). Two months in, one controller had an intermittent connection fault. Last week the spare controller I purchased, has started exhibiting the same problem. One hand keeps cutting in and out at random.
I dig out the replacement controller I was sent, but this one randomly won’t turn on, just flashes blue when you press the button. Apparently this means it’s getting a feed of less than 11V from the battery. OK, but why then does the other controller still turn on? And why does it start doing this after a long run and momentarily stopped for a refuel?
So I persisted with that for a week, but now my left hand glove won’t heat up at all. From neither controller or either wire on each. 🙁
Have sent the whole lot back for replacement. But in the meantime, it’s barely above freezing out there, I’ve reverted to my Alpinestar Jet Road gloves with wooly gloves underneath and still getting numb fingers after 5-10 mins on the road. I’m hoping they won’t take too long to send out replacements, they turned the last controller around in a couple of days. However I’ve lost a lot of confidence in the Gerbing’s. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great when they work, but when you’re paying top dollar, they need to work for more than a couple of months…
Uh-Oh. Right hand heated glove stopped working half on route home. Appears I may have another loose connection in the controller wiring, again. 🙁 At least I have a spare now…
Check out your local Lidl store next week, they’re doing a bunch of biker gear cheap. Lids, boots, gloves and thermal base layers. The Lids, gloves and boots look a bit cheap and probably only worth bothering with for occasional pillion use. However the thermal base layers look decent. Although the worst of the winter is over, it’s still pretty chilly out there, so will still be useful before next winter. Offer starts Feb 28th, but be quick, once the stock has gone, that’ll be it.
Terrible weather today, absolutely tipping it down. Time to dig out my waterproof over trousers, highly glamorous.
Picked these Basic II Rain Pants up from Hein Gericke for £20. Like their name, just basic thin waterproofs to put on over my leathers. They work really well, keep me nice and dry, zipping down over boots to stop rain running down into them and pulled up under jacket to stop the rain entering there. Very effective, no leakage around the crotch where water can collect. They have no pocket holes mind. Being thin and lightweight, means I can pack them up at the bottom of my bag or under the seat, so they’re always handy in case the weather turns bad.
The only downside with these trousers is they can be a bit slippery on the seat. I keep finding myself sliding forward from my default riding position. No doubt I can get some sort of grippy seat covering, shall have to investigate.
With the crappy weather and roads covered in salt and grit, it’s not just your bike that needs plenty of washing and TLC. Leather clothing can also damaged by the salt. So give it a good wash, apply some leather conditioner and waterproofing. It will cost you a lot less in the long run.
I’ve found wind noise is a big issue on the motorbike. Not so much around town at low speeds, but as soon as I get above 40 mph it becomes more and more of a problem. A jaunt on the motorway is literally quite deafening, above 60 mph I can no longer hear the engine, wind noise just overcomes everything else. This is not good, as I have other interests are in music, hi-fi and home cinema. Going deaf or suffering from severe tinnitus will stop me enjoying these.
A study by the University of Southampton found that at 70 mph in ear noise can hit 100 dB. To put this in perspective, British law dictates that anyone exposed to more than 85 dB in the work place, must be provided with and must wear ear protection, to prevent permanent damage. At 100 dB, permanent damage can occur after just 15 minutes!
So, the moral of the story here, is wear some ear protection. There’s a multitude of different products on the market, from cheap foam inserts to custom moulded plugs. I’m currently using the Laser Lite foam ear plugs. Cheap, simple and actually pretty good. A big bag of them on ebay set me back just a couple of quid. At this price, you can get enough that you always have some handy and not too fussed if they get lost of dirty. They work surprising well and quite markedly reduce noise, which at first gives a strange sensation of isolation when riding. Go careful, as this isolation and reduced noise makes you inclined to ride faster than you think you’re going. Around town I tend not to wear the plugs, as I generally don’t go fast enough to warrant them and I like to use all my senses for awareness of those on the road around me. But out on the motorway, they are essential.
Buy some Laser Lite Ear Plugs from eBay
At last, my new Gerbings Junior Controller has arrived. After freezing my fingers off last week, this couldn’t come sooner. After plugging it all in, everything was working again, definitely confirming it was the old controller/wiring that was at fault.
I’ll be sending the old one back for replacement (as it has 3 year warranty), but this will keep me warm in the mean time. A spare will be useful, if I have problems again in the future.
In the cold and wet weather, a steamed up visor is a serious problem. Reduced visibility is just plain dangerous. I find myself having to ride around with my visor open slightly and often totally open when I stop at junctions, to get enough air flow. it’s a constant battle, alternating between cold/wet face and steamed up visor. The problem is twice as bad as a glasses wearer. Once your glasses are wet, even when not steamed up, visibility is poor.
Continue reading “Pinlock Visor” »
I know I recently picked up some decent Alpinestars Goretex gloves, but I saw these gloves on special offer through BuyaPowa. They operate in a Groupon kind of way, where the more buyers who sign up for the deal, the cheaper the deal gets. Either way, I managed to get these Gerbing’s Heated Gloves for the super price of £100, that’s a good £60 off. They took a while to turn up, after the deal closed, but are definitely worth the wait.
Continue reading “Gerbing’s XR12 Hybrid Heated Gloves Review” »