Category Archives: Gear Reviews

Reviews of gear, accessories and equipment.

Leather One Piece Suit and Track Day

Just picked up this Alpinestars one piece suit off eBay. With a bit of patience I managed to blag this decent nick one for a monkey, not bad as they often go for ¬£150-300 odd. Sizing was a bit tricky, as I’m pretty tall and skinny (6’1″ & 11 stone), but an EU52 fits well for height, not too bad around the waist and it only a spot baggy around the arse. Plenty of room for my separate back protector. The knee sliders are also nicely worn, so I won’t look a complete track day virgin… ūüėČ

My plan is to try some track days, starting with a¬†Novice Skills Day at Brand Hatch. Run in combination with Kent Fire Service and MSV, it covers Biker Down, slow speed control, an IAM/RoSPA observed ride and two 20 min track sessions. All for the princely sum of ¬£55. It’s been a while since I did a Biker Down course and more slow speed and IAM tuition is always handy. Watch this space for my report back on the day.

Find an Alpinestars one piece suit on eBay.

ABUS Granit Detecto X Plus 8077 Disc Lock Review

The ABUS¬†Granit Detecto is a big chunky, yellow¬†disc lock with a built in alarm. But, as we already have big chunky security chains, why did we buy this disc lock which is surely not as effective? Yes, it’s true, chaining your bike to something does make it more secure, but lugging a 10kg of chain and padlock around where ever you go is less than ideal. Especially as a Givi Monokey top box is officially only rated for 10kg…

Thus the choice to use a disc lock that is easier to¬†transport and still reasonably effective as a theft deterrent is appealing. For example,¬†when touring and you’re already carrying tonnes of luggage, the last thing you want to pack is a huge chain as well. That and spotting this lock reduced on Amazon prime sealed the deal.

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Alpinestars S-MX Plus Boots Bargain

Alpinestars S-MX Plus Boots

My latest eBay bargain has been these Alpinestars S-MX Plus race boots. Albeit a slightly older model from around 2010, but they’ve been barely worn and came in for the princely sum of ¬£50. A damned sight better than their usual ¬£250 retail price – sorted!

They’re a little different from my past S-MX 4 and current S-MX 5 waterproof boots; firstly they’re not waterproof, rather they are nicely vented for cool feet in the summer – which is really works once you’re over about 40-50mph.

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FreedConn T-COM VB Helmet Bluetooth Intercom Headsets Review

So, you want a headset for your helmet, listen to some tunes, your SatNav or natter with your partner, friends or pillion. But, you’ve checked out the offerings from the likes of Sena, Midland, Interphone etc in the shops and probably come to the conclusion it’s gonna set you back quite a few bob or two. But ebay is littered with funny Chinese branded gadgets, just how bad can they be? Well, I took a punt on a pair of these and this how they turned out.

The first issue is narrowing down¬†what your buying as you browse¬†the glut of these intercoms on ebay. There’s seemingly dozens of subtly different variations, on branding, spec and revision. Ultimately, I just¬†took pot luck on the¬†cheapest from a UK seller, grabbing a¬†pack of two FreedConn T-COM VB intercoms (800m range). Expect to pay around ¬£40-50 a pair on eBay.

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Herbert Richter Phone Case Mount Review

When it comes to satnav’s on a motorcycle you basically have two choices: splurge a tonne of cash on a proper water proof and rugged device from the likes of TomTom or Garmin; or you make do with the¬†smart phone you already have. With the latter cheap skate route you either make do with audio direction only and keep your phone in your pocket or you look at a waterproof case to mount to handlebars. This is where this Herbert Richter phone case and mount comes in.

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Maplin USB Power Socket Review

USB-Motorcycle-SocketThere’s nothing more annoying than being far away from home with no¬†battery life left in your camera or phone. It’s sods law that at this point you’ll really want to capture some¬†video footage from an incident,¬†need to phone for recovery or just¬†witness the perfect shenanigans to go viral¬†on¬†YouTube¬†next. All of which are easily resolved with the addition of a USB power socket on your bike.

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CBF500 RedFox Fender Extender / Flick

CBF500 Fender Extender - 1Mary’s little CBF500 is very much a commuter hack and needs¬†to run in all weathers.¬†In an effort to winter proof it I fitted this RedFox fender extender (or flick) a little while ago.

It’s a very similar affair to the Pyramid fender extender I fitted on my Fazer some time ago. A small plastic extension to the front mudguard to help ward off dirt and crud¬†being flung up against the front of the frame, radiator and engine. After having a struggle to remove the oil filter last service, I’m hoping this will help matter somewhat.

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Renthal 758 Ultra Low Handlebars Review

When I last threw my bike down the road I managed to bend my stock Yamaha handlebars slightly. To replace them I thought I’d try the Renthal 758 Ultra Low bars, which have been a popular choice for many on the Fazer. ¬†I was tempted by the Renthal’s due to the¬†quality of the brand and the fact they’re cheaper than OEM Yamaha replacements, coming in at around ¬£30.

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Downpipe Polish Review: OptiGlanz vs Autosol

Downpipe Cleaner Face Off - OptiGlanz vs AutoSol
OptiGlanz vs AutoSol

The lovely people at LDMotorcycles recently approached me to review some OptiGlanz metal downpipe polish. I took one look at my dirty, discoloured and pretty rough stainless downpipes and said “Yeah, alright then!”

My Fazer has some Motad stainless steel pipes I put on about 1.5 years ago, however my daily commute in all weathers has taken it’s toll. They’re still structurally sound, but cosmetically looking¬† a bit shabby. Discoloured, covered with ingrained crud and are splattered with¬†spots of solid burnt on crap. Definitely in need of some TLC.

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Raleri Visor Inserts Review – FogStop and Photochromatic PCShade

RaleriFogStopVisorInserts-CloseUp
The Raleri PCShade FogStop

If you’ve ridden in the cold or wet you will know full well how big an issue a steamed up visor is. A whole cottage industry has grown up around this issue, with the Raleri FogStop being one such solution. Raleri kindly sent some of their products in for review, but I shall endeavour to keep this review honest. The FogStop works in a similar fashion to the popular Pinlock, in that it’s a secondary internal visor providing a double glazed setup to prevent your breath condensing on the cold exterior visor. I’m going to compare against the Pinlock a lot, as it does cover a huge chunk of market and is more commonly available and known. The FogStop inserts fundamentally differs in that¬†no specialist visor with specific pins is required, it simply has adhesive edging to stick straight onto the visor. Great if your visor isn’t Pinlock ready or isn’t available for your lid (e.g. my Bell M3R). Oh and the FogStop is cheaper too.

RaleriFogStopVisorInserts-1
Not really a yellow tint, just the protective film!

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