One of a biker’s biggest bug bears when bombing around the countryside is the constant splatter of bugs. Midges, flies, wasps, mossers and other bugs, all just want to commit suicide on your shiny new visor. Visibility soon sucks, and when you make the mistake of trying to wipe that big bug mess from between your eyes, you inevitably spread a huge smear of insect entrails hindering vision even more… If you’re the sort to prepare, you may have a rag and some squirty stuff under your seat for when you finally take a break, otherwise you just grin and bear riding most of the day with naff visibility.
This is where Visorcat comes in. A crafty gadget that straps to your left glove, sporting a soft sponge and rubber squeegee to let you clean your visor on the go. Sorted! Well, the lovely people at Visorcat sent in one for review, so read on to find out my verdict on whether it shapes up to be gadget or gimmick.
You know what parents are like, strong opinions as to what is best for you, mildly tolerant of your motorcycle ‘hobby’, but secretly scared to death you’re gonna kill yourself on your bike. So my old man keeps seeing lots of big adventure bikes adorned with bright spotlights, and declares I must install said distinctive pattern of lights on my bike to ensure I stand out. My Dad has a few odd opinions, but more often than not he’s right.
After borking at the price of offerings from Givi etc, I decided to take a punt on some cheap Chinese lights off eBay. Very cheap at under £20 for a pair including wiring. I didn’t have high expectations, but they can’t be that bad, can they? Read on…
So, I went to the London Bike Show at Excel last week. The Man says “get a new helmet for your birthday”, so I did. I went to the Helmet City stand and stood there for a few minutes. Being a shorter female I noticed that men who arrived after me seemed to get served first, until I performed a rather phlegmatic stage cough. Such is the required attention seeking methods I have had to resort to on occasion.
Men who arrived after me seemed to get served first, until I performed a rather phlegmatic stage cough…
I suppose if I had been wearing tight leggings and a chest enhancing top advertising Carole Nash or MCN I may have gained more attention (although I suspect for all the wrong reasons). Anyway, once I had the nice Helmet City man’s attention I did receive good customer service. Continue reading “Schuberth C3 Pro Woman Helmet- Initial Findings…” »
Forking out for kids school shoes and trainers several times a year costs enough, but if you need to get motorcycle boots too, then things really do start to mount up. Thankfully, these RST boots don’t break the bank.
As with most kids gear, it’s more often grown out of, rather than worn out. As such we were able to pick a good condition pair of these boots up off ebay cheaply. They’re made from a study and solid leather, have a good chunky sole with lots of grip. The boots are waterproof lined, with two straps and a flap with Velcro to tighten the boots around the ankle and shins. They also have a leather gear change panel and a soft padded lip around the top.
Throughout the years I’ve been riding my Yamaha Fazer I have always found the seat a bit of a weak point. It suffices for short journeys, but after a couple of hours it’s less comfortable. But what really annoys me is how slippery it is, especially when wet, worse than Bon Jovi. In the past I’ve worked around these issues by strapping a Triboseat grippy cover on top, but it’s not perfect.
Recently I splashed out on a replacement seat from Wijalis, a small Polish firm that recover and rebuild all kinds of motorcycle seats. This particular seat was one ready built upon a standard Yamaha seat base, and although I was offered options to customise it further, I opted to stick with it as built, and thus set me back £100. Wijalis also sell seat covers on their own or you can send them your seat for remoulding as you desire.
Having fairly wide calves, I have found it difficult to find motorbike boots to fit, especially higher ones. Having had no luck on eBay purchasing cheap second hand boots I bought these Furygan D3O shorty boots from the MCN London Motorcycle show back in February.
The Furygan Jet Lady boots are a comfortable ankle boot, and although they do not provide the protection of a full length boot they are a good compromise, being both comfortable and having CE armour protection. They feature a waterproof and breathable Sympatex liner and a flap which Velcros over the upper part of the laces to stop them catching on the bike. I have worn them on long ride outs and also off the bike, finding them comfortable and easy to walk in. They work well with textile trousers which sit just over the top of the boots. The boots are low enough that they also work with leather trousers.
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… 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.