If you’re not lucky enough to have a warm dry garage, then you have a choice of leaving your bike to face the elements or you use a cover like this. I managed to blag this Oxford Aquatex cover in a recent competition from Helmet City, but it’s readily available for about £20.
As summer comes to a close and winter approaches, the prospect of wet riding days looms with a damp inevitability. I was fed up of my waterproof over trousers that were no longer waterproof, and a hassle to put on, as well as causing me to slip around on the seat and more importantly, look pretty naff. Definitely time for some new textile gear. Being a cheap skate, I hit ebay and found these Alpinestars P1 Sport Touring Drystar trousers brand new for a £100. They’re not current, but the Drystar range is still going strong and well regarded.
With the wet and miserable weather we’ve been having and promise of more to come this winter, I decided to fit a fender extender onto my Fazer. That’s a front mudguard extension for you UK lot. The plan being to stop a whole pile of crud, muck and wet getting sprayed up into the radiators, downpipes and headers, which are already showing a bit of weather damage.
I picked this Fender Extender up from M&P and it’s made by Pyramid Plastics. Looks wise, it’s a not a lot to write home about, just a basic matt black piece of plastic, but fitting against the mudguard was decent enough. It was supplied with some self tapping screws and some sticky back tape to hold it place whilst drilling holes for screws.
When the weather turns inclement I resort to waterproof over-trousers or textile trousers to stay dry. The biggest downside with these is the slipping around on the seat. Whether wet or dry, I kept finding myself sliding forward every time I brake or sharply cut the throttle. Being fairly tall, I sit a little way back from the tank on my Fazer to remain comfortable and stop my legs getting too cramped up on the pegs. No matter how much I grip the tank with my legs, when wearing textiles I just slide forward and down right up against the tank and then indistinctly grip the bars really tight. I feel unstable and my tense grip on the bars is detrimental to my riding, especially in the wet. Perched close against the tank, my legs feel squashed and uncomfortable on the rear brake and gears.
Meet the Triboseat, a super grippy cover for your bike seat. Triboseat predominantly sell bike specific seat covers to help your pillion remain still, preventing them sliding into the back of you. However they also sell The Rider, a generically shaped cover to keep the rider planted on their seat. Sounds like exactly what I need.
In London, I use my horn a lot (ooh-err!) As such, I found my standard horn a bit inferior and decided to pimp it for a large and loud horn that everyone would make everyone sit up and take heed of (ooh-err!)
Enough of the double entendre’s, let’s get down to business with this Stebel Nautilus air horn. Hailing from Italy, Stebel have a well established reputation for producing quality horns that make a lot of noise. Their Nautilus horn has been around for a number of years and is popular for it’s convenient size and noise, but even better, they have this Compact version which is perfect for motorbikes.
I purchased my Stebel Nautilus Compact off ebay a few months ago from a seller in the Netherlands who supplied it as a kit with all the necessary wiring, connectors, relay etc. I paid just under £40 including postage – bargain!
Purchase a Stebel Nautilus horn off ebay.
After wearing this helmet almost everyday for the last month, I think it’s about time I stuck a review of it on here. I initially bought this helmet as a cheap stop gap measure, after dropping my old AGV and putting a nice crack in the outer shell – doh! Amazon were running an 80% off discount on many end of range lines and although I’d rather buy a helmet in a store where I can try it on, the price was so good I decided to take a gamble.
The Bell M3R is fairly mid range and generally sold for around £200-250. Amazon price was £44 + VAT. Hold on one minute, why is there VAT on a helmet?! Personal safety gear is exempt in the UK. I ordered anyway and raised the issue with Amazon customer service, who after a couple of weeks refunded me the VAT.
After recently picking up a new helmet, it dawned on me I hadn’t posted any review of my current helmet, an AGV K4. So here we go. Of course I don’t have the expertise to give this helmet a proper safety test, so I’m merely going to cover how it performed day to day, with regards to comfort, noise and durability. To gauge safety, I always check the SHARP rating, for which the K4 scored 4 stars (out of 5).
It recently came to my attention Amazon were offering some huge discounts on Bell Helmets. I wouldn’t normally purchase a lid without first trying it on for size, but the prices were so good it was worth taking a risk and distance sales law means returning for a full refund is always an option.
I went for the M3R, which was down from around £200 to £53. Not bad at all. However Amazon have been charging VAT on these helmets, even though they should be 0% rated being safety equipment (Amazon’s own help pages also stipulate this). After contacting them, I’ve been informed they are looking into this and should get a refund of £9 VAT, making this lid even cheaper!
Well, the helmet arrived today, all in good nick and the fit is pretty damned good, although I am an XS according to Bell’s sizing chart! I’ve not worn it out yet to compare for noise, but first impressions are good, it seems snug and comfy, either way £43 isn’t bad for a 5 star Sharp rated helmet.
There’s very little question about it, when it comes to protection on a motorcycle, leather is where it’s at. Which is all well and good, until it rains, and that happens an awful lot here in the UK. Leather just isn’t very waterproof and soon becomes water logged, heavy, cold and pretty miserable to ride in. This is where this little tub of wax named Mr JoJo comes in.
I picked up this Mr JoJo wax up at the MCN show a couple of months ago, cost me a tenner for a 200g tub, with a few sponges thrown in. The sales chap demonstrated it on our boots with a spray can of water. Seemed worth a punt. It’s name, Mr JoJo, doesn’t seem to have any relation to a certain Madame JoJo’s of Soho fame, but is a leather waterproofing and conditioning wax from URAD, which contains Jojoba oil. This oil comes from the little Jojoba shrubbery that grows around Mexico, Arizona and California, and is a popular alternative to Whale oil. The wax is white in colour and has a distinctive sweet smell.
It seems every biker wants to be a video blogger these days, strapping a camera to their helmet/bike and recording their rides for all and sundry to watch on YouTube. And why not, decent HD camera are now very affordable and the evidence they gather can be invaluable if some idiot pulls out on you. Which, as we all know, happens far too often these days.
So back last autumn, I spotted this Roadhawk Ride camera on special offer in Halfords and decided to join the vblogging band wagon. With the insurance claim from my incident in September turning sour as the third party falsified a witness, I only wish I had purchased a camera sooner. You will probably have seen some of the footage from this camera on my YouTube channel already, but after a few months of use, here is my proper write up. The Roadhawk RIDE is a dinky little cylindrical camera, just 80mm long and 25mm in diameter, that comes with a plethora of brackets for mounting it pretty much anywhere you like. The rear of the camera unscrews to reveal the memory card and USB socket.