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.
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.
I commute into London everyday all year round, so when it comes to helmets I need something that didn’t just look good but also practical. Spurred by previous helmets being noisy, leaking rain, lacking Pinlock and other annoying niggles, I decided to splurge out on a premium lid. I was drawn to Schuberth due to their rep for being good quality and really quiet as being big into my music, hifi and home cinema I was keen to keep my hearing in good shape. I also wanted a design that would stand out and help me be seen on the road. Helmet City had a number of Schuberth lids heavily reduced last Autumn (~£200 off!), so I just had to check them out.
If like me, you have a Rukka jacket with a back armour insert that’s worse for wear, then you’ll be interested in this replacement from Forcefield. Well known for their quality armour products, Forcefield have a range of armour inserts in many different shapes for all manner of jackets. For Rukka owners you need the 009 model, which as you can see above is a like for like replacement. Well, not completely, the 009 insert is slightly thicker than the original Rukka RVP armour and is CE Level 2 certified to afford greater protection.
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!
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.