Category Archives: Gear Reviews

Reviews of gear, accessories and equipment.

RoadHawk RIDE Video Camera Review

Roadhawk Ride crash camera-2It 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.

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Lidl Motorcycle Rain Cover Review

Lidl-Motorcycle-Cover-ReviewLidl recently ran one of their Motorcycle accessory weeks, which featured some rock bottom priced rain covers. Since the lining on my old R&G cover was disintegrating and leaving a cloud of white fluff over the bike each morning, I thought I’d give them a go.

We also needed a cover for Mary’s ZZR400, so at just £9 each, we managed to buy two for less than the price of the R&G cover or a basic Oxford cover. But were they cheap and cheerful or do you really get what you pay for? Read on…

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Alpinestars S-MX4 Boots Review

Alpinestars-SMX4-Boots-1I recently purchased these boots second hand off ebay, after the straps on my old Hein Gericke Bullson boots started to wear and looked ready to snap at any moment. I opted for Alpinestars as I’ve always found their gear to be good quality. It’s easy to see why they’re still going strong after recently celebrating their 50th anniversary. Granted their brand carries a premium price, but popularity does mean a large number of their products can be found second hand and so with a little patience, some real bargains can be found. These S-MX 4 boots will normally set you back in the region of £150, but I picked up a pair in good nick for just £40. Sorted.

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Hoo Rag Bandana / Neck Gaiter Review

Hoo-Rag-Digital-CamoThe wonderful people at Hoo-Rag recently sent a couple of their Bandanas in for review. Less well known here in the UK, however the Hoo-Rag is a big product over in the US. Essentially it is a tube of material that can be worn in a multitude of different manners. As a biker I’ve been wearing it predominantly as a neck gaiter, but of course it need not be just for ride outs on the motorcycle.

Hoo-What? (Why?)

The key thing about the Hoo-Rag, is it’s made from a single seamless piece of soft polyester micro fiber tube. No annoying seams, or labels, just one nice stretchy, soft tube to protect your neck from the wind, cold, dust, insects and so on. Wear it round your neck, over you face, or go all ’80s rocker style and wear it as a headband or bandana. With such versatility and loads of different patterns available, there should be a Hoo-Rag to suit almost everyone. They even do one for your Dog!
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NikWax Leather Care Kit Review

NikWax Leather Care KitI picked up this kit a few months ago and have been using it every now and again to clean up and condition my leather motorcycle gear. It’s a pretty decent box of bottles covering, head to toe pretty much everything you need. You get leather cleaner, leather restorer, waterproofing wax, glove waterproofing and visor water repellent. Not a bad bundle for £20.

The glove waterproofing I used on my Gerbings XR12 gloves, as recommended in their care instructions and on my wifes Buffalo leather gloves. The bottle has a foam top sponge dispenser type thing, which lets you apply and rub the solution all over your gloves easily. Once dry, the solution is completely invisible, but the palms did feel a little slippery on my grips for a day or two. In the wet, it performed exactly as desired, no water leaks, dry hands – job done, big thumbs up.

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Alpinestars Jet Road Gore-Tex Gloves Review

Alpinestars Jet Road GlovesI picked these gloves up second hand after being thoroughly disappointed with my Hein Gericke Pathan gloves. I opted for them based on their wide spread regard on various motorcycle forums and due to their abundance on eBay cheap. As such, I found this pair in almost new condition for £30, a bargain considering they sell new for over £100.

The gloves are made from Gore-tex, so totally waterproof. On top of this is, there are sections of leather and a decent amount of knuckle protection. There are two Velcro straps per glove one around the wrist under a flap and one on the cuff. I found the cuff a bit on the short side and didn’t go over my jacket very well, thus letting in a draft and water. My arms are quite long though. These gloves aren’t however the latest iteration, later versions appear to resolve this with an extended storm.

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Gerbing’s XR12 Hybrid Heated Gloves Review

Gerbings XR12 Hyrbid Heated Gloves close upI 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.

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Hein Gericke Pathan Evo Gloves Review

Hein Gericke Pathan Gloves palmsThese were the first pair of gloves I bought, having picked them up in the lengthy summer sale at Hein Gericke, whilst I was still learning. As you know, Hein Gericke UK went into administration in July, but have since been rescued by the German arm of the company and so many of their shops still remain. In choosing these gloves, I was looking for a good all round glove, and had thought an all year round glove would be viable. Oh how wrong I was.

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Alpinestars Bat Leather Trousers

Alpinestars Bat Leather PantsWhen it comes to protective clothing on the bike, leather is still one of the best choices. Maybe not as waterproof as Goretex, or hard wearing as Kevlar, but on balance, it tends to be best overall value for the money. The other advantage, is there is loads of leather gear available second hand, often it very good nick. A fine example of which was these Alpinestars Bat Leather trousers.

I picked these up from a chap off the London Bikers forum, for the princely sum of £50. I already had some Hein Gericke leather trousers, I had picked up new in their recent closing down sale. However they were a loose cut style and a tiny bit big in the waist. Pulling the tabs in on the waist causes the leather to ruck up and becomes uncomfortable after a while. Moral of the story: buy what fits, not what’s a good price.

Anyway, back to the Alpinestars Bat Pants; they are quite low down in their range, but still normally retail for about £200. Protection wise, they just feature some layered leather knee pads – no knee-down sliding in these. They are a slim fit, with stretch panels and zips in the calf sections. They’re snug to get on and need a bit of wiggling to pull them up, but once in, they fitted me very well and were very comfortable, even after long periods of time.

Alpinestars Bat Leather Pants KneesOnly a couple of down sides: Firstly, the single pocket on the right thigh, fine for a phone, but too tight for a wallet. So, once I take my jacket off, I’m stuck for pockets to keep my keys and wallet safe. Secondly the knee protection has a habit of folding over when putting your feet in, so needs flattening before zipping up the calves. This can be a bit awkward and annoying, however it may be down to the age of the leather and having lost some of its original rigidity.

Overall, I very happy with the trousers, much prefer the tight cut style. They’re very comfortable and I’ve not worn my old Hein Gericke trousers since.

Rating 5/5