Gerbing’s have taken their XR12 heated gloves and revamped and improved them for 2013/2014. Now with a number of key differences and tweaks that greatly improve them. After recently sending my old gloves back for repair (again), I received this new iteration as my replacement.
Lidl 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…
I 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.
The 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.
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!
Continue reading “Hoo Rag Bandana / Neck Gaiter Review” »
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
These 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.
When 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.
Only 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.
Bike security is essential in London. It’s a sad state of affairs, but bike crime is rife and only a fool would skimp on security. A good solid chain is one of the best measures you can take, but it is only as good as what you chain the bike to.
Your chain should have at least 16mm thick links, anything less is a waste of time. As many would be thieves favour 42″ bolt cutters, which generally have a mouth that can only accommodate ~14mm chains. Even better, opt for a 19mm chain. The best brands out there are Almax and Pragmasis. Price wise there is little difference, however I opted with Pragmasis as their ground anchor appeared to have the edge slightly. The downside of these big chains is weight. Since I would be carrying the chain to work everyday, I opted for the 16mm chain, which at 2m and with lock, weighs in at about 15Kg!
Continue reading “Security, Pragmasis Chain & Torc Ground Anchor” »