There’s nothing quite like getting lost on a motorbike to clear your mind and find yourself. But other days you really just need to get from A to B without hassle or stress. Maybe you need to be somewhere for work, maybe you’re off to a social rendezvous or maybe you’re leading your crew on a ride. For this, you really need a satnav, but motorcycle satnav’s aren’t cheap. However, you’ve got a decent phone in your pocket with loads of GPS apps on hand, so why not use that? For this, you’ll need something like this Shapeheart phone mount for motorbike.
The folks behind the Shapeheart asked me to review their new motorcycle phone mount, which promises to be a good budget contender, but is it the best motorcycle phone mount for the money? Read on to find out more.
The weather is picking up (mostly), restrictions have eased and we’ve all been getting out on the bikes again, trying to make up for time lost in lockdown. Things are definitely looking like they’re on the up and some normality is returning. I’ve managed to get out over the last few weekends, shorter ride outs around Essex and Kent; I’ve led an ELAM ride, socially distanced and in sub-groups of 6; and caught up with riding buddies again.
My age was called out on the vaccine Bingo and I’ve now got myself the first dose of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine. My wife had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine a couple of months ago as she works in the NHS. All very reassuring and with so many getting vaccinated, it does raise hopes for a summer of biking, touring, commuting and life as we remember. Obviously, no trips abroad are on the cards, not even any work excursions to the US I can tie in with a motorcycle rental. However, plans are underway for some exploration of Scotland, both to get away on bikes and to scout out potential relocation areas.
JTS Biker Clothing is a British company based in Leicestershire with 30 years experience in the business. Their own brand JTS features a wide range of leg lengths and sizes in leather and textile for both men and women, making them a go-to brand for plus size women’s motorcycle gear. I purchased the Bello Evo textile women’s motorcycle trousers in an extra short length which is listed as suitable for 27-28 inches in length. The size range for these trousers is a versatile size 8-30, with leg lengths short, extra short and regular, so most women will find something to fit them. For the price of £129.99 (plus size extra), there are a lot of features which make these an excellent value pair of trousers. There are often special offers and sales on JTS motorcycle clothing, so you may be able to get these cheaper (Editor: at time of writing they’re reduced to £80 – bargain!)
When I recently swapped to a GoPro Hero 9 camera after using Drift cameras for years I was pretty disappointed by the GoPro motorcycle helmet mount options. Out of the box, your only option is a sticky pad to plonk the camera on top of your helmet. Fine if you don’t mind looking like a telly tubby and having a huge air brake dragging your head back.
Alternatives either bolt the GoPro sticking out at the side of your helmet or near the chin. Both often using some convoluted sequence of brackets off a sticky pad on the side. All because the GoPro’s do not have a rotatable lens or a side mounting like the Drift cameras, so must be mounted upright from a mounting on the base. The problem with all these scaffolding brackets is a) you need to buy them separately b) they add extra weight to your lid and c) too many can introduce a source of wobble screwing up your footage. That’s when I came across the Motoradds GoPro Motorcycle Helmet Mount chin bracket which appeared to be a far better solution.
29th March: Stage 2 easing of lockdown restrictions – ride out time! Yeah, baby, we’re back in action.
We’ve spent days leading up giving the bikes a thorough clean and POWDERS check. Oil, lube, grease, cleaning fluids, sprays and air all slavishly applied. After so long parked up and with so much anticipation leading up to this first post-lockdown ride out, we didn’t want any niggles spoiling plans.
On the day, everything lined up with celestial gravitas; a workday clear of client meetings I could book off, an unusually warm spell of weather and Mary’s birthday. This was going to be a perfect ride out.
Commuting in the winter makes for a miserable time on the bike if your gear is not up to scratch. Rain, coupled with frost and the odd bit of snow means that good warm and waterproof motorcycle gear is essential for winter commuting. As I work shifts, my commute is conducted early in the morning and late at night when it can be very cold.
A textile jacket and trousers can be the ideal purchase for the winter commute and those with removable thermal liners are more flexible for daily use. For cold wet days, liners and waterproof material protect the rider from the worst of the elements. During warmer weather, thermal liners can be removed to make jackets and trousers a bit cooler. In addition, some jackets come with ventilation zips that can be opened to make them cooler.
As women riders, we can sometimes struggle to find motorcycle gear that fits our shape. Things have improved massively since I started riding in the mid-1990s when I used to wear a cut down man’s leather jacket and denim jeans. But as a short plus-sized woman, today I struggle a bit to find good fitting plus size women’s motorcycle gear. In the end, I opted for the Modeka Manda jacket and JTS waterproof trousers (see here for a review of the JTS trousers). The matching Manda trousers were far too long for my 27.5 inch inside leg (yep you read that correctly!)
Life in the Beginner Biker Adventures family has been very quiet, with only essential local travel allowed, there’s not a lot of motorcycle action occurring. I’m still stuck working from home, kids are back at school and Mary’s is still between nursing jobs with her new position taking stupidly long to start – you’d think there wasn’t a shortage of nurses in the NHS!
The bikes still need regular TLC to keep them in good shape. Keeping batteries charged, periodic running of fuel through the engines and keeping on top of any surface corrosion from the bikes being parked outside.
Bigger spring clean plans are underway on the house however, full-on declutter in progress, shabby paintwork is being repainted and other preliminaries prior to selling up. It’s surprising how much clutter you collect, needless spares from bikes, computer kit, DIY projects and other assorted junk. Even more surprising is how much some of it sells for on eBay and other marketplaces!
Now that restrictions gave eased from the 29th, we’ll be back out the bikes whenever we can.
ChromeBurner started as a hobby and has grown into the largest motorcycle clothing specialist in the Netherlands, thanks to a good dose of perseverance and our love for motorcycles. Every day we get up to work with something that is our passion: riding motorcycles! We supply bikers all over the world with motorcycle clothing and, no matter your riding style, we make sure we’ve got what you need! With over 70 brands and more than 6000 unique products it’s very likely you can find your new motorcycle gear on our webshop! Found your new helmet, gloves, jacket, pants or boots? Then place your order quickly, we will kick it into gear and ensure that we send your purchase the same day. Because of our huge stock, we can always deliver quickly! This allows you to have your new motor gear as fast as possible. Is the ordered product not to your likings? No worries, returning your product is just as easy. We only sell products that we ourselves would want to buy, we call that the ChromeBurner approval!
Like many of you, there’s been very little riding happing here at Beginner Biker Adventures, lockdown blues combined with the winter’s miserable weather and dark nights have scuppered any chance of motorcycling therapy.
Our Christmas and New Year break a quiet family affair, just Mary, myself and the kids. No visits from extended Grandparents or family and all festivities rescheduled due to Mary working in ICU on the Christmas Eve and Day. No bother really, every day blends into the next at the moment. Beyond that, there’s just been the usual monotony of working from home, homeschooling the kids and the craziness Mary’s been dealing with in the hospital ICU. The commute may have kept her riding, but the A406 North Circular is hardly a fun ride and the only daylight ride was after a night shift.
Again like many, such times cooped up at home have made us reevaluate priorities and question the future and where/how we want to live. From the obvious things like decluttering and renovating our immediate living conditions to the longer-term things of where we want to be in years to come. Mary’s now completed her nurse retraining (after a diversion into Law and academia for the last 10+ years) and is now looking for fresh nursing positions. My daughter’s chosen her GCSE options and is already thinking ahead to University! Family meetings were held and plans were formed – primarily a house sale and potential migration from London to Scotland.
If you want to start riding a motorcycle in London or anywhere in the UK, your first step is to get your Compulsory Basic Training or ‘CBT’ completed. This is a simple one day course and isn’t a test as such if your instructor finds that you have reached the required standard to ride on the road, your CBT training will be complete and your certificate issued. See more information about CBT courses in London and the UK on RideTo, the UK’s #1 platform for new riders.
So what happens on the day? Once you have booked a CBT with your local RideTo training school, you will be instructed on what you need to bring and what you need to wear on the day. The minimum requirements from a clothing point of view are a crash helmet, gloves and boots that cover your ankle. Your arms and legs must also be fully covered. If you don’t have any gear yet and are waiting until you complete your CBT, the training school will be able to loan you the minimum required equipment for the duration of your training. Although with the current pandemic, new riders are being advised to bring their own equipment where possible.