Categories
Gear Reviews

ABUS Granit Detecto XPlus 8077 Disc Lock Alarm Review

The ABUS Granit Detecto XPlus 8077 is a big chunky, yellow disc lock alarm with a chunky long name. But, as we already have big chunky security chains, why did we buy this disc lock which is surely not as effective? Yes, it’s true, chaining your bike to something does make it more secure, but lugging a 10kg of chain and padlock around where ever you go is less than ideal. Especially as a Givi Monokey top box is officially only rated for 10kg…

→ Check out our full Motorcycle Security Guide

Thus, the choice to use a disc lock that is easier to transport and still reasonably effective as a theft deterrent is appealing. For example, when out for a quick blast to seaside chip chop and don’t want to take a huge top box or when touring and you’re already carrying tonnes of luggage, the last thing you want to pack is a huge chain as well. Far easier to just squeeze in this little disc lock amongst all the other luggage. That and spotting this lock reduced on Amazon prime sealed the deal.

Abus Granit Detecto X Plus 8077 Disc Lock Alarm

Categories
Maintenance

Fazer Maintenance Day – Carb Balancing

FZS600 Carb BalancingToday has been a productive day finishing off my regular servicing of the bike. The big downside of tackling routine servicing yourself is finding the time, and so I was forced to split the work across to free weekends a couple of weeks apart.

First the oil change, air filter and rear brake service (which included a new Hel brake line). Today finishing off, front brake service, carb balancing and other remaining checks etc.

The Morgan Carbtune tool makes easy work of balancing. The most difficult thing on the Fazer is finding the adjustment screws buried deep between the carbs. They’re almost impossible to see and you just have to poke a long screwdriver down into the engine and guess where they are!

Categories
Riding

Trip to North Wales July 2016

Last weekend I made another motorcycle trip up from London to Welshpool, North Wales to visit family and friends; which of course took a long, convoluted and twisty route there and back. Come on?! With beautiful weather and a couple of days to kill on the bike, you think I’m just gonna sit on the motorway for 4 hours? Stuff that…

Categories
Riding

Cornering Improvements and Less Chicken Strips

Over the last year I feel my cornering has improved a lot, I’m definitely more confident, leaning further over and carrying more speed (safely) through a bend. This became very apparent following a trip up to North Wales at the  weekend and comparing my chicken strips to doing the same trip last August 2015.

Categories
Riding

Dress for the Slide, not just the Ride

Dress for the slide, not just the rideIt’s forecast to hit 33°C here in London today, but we still wear full leathers. Dress for the slide, not just the ride. 

As tempting as shorts and t-shirt are in this heat, you just never know when you may have a spill. Mary often tells me stories of a stint she did as a nurse in A&E & theatres. Once putting a biker under a general aesthetic so they could use scrub all the grit out of his remaining skin after a coming off with no decent gear on…

It maybe hot and sweaty in gear, but I’d rather retain some skin through which I can sweat.

Categories
News

IAM 60th Birthday Bash at National Motorcycle Museum

Earlier this month I popped along to the IAM’s 60th birthday bash up at the Nation Motorcycle Museum in Solihull (near Birmingham), being a member of IAM it seemed daft not to. Especially as they had guest talks from Steve Plater, Peter Hickman and Mick Grant and a chance to check out all the classic bikes in the museum.

I rode up with another from my local ELAM (East London Advanced Motorcyclists),  avoiding the M1/M6 by taking the old A5. On arrival, of course we had to check out everyone else’s bike, including the parade of bikes from every year of the last 60. Next we hurried into the main hall to listen to Steve Plater, Peter Hickman Mick Grant discussing BSB, the TT and how bike racing has changed over the years.

Categories
Gear Reviews

Alpinestars S-MX Plus Boots Bargain

Alpinestars S-MX Plus Boots

My latest eBay bargain has been these Alpinestars S-MX Plus race boots. Albeit a slightly older model from around 2010, but they’ve been barely worn and came in for the princely sum of £50. A damned sight better than their usual £250 retail price – sorted!

They’re a little different from my past S-MX 4 and current S-MX 5 waterproof boots; firstly they’re not waterproof, rather they are nicely vented for cool feet in the summer – which is really works once you’re over about 40-50mph.

Categories
Maintenance

MOT Time @ Burwin Motorcycles

Burwin MotorcyclesThat time of year again – MOT. No matter how confident you are the bike is all fine, there’s always a little worry in the back of your head, just in case it fails for some reason. Certainly been a well used bike with 9k gone on the clock since last MOT.

After a prior bad experience at my usual MOT garage, I decided to give Burwin Motorcycles over in Islington a go. Had heard a few good reports and they open at 8am. Big bonus, as I couldn’t afford much time off work. As it happened, they started even earlier and I was done and down the road by 8:30am – that’s what I call service. Barely had chance to drink a coffee in a nearby swanky pre/post drinks artisan coffee shop cum off license specialising in gin…

Categories
Videos

Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 17

It’s been a while since I last put up a Sixth Sense video, but this incident today was ripe for a fresh video. Enjoy!

Categories
Gear Reviews

Cheap FreedConn T-COM VB Helmet Bluetooth Intercom Review

Bluetooth helmet intercom kits T-COM VBSo, you want a motorcycle Bluetooth communications headset for your helmet, listen to some tunes, your SatNav or natter with your partner, friends or pillion. But, you’ve checked out the offerings from the likes of Sena, Midland, Interphone, Cardo etc in the shops and probably come to the conclusion it’s gonna set you back quite a few bob or two. You’ve seen is eBay is littered with funny Chinese branded gadgets, sure they may not be the best Bluetooth headsets, but just how bad can they be? Well, I took a punt on a pair of these and this review tells how they turned out.

The first issue is narrowing down what you’re buying as you browse the glut of these intercoms on eBay. There are seemingly dozens of subtly different variations, on branding, spec and revision. Ultimately, I just took pot luck grabbing one the cheapest FreedConn T-COM VB Bluetooth helmet intercom kits I could find from a UK seller. I wasn’t keen on waiting 4-6 weeks for a China-based seller to post or risk getting charged for VAT and duty by Royal Mail on arrival. Expect to pay around £40-50 a pair on eBay.