For a number of years I have stuck with the Alpinestars SMX range of boots, starting with the 4’s, then 5’s, then 6’s, the race Plus version and now I’m onto the SMX S waterproof boots. With so many slight variations, it’s tough to work out how they differ and when shopping around who indeed is selling which cheapest. Here I’m going to go through the key differences between the current S-MX 6 and SMX S boots. Continue reading “Alpinestars SMX S vs S-MX 6 Waterproof Boots Compared” »
After almost 3 months of waiting, my custom made Hideout Leathers Hi-Pro trousers were ready for pickup. Since the summer heatwave came to an abrupt end with many recent bouts of heavy showers, I’ve been eagerly awaiting them.
If you’ve never heard of DirtQuake before – Oh boy, you have been missing out! DirtQuake is essentially flat track oval dirt racing, but with a big slab of tongue in cheek fun and open entry to any crazy enough. This year’s event was hosted at the Essex Arena, a stone throw from Lakeside retail hell and M25 traffic hell, but dead handy for us all London folk. The Essex Arena normally hosts all kinds of Speedway and banger racing, so was perfect for DirtQuake.
Racing was split into a number of classes:
- Street Tracker
- Inappropriate Road Bike
- DTRA Super Hooligans
The last DTRA class were all experienced pros, with serious skills, serious bikes (mainly Indian FTR’s and Ducati Scrambler 1100’s) and were extremely rapid. In contrast, the first five classes had a random mixed bag of contenders from novices to celebs like Guy Martin and Jenny Tinmouth, and many in fancy dress to boot! They featured an even more eclectic collection of bikes, from brand new Husqvarna Vitpilen and Ducati Scramblers, stripped down sports bikes (an R1), random street bikes, the odd adventure bike (a Super Ténéré), right through to classics like a RD350 and a Vincent Rapide! Continue reading “DirtQuake 2018 at Essex Arena” »
Last weekend I popped by Llangollen Motorcycle Festival up in North Wales. Having not attended before and staying with family nearby, it seemed like a good day out plan. Situated on the Royal International Pavilion ground in Llangollen (pronounced Lan-gof-len), a short walk from the town centre, the event saw thousands of bikers descend to check out bikes and attractions on show.
In the pavilion there were hundreds of classic and famous bikes on show, from famous race bikes to old Brit bikes from times past. Celebs John McGuinness, John Reynolds and Steve Platter gave talks and Q&A sessions, with some interesting opinions from McGuinness with regards to Honda! Outside, there were many stalls to pick Motorcycle gear, new bikes to check out from Triumph, Indian and Suzuki – who were offering test rides for visitors. It was interesting to see the new Triumph Street Triple R low in the flesh – very few seem to be available at dealers for test rides. Something Mary and other shorter female friends are tempted by; my daughter at 5′ tall could pretty much flat foot on it. Continue reading “Llangollen Motorcycle Festival 2018 Report” »
Picture the scene, there you are parked up in town to do a spot of shopping, juggling your helmet as you try to carry shopping and find your wallet to pay for stuff. If only you had a third hand or somewhere to put your helmet. You don’t fancy leaving a few hundred quids worth of lid hanging on the bike, especially with action cam and intercom gadgets attached and you may not have a huge top box to dump it in(or it may be full of other stuff). This is where the EZ-Go helmet strap comes in as an idea you can’t believe you didn’t think of.
In essence the EZ-Go is a simple padded strap with helmet ratchet clips on each end. You just slot the two ends into the two halves of your helmet’s ratchet strap, then carry it over your shoulder. A two second job, that frees up your hands whilst you’re out and about. Genius! Continue reading “EZ-Go Helmet Carry Strap Review” »
Over the last year, I’ve made a number of trips to the San Francisco Bay Area, hiring a number of bikes out there and explored many great roads and locations. Here I have rounded up some of the best routes I enjoyed ready for you to download and check out if you’re in the area. Continue reading “Motorcycle Routes around San Francisco & San Jose Bay Area” »
Well you’ve got to love the Great British Summer… Insane, heatwave for weeks, then the weekend you’re scheduled to spend on the bike, it pours down something chronic!
Last weekend I volunteered to help our with the Prudential Ride London cycle endurance race, scheduled to have around 40k Lycra warriors tackling a 100, 46 or 19 mile route. My job was to carrier a cycle mechanic pillion with a tonne of tools and supplies and sweep up those stopped with bike or medical trouble. I feared I’d be dealing with loads of heat exhaustion and dehydration cases, but no, we were dealing with countless punctures and freezing wet cyclists instead. I lost count of how many inner tubes we got through, with many cyclists hit by repeated punctures.
The weather was terrible and after several hours stuck in the rain my Alpinestars Goretex Jet Road gloves and SMX-6 WP boots both gave in and were sodden. My old Rukka gear held up better, but was still damp on the inside. I can’t wait to get my new Hideout Hi-Pro laminate gear… Still, I was far more comfortable than those doing 100 miles in saturated Lycra!
Well done everyone who took part, it was a tough event and a lot of cash was raised for charity. Sadly, two did not complete the day, my best wishes to their family and friends. RIP.
Last month I started the process of getting some bespoke made to measure Hi Pro textile trousers from Hideout Leathers. This week they were ready for a trial fitting, where I could try on a early first cut to test for size and see what further tweaks are required. Continue reading “Hideout Leathers Hi Pro Trousers Trial Fitting” »
Having rented big Hog’s on two prior work trips to San Jose, I opted for something a little different on my last visit. The Triumph Bonneville T100 is perhaps an unlikely choice, but was surprisingly capable and comfortable to explore the Bay area from Santa Cruz up to to Petaluma in the North, whilst still being a lot of fun to fling round the bends. Check out the highlights from my weekend adventure:
Big thanks goes to Dubbelju for their excellent bike rental service. Read my full review of Dubbelju here.
I wanted to try something a bit different which I could fling around the bends without grinding foot boards
June saw me back in California for another two week work trip in Silicon Valley, and again stuck out there over the weekend with nowt to do – what a drag. The last couple of trips I had rented a Harley Davidson’s, Dyna 103 Low Rider and a Road King, so this time I wanted to try something a bit different which I could fling around the bends without grinding foot boards. This is when I found Dubbelju (pronounced double-you), who are also based in the Mission district of San Francisco, but offer a much wider selection of bikes, from adventure and touring to custom, cafe racers and street bikes. Read on for the full low down on my bike rental in San Francisco.