Alpinestars SP-2 V2 Gloves Review

Apparently summer is now upon us, biking season has begun (did it ever stop?!) and I find myself hanging up my textiles and digging out my leather summer gear. Well, on some days when it’s not pissing down with rain, got to love the great British summer. Nonetheless, I found my old Alpinestars GP-Plus gloves were looking a bit worse for wear and in dire need of replacement. Whereas the GP-Plus and GP-Pro ranges are very race orientated, this time I was after a more general summer glove that didn’t break the bank. I’ve always been a fan of the Alpinestars brand, having always found them good quality, robust and have protected me well in previous offs. Their SP-2 V2 gloves appeared to fit the bill well, and actually graced my own credit card, no review freebie’s this time. Read on to hear my verdict.


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Shoei’s Personal Fitting System

When searching for new motorcycle helmet you can get pretty lucky, and by lucky I mean that you find ‘the one’ straight away – or at least within minutes. But for many riders, this couldn’t be further away from the truth.

Different head shapes

Everybody has a uniquely shaped noggin, and seen as nobody is producing 3D shaped helmets yet – the truth is that it can be a very frustrating task to find a well-fitting motorcycle helmet. There is a very big chance that you won’t fit the helmet you saw in that fancy magazine, or the one your experienced biker friend told you to check out. The reason is simple: your head is either too round, too oval – or simply too large or too small for a certain type of helmet. In most cases that’s the end of it, you will need to search for a different model – which could be your second or third choice. You can’t change the shape of your head, but what if you could change the shape of the helmet..? Continue reading “Shoei’s Personal Fitting System” »

Adventures Down Under, Rental MT09 in Brisbane, Part 1

So when my boss turned round and asked if I could join him on a sales trip to a prospective customer in Brisbane, I of course jumped at the opportunity. Sure, there was quite a lot of technical prep work setting up demo systems for presentations, the arduous sales meeting itself and the long flights (not business class sadly). But it did afford me chance to grab a couple of free days to rent a bike and explore some of Australia’s beautiful East coast. Being my first visit to Australia, I was keen to see as much of it as I could cram into my time there.

For motorcycle rental, a quick Google revealed Eagle Rider had a shop in Brisbane, certainly tempting having rented from them previously in Sam Francisco. However, I also found the smaller local firm Rent This Bike, with a good choice of bikes and very competitive pricing. They were also more flexible on return times, affording me two full days of riding. I only had a Friday and Saturday free time and EagleRider close at 3pm on Saturdays, whereas Rent This Bike were happy to accommodate pick up and drop offs from 7am to 7pm any day. Continue reading “Adventures Down Under, Rental MT09 in Brisbane, Part 1” »

Newbie Trail Riding at Off The Kerb, Dorking

I’m always interested in new biking adventures and off road riding is something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. To resolve this, I recently booked myself in at the Off The Kerb Trail Riding school down in Dorking, Surrey. Off The Kerb offer a newbie friendly introduction to off road trail riding, exploring local green lanes in the beautiful Surrey Hills on Fantic Moto 250E Case enduro bikes.

Toppling over in an embarrassing fashion is de rigueur when off road

The day comes in at just over £200 quid, including hire of all the kit you need: bike, boots, full armour, top, trousers, waterproof jacket, gloves, lid and not forgetting lunch. Certainly very handy for an off road newbie with none of the gear, and at a price on par with many other off road days elsewhere. Toppling over in an embarrassing fashion is de rigueur when off road, so doing that in the supplied full armour and less precious kit is definitely preferred.

Fantic Moto 250E Casa bikes – a doddle to ride

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“Think my tyres have gone off” and Dented Riding Confidence

“Think my tyres have gone off”. Twist of a Wrist II – by Keith Code

“Think my tyres have gone off” – said Keith Code’s protagonist in Twist of the Wrist II, and every other biker with lost riding confidence trying to pin the blame on something tangible that’s easy to replace. Confidence is easily dented, whether from a tumble down the road, an arse clenching close call, to a change of bike, setup or yes tyres. Continue reading ““Think my tyres have gone off” and Dented Riding Confidence” »

Sixth Sense Skills – Morning Commute Close Call

It’s been a while since I’ve posted much helmet cam footage, but this dozy idiot I encountered the other morning on my commute into work was crying out for some public shaming.

Here I am passing Billingsgate Fish Market and the Canary Wharf financial district on the left on my way into the city. See if you can predict what shenanigans is about to unfold (I’m sure you can). How would you have reacted if in this situation?

FZ6 Brake Maintenance and Braided Hose

Brake goodies to fit

This weekends chore was brake maintenance on the FZ6. Having only acquired the bike in the Autumn, it was unclear when the brake fluid was last changed, and being 13 years old, the original rubber brake hose, although visually OK, were likely past their best. The rubber hoses can degrade over many years exposure to the elements, which can lead to slight bulging when pumping the brake lever and thus reducing the final pressure applied to the brake pistons and pads onto the discs. Whereas braided hoses being built around a stainless steel mesh braid are more study, will not bulge or degrade in the same way and have a longer lifespan. Continue reading “FZ6 Brake Maintenance and Braided Hose” »

Soxsmith Comodo Motorcycle Sock Review

How much for a pair of sock?! Socks are socks, aren’t they? As a self confessed cheap skate frugal shopper, I purchase almost all of my socks and underwear from budget supermarkets opting for whatever socks seems study enough to last a while. So when Soxsmith asked me to review some technical motorcycle socks, I was very interested to see how they stacked up and if they’re really worth the extra outlay. Yep, I must be getting old to appreciate being given socks… Continue reading “Soxsmith Comodo Motorcycle Sock Review” »

Cold Tyres, Low-Side, First Scrape on the FZ6

Didn’t have a great start the other morning. Should have known better.

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A case of cold tyres, rushing around, late for work and too eager on the throttle. Literally the second left turn after leaving the house, trying to gas it to make a gap in the traffic and back wheel just span up, low sided and off the bike went sliding down the road.  Gutted. Continue reading “Cold Tyres, Low-Side, First Scrape on the FZ6” »

How to Physically Prepare for a Long Motorcycle Ride

Most of the articles that you will come across about getting ready for a long motorcycle ride tackle the kind of equipment that you need to make sure you don’t leave behind, but almost none of them will tell you what you have to do with your body before touring.

It takes a lot of physical stamina, as well as mental focus, to ride your bike for a whole day. It can’t even compare to spending several hours behind the wheel in a car. You get uncomfortable, sweaty, too hot or cold, and you always have to make sure you maintain the correct posture so that you can ride for even more hours. Furthermore, motorcycle riding requires more strength, mostly because you constantly have to manoeuvre it. Continue reading “How to Physically Prepare for a Long Motorcycle Ride” »

Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London