When it comes to staying warm on a motorbike, the traditional option is to layer up, loads of jumpers and thermals, but end up feeling like a Michelin man with restricted movement. These days however, there’s loads of great electrically heated gear on the market, from gloves and socks to vests and pants. All nice thin layers that keep you toasty without bulkiness. The only problem is, much of this serious gear comes at a serious price.
It’s at this point you may have noticed a lot of very cheap heated clothing on eBay from China. It can’t all be that bad, can it? So in the name of research, we picked up a heated vest for the princely sum of £20 (delivered). A far cry from big name brands costing £100-150 or more. Read on to see if we wasted our money or found a little far Eastern gem.
No one likes cold fingers on a bike. It’s uncomfortable, distracting, hinders fine control and can get painful. It’s also all too easy to underestimate the wind chill factor when travelling fast on a bike. It may be a bearable 5°C outside, but on a 60 mph blast, the wind will chill you down to cool -3°C, which will inevitably give numb fingers after a short while, even with thick gloves.
I’ve written about a number of approaches to tackle the cold hands on a motorbike issue in the past, but here today I have a pair of Oxford Commuter Hot Grips up for review. Intended to replace an old set of failed heated grips on Mary’s Honda, we picked these up as a freebie gift with a Ride magazine subscription last year. Annoyingly they took ages to turn up leaving Mary with cold hands for the first half of the winter, but finally I fitted these last January and they’ve been tested thoroughly since. Continue reading “Oxford Heated Hot Grips For Commuters Review” »
It’s been a stonker of a summer, Britain was taken over by a huge heat wave followed by almost monsoon rains. Now Autumn is well and truly upon us, the leaves are falling and everyone is all talk of end of season for biking… What’s that all about then?! Continue reading “End of the Season – Yeah Whatever!” »
As a glasses wearer, I’ve always struggled with my glasses misting or fogging up on cold days. Whereas as my visor stays clear through the use of a Pinlock, there is no obvious solution for glasses, just a multitude of products to squirt on that claim to stop all misting up. But do they really work? In the name of science I conducted a mini experiment to compare some popular products to ascertain which were most effective.
I used a number of old pairs of glasses, which I first cleaned then applied the various products as per their directions. As a control, one pair were left untreated. I then placed the glasses in the fridge to cool to 5℃, to mimic a ride on a cool winters day. First I took the glasses out into the kitchen with a humidity reading of 55%, to see how the lenses misted up (or not). Secondly I repeated by taking the glasses from fridge to hot shower room with a humidity reading of 60% to test a more extreme scenario.
Mary’s little CBF500 is very much a commuter hack and needs to run in all weathers. In an effort to winter proof it I fitted this RedFox fender extender (or flick) a little while ago.
It’s a very similar affair to the Pyramid fender extender I fitted on my Fazer some time ago. A small plastic extension to the front mudguard to help ward off dirt and crud being flung up against the front of the frame, radiator and engine. After having a struggle to remove the oil filter last service, I’m hoping this will help matter somewhat.
Following the absolute nightmare I previously had removing the rear shock from Mary’s CBF500, I was adamant not to let the newly refurbished shock also get ruined by the elements. By default Honda, in their infinite wisdom leave the shock completely unprotected from the rear tyre and all the curd and wet it flings up into the wheel arch – yeah, nice one. A rear hugger is the perfect solution help keep the swing arm, shock and most of the wheel arch protected.
This week has seen the weather turn frosty and salt grit trucks have hit the roads. Salt and the winter weather is huge nemesis to bikes, rotting frames and corroding all manner of parts. This is where ACF50 comes in. A great Anti Corrosion Formula, that can be sprayed on and leaves a protective film that halts any existing corrosion and prevents new.
Application should follow a good clean, and can be either with a spray can or with a refillable spray gun. The former can lay it on a bit thick, but the spray gun approach obviously needs additional tools. So, don’t hang about, give your bike the ACF50 treatment before winter eats it alive!
With the wet and miserable weather we’ve been having and promise of more to come this winter, I decided to fit a fender extender onto my Fazer. That’s a front mudguard extension for you UK lot. The plan being to stop a whole pile of crud, muck and wet getting sprayed up into the radiators, downpipes and headers, which are already showing a bit of weather damage.
I picked this Fender Extender up from M&P and it’s made by Pyramid Plastics. Looks wise, it’s a not a lot to write home about, just a basic matt black piece of plastic, but fitting against the mudguard was decent enough. It was supplied with some self tapping screws and some sticky back tape to hold it place whilst drilling holes for screws.
We maybe having a particularly warm and dry autumn so far, but it won’t last long. So now is the time to start thinking out your winter preparations. At Beginner Biker Adventures, we’re not fair weather bikers,
we’re not fair weather bikers
it’ll take some pretty extreme weather to stop us riding and we use our bikes to commute year round. Granted, in London the weather rarely gets too bad and very few roads will be impossible to ride in the winter, never the less, good preparation ensures safe riding throughout the winter months. Check out these useful tips to prepare. Continue reading “Winter Preparation” »
With the weather rapidly turning colder, winter will soon be on us and out comes a bike’s worst enemy. Salt.
Spread on the roads to tackle ice, it literally eats our bikes, accelerating the oxidisation of ironwork causing your downpipes, frame and anything else exposed to rust and disintegrate before your eyes. Now is the time to take preventative action to tackle this problem.
ACF50 is an amazing product you can just spray onto your bike, totally covering it (just stay away from brakes), whence it will leave a protective film that halts any existing rust and preventing further rust. And so, at the weekend I gave the bike a good clean, removing a lot of the grime and dirt, then completely doused it in ACF50.