Don’t get lost

Sat-nav’s are becoming a popular choice for bikers, they are the perfect companion for touring, or if your out and about and in a strange part of the country and your dinner is waiting for you. Just put in “home” and your guided back.

What makes motorcycle sat-navs different from ordinary car ones, i was very doubtful that they were just ordinary car sat-navs with a waterproof coating, but they have lots more features. Two of the higher-end market ones from tom-tom and Garmin. These sat-navs have lifetime maps, traffic and speed cameras, they both come with bluetooth and headset so you can hear instructions to save you looking at the screen. They both have onboard memory plus sd-card and support mp3, to put your favourite tunes into your ears. On the map side they have features that let you pick nearby routes that let you discover new places and round trips that give you alternative ways back. Easy to use with gloves on and see in the glaring sunshine (but waterproof, as you know what the weather can be like) It seems like the perfect motorcycle companion.

But why pay so much for sat-nav? the cheap car ones work just as well when put in a waterproof holder, you seem to be paying for features you don’t really need, and you can select the same routes on the entry level ones. What most will find, getting lost is only part of the adventure, and just buy a map.

sat-nav
(left) Tomtom Rider 400 £400
6hrs battery life with an 11cm screen

(right) Garmin ZumoLM £550
4hrs battery life with a 12.6cm screen

Road map £5
will last till you lose it
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Road Denim

In the hotter months, it’s nice to put on a pair of jeans when you decide to head out for a wee run, after all, you might be heading to some social event where you don’t want to be walking around in a pair of motorcycle trousers. The last thing you should do is jump on your bike in your £9 Primark specials, there is no protection regardless how thick you think the denim is. Kevlar lined jeans are what you should be looking for, they range from £60 to £660, and some come with knee and hip protection, the offer the best protection should the unthinkable happen. Here are a range of the cheap variety.

jeans

From left to right
RST Vintage Jeans (Kevlar and Knee Armour) £90
Weise Psycho Jeans (Leather and textile mix with knee and hip armour) £100
Draggin Camo Jeans (Kevlar lined) £145
Lindstrands Warp (Kevlar lined with knee and hip armour) £109

Spring watch 10th April

IMG_1728

A nice wee day at the end of a week of nice wee days, time to head for the hills. It’s a place I tend to go often, regardless of the weather. The rest and be thankful is a carpark situated in the Argyll Forest Park, and in true Scottish style, the tranquility of the area is slightly dampened by the noise of a generator, powering a van that sells food and drink, but I don’t mind this, as it’s nice to get a cup of coffee after the drive up the side of Loch Lomond. Taking in some stunning views and a hot beverage, chat to other bikers that pull into the car park, then it’s time to head back down the road. I’s a nice run on the bikes, not too far but far enough to feel like a worthy journey.  Here is the map

Blow off the cobwebs 2015

A nice sunny, warm day in March? can’t pass up a chance to clean the cobwebs off my bike. This is the first time this year, so it’s the “start of the season”, thought I’d just go a wee run round the block, try and re-acquire some skills I have forgotten since the last time I put the bike in the garage. After a shaky start, I soon found my smile again, and had a great wee time, done some overtaking, breaking, accelerating and screaming. On the way back I stopped into Ride-on’s new showroom in Hillington, just to see whats on sale. Hope it’s a good long spring-summer-autumn. Here is the map.

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2015 Scottish Motorcycle Show

This years Scottish Motorcycle show was held at the Royal Highland Centre with most of the manufacturers displaying the latest models. Yamaha had the new bikes on display including the new XJR1300 & XJR1300 racer.

also on display was the V-max (celebrating 30 years) and looking mean, the excellent custom styled XV950 R, a special edition MT-09 the new R1-M, and a custom version of the XV950.

A nice collection of old Ducati’s got my camera clicking

Other bikes that stood out were the Honda VFR, Kawasaki Ninja H2 and a Rather nice customised Harley forty eight.

Richa Cold Protect GTX

richa gloves

These gloves are from a company called Richa (here), they are all weather gore-tex gloves, made from a combination of goat leather and nyspan stretch fabric. They were winners in a group test for Sub £100 all weather gloves (here), and what a review they got. I’m always on the lookout for all weather gloves, and kind of liked the look of the Dainese Guanto Scout GTX (also in the group test), but didn’t get as good a score. Coming in at £99, it’s a must buy for the cold, wet months of motorbiking.

Diesel, on a motorbike?

diesel helmets

Diesel, yes, the clothing company, are getting into motorcycle gear, the have a choice of 3 styles of helmet. The Mowie, an open face 3/4 size helmet, The Hi-jack, open faced, designed to look like a helicopter pilots helmet and the Full-jack, which is a full face helmet. These helmets have been given the full Diesel going over so they are very stylish and come in a range of colours. Not putting style over substance, these lids are made by AGV.

Carbon lids

Getting ever more popular, carbon lids are not only stronger and lighter, but are more affordable. Here are a small selection, with price and the all important weight.

carbon

(from top, clockwise)

AGV Pista GP around £800 weighing in at 1275g

Nexx XR1R Carbon around £300 weighing in at 1250g

HJC FS-10 Carbon around £250 weighing in at 1400g

Shark Speed-R MXV Carbon around £280 weighing in at 1370g