2011

MCN’s top 5 winter essentials

MCN’s top 5 winter essentials

MCN staff have sploshed through enough puddles, ridden through plenty of lorry spray and slogged the length of the country (and beyond) in driving rain, to make sure we thoroughly test the kit we’re...

White Diamond Metal Polish and Sealant

White Diamond Metal Polish and Sealant

White Diamond Metals Polish and Sealant, £29.99 (currently on offer at £15) Time used: Three weeks What’s good: Everyone should have a bottle of this in their garage, even if it’s for “just in case”...

Ben Spies: Taking it to the Next Level

Ben Spies: Taking it to the Next Level

Ben Spies: Taking it to the Next Level, by Larry Lawrence, £19.99 Time used: One week What’s good: Written by American bike journalist Larry Lawrence, with quotes from friends, family, team members,...

Heat Holders Men's Long Leg socks

Heat Holders Men's Long Leg socks

Heat Holders Men’s Long Leg socks, £7 Time used: Two months. What’s good: Putting these socks on for the first time was a one of those rare revelatory motorcycle moments. They’re lining with a...

Granger’s G-Max Universal Footwear Proofer

Granger’s G-Max Universal Footwear Proofer

Granger’s G-Max Universal Footwear Proofer, £5.99 Time used: One month What’s good: Quite simply, when applied to slightly damp leather or textiles, this spray faultlessly waterproofs. Here’s how...

Oxford RT30 Roll top bag

Oxford RT30 Roll top bag

Oxford RT30 Roll top tailpack/backpack/pannier - £69.99 Miles covered/time: 400/two months What’s good: The Oxford RT30 roll top bag has been cunningly designed so that with a plethora of plastic...

Product review: Keysinthepost.com replacement ignition key

Product review: Keysinthepost.com replacement ignition key

Keysinthepost.com replacement ignition key, £7.49 Miles covered/time: 500/two months What's good: An easy way to get a replacement key for motorcycles manufactured between 1970 and 2010. Just enter...

Product review: Garmin Zumo 220 satnav and Scala Bluetooth headset

Product review: Garmin Zumo 220 satnav and Scala Bluetooth headset

Garmin Zumo 220 satnav and Scala Bluetooth headset, £399.99 Miles covered/time: 500/two months What's good: It’s waterproof and designed primarily for motorcycling but also has modes for driving,...

Product review: Proguard Motorcyclists custom-fit earplugs

Product review: Proguard Motorcyclists custom-fit earplugs

Proguard Motorcyclists custom-fit earplugs, £125.99 Miles covered/time: 3000/two months What’s good: These soft, medical-grade silicon earplugs are custom made to suit the individual and the price...

Drift HD Action Camera

Drift HD Action Camera

Drift HD Action Camera, £329.99 Time owned: One month What's good?: The little LCD screen on the top of the camera is a brilliant idea, allowing you to line up your shot quickly and easily. The lens...

Interphone F4 Stereo

Interphone F4 Stereo

Interphone F4 Stereo £179.99, or as duo pack at £299.95 Miles covered/time: 3500/six months What’s good: A good read through the fitting instructions and I was ready to install the Interphone F4, I...

Prescription Photochromic Davida WRS74 goggles

Prescription Photochromic Davida WRS74 goggles

Prescription Photochromic Davida WRS74 goggles, £115 Miles covered: 2000 (to Spain and back) What’s good: The WRS74’s are a straight-armed, flexible-framed goggle with foam pads around the eye sockets...

BMW Junior Trike

BMW Junior Trike

BMW Junior Trike, £89.95 Miles covered/time: Five-ish/two months What’s good: To the fevered imagination of a three-year-old, the more realistic a toy the better, so the principal appeal to my son of...

Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!), by Sean Hayes & Rupert Paul

Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!), by Sean Hayes & Rupert Paul

Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!), by Sean Hayes & Rupert Paul, £12.99 Miles covered/time: Three evenings  What’s good: The secret burden of every biker is the suspicion they’re...

Cold Killers Wind Buddy

Cold Killers Wind Buddy

Cold Killers Wind Buddy £64.99 Miles covered/time: 500/two months What’s good: Now the cold mornings are here, I’m using this zip-up top more and more – and it’s meant I’ve been able to delay the evil...

Proskins Moto Gilet

Proskins Moto Gilet

Proskins Moto Gilet, £59.99 Miles covered/time: 700/two months What’s good: This is a very lightweight body warmer that’s designed to be worn beneath your regular riding kit, and it does a very good...

Oxford RT60 roll bag

Oxford RT60 roll bag

Oxford RT60 roll bag, £89.99 Miles covered/time: 1500/two months What's good: With a 60-litre capacity this roll bag will swallow most things you care to chuck in it. I recently went to Germany for a...

Oxford rider grips

Oxford rider grips

Oxford Rider Grips, £26.99 Miles covered/time: 200/two months What's good: My wife absolutely swears by this method of pillion carriage. For the rider's part, you put this wide belt around your waist...

Forcefield Pro L2K back protector

Forcefield Pro L2K back protector

Forcefield Pro L2K back protector, £104.99 Miles covered/time: 1000/two months What's good: I'm in the fortunate position of not having crashed recently, but if it does happen this back protector...

EDZ one-piece baselayer

EDZ one-piece baselayer

EDZ one-piece baselayer, £50 (now superseded, £60) Miles covered/time: 25,000/two years What's good: Once you have worn a baselayer under leathers the days of struggling to get in and out of them are...

Velobici PBP seamless cap

Velobici PBP seamless cap

Miles covered/team: 200/one month What's good: For decidedly bitter mornings and evenings this autumn, this merino wool/polyester cap has gone on my head before my helmet. And on a number of occasions...

Halfords Advanced Professional 150 piece socket/ratchet set

Halfords Advanced Professional 150 piece socket/ratchet set

Time used: Two months What's good: Most of my attempts at bike maintenance have been embarassments. Something like the apes from 2001 angrily beating the ground with a bone. This has at least partly...

GB Racing engine cover set

GB Racing engine cover set

GB Racing engine cover set, £141.77 Time used: Two months What's good: In the wide, wide world of crash protection, GB Racing is definitely one of the premium brands. Made from a nylon/glass composite...

EDZ Midlayer Fleece

EDZ Midlayer Fleece

Miles covered/time: 5000/two years What's good: It's really comfortable and makes a massive difference to your body temperature. It may appear to be a very thin fleece but it manages to pack in a huge...

Oxford Protective Blanket

Oxford Protective Blanket

Miles covered/time: six months What's good: I often have to fit luggage to my motorcycle due to my work as a photographer, and this rubbery, non-slip blanket has always been that added security when...

Interphone F3 communications system

Interphone F3 communications system

Miles covered/time: 3500/six months What's good: I used my Interphones on a recent trip to France and it immeadiately transformed my pillion rides, especially the more scenic ones. I'm not one of...

Ugly Fish Ultimate Multi-pack sunglasses

Ugly Fish Ultimate Multi-pack sunglasses

Ugly Fish Ultimate Multi-pack sunglasses, £69.99 Time used: Three months What’s good: Designed specifically for motorcyclists, these beauties are easy to fit and comfortable to wear. The multi-lens...

Muc Off Premium Microfibre Polishing Cloth

Muc Off Premium Microfibre Polishing Cloth

Muc Off Premium Microfibre Polishing Cloth, £4.99 Time used: Three years What’s good: I use this polishing cloth to give my Triumph a rub down after every clean. As Muc-Off promises, it doesn’t smear,...

Dainese Thorax Wave Pro Chest and Back Protector

Dainese Thorax Wave Pro Chest and Back Protector

Dainese Thorax Wave Pro Chest and Back Protector, £199 Miles covered/time: 600 miles/one week What’s good: Firstly, it’s light and comfortable. I wore this Dainese body armour for 10 hours a...

Cold Killers Mini Tube

Cold Killers Mini Tube

Cold Killers Mini Tube, £16.99 Miles covered/time: 480/two weeks What’s good: I got hold of mini tube neckwarmer this because of the imminent change in the weather, to help insulate my draughty...

Abba superbike stand

Abba superbike stand

Abba superbike stand, £91.99 Time owned: Six months What's good: Conventional paddocks stands won’t let you remove a shock because they lift the bike by the swingarm. This one lifts the machine by the...

Five cleaning essentials on the MCN Shop

Five cleaning essentials on the MCN Shop

There's no escaping the days are starting to get shorter, and it won't be long before the gritters are out in force. Our shop – at www.mcnshop.com – thankfully has a stack of maintenance and cleaning...

Givi T489 Easylock tank bag

Givi T489 Easylock tank bag

Givi T489 Easylock tank bag, £72.25 (bike specific tank ring £13.08) Miles covered/time: 2000 miles/one month What’s good: The Easylock mounting system on the T489 consists of a metal ring that bolts...

Product review: Autoglym visor cleaner

Product review: Autoglym visor cleaner

Autoglym visor cleaner, £12.49 for 500ml Time used: Five years What’s good: I take this tiny bottle of visor cleaner with me everywhere I go as it’s small enough to travel but will last for at least a...

DVD review: Northwest 200 2010

DVD review: Northwest 200 2010

Northwest 200 2010 DVD, £19.99 Time used: Countless, butt-clenching viewings What’s good: Amazing coverage of the 2010 Northwest that I’ve watched over and over again. I used the DVD to learn the...

Product review: Velobici PBP Tivoli seamless collar

Product review: Velobici PBP Tivoli seamless collar

Velobici PBP Tivoli seamless collar, £30 Miles covered/time: 650/one month What's good: Sometimes two worlds collide and have something to teach each other. This neck warmer is actually designed for...