2013

Product Review: Clymer Honda CBR600F manual

Product Review: Clymer Honda CBR600F manual

Clymer Honda CBR600F manual, £23.45 Time tested: Two years What’s good? I have seen many experienced and professional mechanics at work in my MCN working life. I am nothing like these people. For me...

Product Review: Gear Gremlin Hurricane lock and chain

Product Review: Gear Gremlin Hurricane lock and chain

Gear Gremlin Hurricane lock and chain, £25.99 and Nimrod lock and chain £54.99 Time: Nine months What’s good? Both locks offer a good, visible deterrent. The Nimrod is a lot sturdier than the...

Product Review: FastPack Tail Bag

Product Review: FastPack Tail Bag

FastPack Tail Bag, $69.99 (approx. £58.35 including import tax and shipping) Time tested: 8000 miles/ 8 months What’s good? Some of the best ideas are the simplest ones. This tail pack simply fits...

Product Review: Halvarssons Shield L2 back protector

Product Review: Halvarssons Shield L2 back protector

Halvarssons Shield L2 back protector, £119 Time tested:  Six months What’s good? I always make sure my daily riding gear has back protection built-in as I find it less bothersome than having to...

Product Review: Forcefield Base Layer shirt and pants

Product Review: Forcefield Base Layer shirt and pants

Forcefield Base Layer shirt and pants, £55 (shirt), £33 (pants) Time tested: Six months/5500 miles What’s good? The benefit of a decent baselayer is something that can barely be appreciated until you...

Product Review: Ammo Nitro Power bike cleaner

Product Review: Ammo Nitro Power bike cleaner

Ammo Nitro Power bike cleaner, £5.99 Time tested: One month, three cleans What’s good? It’s a spray-on, scrub and rinse off bike cleaner that leaves a satisfying sheen on a bike once it’s done, and...

Product Review: Oxford Products Stormex Bike Cover

Product Review: Oxford Products Stormex Bike Cover

Oxford Products Stormex Bike Cover (medium), £69.99 Time tested: Nine months What’s good? The cover has a soft inner lining which is kind to the bike it’s protecting. It slides over the bike pretty...

Product Review: Austin Vince, Mondo Sahara

Product Review: Austin Vince, Mondo Sahara

Austin Vince, Mondo Sahara, £18.50 Time tested: 1h 31min What’s good? From the moment the soundtrack kicks in – a mix of spaghetti western and Arctic Monkeys at their most whimsical – this filmic...

Product Review: SDoc100 Chain Cleaner

Product Review: SDoc100 Chain Cleaner

SDoc100 Chain Cleaner, from £10 Time tested: one application What’s good? I recently gave my bike a ‘big clean’ in readiness for winter proofing and needed to give the chain a going over. I’ve used...

Product Review: Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro

Product Review: Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro

Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro, £19.99 Tested for: Two years What’s good? Investing in a decent tyre pressure gauge has encouraged me to save money in two ways – firstly, it’s made sure I don’t lose the thing...

Product Review: Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro

Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro, £19.99 Tested for: Two years What’s good? Investing in a decent tyre pressure gauge has encouraged me to save money in two ways – firstly, it’s made sure I don’t lose the thing (better to invest £20 in one decent gauge than waste it on a succession of cheap, nasty ones). Secondly it’s encouraged me to use it more frequently, and every tyre manufacturer’s number one tip for...

Product Review: Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs

Product Review: Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs

Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs, £24.99 Time tested: 300 miles/2 weeks What’s good? With winter setting in, and me still not being too experienced as a rider, I was after some brighter bulbs to...

Product Review: Telferizer sat-nav mount

Product Review: Telferizer sat-nav mount

Telferizer sat-nav mount Time tested: 2000 miles/ four months What’s good? The flexibility of being able to mount a sat-nav in seconds, and remove it again in just as short a time, means I can choose...

Product Review: The Triumph Bonneville Bible

Product Review: The Triumph Bonneville Bible

The Triumph Bonneville Bible, £35 Time tested: Three months What's good? The world probably doesn’t need A N Other book on Triumph Bonnevilles, but this fell on my desk at the right time (I was...

Product Review: Alpinestars Roving Backpack

Product Review: Alpinestars Roving Backpack

Alpinestars Roving Backpack, £74.99 Time tested: 2000 miles/four months What’s good? It’s compact enough to cause no interference while riding, yet just about big enough for the essentials on the...

Product Review: Clarke Mechanic’s chair

Product Review: Clarke Mechanic’s chair

Clarke Mechanic’s chair, £26.99 Time used: 2013 racing season What’s good? This has got to be one of the best racing accessories I own – so much so that when I asked someone to pack it in a van for a...

Product Review: Oxford Boss Alarm disc lock

Product Review: Oxford Boss Alarm disc lock

Oxford Boss Alarm disc lock, £74.99 Time tested: Five months What’s good?  Bright, chunky and clearly marked as alarmed, this ticks all the boxes as a visible deterrent for thieves, and with its...

Product Review: ABBA Superbike Stand

Product Review: ABBA Superbike Stand

ABBA Superbike Stand, £91.95 (stand) + £18.50 (fitting kit) Time tested: Four years What’s good? The first time I saw an ABBA stand in use was a real surprise. Not only was the action of lifting the...

Product Review: Givi V47 top box

Product Review: Givi V47 top box

Givi V47 top box, £225 and adaptor plate £115.14 Miles covered/time: 3500 miles/6 months What’s good? Top boxes never make a bike look really cool, but they are so bloody practical. They save running...

Product Review: Draper Lockwire pliers

Product Review: Draper Lockwire pliers

Draper Lockwire pliers, £28.95 Time tested: Over four years What’s good? Manufactured from chrome vanadium steel, you’d have to be a certified heathen to break these Draper lockwire pliers. They’ll...

Book Review: Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!)

Book Review: Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!)

Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!), by Sean Hayes & Rupert Paul, £10.99 Time tested: Four months What’s good? One thing that studying for my bike test has taught me is that the test...

Product Review: Ortlieb Moto 49-litre rollbag

Product Review: Ortlieb Moto 49-litre rollbag

Ortlieb Moto 49-litre rollbag, £74.70 Time tested:  3500 miles/four months What’s good? I don’t think I’ll ever need another bag again. This rollbag from Ortlieb is absolutely cavernous and no...

Product Review: SDoc100 Technical Fabric and Leather Wash

Product Review: SDoc100 Technical Fabric and Leather Wash

SDoc100 Technical Fabric and Leather Wash, £9.99 for 250ml Time tested: One wash What’s good? I was disgusted and embarrassed when I realised how filthy my Alpinestars summer riding jacket had...

Product Review: Ultra Shine Wash

Product Review: Ultra Shine Wash

Ultra Shine Wash £5.99 (500ml) Time Tested: three washes What's good? Spray it on, wipe it off, grab a micocloth and give the bike a buff. There's no water or any other product involved. And to me...

Product Review: Alpinestars Magnesium Toe-sliders

Product Review: Alpinestars Magnesium Toe-sliders

Alpinestars Magnesium Toe-sliders, £11.95 Time tested: 5,000 miles / 3 months What’s good? Until recently I’ve been doing a good job of keeping my tootsies proud of the road surface, thanks to many...

Product Review: Storm Buff neckwarmer

Product Review: Storm Buff neckwarmer

Storm Buff neckwarmer, £28.99 Time tested: 8000 miles/three years What’s good? Even the depths of a British winter can’t combat this tough Buff neckwarmer, with its combination of Gore Windstopper...

Product Review: Ugly Fish sunglasses

Product Review: Ugly Fish sunglasses

Ugly Fish sunglasses Price: £39.99 Time tested: 3000 miles, three months What’s good? I wanted to wear shades when I rode Route 66 in America. I tried a few different pairs before choosing these. A...

Product Review: Ion Air Pro 2 video camera

Product Review: Ion Air Pro 2 video camera

Ion Air Pro 2 video camera: £299.99 Time used: Six months What’s good? I’ve been using this to create footage for MCN videos and long termer blogs. It’s a solid, well-made waterproof unit and very...

Product Review: Furygan Phantom rucksack

Product Review: Furygan Phantom rucksack

Furygan Phantom rucksack, £99.95 Time tested: Three months/600 miles What’s good? I chose this rucksack because of its generous laptop pocket. It’s got a deep, well-padded pouch that holds two...

Product Review: VentureShield paint protection film

Product Review: VentureShield paint protection film

VentureShield paint protection film, £120 (£220 fitted) Time tested: Four months/1000 miles What’s good? VentureShield is a transparent, barely visible vinyl wrap designed to protect bodywork from...

Product Review: Bags Connection Baracuda 30 litre rucksack

Product Review: Bags Connection Baracuda 30 litre rucksack

Bags Connection Baracuda 30 litre rucksack, £108.36 Time tested: 400 miles/two months What’s good? Sublime build quality with thick, lined nylon, 100% waterproof (even the zipped external pocket) and...

Product Review: Gunson thread gauge

Product Review: Gunson thread gauge

Gunson thread gauge, £9 Time tested: 12 months What's good? I'm (still) working through an old Kawasaki KR-1S, fixing the bodges I made 20 years ago and replacing the worst of the abuse. Before I...

Product Review: Ultimate Ear Squidgy custom earplugs

Ultimate Ear Squidgy custom earplugs, £59 + P&P Time tested: Six months What’s good? I had these moulded at the MCN Scottish Show; a quick and painless 10-minute procedure where they squirt expanding foam into your ears and leave it to harden. These are used to make the earplugs from, and they were posted out two weeks later. They’re comfortable to wear for long periods; as well as on the...

Product Review: Oxford Aqua50

Product Review: Oxford Aqua50

Oxford Aqua50, £59.99 Time tested: 500 miles/one month What’s good? The Aqua50 - the 50 designating its 50-litre capacity, is one of a new range of simple, 'roll-top' bags from Oxford designed to...

Product Review: Held Moto-Flash rucksack

Product Review: Held Moto-Flash rucksack

Held Moto-Flash rucksack, £69.99 Time tested: 2000 miles/two months What’s good? There’s loads of space – 30-40 litres – and the roll top means I’m not as limited as I would be with a zip closure.

Product Review: MSR DragonFly liquid-fuel camping stove

Product Review: MSR DragonFly liquid-fuel camping stove

MSR DragonFly liquid-fuel camping stove, £125 Time tested: Six years What’s good? I love this stove. I’ve been travelling and camping for as long as I can remember and have used a wide variety. But...