2016

Review: Venhill 1/4in square drive swivel ratchet handle

Review: Venhill 1/4in square drive swivel ratchet handle

MCN Shop Time tested: Two years What’s good? If you enjoy spannering on bikes it’s worth investing in good tools – having the right tool for the job can turn a tiresome task into an absolute joy.

Review: Givi EA112 Tablet Pocket

Review: Givi EA112 Tablet Pocket

MCN Shop Time tested: Five months/2800 miles What's good? I hate satnavs and always prefer a map or a handwritten route when travelling, so I needed to find a solution for a recent trip to France.

BMW large soft bag, £175

BMW large soft bag, £175

Time tested: Three weeks/1000 miles What’s good: I didn’t think this would be as good as a conventional hard top box, but it’s better. It’s huge – the 50-55 litre capacity is more than BMW’s topbox.

Givi GRT703 40L waterproof cargo bag, £101.80

Givi GRT703 40L waterproof cargo bag, £101.80

Time tested 4 months/3000 miles What’s good? I’ve taken to using this bag when I go camping. Its 40-litre capacity is perfect to keep all the gear I need for a weekend away and because of this I...

XCP Chain lube, £6

XCP Chain lube, £6

Time tested 5 months/half a can What’s good? It does what it says on the tin: lays down a thin, non-sticky film that doesn’t easily fling off. I like it. Chain lubes are a largely a matter of personal...

Alpinestars Force Backpack, £139.99

Alpinestars Force Backpack, £139.99

Time tested 6 months/2500 miles What's good? I’ve used the rucksack for both commuting to work and also for the odd weekend away. It’s really comfortable because of the combination of the wide,...

Review: S-Doc Chain Cleaner Power Gel

Review: S-Doc Chain Cleaner Power Gel

What’s good? This is an incredibly effective chain cleaner which works effortlessly to remove S-Doc chain lube and will tackle most other brands with ease too. The process is simple; spray on, leave...

Rated: Sigma slipper clutch for Kawasaki ER-6

Rated: Sigma slipper clutch for Kawasaki ER-6

Tested by Adam Child, MCN Senior Road Tester Time tested three months/ two racing weekends at Oliver’s Mount What’s good? My Lightweight TT bike is producing just short of 90bhp and the standard ER-6...

Alpinestars neck warmer

Alpinestars neck warmer

Time used Three months/3000 miles What’s good? It’s probably my age, but unless it’s tropical outside I can’t ride without something to keep my neck warm. For the past three years I’ve been wearing my...

Rated: GT85 Lubricant

Rated: GT85 Lubricant

Time tested: Three months What’s good? GT85 has so far proved itself to be immensely useful. It’s incredibly good at cleaning chains, and even better at removing stubborn wheel grime which every other...

Rated: Area 22 anti-slip adjustable short levers for Suzuki

Rated: Area 22 anti-slip adjustable short levers for Suzuki

Area 22 Anti-Slip Adjustable Short Motorcycle Levers for Suzuki (£74.95) Tester Dan Sutherland Time tested: 1700 miles What’s good? These are the first short levers I have ever used on a bike and I...

Rated: AIM SmartyCam GP HD

Rated: AIM SmartyCam GP HD

Tester Emma Franklin Time tested Two race meetings What’s good: This professional-spec bullet camera both records all your on-track action in 1280p HD and also instantly creates data overlay graphics,...

Petzl Tikkina head torch review (£13.11)

Petzl Tikkina head torch review (£13.11)

What’s good about the Petzl Tikkina head torch? This is very much at the budget end of the head-torch spectrum, but I took the plunge on the basis that it was from a solid brand, and had attracted a...

Top 5 outdoor bike covers

Top 5 outdoor bike covers

MCN Shop Winter is coming and that usually means that the weather will be wetter than its usual average. Protecting your bike from the elements is one of the biggest concerns for those who park outside and one...

Rated: Oxford Products X30 Tailpack

Rated: Oxford Products X30 Tailpack

Time tested: Six months/1500 miles What’s good? This pack has its own bungee straps and Velcro attachments so it’s easy to get things in place. The size suits a day trip or a weekend break for one and...

Rated: Aldi balaclava

Rated: Aldi balaclava

Time used: 2000 miles What’s good? If you feel the cool, then this is just the job. I always hold off with the extra layers until I really need them. I don’t worry on short runs, but if I’m out for...

Powerhouse brake caliper refurb service reviewed (£154)

Powerhouse brake caliper refurb service reviewed (£154)

What’s good about the Powerhouse brake caliper refurb service? This great value service treats tired, corroded, scuffed and seized brake calipers to a new lease of life. The pair of Tokico calipers on...

Kriega Hydro-3 hydration pack review (£89)

Kriega Hydro-3 hydration pack review (£89)

What’s good about the Kriega Hydro 3 hydration pack? Kriega have a well-deserved reputation for producing high-end bike rucksacks and luggage - and this Hydro-3 backpack lives up to their standards.

Floreat Energies Lithium Phosphate Racing Battery RBF400 and charger review (£249.99 & £67.20)

Floreat Energies Lithium Phosphate Racing Battery RBF400 and charger review (£249.99 & £67.20)

What’s good about the Floreat Energies Lithium Phosphate Racing Battery RBF400 and charger? Utilising Lithium Phosphate technology, this top-end British-built battery delivers significantly better...

Oxford Aqua 12 rucksack review (£39.99)

Oxford Aqua 12 rucksack review (£39.99)

What’s good about the Oxford Aqua 12 rucksack? It’s bright, retina-burningly bright, but that means it stands out well against my black riding gear. The size of the bag is great, it’s only 12 litres...

Ultimate Ear custom filtered earplugs review (£80)

Ultimate Ear custom filtered earplugs review (£80)

What’s good about the Ultimate Ear custom filtered earplugs? Opinion on custom earplugs has always been divided, it seems you either get on with them or you don’t. I fall into the first category and...

Drift Stealth action camera review (£99.99)

Drift Stealth action camera review (£99.99)

What’s good about the Drift Stealth 2 action camera? It’s small, relatively cheap, easy to use and easy to mount to a bike and the footage is decent enough. The main plus is the ease of use. There are...

Bullet Clear View visor shine review (£6.60)

Bullet Clear View visor shine review (£6.60)

What’s good about the Bullet Clear View visor shine? This visor cleaning kit is a great value product that comprises carnauba wax polish in a spray bottle and also comes with two microfibre cloths;...

Product Review: Acerbis bike stand £74.99

Product Review: Acerbis bike stand £74.99

What’s good about the Acerbis bike stand? Occasionally you stumble across a tool you hope might prove reasonably useful over time but instead becomes an instant, integral and indispensable part of...

Product Review: Teng Tools Soft Face Hammer (£18.94)

Product Review: Teng Tools Soft Face Hammer (£18.94)

What’s good about the Teng Tools Soft Face Hammer? It’s a hammer! Hammers are inherently good. While you might think they’re all the same, this is the best soft-faced hammer I’ve owned in my 35 years...

Product Review: Overboard phone bike mount (£39.99)

Product Review: Overboard phone bike mount (£39.99)

What’s good about the Overboard phone bike mount? I used Overboard’s standard waterproof phone case back in 2014 for about 7000 miles. It’s a fantastic bit of kit which keeps your phone 100% dry (I...

Product Review: Oxford Hardcore chain (£79.99)

Product Review: Oxford Hardcore chain (£79.99)

What’s good about the Oxford Hardcore chain? The chain is just about long enough to wrap twice around a 200-section rear wheel so as to leave no part of the chain trailing on the floor. The shackle...

Product Review: Fuelperformance XT660R fuel pump (£52.99)

Product Review: Fuelperformance XT660R fuel pump (£52.99)

What’s good about the Fuelperformance XT660R fuel pump? It’s worked perfectly. My son Fred and I restored a Yamaha XT660R which had been to the Himalayas and back, and then sat in a garage for six...

Product Review: Shark Helmet racing bag (£39.99)

Product Review: Shark Helmet racing bag (£39.99)

What’s good about the Shark helmet racing bag? This is a simple and easy way to keep your helmet safe, secure and in one place with your spare visors. It easily accommodates a full-face lid with room...

Product Review: 6t9 Navy Motorbike Wash (£9.69)

Product Review: 6t9 Navy Motorbike Wash  (£9.69)

What’s good about the 6t9 Navy Motorbike Wash? This spray wash for motorcycles has been developed in conjunction with former racer and TV pundit James Whitham; himself a serial motorcycle restorer,...

Product Review: Gear Gremlin Fury Lock and chain (£109.99)

Product Review: Gear Gremlin Fury Lock and chain (£109.99)

What’s good about the Gear Gremlin Fury Lock and chain? This is a heavy, chunky lock with a very solid feel about it and a good covering too. It’s long enough to weave through a wheel and...

Product Review: Auritech Biker earplugs (£19.95)

Product Review: Auritech Biker earplugs (£19.95)

What’s good about the Auritech Biker earplugs? You get all the benefits of permanent earplugs over disposable ones – they’re washable, don’t turn into a soggy, puffy mess if they get wet, store in a...

Product Review: Electrex World RR50 regulator-rectifier (£119.70)

Product Review: Electrex World RR50 regulator-rectifier (£119.70)

What’s good about the Electrex World RR50 regulator-rectifier? Not many miles covered on this particular specimen, but I’ve used a few Electrex World reg-recs in my part-time business building looms...

Product Review: Oxford Maximiser 3800 (£64.99)

Product Review: Oxford Maximiser 3800 (£64.99)

What’s good about the Oxford Maximiser 3800? Buying new bike batteries has to be the most soul-destroying of all biking purchases, and having ruined more than a few through neglect over the years,...

Product Review: Mammoth Security lock and chain (£39.99)

Product Review: Mammoth Security lock and chain (£39.99)

What’s good about the Mammoth Security lock and chain? You can’t argue with sub-£40 for a decent length chain. There are two bikes in my garage at the moment and at 1.8 metres the Mammoth is easily...

Product Review: Gear Gremlin 10mm Tempest disc lock (£29.99)

Product Review: Gear Gremlin 10mm Tempest disc lock (£29.99)

What’s good about the Gear Gremlin Tempest disc lock? The fluoro yellow paint is easily visible both to potential thieves, and to myself to remind me it’s there and stop me trying to ride off with it...