Thursday, August 26, 2010

Long Term Updates

I have reviewed a number of purchases on this blog, not particularly in depth but all the same I wanted to mention how I felt about some of them after now having used them for a longer time period.

Nolan N43 Air helmet.

I still love the design of this helmet however I have found the optics of the visor not to be perfect and as I mentioned in my initial review the liner does not compare with the Shark RSR which in my opinion is equal best with Arai liners for comfort. In summer it is by far the coolest helmet I have ever worn and the internal tinted visor is a fantastic idea however it does have an issue that it splits your vision to an upper and lower tinted and clear field of view which took me a while to realise has the effect of reducing the larger field of view that the jet style helmet offers to end up making it feel more closed in. I am now having 2nd thoughts if I shall continue with the Nolan due to the optics of the visor. My Shark RSR2 is black, a colour I regret buying now however I cannot justify another new helmet so I have ordered a new visor and some reflective decals and will give it a freshen up and reuse it for a spell and see how I feel.

Further update: It may be the combination of the inner and outer visors that gives me a slight optical issue, by itself the external visor seems not to bother me however the UV here is too strong to use a clear visor except in the shadows so I tend to have the tinted inner visor engaged all the time.

Noise: it has been raised by a Motorcycle Paradise reader that the noise of the helmet is slightly bothersome. I do wear earplugs 100% when riding to avoid going deaf so the noise levels may be understated by me. 

 BMW City Pants

I purchased these some time ago now to replace (and upgrade) my Draggin jeans and I can state they are excellent. They offer a higher level of protection and are more comfortable on and off the bike. In a pinch you could wear these all year round knowing that they are not a winter or summer specialist pant. My only complaint would be that the height adjustment for the knee armor is by means of velcro which can come undone and allow the armor to move down which then pulls the pants up from your boots too much. I have reaffixed them so hope they will stay put in the future. Not cheap gear, mainly because of the label but seem to genuinely be a quality item.

Cortech HRX Jacket

I purchase this mainly to replace my very old Dryrider summer mesh jacket which was very light on in protection but also as something with the liners installed to be warmer than my leather jacket in winter. The jury is still out on this jacket as far as I am concerned. With the rain and quilt liners installed it still is no warmer than my old lined leather jacket and becomes rather bulky once the liners are installed. With both liners removed the jacket flows air to the chest well but the arms and back need more ventilation and on hot days I find it borderline on being too warm. Protection wise however it is superb and the build quality, zips tailoring and design is very good and exceeds my other new jacket. Not such an expensive brand so fair enough I guess for the price.

Alpinestars 7-10 WP textile jacket and ST 5 Drystar textile pants.

So far mostly happy with both these items. Both are strictly winter only items as would be the case with anything similar so keep that in mind if looking at these textile designs. The pants are very comfortable and do not ride up, I like them a lot. The Jacket is light to wear yet warm, and when zipped to the pants very warm. The only gripe I have is the main zipper is not a wind or waterproof item which is very disappointing for a winter jacket and somewhat worrying since this is advertised as a fully waterproof jacket. I can feel cold air getting in at the upper chest area of the zip and there is no outer storm flap either so I do wonder how it will perform in rain with only a inner storm flap. The cuffs only have two positions that you affix via snap lock buttons which is ok but looks cheap and well is cheap compared to having a traditional tailored cuff with length wise zipper.  My other concern with the main zipper is it is a very thin light weight item that could be pulled apart rather easy so what happens should you take a fall? The pants I rate excellent, the jacket was not expensive and like the Cortech is fair enough for the price but could do better.

Joe Rocket Meteor boots.

These were a bit tight and stiff at first but after a couple of outings seem to have gained a bit of flex and give, still a firm fit and probably would benefit if stores offered 1/2 sizing here as they do overseas. They are perhaps best for winter riding only as would be any waterproof boots in the sub tropics. I like the design of the graphics on the boots and the mid length suits me much better than full length or shorty boots. My only small gripe is they are quite difficult to get off since they have no side zip. The boots inner sides expand and the you affix the sides back via velcro which works reasonably well but not having a zip sure makes for hard work trying to get your foot out of them. I got these on sale and for the price I rate them as pretty good.

Update: the positive of not having a side zip is the boots will perform better in rain than any with zips.

I only have one last item I needed to get for the Europe tour which was new gloves. Will review those in the near future. Regards IC.

4 comments:

  1. Great reviews IC. Have you had to test your gear in really heavy rain? I've had boot issues recently and was looking at the Meteor boots as a replacement for my AGVs. At the moment my wet weather outer gear is doing a great job at keeping the rain off my body, but the boots tend to leak badly after a short while....maybe i'll just keep wearing the plastic bags over my socks!!

    cheers
    Anthony

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  2. Hey Anthony, One thing about the Meteors not having a zip is very hard for water to get in. The other thing you could do is get over boots, I found them awkward to fit over actual riding boots. I used simple and cheap cyclist riding shoe covers made from neoprene for a long time and over a set of hiking boots this was remarkably versatile combo that for all intents offers most of what riding boots do.

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  3. IC, still using the Chicopee gloves? I got a pair of their deer skin gauntlet gloves for winter and found them Warmer for my commute than the Winter DriRiders I was using. Less bulky and more feel to them as well - so you'd think they should be cooler, but they were fine in the near freezing temps we got near Ipswich this winter.

    Got caught in a few downpours on the way home and they dry out quick too.

    Michael

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  4. Yep still got them, I have a new pair for the tour simply as I need water proof solution as seems a lot of rain over there at the moment but the Chilhowee gloves my favorite all rounders.

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