A fully protective, waterproof touring boot ideal for summer road trips.
We have become a little obsessed with chunky heavyweight adventure boots.
We seem to be focused on them as the only suitable footwear for the type of bikes we ride, and yes, there are times when venturing away from the tarmac or in the winter months that a lardy pair of arse kickers is the order of the day.
However, a lot of us will be heading off for a lap of Europe and all our adventures will be tarmac based, so heavy boots might be a bit overkill. For me, a pair of these Sidi B2 boots will do just fine.
They have all the armour I want, with a fixed shin pad, and heel and ankle guards to ensure that my feet should be protected from impacts and falls.
Like a lot of Sidi boots, the B2 have the company’s well-known Vertebra system, reaching up from the heel guard to the top of the boot to protect the vulnerable Achilles and prevent your ankle from overextending.
The boots also have an unobtrusive toe pad to ground out on the twisties of the Alpine passes that should save the main body of the boots from too much damage when you get over-exuberant.
Of course, being lined with a Gore-Tex membrane ensures that your feet are going to stay dry and comfortable should you encounter a drop of the wet stuff, which is bound to happen in our summers.
The B2s are comfortable straight from the box and unlike their heavier cousins, I could feel the gear and rear brake levers without having to wait for them to break in.
A dual sport/flip front helmet… about time somebody did one.
Billed as the world first enduro flip-up helmet (well I’ve not seen or heard of another one) Caberg has certainly got ahead of the crowd with the Tourmax.
This helmet is going to appeal to the adventure rider requiring all the flexibility of a flip-front helmet, with the added bonus of a peak to give you some sunshade while looking every bit the off-roader.
However, anyone looking to use it for any serious off-piste action may be disappointed, as the Tourmax does not enjoy the extended chin bar found in most dual-sport helmets.
For me, it’s more like a traditional flip-front with a peak bolted on. Also, I’m no Bruce Forsyth in the chin department, but my chin touches the faceguard, affecting the amount of fresh air circulating over the face; something that is always welcome if you are working hard on the trails.
That said, as a helmet I really like it, the polycarbonate shell is strong and like all Caberg lids, the quality in the manufacture is clear to see. It’s comfortable in use and is no noisier than any other dual-sport lid.
The flip-up can be locked in the elevated position and is doubly homologated for use open or shut. The peak folds back with the chin bar then locks back into place when it’s closed again.
The visor, which features a Pinlock insert to prevent misting, fits the eye-port well and the peripheral vision is very good. I found the fit very comfortable and the sizing for me (medium 57-58cm) was spot on.
The added bonus is the integral sun shield, which is spectacle friendly and operated by a slide lever on the crown. The sun-shield is not overly long, so shouldn’t touch your nose.
Finally, I should add that the addition of the peak is no afterthought gimmick. It is a sturdy, well-designed item that doesn’t rattle or vibrate even at motorway speeds.
It complements the helmet and goes to prove that it hasn’t been rushed out just to fill a niche in the market.
In a line: Flip front comes to the adventure bike market.
This is the Virb Elite, proposing to be a serious rival to the GoPro. In terms of picture quality it is, or near as damn it.
You’d be hard-pressed to tell the two apart. So a plus point already.
What we also like about the Garmin unit is the chunky on/off button, which you can operate with gloves on.
The Virb is also Hitech, featuring built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, meaning that when you plug it into your computer for playback the route is being traced on a map as the footage plays along, offering speed, direction and altitude. It’s all very clever.
Unlike the GoPro the Virb doesn’t require a waterproof case, proving waterproof to a metre for up to 30 minutes.
It also has a cool self-levelling system in the optic, meaning that whether the unit is mounted flat or upright, the viewing lens rights itself to make sure your footage is on the straight and narrow.
What we don’t like about it is the fiddly access to the memory card port (beneath the battery).
The unit also feels heavy on your helmet and like the GoPro and many other helmet cams has the ability to make you feel self-conscious.
In future iterations of these devices, we hope for smaller, more compact dimensions, perhaps with a central command unit and wireless optics easily located about your person or on the bike.
In the meantime, Garmin has served up something as good as a GoPro. And that’s no mean feat.
In a line: A tough, useable helmet cam with some cool new features.
A compact recording device for your next adventure.
The Muvi comes with the acronym; NPNG on the side, which stands for ‘No Pain, No Gain,’ setting the Muvi’s stall out as being a serious bit of kit. And in all fairness, we really want to like this unit.
It comes with bags of accessories, including a waterproof case, memory card, remote control and a variety of mounts, but truth be told, this is not a serious piece of helmet cam technology, not for where adventure bike riding is concerned.
It works and feels more like an iPhone being used to record video, with the buttons small and the device chunky and cumbersome once in the mounts or in the waterproof shell. For sticking on the side of your helmet there are far better options.
That said, as a casual, compact camera, to film general scenes of adventure, the Muvi is actually a well priced and simple to use device which, away from the bike, is probably of more use than a regular style helmet cam. So it depends on what you want it for really.
In a line: A decent bit of kit, but we’re not sure it’s the best solution for movies on the move.
A tight-fitting slippery undergarment designed for comfort.
The worst of the weather has passed. Here comes summer. Small mercy for that. But it does give us chance to reflect on the Proskins we’ve been wearing at the base of our clothing the past few months.
The Proskins are a bit of a weird one at first, rather like a two-piece leotard, which might make you laugh in the mirror, but in being tight they’re intended to provide rider comfort and reduce fatigue.
They claim to do this by offering good moisture removal, body temp regulation, maximised muscle efficiency and minimal recovery time, whilst maintaining concentration and a competitive edge.
Sounds a bit hi-tech for the adventure bike market, but the Proskins are comfortable to wear and do make getting the gear on and off a bit easier.
We wouldn’t say they were the warmest undergarment for the worst of the winter months, probably best for spring through to autumn, with something more substantial brought out for winter.
But all in all a good bit of kit, and you feel good to touch.
In a line: You won’t look as good in them as the lady below, but they will keep you snug.