Tested: The kit we use ridden & rated
‘More grip than I’ll ever need’
Metzeler Racetec RR K3 £126.03 (front) and £184.56 (rear)
Tester Liam Marsden
Time tested Three months/2000 miles
What’s good I was a little apprehensive about going for an out-and-out sports tyre for my Husqvarna 701 Supermoto. I’m not quick enough to truly take the tyres to their limits and I would be using them everyday on the commute, but I needn’t have worried.
The Racetecs gave me loads of confidence almost as soon as I rolled out of the car park. They were warm enough within 10 minutes for me to comfortably lean to the edge of the tyre. On track they’re brilliant – just one lap is all that’s needed to bring them up to temperature and they offer bags of grip – way more than I know what to do with.
After 2000 miles – a lot of those commuting – they’re holding up exceptionally well. They haven’t squared and wear has been minimal and even. They even offer reasonable grip in Autumn temperatures.
What’s not The only real downside is their lack of suitability for cold/wet weather, but there’s still a fair amount of grip. They’re quite pricey, but for the grip and mileage I can’t complain too much.
Mashed Green Davida Jet Helmet £298.99
Tester Adam Child
Time tested Seven years/10,000 miles
What’s good I don’t often wear an open-face lid, but each time I do I’m surprised by how comfortable and quiet they are. This Davida is so good that I quite often ride without earplugs when wearing it. The comfort is incredible, too, and I’ve ridden long days in the saddle while wearing it without any complaints. I even spent seven hours in it on a trip from York to Newquay and was really impressed, and at the end of the journey I wasn’t desperate to remove it. I’ve owned the lid for around seven years and there’s no sign of wear and tear, it still looks brand new, which is very impressive. When the time comes to replace this lid, which will be soon owing to its age, I’ll certainly be opting for another Davida open face.
What’s not I honestly can’t think of any. I like the comfort, the style and the quality, and for just under £300 it’s decent value for money, too. The hardest part is deciding which design to choose as there are so many options.
XCP Chain lube £6
Tester Rupert Paul, MCN Sport Editor Time tested Five months 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 largely a matter of personal preference. You can get dry, sticky ones (which don’t make sense to me, because they pick up grit) or thin, oily ones. This one is among the thinnest and oiliest. It’s easy to moderate the pressure to keep wastage to a minimum, and the lube creeps over the links to form an anti-corrosion barrier. To my mind at least, a wet lube is better than a dry one to keep o-rings in good condition.
What’s not? You can get exactly the same performance for less money with a squeezy bottle of EP90 gear oil. I’ve used this technique for the last decade. Contact xcp-protection. com
Givi GRT703 40L waterproof c cargo bag £101.80
Tester James Archibald
Time tested Four 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 always keep it ready to go, saving me having to pack and unpack all my stuff and it also means that I’m always equipped with everything I need. The roll-top means that all my gear stays dry, something I’ve tested in some pretty horrendous weather and it houses my tent, roll-up sleeping matt, sleeping bag, lights and tool roll. There’s a valve that allows excess air to be released so you can squeeze it down small. The GRT703 is held on with bungee straps that attach to the bike and there is a padded shoulder strap for use off the bike. The pack also features a pair of straps that can be used with an additional 20-litre Givi GRT702 bag.
What’s not? There are alternatives that do a similar job for less cash. Also, the bag works well for me because I use it across a set of panniers, but it doesn’t have a flat bottom so using it across a narrow bike may be a little awkward.
Alpinestars Force Backpack £139.99
Tester Alison Silcox
Time tested Six months/2500 miles
What’s good? Iõve used the rucksack for commuting and also for the odd weekend away. Itõs really comfortable because of the combination of the wide, adjustable straps and the padding on the back. Iõve recently switched to using a laptop for work, so having a separate padded section to stow it in is a real bonus; it means itõs kept secure and not getting bashed about with my other belongings. Iõve been caught in a couple of showers and itõs not leaked but it does have an additional fluro rain cover for those heavier downpours.
What’s not? Whilst the bag says it will hold 25 litres it sometimes feels a bit tight in the main compartment because itõs not overly large. A lot of the space comes from the four external pockets. While one is useful for keys, purse and phone, it would have been more beneficial to have fewer external pockets and a larger main pocket.
The Metzelers have a dual compound rear and offer superb grip The tyres took Liam to a new level of confidence TESTE D 2000 MILE S