Classic Bike Guide
Trickle chargers aren’t a new thing, although the modern range of ‘intelligent’ chargers are essential if you want your battery to last as long as possible, and your bike to be ready to roll at the first glimpse of sunshine. That’s all well and good if the bike in question is in a storage facility that has mains electricity – just plug the charger in and everything will take care of itself.
However, if your garage, shed, lean-to, storage container or hut in the forest doesn’t have mains electricity, then you’ll be stuck. Unless, that is, you have a spare 12-volt battery and the new Optimate DC, which can charge one 12v battery (i.e., the one on your bike) from a second 12v battery, preferably one of at least one and a half times your bike battery’s capacity, so a car battery would be ideal.
Much like other Optimate products, the DC will automatically check if the bike’s battery needs charging and, if it is in a deep discharged state, will slowly charge at 0.2A until the battery reaches 8.8 volts, at which point it will pulse charge at 2A until close to full charge. It will then check, over a two-hour period, if further charging is required and deliver it if necessary. For each stage, LED lights on the charger will show which process is being applied.
The choice of traditional open-face helmets continues to expand, with many of the new variants coming with specifications that are usually associated with more contemporary full-face lids. The LS2 Bob Carbon is one such open-faced helmet, with not only a carbon fibre construction, giving an impressively light weight (the XL version here is a mere 1020g complete with the peak; the XS is just 850g!), but it also has an integral, optically-correct slide-down dark visor (which can be replaced by a clear visor if required), being much easier to use while riding than sunglasses or tinted goggles. It comes complete with the short trials-style peak, attached by three press studs, as is traditional. And there’s a magnetic clip to the rear of the helmet’s shell to keep your goggle strap secure if you choose to wear goggles in addition to the flip-down visor. Retention is by a double D ring strap, which has a magnetic tip to prevent any flapping of the strap, while the shell comes in three different sizes in the six-size range to allow the best fit and to give the smallest profile possible for any given size (from XS-XXL, 53-64 cm), and it also has a breathable and hypoallergenic liner.
Being quieter than many full-face helmets, it isn’t actually the quietest open-facer I’ve owned, although this may be down to the fact that I’ve always worn it with the peak fitted, simply because I like the style and its practicality in sunny weather.