Long term mini review: budget bike gear.

Discussion in 'UK Motorcycles' started by Andy Hewitt, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Andy Hewitt

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    Well, I was riding home tonight, and just thinking about my next helmet.
    It got me wondering about the gear I currently own, so I thought I'd
    share those thoughts with you lot.


    Nitro N60, cheap and cheerful when I bought it, about £70 IIRC, and this
    is now in its third year of use. By far the longest I have ever used a
    lid. It's just about the quietest, and by far the most comfortable. It
    is showing signs of wear now, and needs replacing, but it's like those
    knackered shoes that you can't bear to throw out. I'm loathed to change
    it, simply because it does fit so well.

    It has excellent ventilation too, although from the start the visor has
    never quite fitted the shell snugly, and does let a little rain in
    through the top. Not a serious issue though.

    Would I have another? Absolutely. A fibre lid for that price, with
    comfort, low noise level, and long life too. Excellent.


    I bought a set of Rev'it textiles year before last, again at the cheapy
    level, although the suit was still just a gnats over £200. This has been
    in use all year round since then, and has been used more than not during
    the worst weather. I normally use leathers in the summer, but last years
    weather was bad enough that I wore these during the summer too - they
    don't have ventilation though, so not much use on a hot day.

    They only leaked once, after over a year of use, during a torrential
    downpour for about half an hour, but a quick treatment with NikWax wash
    in water proofer fixed that. I even used them subsequently in a very bad
    downpour last autumn without a leak at all - it was so bad the bike was

    They are usable in a wide variety of conditions, as they have nice thick
    thermal liners, which are so warm that you only need to put a jumper on
    in extreme conditions. You can wear just a T shirt down to freezing on
    short journeys.

    I've just finished my second winter with these, and although they don't
    need replacing yet, I would heartely recommend them, and definitely look
    for buying these again.

    The conditions that these have been used in have been pretty hard. I
    commute from Durham to Newcastle every day, which is some 44 miles round
    trip. Over a year I can top 10,000 miles of commuting round the North
    East's worst traffic, and some of the heaviest road gritting I have ever
    seen. These garments have suffered a lot.
    Andy Hewitt, Mar 30, 2006
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  2. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    I took my Nitro N500-V apart when I got my Uvex and wasn't impressed
    with one or two things. The first of which was the veltilation, or lack
    of it. Half of one of the front vent holes seemed to be uncovered, and
    none of the top vent holes lined up either. The amount of sticky and
    masking tape was a bit alarming too, as was the method of fixing the non
    working vents to the shell.

    I'd have to look very carefully at another Nitro before I bought one
    Muck, Mar 30, 2006
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  3. Andy Hewitt

    Lozzo Guest

    Bear said...
    Nitro sell millions of helmets worldwide and are currently the biggest
    selling helmet in Europe. I personally sell thousands of them a year on
    my patch alone. It's taken me since October '05 to muster 12 returns to
    fill 2 boxes and send them back to the warehouse. Not one of them was
    returned for a safety related issue. We have a warranty action rate
    lower than 0.01%, not bad for anything that is mass produced. Most of
    the time this is for silly things like damaged vents or ratchet mechs,
    which I replace FOC for customers in the shop.

    No helmet looks pretty when it's cut apart and even the pricier ones
    have the vents plastic welded into the shell in exactly the same manner
    as ours. You'll find masking tape holding liner trim in place as part of
    the build proceedure in £400 helmets because masking tape's adhesive is
    one of the few things that won't attack the inner polystyrene liner.
    Bear in mind that Muck's fibreglass N500/510 with removeable/washable
    liner, flush fitting visor, double D-ring strap fixing etc retailed at
    50 quid. Consider that it has been that price for 4 years and you
    realise they work out as excellent value for money. This is especially
    true when compared to the spec of the lower range Japanese made helmets
    with their fixed liners and pod style visor mechs. The overall fit and
    finish of the Japanese helmets is a little better, but is it really £150
    - £200 better?

    It's a shame Muck feels that way about his Nitro, but it has to be said
    he's in a very small minority. If he wants a much better made helmet,
    he'll have to dig a damn sight deeper into his pockets next time he's in
    the market for a new lid.
    Lozzo, Mar 31, 2006
  4. Andy Hewitt

    Lozzo Guest

    Andy Hewitt said...
    N600 or N610, same thing different graphics.
    Nice :)
    Be quick, dealers are running out of them fast. They're being dropped
    from the range.
    Lozzo, Mar 31, 2006
  5. In uk.rec.motorcycles, Lozzo belched forth and ejected the following:
    What are they replacing them with?
    Whinging Courier, Mar 31, 2006
  6. Andy Hewitt

    deadmail Guest

    (Andy Hewitt) wrote in message

    Isn't insomnia great? I worked late-ish tonight and got home at about
    10.30 or so. Fell asleep watching TV and woke up at 3.30. Can't sleep

    Well.... I probably do somewhere in the region of 15-20k miles a year
    and have done for the last 4 years or so with my work commute.

    Here's my list:

    Winter Helmet: Arai RV
    I suppose I'm sold on the brand. I've been using Arai helmets for seven
    or so years, before that I used Kiwi helmets and other stuff around the
    100- mark. Before that Stadium IIRC... Anyway, the Arai helmets seem
    to stand up well to daily use and is comfortable. They are noisy

    Summer Helmet: Arai SZ
    This is an open face with a full face visor (which can be left open.
    Supremely comfortable. I'm on my second now. I really like these
    helmets, they are fucking expensive though since from memory they cost
    more than the RV. They make you look like a BMW riding **** though.

    Jacket: Cheap Triumph textile jacket
    Bought at the NEC 3.5 years ago for 70 quid. *Still* going strong.
    It's got a little armour and plenty of pockets. The velcro is starting
    to suffer a bit. It's still pretty much waterproof. Probably on the
    list to be replaced but it is the best jacket I've owned.

    Winter Trousers: Shoei textile
    Bought at J&S two years ago. Starting to let in a very little water
    when it hammers down with rain for >30 minutes. Cost about 120-, they
    have stood up well to the use. Probably on the list to be replaced...
    for next winter.

    Summer Trousers: No brand leathers
    Bought about 7 years ago. No armour at all. Cheap (50-) and cheerful.
    I might replace them as the stitching is starting to fail but they
    basically do the job well.

    Gloves: Held something
    Bought at the NEC this year from BigJ. About 40 quid and they are good
    for a simple unlined glove. They've got a rubber blade stitched into
    one finger which means I don't need to cock around with a v-wipe any
    longer (which is nice)

    Leathers: Shoei two piece
    Bought about six years ago. Not used since I sold the 9r. The Shoei
    stuff crashes well.

    Winter boots: Altberg
    Can't remember what model. I ordered clubmans but these wouldn't fit my
    calves and they couldn't make them any larger (note I've a muscular
    frame, it's not 'cos I'm a fat bastard). They ended up taking another
    model and then adding goretex lining to them and making them to measure.
    Cost about 200 quid. These don't let in any water. Very good boots,
    well insulated as well.

    Summer boots: Daytona Winner
    Cost about 200quid. Very comfortable and light. Also quite waterproof,
    but not as much as the altbergs. Would buy again, but probably won't
    need to in a hurry. About 2 years old (I think)

    Cost nothing, got given it at a trade show. It's one of the fourth
    generation ones. Absolutely necessary for boring commutes. The MMI
    isn't as good as the second generation which had the classic four
    buttons above the 'wheel'.

    Sony something in-ear headphones. Fit comfortably under helmet. Not
    particularly sensitive when compared to the apple original ones.

    Yes, I do own this road, now get the **** out of the way before I am
    forced to undertake you. Officer.
    deadmail, Mar 31, 2006
  7. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    I know, they're good for the price. I would by a polycarb one though,
    not another composite one. A working veltilation system, and stronger
    side plates will be what I'll be looking for.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  8. Andy Hewitt

    DR Guest

    As the warehouse monkey generally responsible for dealing with
    warranty returns, I can confirm this. Cheap they most certainly are;
    nasty they are not. Factory testing is extensive, to which the
    inestimable Mr. Varnsverry has attested on several occasions.
    DR, Mar 31, 2006
  9. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    I'd still expect a £50 lid to have some form of working ventilation.
    Prove to me that the veltilation has improved, and I'll consider buying
    Nitro again. I'll even bring the shell along to BOSM, and you can see
    for yourself.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  10. Andy Hewitt

    Lozzo Guest

    Muck said...
    You're the only person I've known complain about the lack of venting in
    a Nitro. If anything, people complain because there's too much and it
    can get a bit chilly in winter.
    Lozzo, Mar 31, 2006
  11. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    The air must come from the under chin area, and exit past the visor seal
    somewhere, because it sure isn't exiting through the shell any place.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  12. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    Bad form and all... but..

    tell a lie... The one vent in the middle on the chin peice does seem to
    actually let some air through.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  13. In uk.rec.motorcycles, Muck belched forth and ejected the following:
    Open the fucking visor then.
    It's caked up with flies, you ****.
    Whinging Courier, Mar 31, 2006
  14. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    You have to, or it mists up something cronic. The cracked side plates
    let one end of the visor ping off at random intervals for that fresh air
    More like not even drilled with holes to let air in, or not lined up
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  15. Andy Hewitt

    Lozzo Guest

    Muck said...
    So replace the fuckers then. Hardly rocket science for a man doing a
    mechanical engineering degree, is it?
    Lozzo, Mar 31, 2006
  16. Andy Hewitt

    Pip Guest

    You're an equipment-abusing animal. Buy a Uvex if you want a
    mist-free lid.
    For £50 for a fibreglass helmet, you can afford ten minutes with a
    Dremel to improve ventialtion if that's your thing.

    FWIW, the Nitro lids I've tried have been very good all round,
    especially considering their price point.
    Pip, Mar 31, 2006
  17. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    Replace the plates / visor on an old worn out lid, or get a £300 one for
    £100. It's economics, not mechanical engineering.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  18. Andy Hewitt

    Muck Guest

    I did buy a Uvex, you know that. What's that abusing comment about? That
    meant to touch a nerve or something? Not even anywhere near.
    Yes, they are, agree 100%, I'm pointing out that why have spend money on
    fitting vents with little screws through the shell, if you're not
    actually going to use them for anything but looks and increasing wind
    noise? Surely it'll not be that hard to sort it?

    I'm not calling Nitro lids crap, or calling into question Loz. I'm just
    telling what I see when I took it apart, and spent the last few years
    riding round with the thing on my head.
    Muck, Mar 31, 2006
  19. Andy Hewitt

    DR Guest

    The N510 shell is vented at the chin, cheeks and brow. The bit on the
    back is more of a "feature" than a vent, although AFAIK it should
    function. Personally I find helmet vents noisy; if I want fresh air,
    I crack the visor open a bit.
    DR, Mar 31, 2006
  20. Andy Hewitt

    DR Guest

    Replacement ratchet mechanisms are available. Ask me nicely and I
    might be able to bring a spare set to BoSM, if you're going.
    DR, Mar 31, 2006
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