Category Archives: Product Reviews

BMW Race Helmet Review

A quick google search and you’ll see that there’s very little info available on the BMW Race helmet or as Bavaria refers to it…The Double R helmet. So without further babbling, here we go….

   

With the exception of the soon to arrive BMW Street X helmet, the Race Helmet is BMW’s only full-face non-flip up road helmet (currently). This helmet was designed with aero dynamics and stability in mind. Of course it’s needless to say that this lid is a top performer in terms of impact absorption with its EPS (Expanded Polystyrol) inner shell made up of several sections and an outer shell/helmet shell constructed from a combination of glass fibre reinforced plastic with additional carbon-fibre reinforcements (GRP). Maximum safety (ECE 22-05 rating) as only the Germans can do it….oh and it has a chin strap with double-D buckle to ensure it stays on your head.

The helmet has adequate ventilation, although some users might prefer additional exhaust vents. There is one chin vent which directs air onto the visor to help prevent it from fogging up, and two air intakes on the forehead which directs cool air over the top of the head. The ingenious design of the helmet inner ensures that hot air is guided to the rear of the helmet where it is dispersed out the exhaust vent in the cleverly designed neck-padding at the bottom of the helmet. In my opinion this helmet is ideally suited for riders of sport bikes, naked bikes and off course race-circuit use.

Comfort:

The Race Helmet’s inner or interior consists of moisture wigging Hydroplus material to help keep your head cool and dry. These inners (neck, cheek & chin pads) are removable and washable (see owner’s manual). The neckband does not only help to keep the helmet firmly in place, but also helps with keeping things quite in the helmet. To help with wind deflection and a quite ride there is two different types of chin inserts included when purchasing your race helmet. The helmet inner is shaped in such a way that it is relatively easy to install communication systems such as the Sena or Scala. The helmet is particularly shaped at the rear to accommodate race posture and gear. The large spoiler on the back of the helmet is designed in such a way that it minimizes buffeting of the head and helps keep the head stable at high speeds. At an approximate weight of 1300 grams I found the helmet to be stupidly light….so this lid definitely not tire out your neck.

Vision:

The visor provides a large field of vision even when the rider is stretched out over the tank in a racing posture. The visor is shaped with a 2D-curvature which provides crystal clear vision and no distortion. As can be expected from Bavaria this has a scratch proof coating inside & out with. The visor also has 2 nifty settings referred to as 1st and 2nd “city riding” which entails “semi-locking” the visor in one of two opened positions to aid with maximum air-flow and cooling. To help keep the freezing winter air and rain off your face the visor has an extremely user friendly “visor-lock” mechanism on the left of the visor. Removing and installing the visor is a one man job and I’ve found it to take less than 30seconds to remove and install the visor. This is achieved with two easy pull-down clips situated on each side of the helmet. Different colour visors are available from your authorised BMW dealer for approximately R1500 each and anti-fogging inserts can be bought separately for around R400.

General:

BMW suggests in the owner’s manual that the helmet has a lifespan of 5 years. The Race helmet is available in sizes 52/53, 54/55, 56/57, 58/59, 60/61 & 62/63. The sizes refers to the head’s circumference in cm at the forehead. As the BMW helmet range has more of a round shape compared to the oval shape of the likes of Arai and Shoei, I’d recommend that you consider going one size bigger. As with any helmet fitting is a must before you splash the cash and invest in your safety.

What do I get when purchasing a BMW Race helmet?

1 x Top Quality helmet

1 x Anti-fogging visor insert

1 x Set of spare pinlock screws/inserts

1 x Set of 4 tear-off visor films

1 x BMW branded helmet bag

1 x Short chin spoiler insert

1 x Long chin spoiler insert

Verdict:

In my opinion this helmet sets the standard in safety & comfort and at an approximate price of R8700 (for plain colour) I doubt that you’ll find anything with this level of comfort, safety, weight, quietness coming close in price. I was amazed at how quite this helmet is, even on a naked bike. One can simply not go wrong with buying this helmet.

By: Hector

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BMW R-nineT Scrambler Review

At the start of this year I had the opportunity to ride the latest edition to BMW’s “retro” stable, the R-nineT Scrambler.

Now back in the day (way before I was born) the adventurous adrenaline seeking folk converted their street bikes to scramblers by throwing on some knobbly rubber and tweaking the suspension and handle bars to suit dirt riding. And this is exactly what those white coats at BMW did. They took the new R-nineT and fitted taller suspension (125mm travel front & rear), modified the handle bars, threw on some Metzeler Karoo 3 rubber (naturally there are other minor changes as well)and whala…the BMW Scrambler was born.

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This is a “bare bones”, basic machine, but as we’ve got to know from BMW “bare bones” in their terms simply means less electronics. With this air/oil cooled 1200cc motorcycle you will get heated grips, ABS, trip meter, clock and Akrapovic exhaust as standard.  So let’s talk power. In essence this bike makes use of the same DOHC 1170cc (aka 1200) boxer motor that did service in the previous range of GS, RT and R models, which kicks out 110hp (115Nmat 7750rpm in a bike that weights 220kg fully fuelled. This of course means that the scramble accelerates like something that’s been chased by all sorts of angry monsters. With those Karoo 3’s singing on the road and clinging for dear life this insanely cool bike (in my opinion) will get you to 220km/h (according to the speedometer).

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It is important to keep in mind that although this bike looks as if it can chew up any off-road trail, it is merely a modified road bike not purpose built to follow in the tracks of something like a GS. This bike sounds fantastically brutal and comes standard with guaranteed fun and coolness. With all the fun we had I got close to 290km of range from its 17 litre fuel tank. The seating position on the scrambler is comfortable, but I suspect that unless you are a diehard all weather biker the retro thinly cushioned leather seat will start to eat into your rear after 150-250 kilometres. This bike is not built with practicality and comfort in mind, it was built with fun and coolness in mind. The handling is confidence inspiring and the 1200 scrambler is reassuringly easy to handle in traffic. The Brembo brakes provide hands full of ABS assisted safe braking. This motorcycle is exceptionally customisable with accessories like a headlight grill, engine bash plate and many other accessories available from Roland Sands Design (RSD), Touratech and Wunderlich. And when it gets to where the rubber meets the road and you are scared of some brown moments with those Karoo 3’s in the rain….fear not. Michelin Anakee 3 and Continental Trail Attack 2 rubber can be fitted to those retro spoked rims

Locally there are two derivatives of the scrambler available with the difference being the absence of LED indicators, Traction Control (ASC) and a retro tank and an approximate R20 000 drop in price. Pricing is around R196 000 and R178 000 respectively.

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The Verdict

To be frank…BUY IT!!! On condition that it is not your only motorcycle and you are ready for fun. The scrambler is a versatile machine with enjoyable performance ideal for those daily commutes with its elevated seating position. So go on….grab a hand full of throttle and smile.

The Numbers

Engine 1170cc air/oil cooled DOHC horizontally opposed two cylinder
Max Power 82kW/110hp @ 7750rpm
Max Torque 115Nm @ 6000rpm
Final Drive Shaft
Front Suspension Right-way-up 43mm Showa forks with 125mm travel
Rear suspension Sachs shock with 125mm travel
Front Brakes Dual 320mm discs with 4 piston callipers
Rear Brakes Single 265mm disc with 2 piston calliper
Wheel size Front 120/70 R19
Wheel size Rear 170/60 R17
Wet weight (fully fuelled & oiled) 220kg
Fuel Capacity 17L
Service Intervals 10 000km or as indicated by an authorised BMW dealer

By: Pavlovski

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Casio G-Shock GD-120CM review

Watches…..some wear them for the “bling” factor, others want practicality, some want theirs to do everything short of making coffee and then there those who want them tough and durable. I guess to a certain extent a watch is a fashion statement, but for me it speaks more of a man’s character….and yes, it’s nice if it can do more than simply telling the time.

Here’s what I want from a watch:

  • 24h time reading
  • Tell the date
  • Stopwatch/timer
  • Back light so that I can still read the time in poor lighting
  • It must be waterproof
  • Have a battery life of at least 5yrs
  • Have a wrist strap that will last me at least 10yrs.

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That’s why there’s only one watch I believe the everyday adventurer should wear and that is the Casio G-Shock. Okay….and yes, it looks the part as well. My previous G-Shock was my 1st real watch and met all of the above criteria and more….still ticking after…..years. The only reason I’m not still wearing it is because I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the new GD-120CM form Casio’s G-Shock range. So without any further adue let’s get into the details of the GD-120CM. It’s a known fact by now that G-Shock is synonymous with durability, longevity and tough…..so we won’t waste time on what the G-Shock range is all about. The GD-120 refers to the “frame” or “chassis” on which this watch is build. CM stands for camouflage and “8” to the camouflage colour.

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Let’s look at the specs:

  • 7yr battery life
  • Blue LED backlights (super Illuminator) bright to even to map readings in poor light
  • Waterproof up to 20bar or 200m
  • Mineral Glass
  • Shock Resistant
  • 200-meter water resistance
  • Case / bezel material: Resin
  • Resin Band
  • Auto light switch, selectable illumination duration, afterglow
  • Flash alert
    Flashes with buzzer that sounds for alarms, hourly time signal
  • Multi Time (4 different cities)
  • World time – 31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time), city code display, daylight saving on/off, Home city/World time city swapping
  • 1/100-second stopwatch
    Measuring capacity: 23:59’59.99”
    Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
  • Countdown timer
    Measuring unit: 1/10 second
    Countdown range: 24 hours
    Countdown start time setting range: 1 second to 24 hours (1-second increments, 1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
  • 5 daily or one-time alarms
  • Hourly time signal
  • Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
  • 12/24-hour format
  • Button operation tone on/off (silent mode)
  • Regular timekeeping
    Digital: Hour, minute, second, pm, month, date, day
  • Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
  • battery life: 7 years on CR2025
  • Size of case:?55?×?2?×?17.4?mm
  • Total weight: 72 g

G1  G5

I found that the bulk of the watch is something to get use to, however it is light, sits well on the wrist and all functions are user friendly and easy to operate. The watch was really well presented in matching camo pattern aluminium case placed in a camo G-Shock box. The wider wrist band with double buckle pins makes it quick and easy to fit and renders a certain aggressive look. The GD-120CM has a negative display which is meant to make reading the time (without the LED back light)in poor lighting conditions easier. It is speculated that this is based on the outcome of a study did by the men in white coats at the US Marines. All in all, nothing bad can be said of the Casio G-Shock GD-120CM range unless you want a watch that can do more (tell the moon cycle, ocean tides, direction etc.). All Casio’s should come with a 1 year warranty that can be extended with another 6 month (18 months in total) by registering the serial number on the e-warranty site. If you want a watch that your grand kids can inherit, invest in any of Casio’s G-Shock watches.

G2

By: Hector Jamieson

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WÜRTH Injector Cure

Well, the name says it all…..over the years I’ve experimented with various products on the market that claims to clean the entire fuel system top to bottom. Instead of putting on a white coat and safety goggles for a scientific lab test, I opted for a proper scientifically approved method……Helmet, leather jacket and my bike. I precisely chuck in the tank the required amount of juices & cleaner, pop the ignition and twist the throttle for the open road & daily commute. This precise method of testing brought me the conclusion that most of these products probably clean the fuel system but not so much that I notice an improvement in performance or fuel consumption.

That was until I discovered a product by German company, WÜRTH called Injector Cure. On the bottle they claim a lot of awesome stuff that I simply needed to verify for myself. One of the major pro’s with this product was the value for money aspect…..a bottle of 330ml Injector Cure will treat a 100Litres of fuel. That’s about 5 to 7 tanks of petrol on your average bike. So applying my tried and tested scientific testing I used the product over a period of one month, with….well….surprising results. My BMW motorcycle definitely sounded different, a sign of the bike running cleaner and I noticed a tiny bit of more grunt on pull away and under hard acceleration. My conclusion is, that if this is the differences I feel on the bike, it most certainly does what it says on the bottle. In all seriousness now, I do believe that using this product at service intervals will help fuel lines and pumps to last longer and keep your tank free of any unwanted muck (stuff that shouldn’t be there). Similar results were achieved after working a bottle of the “good-stuff” through the family MPV’s fuel system.

So what does WÜRTH Injector Cure do for your bike?

  • SABS tested & approved for all types of petrol injection engines
  • Removes residue responsible for increased fuel consumption & reduced performance
  • Enhances smooth running & performance
  • Helps lower engine emissions
  • Cleans the whole fuel system, restoring optimum fuel flow
  • Prevents corrosion of the fuel tank & entire fuel system
  • Can be used at service intervals or as preventativelyInjector Cure_1

By: Pavlovski

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Philips Automotive Lighting

Phillips X-treme Vision

Philips lighting has a wide range of automotive lighting options in the form of various headlight globes, LED Park light, globes and interior lights. Let’s have a look at my three favourite globe options.

  • Diamond Vision – these 12V 55W globes produces a white “xenon-like” light. At 5000k it is however not “E” rated and thus might not be legal for road use. It generates an extremely bright light that will give good visibility to the user. The blue coating of the bulb/globe is what produces the intense white light.  dv
  • Crystal Vision –  these 12V 55W globes gives the brilliant blue/white look of HID. Shining at 4000k I doubt that there is any halogen that is whiter. In my opinion, it’s not really that they shine further as much as they shine brighter and marginally wider than standard globes

cv

  • X-treme Vision – these 12V 55W globes produce a less yellow light than standard globes but a obvious much brighter light shining at 3700k. It will shine light up to 45meters further than standard globes and up to 30 meters wider. These globes can deliver up to an astounding 130% more light and are 100% DOT compliant!!

xv

These lights require no modification to the wiring or headlight casing/housing. They install the exact same way as any other halogen headlight. These 3 versions of Philips globes are suited for any vehicle or motorcycle and is available from your nearest retailer in H1, H4, H7 and H7 guise.

 

My personal favourite and the globe I currently use in my vehicle as well as my motorcycle is the X-treme vision. This is because I was not looking for a whiter or brighter light but rather a globe that will give me a better field of vision, shining brighter, further and wider than the stock globes. In my opinion the xtreme vision produces a relatively whiter light or less yellow like light than the standard globes. However I do believe that the reflective surface of the headlight housing plays a significant role in the effectiveness of the globe, but regardless the afore mentioned you will most certainly enjoy a noticeable better light from your vehicle or motorcycle’s headlights with Philips X-treme Vision Globes.

cx

Images from www.philips.com

 

By: Hector Jamieson

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BMW R1200RS – Review

BMW R1200RS – 2015

Recently I was privileged enough to sample the brand new BMW R1200RS. Now I’ve had the opportunity before to ride both the new R1200GS and R1200RT and I’m of the opinion the RS is the result of these to getting together.  For the guys who don’t want a big adventure bike or a big tourer like the RT (styled more in line with the new K1600GT) the RS is the best of both. The new RS comes more than 20yrs after the launch of the now classic R1100RS and like its predecessor the new R1200RS looks striking, yet proportional to the eye and an absolute charm to ride….a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. The RS has the exact same 1170cc DOHC “boxer” motor as the new water cooled R1200GS, R1200RT and R1200R, the big difference being the gear ratios. With hard acceleration and especially when taking to the open road one fully appreciates the 125Nm of torque that’s there on demand. The RS feels sporty and almost hyperactive with that classic and reliable boxer engine at the business end of things. The boxer motor is as reassuring as a homemade desert.

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It has sports advanced electronics that make it almost fool proof even in the trickiest of conditions. The “bells-and-whistles” include among many things 3 riding modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic), manual screen adjustment (2 settings), ABS, heated grips, cruise control, ESA and a magnificent 6 speed gearbox that shifts perfectly without the use of the clutch (wet clutch). Changing gears with the clutch is one of the smooth I’ve ever experienced; the opposite is true when changing without the clutch. A slight “blip” of the throttle is all you need to shift gears clutchlessly (I’m sure that’s a new word), it is however smoother when done at higher speeds.

 

This is the kind of bike you wouldn’t trade/sell but rather build a trusting lifelong relationship with. Every time you get on it, is as exhilarating as the day you first met that “perfect” girl (hopefully she also became your wife). With this bike, BMW builds on their reputation of producing market leading sports-tourers. Although the larger radiator for the new liquid cooled motor means the traditional tele-lever suspension is a thing of the past as it made way for the more conventional forks, the quality remains firm yet comfortable. Suspension travel is 140mm for both the front and rear. Being used to the seating position of my GS, the RS did take some getting used to. Seating pulls the upper body in more forward leaning position than the up-right seating position of the R. I did do a short stint in rush hour traffic and must say the RS is extremely stable regardless of the speed you do. As on most BMW’s the brakes are confidence inspiring.

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So, to summarise, in the corners I had to work a bit compared to the ease with which my GS corners. At 1.80 m in length I’m not the tallest guy around but would recommend taller riders to invest in an after-market screen for better wind deflection. Acceleration is smooth, power is plenty available, and your passenger will ride with the same comfort as you on a well-balanced bike. If you have close to R200 000 lying around, this is most certainly a bike you need to consider….you simply can’t go wrong with this bike.

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Technical Data

  • Displacement                    1170cc horizontally opposed 2 cylinder DOHC
  • Power                                      92kw & 125Nm
  • Brakes                                     (F)2x320mm (R) 1x276mm Brembo
  • Tyres                                       (F)120/70ZR/17 (R)180/55ZR/17  radial
  • Consumption                     5.5L/100km
  • Fuel type                               95 octane unleaded
  • Fuel capacity                      18L with approximately 4 L  reserve
  • Weight                                   236kg(wet)
  • Seat height                           low/high 760/840mm
  • Suspension travel            140mm front and rear

By: Hector Jamieson

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BMW C650GT & C600Sport scooters

BMW C600 Sport scooter
&
BMW C650GT scooter

 

Not too long ago I had the privilege of riding 2 revolutionary scooters from the BMW stable for the weekend, and I must say it drastically changed my perception of the premium class scooter. In my opinion the BMW C650GT and C600Sport scooters are two of the most under rated modes of transport in the two wheeled market. But let’s get technical first before I continue ranting on about these scooters.

Contrary to what the naming of these scooters suggest both the C650GT and C600 Sport have the same 647cc liquid cooled, 4 valves per cylinder parallel twin engine developing 45kw/60hp and 60N.m. of torque. The GT has a wet weight of 261kg with the Sport tipping the scales at 249kg(wet), both bikes having identical chassis with the weight difference attributed to the difference in fairing design and electronic aid. These scooters have superb cornering capabilities (even by motorcycle standards) due to the low centre of gravity provided by the 70degree forward lean of the parallel twin engine and good ground clearance. The steering is surprising responsive, given the 15inch wheels fitted to the scooter and handling is an absolute dream on this uber machine that is a magnificent city hopper and equally awesome on the open road taking you to speeds of up to 180km/h. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is very smooth and helps in giving this two wheeler lively acceleration…..turn the throttle and of you go, leaving the traffic behind with ease.

Safe stopping is provided by the three 270mm brake discs and the addition of ABS for that “unexpected” braking incidents. Both models have a wheelbase of 1591mm, LED daytime running lights, heated grips, heat seats (front & back) and adjustable wind screens (electronically on the GT model). Last but not least, a scooter won’t be a proper scooter without decent storage space, something that these scooters have in abundance due to the clever design and engineering by the clever people in their white coats in Spandau, Germany. Two small cargo compartments are situated in the fairing of which one is lockable and equipped with a power outlet. The third storage compartment is naturally situated under the seat and is expandable only when the scooter is parked and enables it to swallow two bike helmets. The other clever design feature that caught my attention is the parking brake which is automatically engaged with the side stand in the “out” position.

So to sum it all up BMW definitely in my opinion perfected the scooter recipe with the C650GT and C600Sport scooters by building a scooter ideally situated for everyday commuting (average fuel consumption of 5L/100km from a 16L fuel tank) as well as designing a scooter that loves eating the long miles on the open road and will give you great joy in any corner. However, it is pricey for a scooter and you can get something like a F800GS from the BMW stable for nearly the same price. But if you are in the scooter market and you have the money, there is no better scooter to buy…..or let me put it this way, buying any one of these two scooters will be a lifetime investment.

Photos coming soon…..

By: Hector Jamieson

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GS Steelworks

GS Steelworks

Approximately two months ago I heard about a motorcycle workshop named GS Steelworks situated in Benoni, Gauteng. This is a shop that gives first class service and has valuable interaction with their clients.

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Having a deep passion for my trustworthy BMW R1150GS motorcycle and finding it very relaxing servicing it myself, the ideal would be to go to a workshop where I can learn the things I don’t know yet from an experienced motorcycle technician. And that is exactly what I found at this family business. Andrew allowed me to look on and even lend a hand while he was doing what he needed to do on the motorcycle. His eldest son also jumped in and like his dad worked with effective precision according to “the book”, with his younger brother running about and playing mechanic on his own pit-bike. Andrew’s wife was a wonderful hostess, who immediately let us feel right at home, with a good cup of coffee and real biker music playing in the background.

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The workshop is clean and well organised with everything in its place, simply an aspect that shows that the workshop is run by the best experts in the business.

 

With a sound mind I will recommend GS Steelworks to any motorcyclist who only wants the best technician working on his/her motorcycle.

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By: Hector Jamieson

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