Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A New Helmet Filters Through From Biltwell

Many of you who follow Biltwell’s social media presence may be forgiven for thinking that the lives of the lads from Temecula is simply about “having fun and riding bikes”, to paraphrase their motto and hashtag. And while it is true that they manage to find an awful lot of time to spend on the road, truth is that they’re a hard-working bunch.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Milan to Bristol on a Sterling Autocycle

Tomorrow our intrepid Editor will be flying out to Milan, from where he will be setting out on Tuesday on the first leg of a six-day Milan-to-Bristol ride aboard a Black Douglas Sterling Autocycle (a modern replica of the "flat-tanker" motorcycles of the 1910s). His five fellow riders will include Fabio Cardoni, the Founder and CEO of the Black Douglas Motorcycle Co.

Fabio Cardoni cutting a dash on the Sterling Autocycle

Naturally we will be publishing a full report about the trip when he returns to our secret base in the broom cupboard, but he will be Tweeting and Instagramming (is that even a verb? - Ed.) along the way. We have also established a Periscope account (@TheThruxtonian) from which he will be broadcasting live videos whenever possible - as long as he manages to come to grips with all this new-fangled technology, of course!

The ride will also be raising money for Save the Children, so you can still make donations on their donations page.

Photograph: © The Black Douglas Motorcycle Co.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

LS2 Metro: Modular helmets can look good, too.

For many motorcyclists, modular helmets conjure up images of motorcycle coppers or of serious, mature motorcyclists in no-nonsense Cordura gear with splashes of hi-vis and riding touring bikes of mostly Bavarian origin and who favour function over form.

That’s a pity, really, because “flip-front” lids are actually quite a clever idea: you effectively have two helmets in one and they’re very useful when you’re at tollbooths on Continental motorways, or when you’re asking a local for direction, or even when you’re stopping at a petrol station. They do unfortunately have a fair few drawbacks - they’re heavy, massive, fairly noisy and, of course, they’re not overly stylish, which is probably why only motorcycle cops and the Bavarian touring bike appreciation society wear them: style tends not to rate very highly on their agendas. I myself bought one a few years back, but I never really managed to get on with it.

Enter the LS2 FF324 “Metro” helmet, which is a new-for-2016 model. The first time I saw the Metro, it was with the chin bar closed; at first glance I took it to be a straight full-face lid. It was only on closer inspection that I understood that it was a modular helmet. The first thing I noticed was the look of the helmet: instead of your usual bulbous shape, the Chinese firm have given the helmet a taut, aggressive and, dare I say it, sporty look. The chin bar is slightly pointed and the central air vent is flanked by four mesh-covered side vents (these can be blanked off by four smoked plastic covers that simply clip into place), clearly inspired by ADV helmets.