Monday, 11 April 2016

First Glance: Bolid'ster Jeans

Bolid’ster is the latest name in the ever-growing world of motorcycle-oriented jeans. The company is the brainchild of Frenchman Pierre-Henri Servajean, who is no newcomer to the industry, since he is the man behind the E-Squad brand name and the creator of Armalith, the high-tech fabric used by E-Squad and also by this new brand.

First off, what exactly is Armalith? It is a very strong and highly abrasion-resistant aramid-type fibre that is reputedly the strongest such fibre currently in production. Bolid’ster, like E-Squad before it, weaves this fibre directly into the denim-type fabric of their garments. This means that the jeans don’t have a thick aramid cloth lining, presumably making them feel more like normal jeans. Stitching is done with the same thread used to stitch together airbags, so it should be pretty tough too.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Premier Trophy MX

The Italian helmet manufacturer Premier has just added a new retro-themed helmet to their range. Called the Trophy MX, it is based on the early full-face motocross helmets of the late Seventies and Eighties and, in particular, on the mythical Bell Moto 3.

Wait a minute, that sounds familiar…

Yes it does: at last year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan (Italy), DMD, another Italian brand, presented their version of the Moto 3, and this one is so similar that we did initially think it was a DMD. There are, however, subtle differences between both recreations of Bell’s seminal lid, most notably the base of the helmet, which is flat on Premier’s product. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Never has so much been owed to so few…

As I thundered along a quiet road in the hilly countryside between Barcelona and Tarragona, those first few words of one of Winston Churchill’s most famous quotes ran through my mind and appeared to apply perfectly to Triumph’s new Street Twin, the first bike available in Hinckley’s redesigned-from-the-ground-up Bonneville range.

The Editor keeping good company - the bike's a corker, too

I mean let’s face it, 54 bhp from a 900cc motor sounds pretty puny on paper, doesn’t it? Such a paltry power output suggests sluggish acceleration, a laughable top speed and a life of extreme boredom for the bike’s hapless owner, particularly when the previous Hinckley twin offered at least a half-dozen more horses, right? Wrong. The power figure is backed up by a whopping maximum torque figure of 80 Nm at a ridiculously low 3,230 rpm; Triumph further claim that there is 22% more power all through the midrange. And while I can’t verify the exactitude of that figure, my advanced seat-of-the-pants telemetry system confirms the presence of a stonking midrange that’s meaty and juicy, like a good steak. The torque and muscular midrange combine to provide a surprisingly zippy and satisfying riding experience, whether you’re bounding from one set of traffic lights to the next in town or bombarding through narrow country roads. But more of that, anon; first let’s take a quick walk around the bike.
"When the big hand points to..."
The first thing that strikes the eye in the Speed Twin is how small and compact it is. Its equivalent in Triumph’s previous Bonneville range, the SE, looks positively gargantuan in comparison. The new machine is lower, with a seat height of 750mm, which makes it ideal for novice and short-statured riders: being able to put both feet flat on the ground when sitting on the bike is reassuring, even more so as the bike instantly feels much lighter than previous Bonnies, with a claimed dry weight of 198kg. However, tall riders might be at a disadvantage; I’m no giant, not by a long chalk, but for the first few miles I had the impression that I was riding one of these pit-bike contraptions. [Read on]