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Kit Tips

Helmets 1





Helmets 1

When you buy a new helmet it must have the new EC approval mark regulation 22 type 05. Do NOT remove these marks, technically the helmet must have these. If your helmet has the old BSI kite-mark instead, throw it away, it's way past it's use by date.

The new EC marks have caused a bit of confusion. These are now sewn inside the helmet (often to the strap) The EC mark is a circle with an E inside and number giving the country of origin (for example E6 is Belgium) then you'll see a serial number which must begin with 05
We've seen 04 and 03 series in the UK already. Not only are they illegal but also they're not good enough, so don't be ripped off.

Don't buy second-hand, ever. It might look perfectly sound but could have been quite severely dropped and you wouldn't know. Besides you can shop around and get a new helmet for as little as £50 or even less, so don't risk it. We cut a helmet in half that had been bashed in a 30 mph accident, the outer shell looked OK but the inner was badly compressed. That's what they're designed to do, but they only do it once.

Visors must have the new EC approval 05 series, as for helmets. If it's tinted it'll have CP then a number, that will represent the % of light it lets through, and those are only legal for daytime use.
Once and for all:- Black Visors are not legal and in the event of an accident and Plod reports it you will be deemed to be at fault to a varying degree and it WILL affect your insurance claim (contributing factor to the accident, your vision was impaired !)

Depending on where you're riding the police have differing opinions on the seriousness of the offence. Here in Kent it's not a good idea to be riding with one.
(Shaggy - dog top-tip: -put your clear visor in an old sock and put it under your seat, if you get a pull it might impress them into just ticking you off, plus it's there when it's getting dark).
The same applies to Iridium jobs. Shame, because they are way cool.
It's worth noting that various Flip - Front helmets seem to be approved for use in either position. The police don't quite agree, but they use the BMW Series Three, which is not approved for use with the chin-guard up. If the one you buy doesn't tell you not to, surely the manufacturer is aware of their legal position?

Finally, don't put your helmet on the bike seat! I've lost count of how many people I know who've had it hit the deck and a big chunk has come out of the shell. Use the right hand mirror.
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Most of this applies to Jackets, Trousers, Gloves and Boots.

If you don't own a modern Gore-Tex / Cordura Jacket, get one. They're wonderful. We're out in all weathers and they are the warmest, most weatherproof bits of kit ever. With armour they are also surprisingly efficient at protecting you too. Look for a zip - out lining for summer use and they can be cooler than leather. Look for reflective strips and / or piping and you get excellent night - time conspicuity without being a "Day-Glo Derek". Look for a belt that doesn't clip across the opening, after prolonged use this seems to be a weak point. They're also washable (take the armour out first), which is nice.

However, nothing saves your skin like Leather. I'm talking about proper Motorcycle gear though, not designer gear. Look for good impact point protection and CE armour. Jackets with built in back protectors are excellent, but when you try it on assume the position! It has to be comfortable on the bike and most importantly, must not interfere with your rear observations (a common problem with armour). It mustn't ride up, if you slide down the road it needs to stay in place. Get a friend or the rep to try lifting the back of the Jacket. Arms and legs need to be covered when you're in your riding position and the armour should be in the right place. Leather grows, especially when it gets wet. Look for stretch panels on leather trousers, you'll still get a saggy bum and Olympian knees, but it'll take longer to happen.

Leather's great, but it's not waterproof. If money's tight go to your local Hunting-shooting-fishing shop. Nylon overs that fold to nothing and go under the seat are surprisingly cheap.
TOP TIP: - keep them in a carrier bag, put your foot in the bag, slip on the over trousers! Never again will you hop about under a motorway bridge like a drunken Rudolph Nureyev (unless you want to of course). Wish I'd known that when I was a despatch rider.
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Squeeky SIDI's ?

It's so common that it's practically a standing joke about Sidi vertabrae boots, they're noisier than Oz moaning at getting his wallet out.

Try car bumper / dash restorer, its silicone based and waterproofs but also stops 'em squeaking so you can sneak out when it's your round.
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