Bringing you the world's best café racers, bobbers and custom motorcycles

Review


Review: Icon 1000 Chapter Jacket

Posted on April 27th, by Scott in Review. No Comments

This is the review I have been putting off writing. Not that I didn’t want to write it, I just didn’t want Andrew (from Pipeburn) to read it. You see, one morning a few months ago I received a knock on my door and there’s a FedEx dude holding two large boxes. I quickly signed for them and opened up the first one and there in all its glory was a brand spanking new leather jacket from ICON. It’s probably a good time to mention that ICON are a sponsor of this site but we pride ourselves in giving unbiased reviews – just check out the last Icon product review). Anyway, after pulling out the jacket I instantly knew there was a serious problem – there was only one of them. The problem being there are two of us that run Pipeburn so when it comes to products like new leather jackets it can cause problems. I had two options. Don’t tell Andrew that I was sent the jacket and always wear my old jacket when we go for rides together. Or the other option was just to tell Andrew and see what his reaction was. I chose the later. So I text Andrew and he replies faster than Marion Jones on speed. “I want it!” he says. “you have a cool jacket and mine is shit”. He had a point, his jacket is ugly as sin. But this was going to be a hard one to hand over. So I try the jacket on and it fits perfectly. Then my wife walks in right on que. “wow! nice jacket” she says. The last time she said that was on our wedding day and I was wearing a very expensive suit. Seriously. This was a keeper, plus it was pretty much second hand now. Couldn’t give Andrew a second hand jacket could I?


Click to read more...

2012 Harley Davidson 883 Iron – Review

Posted on January 6th, by Scott in Review. 2 comments

We recently tried to get our greasy little hands on a Harley-Davidson 883 to review. Unfortunately due to a long list of rules (who would have thought Harley was into rules?) we didn’t meet their criteria – and no it wasn’t because of our lack of pony tails. It was mainly due to the fact we hadn’t had years of experience on heavy bikes. Anyway, as luck would have it, one of our good mates Laurence Cronin recently purchased his very first Harley. He is no newcomer to riding, just hung up his riding boots for a few years while he raised a couple of kids. Now they are all grown up, he decided to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams – own a Harley. And like many, he fell for the ‘man magnet’ they call the 883. This is Laurie’s review after riding the Sportster for a few months….


Click to read more...

Quick Review: Muc-Off Bike Cleaning Bundle

Posted on October 21st, by Andrew in Review. No Comments

Everyone loves a shortcut. And everyone hates it when they find out that the way they’ve been doing something for years and years might have not been the best way to go about it at all. Take, for instance, washing you precious personal transport – a ritual handed down from parents to siblings for thousands of years. Or there abouts. And here’s how it goes. Wet the vehicle. Apply approved soapy substance with sponge. Rinse the vehicle. Chamois dry the vehicle. Wax if desired. Armour-All if anal retentive. Now what if there was actually a better way to do things? Namely, what if you could remove all the elbow grease involved in the process and jump straight to the chamois part? Sounds good, huh? Well there’s a fairly big chunk of the bike cleaning market now occupied by products that promise just that – a spray on, wash off, wipe down set of instructions that would have us believe that we’ve been wasting a hell of a lot of time in the past. But have we?


Click to read more...

Review: 2011 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

Posted on July 26th, by Andrew in Café Racer, Review. 33 comments

“Moto” = motor, “Guzzi” = to grin like an idiot inside your helmet (click for a larger version)

Most countries have their associated stereotypes. Apparently Australia is full of lunatic blonde animal hunters, the U.S. is populated solely by gun-toting Christians and the UK is full of pasty people who constantly complain about the weather and finish every sentence with the word “Guv’nor”. Of course, for the most part that is all baloney. Turns out that McCartney and Wonder were right – people are the same wherever you go. But there’s one particular cliché I have found to be true. Italians do dress well – very well indeed.

Enter stage left the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer – a very dapper version of the already pretty damn suave V7 Café. If the standard model is meant to conjure long-forgotten images of the “good ol’ days” with it’s upswept pipes and obvious design cues from the original 70’s V7, the Racer looks about as subtle as the moon hitting your eye like a big pizza pie. But is it “amore”, or is it just a one-ride stand?


Click to read more...

Review: 2011 Kawasaki W800

Posted on May 21st, by Andrew in Review. 45 comments

Stand down and be counted – meet the new W

My Dad. Knows absolutely nothing about motorbikes bar their mechanical basics and (in his eyes at least) their inherent danger – that and whatever his still-sharp 60 year-old senses tell him. So picture the vista when I roll up to my parent’s farm for Mother’s Day on a brand new Kawasaki W800. Of course he knows that the last bike I reviewed was Zero’s brave but flawed Zero S, and he briefly casts his eyes over this new one as I rev it up to give him a listen to the engine. There’s a moment of deep contemplation, much like a Kung Fu master might do, then he calmly pronounces, “Another electric bike, is it?” I laugh out loud. An electric bike? “Come on! Just look at the thing,” I blurt, pointing out the two massive pipes hanging off the back. “I know it doesn’t look like an electric bike,” he replies. “But it sure does sound like one…”


Click to read more...

Review: Zero Motorcycles S

Posted on April 20th, by Andrew in Review. 19 comments

Danger, danger – low voltage. Zero’s 2010 “S” model meets the Pipeburn underground bunker

When I was a kid growing up on Sydney’s southern beaches, there were two certainties you could count on during the long, hot Christmas holidays in January. The first was cricket on AM radio, and the second was afternoon storms. Now the two may not seem to be related in any way, but stick with me for a moment. You see, while I was standing there in my swimmers and towel, dripping chlorinated water on my mother’s linoleum floor and sucking down a Berts soft drink, I’d often hear little bursts of static interrupting the monotone drone of the commentary coming over the airwaves. They’d be faint and infrequent at first, but slowly and surely they’d build in volume and frequency until they were joined in a chorus of distant thunder and white strobes of light on the horizon. Our little valve radio had discovered it’s second job; as a lightning detector for the approaching electrical storms.

Our most recent poll asked a simple question; electric bikes – yes or no? Surprisingly (well, to me at least) most of you were in favour of them or at least were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But how many of you have actually ridden one? I’m guessing not many, and I too would have been on that list had we not been contacted by Phil Wilkinson of Zero Motorcycles Australia. He was kind enough to offer us a lend of one of his electrical wonders for a few days to get a first-hand feel on just what the future of motorcycling may be like. Or at least Zero’s version of it. I’m also pleased to note that this is the first ever proper bike review Pipeburn has done, and by the looks of the emails in my inbox it won’t be the last. Now if you’ll follow me…


Click to read more...

Long-term review: 2010 Icon Airframe Construct Helmet

Posted on January 15th, by Andrew in Review. 15 comments

Top vents are adjusted by a slider between the two vents. Mouth vent has a small adjuster beneath the “teeth”. Jowl vents are adjustable internally

“How big is your head?” Scott asked me. Smart arse. I waited for the punch line. “No, seriously. What size helmet do you take?” Oh, right. “I’ve got an Icon helmet,” he said, “they’ve given it to us to review. It’s a large. You want to do it?” I was stoked. We’ve done reviews before on Pipeburn, but mostly of our own gear – which is a double-edged sword as you get plenty of time to really know a piece of kit, but then you wouldn’t have purchased it if you didn’t think it was the best option.

But this was different; a brand new helmet that I had no intention of purchasing was now in my hot little hands awaiting a full and detailed dissection. And that’s exactly what this is. I’ve got five month’s worth of detailed notes and a laptop with a fully charged battery – let’s do this.


Click to read more...

SPY Roland Sands Collection

Posted on January 7th, by Scott in Review. 7 comments

Roland Sands can now add ‘sunglass designer’ to his long and impressive résumé. I’m not sure how hands-on Roland was in designing these sunnies but I guess if your name is on them you would make sure they didn’t suck. SPY were nice enough to send us a pair of the Murena Woodgrain (pictured) and I was actually surprised by how solid and well made they feel. But more importantly I wanted to know how they handled on the open road. So I went for a ride.

I usually wear vintage styled Carrera Champions which I like, but are a little too big inside a helmet. They also don’t have polarized lenses like the Murena’s and this is the first thing I notice. The polarized lenses completely remove any harsh glare, especially from white cars – perfect for riding on a bright sunny Sydney day like today. Where my Carrera’s are too big, the Murena’s fit snug in my Shoie open face helmet. They almost look like they were custom made for my helmet, not letting any stray objects near my eyes – there’s nothing worse than a bug hitting your retina at 100kph.

Overall I give the SPY RSD Murena’s two thumbs up and I would definitely recommend the polarized lenses, don’t think I will be going back now I’ve seen the difference. If you want to check out the whole limited edition range visit the SPY Optics website.


Click to read more...

Review: GoPro Hero HD Motorsports Camera

Posted on December 13th, by Andrew in Review. 10 comments

Box shot – the GoPro Hero in it’s protective case.

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a GoPro HD camera last week and I’ve just spent a few days trying it out around Sydney. Included in this rigorous testing regime was a full-day ride with a bunch of mates in some glorious weather north of Sydney. But more on that, and the footage I captured, in another post.

First things first. The GoPro Hero HD is a tiny 5-megapixel miniature point-of-view video and stills camera that mounts to your bike and takes wide-angle HD quality movies and pictures while you ride. Included in the kit is the camera itself, a battery, a waterproof plastic case, leads, and a whole bunch of mounting options centred around a GPS-on-your-car’s-windscreen-style suction cup.


Click to read more...

Barbour Vintage Leather Jacket

Posted on November 6th, by Scott in Review. 5 comments

There’s some things in life you can skimp on; like Valentine’s Day cards, maps, hair cuts, your mother-in-laws xmas presents, and then there’s leather jackets. The good ones should last forever, like these Barbour Vintage Leather Jackets – you can almost smell the adventure. They come ‘new’ with a broken-in vintage look, so you don’t have to look like ‘that guy’ who just bought a leather jacket. Plus there’s loads of functions you’d expect from a Barbour jacket; like button storm flap, adjustable waist belt and loads of pockets for much needed storage. With a genuine leather outer they also have a lining made with wool tartan and a polyamide quilted drip strip (sounds impressive). Still reading? Then you can buy one at the Barbour Store – your son will thank you for it… one day.


Click to read more...