Review Shoei NXR 329

Review Shoei NXR 329

Shoei’s lightweight NXR

Head-to-head on my kitchen table… toast crumbs wiped clear especially for the shoot

Why does it always rain on me?

YOU know that perfect lid – the one that fits snugger than a pair of old slippers? Well my Arai RX7 GP was THAT lid. The trouble is, it was already long over due a replacement four years ago.

In fact, my Arai was so old the Dani Pedrosa replica paint had started to look ironic. I got this lid in 2006 when a fearsomely fast, young Pedrosa had just stormed 125 and 250cc championships and everybody was wondering how many MotoGP t**les he’d rack up… well at least the helmet lived up to its promise.

It’s not the first time I’ve tried to replace my Arai. I’ve tested HJC, Givi, and Schuberth lids but each time I returned to my old Pedrosa replica. I never found a fit, level of comfort, and ventilation to match the RX7 GP – which is no surprise, considering it’s Arai’s flagship lid.

So why not just get another Arai? I know plenty of journalists who proudly declare they only ever wear Arai. Well racers are free to tie themselves to a corporate sponsor if they like, but aren’t journalists actually supposed to test stuff?

Shoei’s NXR appealed because it was so simple. The last few lids I’ve worn have gone out of their way to over complicate a straightforward design. I don’t want a flip down visor. I don’t want Bluetooth connectivity. Also just give me a simple D-Ring; I can’t stand those ‘clunk, click’ seat belt safety fasteners – it’s over-engineering.

The NXR is one of the lightest helmets I’ve ever worn, just 1.36kg. Everybody who’s picked it up has remarked how light it feels. Incredibly it’s only a fibre-glass construction, but all the same the NXR is lighter than many of the carbon-fibre helmets on the market. It’s only 100 grams heavier than Simon’s £520 carbon-fibre Shark lid, and mine doesn’t look like the Czech flag.

Crucially, it’s over 240 grams lighter than my old RX7 and on long journeys I could really feel the difference in my neck, it was much less stiff at the end of a day’s riding. This could also be due to a sleeker, more aerodynamic design.

The NXR is impressively quiet, it’s like riding in a library compared to my old Arai. When I close the visor then the noise from the engine and the wind blast is instantly reduced. Even at motorway speeds and without ear plugs – which I was always forced to wear with the Arai – the wind noise isn’t offensive. Shoei has fitted a pair of foam ear pads inside the NXR to help reduce wind noise.

I chose a plain black design. Race replica paint jobs have started to feel about as s**y as replica football shirts stretched tight over a beer belly. There’s still a time and a place for race rep lids, but 7:30am on the South Circular had stopped feeling like it. You might think it’s just sour grapes from a man who’s spent the best part of the last decade riding around in a Dani Pedrosa lid but you can save up to £100 by opting for a moody monochrome.

The NXR has taken a bit of breaking in but this is normal. Think of helmets like a set of leather shoes, they’ll never feel comfortable from day one. Make sure you buy a slightly tighter fit and within a month it will be snug and you’ll wonder what all the fuss had been about.

It comes in four different shell sizes, with more precise sizing being adjusted by the padding within. Sizes start from XXS and go all the way to XXL.

I rode for 120 miles in the NXR during the very wet launch of the new Yamaha XSR700 in Sardinia. Despite the rain and cooler weather the ventilation did a good job of keeping the visor de-misted. The pin lock system really helps in this respect.

That said, the ventilation on the NXR is not as good as on Arai’s RX7 GP. On the latter I could hear the wind being s***ed up through the front mouthpiece grille and could feel a steady draft from the vent around my nose. The NXR has perhaps made the compromise of less ventilation in favour of a more lightweight design.

My only real niggle so far is with the chin curtain… I just can’t make it stay in place and it often drops out when I remove the helmet. And yes, I have tried reading the instructions!

I really love the simplicity, quietness and lightweight construction of the NXR. Compare the silhouette of the helmet to the Arai and you’ll see it’s a much sleeker design. Perhaps now I can finally lay faithful, old Dani Pedrosa to rest (the replica helmet, not the rider).

The NXR scores a 4/5 in the SHARP helmet rating.

Price: £329 (black) £399-429 (with graphics)

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Source: Review Shoei NXR 329

Halloween rideout brings chaos to south London

Halloween rideout brings chaos to south London

A HALLOWEEN rideout by a group called UK Raise It Up brought disruption to parts of south London on Saturday night.

The group used Facebook to coordinate the ride, posting the following instruction for taking part: ‘TONIGHT WE RUN THE STREETS INBOX FOR INFO IF YOUR [sic] WANTING TO JOIN’.

Some of the participants are shown in the video above, entitled ‘London bikelife halloween shutdown’. Reports confirm that as many as 200 riders were out in convoy across Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon, Bromley and Lewisham.

Members of the public reported seeing riders pulling wheelies, mounting pavements, jumping red lights and putting in reckless overtakes. At times the group split apart to set off fireworks in parks or near main roads and riders were seen setting off fireworks on Streatham High Road and Hilly Fields in Brockley.

Police in Lewisham tweeted at the time: ‘We are aware of reports of groups of scooters causing nuisance around the borough & are deploying officers to a**ess & deal.’

The police received so many complaints, they said they were putting a ‘pan-London plan’ in place to deal with the group. When members of the public asked why the group weren’t being stopped, the police responded by saying: ‘Only specialist trained officers can stop motorcyclists. At this time we can’t engage at all and are awaiting a tactical plan from specialist units.’

There were no reports of any arrests, but with the amount of traffic and CCTV cameras in the capital, it’s difficult to image these guys getting away with reckless behaviour like riding on the pavement and ignoring red lights.

Footage from a similar ride last year can be seen here. UK Raise It Up have been the subject of a documentary by Vice.

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Source: Halloween rideout brings chaos to south London

Ducatis latest teaser video declares This is style

Ducatis latest teaser video declares This is style

THIS is Ducati’s latest teaser video, released ahead of its nine-model unveiling at the Eicma show later this month.

This latest video shows parts of a bike briefly emerging from the blackness before disappearing just as quickly. It’s hard to make out we’re looking at, but the glimpse of the lines of the tank at 21 seconds leads us to wonder whether it’s the belt-drive cruiser we’ve seen in spy shots. If only Ducati had spent some of the marketing budget on some better lights.

Like the rest of Ducati’s recent teaser videos, it ends with a declaration – this is style, plus the date of its pre-Eicma press conference on November 16.

2016 looks like it’s going to be a big year for Ducati – it’s recently launched the new Monster 1200R and is currently running a teaser campaign for a new Scrambler. We’ve also seen spy shots of the new 959 Panigale being tested, and know from from US emissions documents that we’ll also be getting a Hypermotard 939.

It’ll be streaming its pre-Eicma presentation here.

Ducati’s accompanying press release said:

With “This is Style” the new Ducati tale is drawing to a close.

In the run-up to the grand finale on November 16 during the 2016 Ducati World Première, here is the new chapter of “This is Style” which continues to tell the story of the new Ducati surrounded by just a veil of secrecy.

Curving lines and shadows which shift to reveal shapely forms are the main characters of “This is Style”.

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Triumphs new Speed Triple R revealed again

Triumphs new Speed Triple R revealed again

Triumph Speed Triple R 2016
The 2016 Speed Triple R, spotted at a Triumph dealership

Triumph Speed Triple R 2015
The 2015 Speed Triple R

HERE’S Triumph’s still-secret 2016 Speed Triple R pictured at a recent dealership event ahead of its official debut.

We’ve already seen the finished bike in a spy shot (which was sharper than this) but this is the first look at it without a Triumph test rider in the way.

Clearly visible are the new radiator side panels and seat. The tank and belly-pan are also new, and the exhaust has been revised, presumably for lower emissions.

Although we can’t make it out here, the fly screen has been reshaped and a new central air scoop added above the fox-eye headlights.

Triumph sent a survey to Speed Triple owners earlier this year which suggested the 1050cc three-cylinder engine could get a power hike from 133hp to 140hp. The survey also suggested the new bike’s tech will include traction control, multiple engine ‘modes’ and electronic throttles. That seems all the more likely now Truimph has revealed an all-new Bonneville range with similar electronic trickery.  

The R version’s Brembo brake calipers are now shared by the base edition Speed Triple, as seen in a spy shot back in February. But the Speed Triple R keeps its high-spec Öhlins suspension while the base edition retains Showa units.  

It’s not clear exactly what the new model was doing at a dealership or what the event was. A Triumph source would only say ‘Dealers do not understand confidentiality’ after pictures emerged on social media.

It tells us that an official unveiling, launch and on-sale date cannot be too far off. 

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Source: Triumphs new Speed Triple R revealed again

Rossi takes Sepang clash penalty to court

Rossi takes Sepang clash penalty to court

Valentino Rossi

VALENTINO Rossi has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after receiving a three-point penalty following the Sepang clash with Marc Marquez. 

The Italian MotoGP rider was given three penalty points after Race Direction claimed he ‘deliberately ran wide in order to force the other rider off line, resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash out of the race’.

A three-point penalty was given as it is against the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations which added to the one-point on his license.

FIM regulations state that four penalty points means the rider must start from the back of the grid. 

Rossi’s appeal to the CAS states: ‘Mr Rossi seeks the annulment of the penalty, or at least a reduction from 3 points to 1.

‘Together with his appeal, Mr Rossi has filed an urgent application to stay the execution of the challenged decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the next, and last, event of the season which will be held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015.’

The nine-time World Champion is therefore seeking annulment or reduction of the penalty and requests ‘stay of execution of the decision in accordance with Article R37 of the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration.’

A decision on Rossi’s appeal is expected to be issued no later than 6th November 2015.

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Kawasaki to launch allnew smallcapacity machine in December

Kawasaki to launch allnew smallcapacity machine in December

Kawasaki Versys 300
Not the Z125

KAWASAKI is set to launch a mystery small-capacity machine in December, Visordown can reveal.

An invitation to the launch says details cannot yet be confirmed but that ‘it will be an all new small-capacity machine’.

Interestingly, Kawasaki has also ruled out bringing the new Z125 to Europe, suggesting it’s not that. The mini Z debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show this week but a UK Kawasaki spokesman has since told Visordown: ‘The Z125 has not been homologated for Europe, so we will not be importing it into Europe at all.’

So what is it? The new Ninja 300 that Asian bike t**les believe is coming? That’s supposedly an update rather than an all-new model.

Which only seems to leave the also-rumoured Versys 250/300. Indonesian bike websites including Tmcblog are confident enough that is coming to have published a rendering, shown in our main image (with a big question mark over it, as if the speculative nature of this story wasn’t clear). It’s said to be built around the engine from the Ninja 250 (Ninja 300 in Europe). 

Intrigued? Us to. We honestly don’t know what the mystery new bike will be – but we thought we’d tell you all we did.

It’s set to be launched on December 11-12 in Spain.  

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Source: Kawasaki to launch allnew smallcapacity machine in December

Caption that I need your clothes your boots your motorcycle and your stabilisers

Caption that I need your clothes your boots your motorcycle and your stabilisers

Yamaha Motobot

YOUR funniest caption, please.

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Source: Caption that I need your clothes your boots your motorcycle and your stabilisers

Guy Martin doesnt want to race in the 2016 TT or North West 200

Guy Martin doesnt want to race in the 2016 TT or North West 200

Guy Martin

Guy martin When you Dead, You Dead
Guy Martin’s new autobiography.

GUY Martin has said he doesn’t want to race in next year’s Isle of Man TT or North West 200. 

The road racer and TV personality has said he wants his team Tas Racing to allow him to avoid two of the biggest events in the road racing calendar. 

He said: ‘I’m hoping to sort it with TAS that I can do all the races I normally do except the North West and TT.’

Martin, from Lincolnshire, makes the revelation in his new autobiography, When You Dead, You Dead

Instead of taking part in next year’s TT, he says he wants to enter the 2745-mile long Tour Divide mountain bike race in the US.

But he adds that in 2017 he will ‘maybe go back to the TT’.

While Martin’s decision to not to race on the Isle of Man in 2016 might come as a shock to fans, his intention to miss the North West 200 will be less of a surprise. He’s made no effort to hide his dislike of the Northern Irish race, telling the BBC earlier this year: ‘It’s just riding round chicanes. I’m just bored to the back teeth. There’s nothing to the straights because they’re so fast you’re just flat out. My granny could ride it flat out.’

Martin has also previously said he’s thinking of calling it a day on some events

The latest news is certain to fuel speculation that the Lincolnshire racer is moving towards retirement from road racing.

Martin crashed out of the Dunrod 150 road race earlier this year and sustained severe injuries including several broken vertebrae and a broken sternum. He had been due to attempt to break the motorcycle land speed record with Triumph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August, an attempt he’s now set to make next year. 

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Source: Guy Martin doesnt want to race in the 2016 TT or North West 200