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I’ve been doing a spot of shopping around to see what new products are hitting the streets for the coming riding season, so if there’s anything (or everything!) that grabs your attention, here’s a pot pourri of stuff fresh to market.

LS2 Bolton Jacket and Douglas Trousers

This three-layer softshell street-styled jacket and trousers offer impressive levels of comfort and weather protection. Made with a strong, super-flexible and weatherproof three-layer softshell – and with subtle street styling – I reckon the set will make the perfect partners for the urban environment.

The Bolton’s three-layer softshell fabric combines strength and elasticity, with water- and wind-proofing for impressive levels of comfort and weather protection all-day long. It’s A-rated for safety and comes with ‘Easyflex’ CE shoulder and elbow protectors as standard. There are also pockets for an optional LS2 851 Back Protector (£29.99) and Chest Protectors (£14.99). A removable, quilted thermal liner insulates on colder days. Popper adjustment on each sleeve, and a drawstring hem, allow for additional layers and fine-tuning of the fit. A handy hood adds extra weather protection off the bike. It secures to the back with a popper, so it won’t flap around whilst riding, and can be easily removed. There’s a Napoleon-style pocket at the chest, plus two additional zippered waist pockets. Plus you’ve got reflective detailing to help you stand out to other road users.

The Douglas Trousers are made from the same three-layer softshell as the Bolton Jacket, with Easyflex knee protectors – adjustable to two positions – and the option for hip armour (£14.99). Alongside the already super-stretchy construction there are elasticated, ribbed fabric sections at the waist and on the back of each ankle. Plus an integrated, adjustable waist belt and poppered calf adjusters, to help find the perfect fit. Zipped vents on each thigh allow a cooling airflow on warmer days. There are also two front cargo pockets, with snap button closure, and two zipped waist pockets.

The LS2 Bolton Jacket and Douglas Trousers both come in men’s sizes S-5XL and retail at £129.99 (including VAT) respectively; that’s a complete urban and commuter suit – practical on and off the bike – for less than £260.

Find them both at ls2helmets.com

Weise Axel Softshell Jacket

I am a big fan of softshell, and this urban riding jacket blends comfort, style, and CE-certified protection. Created for commuting and urban rides, the new Weise Axel mixes softshell comfort and casual street style with CE-certified impact and abrasion protection, and full weatherproofing, too.

Shopping

The Axel’s tough and stretchy 600D softshell outer brings the best of both worlds: A-rated protection plus flexibility, freedom of movement and comfort on and off the bike. CE Level 2-approved shoulder and elbow armour and a Level-1 back protector come fitted as standard, and all five pieces are removable, so the Axel can be washed. There’s also a connection zip, with a comfort stretch panel for attachment to riding trousers, which helps stop the jacket riding up, keeping you well covered.

A fixed waterproof, windproof and breathable lining keeps out wind and rain, while allowing perspiration to escape. The high-quality YKK main entry zip is covered by a full-length storm flap, and warmth is provided by a snug 75gsm quilted thermal lining. A detachable hood with fleece lining keeps the head warm and dry when off the bike. It adjusts with a drawstring and secures to the back of the Axel with a popper, so it won’t flap around whilst riding. It can also be zipped off completely, should you prefer.

Shopping

Features include an elasticated waist and cuffs to keep out cold draughts and mean there’s no fiddling with adjusters, poppers, or straps to get a snug fit. Two zipped hand-warmer pockets offer welcome relief for chilly fingers. There’s also a Napoleon pocket and two internal pockets – one designed for a smartphone – for those daily essentials. Reflective detailing keeps the wearer visible in low light but is subtle enough, so it won’t stand out on the street or in the coffee shop.

The Weise Axel Jacket comes in sizes S-5XL in cool Blue or Green shades, and retails at £179.99 including VAT. Like all Weise clothing, it’s covered by a two-year warranty for complete peace of mind. Find it on the Weise Clothing website at www.weiseclothing.com

Venhill Cable Kits for CB500X and CB500F

Venhill Featherlight Clutch and Throttle Cable Kits are now available for Honda’s popular CB500X and CB500F – a simple and inexpensive upgrade for owners to add extra dependability to the already trustworthy twins.

Both the X and F have proven to be solid all-rounders, capable of high mileages. Upgrading to Venhill’s cables not only makes the controls more durable, but also delivers smoother operation. And they are available in a range of colours, too.

Developed and made in their UK factory, Venhill’s Featherlight Kits use the latest cable technology and materials for improved durability, as well as a smoother, lighter action. Each cable has high-quality, marine-grade stainless steel inner wire to eliminate stretch. They’re also ‘Bird-caged’ – allowing solder to penetrate the weave of the cable, making the bond with the nipple much stronger – reducing the risk of breakage. A PTFE ‘teflon’ liner minimises friction, and removes the need for regular lubrication. This is then wrapped in a stainless steel braid and covered with a hardened PA6 Nylon jacket, to protect the inner from damage and corrosion.

Shopping

Clutch Cable Kits for both the Honda CB500 X and F retail at £25.32 each, including VAT. Throttle Cables (sold as a pair) sell for £39.38. They are a direct replacement for the original items, for quick and easy fitting, and include adjustment at the lever end for fine-tuning. Fitments are available for the MY 2022-23 Honda CB500X and CB500F, as well as the 2019-2023 CB500R. Additional length can be specified, for bikes fitted with bar risers.

Find them quickly and easily – and order in seven different colourways – using the www.venhill.co.uk Part Finder.

Ventura EVO Rack for Yamaha Tracer 7

Ventura’s EVO Luggage Rack is now available for the latest generation Tracer 7, unlocking the popular middleweight Yamaha’s touring potential. Whether heading out for a long-distance tour, a weekend away or just the big weekly shop, a Ventura EVO Rack adds carrying capacity, yet can be removed in seconds when it isn’t needed.

Shopping

As easy to set up as it is to use, all the EVO Rack needs is the two tailor-made and  discreet Ventura L-Brackets, fixed to existing mounting points on the Tracer’s subframe. The Rack then just slots into place and is ready for loading. Once it’s fitted, the rider can then choose whichever EVO Pack suits the journey, from the handy 12-litre EVO Jet Steam, ideal for essentials like keys, snacks, phone and wallet, right through to a massive 60-litre tour pack.

Hardwearing and practical, EVO Packs are made from water-resistant and durable laminated ballistic fabric to keep contents well protected. They feature wide openings and glove-friendly zip-pulls, for easy use on and off the bike. They’re also aerodynamically-shaped to minimise impact on airflow. A sleeve-fitting system makes for hassle-free stops, too; the Pack just slides on and clips in place. It also keeps the load from shifting when riding, without having to resort to additional straps or cords.

The Pack is carried well clear of the rear wheel and doesn’t add extra width, like panniers do, making filtering through traffic and slotting into tight parking bays much more doable. As an added bonus, the EVO Rack swivels, so it can be positioned directly behind the rider or over the bike’s tail unit when a passenger is on board. When luggage isn’t needed, both Pack and Rack can be removed in seconds, leaving only the L-Brackets in place and the Tracer’s rear end uncluttered. An optional Grab Handle (£25.95 including VAT) can be fitted in its place for an extra practical touch.

Shopping

L-Brackets and an EVO Rack for the 2023-on Tracer 7 retail at £263.90 including VAT. The 22-litre EVO-22 Jet-Stream Pack pictured sells for £208.95.

For further details, prices and a full list of pack options visit www.ventura-bike.co.uk

GONZO

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