Month: February 2019

Axor Stealth Helmet – Long term review

AXOR STEALTH Crazy Dull Black Orange Helmet

The recent helmet rule imposition in the city of Pune turned the city into frenzy of sorts. The erstwhile Motorcycle accessories shop now primarily a “helmet shop’. Nevertheless the decade old Probiker Helmets in Pune is still revving it up giving competition a run for its money. I bought a Vega Cara helmet exactly 71 months to this day! Through this helmet I saw my way into the motorcycling community. The very first group ride saw the fog of Lonavala after heading through the hot confines of the city. Today we look at the latest acquisition – Axor Stealth Crazy Helmet.

The journey through those winding roads led me across different places and in different weather conditions. If there was one accessory I ever cherished that is the helmet. Not just any helmet but one that fit well and gave of a scent of security.

Till date the brands used so far:

While I would still vote for the Vega Cara, it by far in today’s times is apt for city use on motorcycles no more than 200cc. The overall favorite on long tours is the SOL SF1. A brand favorite of tourers from one of the motorcycling fraternities, The SOL SF1 offered not only overall comfort but also a UV 400 dark inner visor that cut the heat out of the merciless sun. The rear leds came as a bonus.

The dark horse of the lot was the Axor helmet. For just 3500/- if offered the comfort of a “premium” helmet sans the double D ring retainer belt.The Axor saw its way through 2 replacement visors and etched itself in my memory forever. it offered high speed comfort while offering low budget maintenance costs. When Axor launched its premium offering, it was next on my list. The AXOR STEALTH Crazy Dull Black Orange Helmet came in a few phone calls and emails later.

Yes, this review would be incomplete should I miss out on the team coordinating this acquisition at Axor Helmets. Your gesture is much appreciated. Unlike most bloggers, Vloggers and motorcyclists who are part of this activity, I decided to take a different approach. The first Axor had wowed me and felt a month old even after a year and half of almost daily usage. Rain, shine or cold it stood the sands of time.

Look and feel

Going by that I opted in for the AXOR STEALTH Crazy Dull Black Orange Helmet after much deliberation. The decision to buy the helmet worked. Purely on looks I recall at least 5 fellow riders who bought the same model. Albeit in different color schemes. No I did not MARKET or up sell directly. It presence did the magic. Needles to say 14 months later the AXOR STEALTH Crazy Dull Black Orange Helmet still feels a month old with on signs of fading on the exterior or interior. The cushion quality is probably one of the best in the business. Given that holds up as good as new even wearing as daily commute helmet.

Axor Stealth Crazy Full Face Helmet
Axor Stealth Crazy Full Face Helmet

Functionality

The helmet easily houses most of the available helmet communication systems without a fuss. The visor cleans up easily too. The added plus in this helmet is the availability of a dark inner visor. The standard Dark Visor is  just appropriate to see you all the way to the sunset. The belt holds its on and the helmet is an excellent choice for track use.

Technical details – The fine print 

At this point of time, the AXOR STEALTH Crazy Dull Black Orange Helmet has paved way for the Apex range which similarities with it at the outset. The Apex does have its own character indeed. For a list if the finer bits click here to know more..

Room for improvement?

The Dynamics of the word always has room for more and there is but only one issue. There is a lot of turbulence from the helmet .

Axor Stealth Crazy Full Face Helmet - Long term review
Axor Stealth Crazy Full Face Helmet

Invictus Touring Gears Tactical (Manas) Tailbag short term review

Manas Tailbag short term review

In last five years the motorcycling revolution has evolved in the country. A leisure pursuit by a handful of people in various pockets today is a hobby for a much larger bunch. From scooters to superbikes a lot of folks are joining the bandwagon. Not just Motorsports or endurance riding, today travelling on a motorcycle has a larger audience. That number on a scooter is gradually growing.

Initially luggage for travel was the standard bags and suitcases retro-fitted to the two wheeler. Today with the growing popularity there are a number of brands based in the country who are catering to the needs of “Travel Solution”. One such brand is Pune based Invictus Touring Gears.

Origins

Starting up in the year 1935 Sathe Gadikarkhana, today is  household name in Pune city. Taking the torch forward was another brand – Manas Adventure Gears. The brand was focused on Backpacks for trekking and mountaineering and did quite well too. Fast forward to 2017, through a common friend I was introduced to a young entrepreneur. At this time he was involved in developing a saddlebag that aspired to be as tough as a pannier. Cut to present day Invictus Touring Gears has evolved.

Manas Tailbag – 1st impressions

The Manas tailbag in its current iteration is known as the Invictus Touring Gears Tactical tailbag. The variant under review is the 1st edition “Manas Tailbag”. The tailbag came with battle scars. Very few manufacturers voluntarily prompt you to conduct rugged tests.

“Returning a battle scarred product would aid quality control and future development!”.

I’m like asking myself is he high on something or am I? I picked up the bag and headed out after exchanging pleasantries . After the “Biryani Bag”, I wondered how I could possibly connect with this bag? One day on an errand the idea kicked in. Laxmianarayan Chiwda, a Pune based brand has been a favorite in the family for over a decade or so with  kilos being purchased every so often. Taking a cue from this I dubbed it the Chiwda bag. The common connection being that both have origins in the old city area of Pune.

GEAR CHECK

  • Can this accommodate a full face helmet? Yes
  • The bag also fits in a riding jacket, full gauntlet gloves and can pack in clothes for a long weekend trip too
  • A DSLR and laptop too fit in securely
  • Also, it easily packs in groceries and makes a formidable companion to the malls too
  • Spare parts/lubes upto 5-10 kgs are held with ease

Touring friendly

Whether you are a novice traveler or a been everywhere, The Manas tailbag is for everyone. Its current version offered 6 fasteners to securely bolt on. It is also bungee cord friendly for those who want to tie it down. The bag comes with dedicated straps for use as a backpack. The current is version has a blacked out pocket. The transparent pocket has given way to the new textile pocket. Option to choose colors at select vendors. A rain cover is a standard add on.

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Repost @decepticon1982 #InvictusTactical

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Look and feel

The Manas Tailbag is “boxy” at first glance. The Rigid walls keep the bag from caving in. The interiors are well padded. Industry standard zippers are promising. The bag is BULGE FREE. The fasteners and buckle are of good quality. They hold the fort on long hauls. The dull looking piping is a looker at nights. It adds to the subtle factor in the day. It lights up well in the night. The inner lining has a premium feel. The stitching on the interiors are almost invisible. At first glance the inside feels like a DSLR bag. The bag has a handle  as well.

Thoughts

  1. The Manas Tailbag is hyper-versatile
  2. The dedicated backpack strap is a boon
  3. The Velcro strip in between is a great idea but attaching it back needs some practice
  4. Gauntlet gloves and spare city gloves easily fit in the outer lower pocket
  5. The inner net pocket holds paperwork as well as smaller items like SD cards etc.
  6. The North pocket is  good place to store charger cable etc, since it up in the vertical position
  7. On the other hand, the South pocket is good for energy bars etc.
  8. The padding is indeed confidence inspiring
  9. Expansion / compression executable ”on the fly”
  10. It is pillion rider friendly, no more fatigue
  11. Comfortably sits on backrests, carriers and topracks in backpack mode
  12. Boardroom to resort room it goes anywhere

The current version is on sale for 3500/-. First made in India tail bag to offer a first aid kit

There were some inputs shared in discussion. As explained certain aspects are purely design elements. these elements add to the frugality of the product. Some details are in discussion for improvement. All in all it impressed me enough to order one for myself!

The current version is on sale for 3500/-

First Made In India tail bag to offer a first aid kit.

Please find below photos of the Invictus Touring Gears Tactical Tailbag for your reference:

Photos Courtesy: Nikhil Sood

 

Orazo motorcycling boots – long term review of Orazo PICUS VWR

Orazo motorcycling boots long term review – 5 star rating anyone??

PICUS -VELCRO (VWR)

Orazo motorcycling boots
The Orazo motorcycling boots review started when I visited them at the time of Auto Expo 2018. I started off the The review by literally walking away wearing them from the manufacturing unit. As amusing it may sound, they are as much comfortable  put them on in January 2018. Getting to the Expo wasn’t much, however add 10 kilos worth of luggage in your backpack and spend a good 8 hours. Be it walking, posing for photos or taking photos for that matter, the boots started to sink in! Lets begin with the Orazo motorcycling boots review-

Orazo motorcycling boots review

Orazo PICUS -VELCRO (VWR) sank

Yes, it sank deep enough to come up with the nick name “Lamborghini Urus” of Riding boots. A basketball shoe from the interior comfort with the ruggedness of a battle tank!

Look and feel:

The Orazo boot comes with an industrial grade sole and a steel toe. The boot comes with inner leather pinning’s that are meant to keep water out. The two step Velcro fasteners provide for quick access while the emblems are embedded with ankle protection. Yes this is water resistant, no it is not 100% waterproof and it still drys pretty fast. Avoid drying in direct sunlight.

Orazo motorcycling boots review – Interiors:

The Orazo motorcycling boots has a standard level of cushioning with anti-fungal properties. Adding to this a comfortable in-sole that is well cushioned. The ankle protectors along with the 8 inch height add to the feel of a basketball shoe. The steel toe is sturdy enough to keep the shoe going. On one odd occasion in a narrow by-lane a Piaggio three wheeler’s rear tire went over my foot and it felt like a hard pinch. Apart from that no bruises or fractures.

Orazo motorcycling boots review – Wearability:

The Orazo motorcycling boots review began at the recently held Auto Expo 2018 with a maximum use time of 18 hours without taking them off and in the ever-changing weather of Delhi. The bulky exterior kept me shy of leaning in while aiding off-roading with ease. Off-track the shoes make a good pair for daily use as well as “let ride out” sudden plans.

The Orazo motorcycling boots review has come after seeing three seasons of weather. I washed them in the monsoons, polished and buffed them otherwise. At every buff it shone. Worn average 12 hours a day without fatigue. Suffice to say “Keep them on” is the best compliment to offer in this department. Be it to work, an outing with friends or a ride to Timbuktu, these boots not only take you there… They can trek, Salsa and even play basketball or any outdoor sports. Broken down vehicle needs that extra push, dig the heels in.

Orazo motorcycling boots

Orazo motorcycling boots review – What Could be better?

There is  a lot that can be done and in discussion with the team I was surprised to know the ideas it had already received. However, there is no dearth of designs that can satiate the Indian palette  at the current costs. The recent price revision made these boots accessible to a higher number of motorcyclists who would otherwise spend on trekking shoes to get comfort and safety. branded sneakers bought for a little under 3500/- are worn for extra comfort sans the safety.

Orazo motorcycling boots review
While atop the Wheelie machine, one has to maintain perfect posture to get that look and they felt completely at home!

Orazo motorcycling boots review – A Paid Endorsement?
  • Given the heavy duty use not limited to riding a motorcycling, the safety shoes wore out in 8 months.
  • The custom boots needed regular maintenance
  • The riding boots are track specific, although can make for tours and rides, but has limited walking or running abilities
  • All this praise and you are wondering if this is a paid review to boost the brand, NO!

These shoes have survived a year worth of carnage thrown at it and still look like it can go for another.  However as an agreed no that they have survived a year and counting I would give these boots a 5 star rating, I will re-visit this post 6 months from now.

Want to check them out? If you are in Pune, you can visit Probiker  Helmets on MG Road and Wildfire in Mumbai. The address to the dealers are as under:

MUMBAI:
WILDIRE Biking & Adventure Gear

Shop No. 4, Shivam CHS, Link Road,

Next to KTM Showroom, Shastri Nagar,

Goregaon West, Mumbai – 400104

+91 8291524979 / +91 9833667270

PUNE:
Probiker Helmets & Accessories

Shop No – 7, Akbars Radiant Plaza,

Behind Aurora Towers, Next to RBS Bank (Old ABN-AMRO),

M.G. Road, Pune – 411001

020 26127000  / +91 8855947000

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