We’ve always said the Shoei VFX is one of the best dirt bike helmets on the market. The fit, feel, build quality and protection is always superb, which is what you’d expect from a premium helmet that has a premium price tag to match. But for 2018, Shoei did the impossible and made the VFX even better with the release of the VFX-WR.

The design is unique, with the VFX-WR instantly recognisable, especially in the Glaive TC2 graphic which we’ve got. The thick chinbar gives maximum protection from impacts at the front along with making it difficult for anything to enter the front opening when you’ve got goggles in place. And speaking of goggles, the eye port is big enough to accept even the biggest frames. The lining is super-plush (plus removable and washable), with the VFX-WR easily comfortable enough to wear non-stop all day.

But it’s the addition of the M.E.D.S. (Motion Energy Distribution System) which is the big news with the new model. While the main layer of EPS liner absorbs impacts from the outside as usual, an additional centred layer of EPS liner reduces rotational acceleration energy to the head in the event of an accident. Anchored by a larger centre column, the inner layer swings during impact, allowing its three perimeter columns to absorb the energy. The result is a significant reduction of rotational force to the rider’s head along with improved protection from low-speed impacts.

The unique silhouette of the VFX-WR isn’t just for looks, with the shell designed to offer excellent aerodynamics (there’s even a spoiler at the back), combined with allowing for a consistent shell thickness throughout. That shell is made up of a dual-layer, multi density EPS liner that also helps protect from impacts at differing speeds.

Undoubtedly the most comfortable dirt bike helmet I’ve ever worn, I’m hoping I don’t get to test the impact resistance anytime soon. But if I do, I’m happy that I’ve got what I believe to be the best dirt bike helmet money can buy looking after me.

 

Tester: Paul | Distributed by: Whites Powersports | Price: $1049
Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz

 

It seems like everyone is coming out with magic cleaning sprays nowadays. Next thing we know we’ll be seeing “30 Seconds” style ads with dirt bikes. Wouldn’t that be great if you could simply “Spray and walk away…” and your dirt bike would be clean. Okay, so that’s not reality, but the Putoline Put Off cleaner we’ve been using recently is pretty good. You just need to use a brush or sponge and then a jet washer before the walking away bit, but you can be assured the bike will look shiny clean when you do.

Designed as a super-efficient all-purpose cleaner for motorcycles, quads, bicycles, etc. the concentrated formula, which includes Nano Tech components, is not only suitable for delicate surfaces but also helps keep your machine clean after the next ride as the formula assists in stopping dirt stick. It does a pretty good job, although we’d recommend going for the 5-litre bottle as it’s pretty easy to chew through the 1-litre bottle if your machine is particularly grotty.

Tester: Paul | Distributed by: Whites Powersports | Price: $13.27 (1 litre) | $37.43 (5 litre) |
Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz

 

I’ve always heard good things about Forma boots, and until now I’d put them in the too good to be true / take it with a grain of salt category. But I’ve got to admit I’m glad I finally snagged a pair and found out it’s pretty much all true. As I’m currently wearing the Neo Tucson Adventure riding gear, it made perfect sense to try a set of the matching ADV Tourer boots, which are brought into NZ by Forma Distributors, Forbes & Davies.

Okay, the ADV Tourer boots aren’t your fully-fledged Adventure boot like the Forma Adventure boots Chris recently tested, but for a balance between protection and comfort they seem to have the chops for the riding I’m likely to put them through. Slipping them on for the first time, I honestly couldn’t believe how comfy they are. I’ve had some pretty comfortable riding boots in the past, but these Formas are a step ahead. And while I’ve only had the chance to wear them out and about a couple of times, I’m already kinda in love with them.

They offer decent amounts of protection, look stout, and (again) are super comfortable. The sole is probably the standout feature so far, with plenty of grip for trudging through mud, but with enough flex to allow for comfortable walking. The only downside so far is the fastening system, which takes a little bit more effort with its buckle, Velcro strap, and Velcro upper system, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to it.

Stay tuned for the next review to see how they go.

FEATURES

  • Outer

Full-grain oil treated & suede leather upper

Specific adv riding/touring compound rubber sole

Reinforced front plate

Plastic gear pad protection

Lower buckle plastic protection

Padded front and rear collar for added comfort

Personalized suede leather heat protector

Double velcro and lower adjustable/replaceable GH plastic buckle closure

Double rear reflective insert

  • Inner

Personalized Forma Drytex tubular lining (waterproof and breathable)

Shin and ankle TPU moulded plastic protections

Soft polymer padding with memory foam

PP Mid Dual Flex with antishock EVA midsole

Anti-bacterial replaceable footbed with A.P.S. (Air Pump System)

 

Tester: Mat | Price: $379.54 | Distributed by:  Forbes & Davies | Check it: www.forbesanddavies.co.nz

 

If you hit the trails rather than the moto track at the weekend, chances are you’ll be looking for gear that’s designed for the extra demands that riding all day brings. Gear masters, Fox, produce the Legion gear especially for the trail crowd, and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome.

The jersey is, well, a jersey as there’s not really that much more tech to put into a garment that’s essentially designed to be light and cool. The Legion Off-Road jersey ticks those boxes, with the comfortable fit combined with mesh at the sides making it the perfect choice for getting sweaty in the bush. But it’s the pants which are a bit special, with the over-the-boot style not only making them more comfortable to wear (there’s nothing to jam in your boot and rub all day!), but the design also makes for a more unrestricted movement. When you’re on and off the bike all day, cruising around and just generally chilling, the Legion EX pant with their multitude of zipped pockets make for the perfect companion.

 

Finally, the gloves are also tailored for the trails, with a reinforced palm and thumb helping keep blisters to a minimum, plus they’re waterproof and smartphone compatible making them ultra-versatile, just like the rest of the gear.

Even with a fair bit of punishment interspersed with time spent at the bottom of a kit bag, the extra development of the Legion gear to withstand the rigors of the trails makes them the perfect bit of kit for someone who tends to be a bit harsh with their gear. Plus, they also give you the right image, rather than looking like a moto wannabee.

Tester: Chris | Distributed by: Level Ltd | Price: Jersey: $59.95, Pant: $229.95, Glove: $69.95
Check it: Fox Retailers, good bike stores!

 

 

We take a closer look at the MXF ProRider S from glove manufactures FIVE. Its lightweight and comfort, combined with its durability and features make this one of the best off-road gloves on the market today.


CLICK HERE to check them out in a little more detail and to get some for yourself.