After the palaver I just went through to buy a bike through Team Moto, it was a pleasure to deal with a company that actually have helpful staff.
Deciding I needed new kit, with my current Arai ticking over the seven year mark and stone chipped to death, I took a look through eBay. I soon found a new Arai Vector 2 I liked, along with Alpinestars' gloves and boots. Best of all, some of it was on sale!
The retail industry...
Is somewhat lacking nowadays. No one cares about customer service anymore, so when I find a company that actually get back to you in a timely manner, and makes the whole experience quick and easy, I think they deserve a mention.
I wanted to know about some of the sizes and colours left in stock and emailed Peter Stevens via eBay. Dan got back to me within half an hour with everything I needed to know. When I was ready to order I rang and spoke with AJ; he sorted it out quickly and easily, letting me know if they needed to get something in from another store. Within the week I had my new gear.
As a customer that's how it should be, and these guys come highly recommended. This is what i bought:
The Arai Vector 2.
The fit of an Arai has always been amazing. I've bought the odd cheap helmet over the years for various reasons, but for everyday, continued use I love these. No red marks left on your head from too much pressure, nice snug fit and you can order one from anywhere in the world knowing it's going to be as comfortable as your last.
My matt black Arai was the Vector, this being the later version I guess, and it has the stripe I was going to do on the GSX tank, if I ever get back to that project.
Alpinestars SMX Plus.
My old SMX's have a hole in the sole (boom tish!). The soles seem a little thin to be fair, and go through on the edge of the pegs when you're hanging off the bike. It's a shame because, otherwise, they're still in great condition. I quite fancied the Sidi Vortice, but they were a lot more money and I'm trying to economise. At least these go with the leathers.
Alpinestars GP Pro's.
My current pair of GP Plus gloves have lasted ten years, seriously. They have been amazing gloves in the extreme cold of UK winters, with thin gloves underneath, and the unbearable heat of Australian summers, soaked in sweat. They look well worn, but the stitching is perfect even after an off at QR. When a glove has been that good, I'd be hard pressed to try something different.
These GP Pro's look great and go with the boots. If they last like the others, I'm gonna be happy with this purchase.
And the obligatory black visor.
I'd been tempted on a Bell Qualifier DLX helmet because they come with a self-darkening visor. However, I have no idea how comfy they are and will wait until I can try one on properly. So, a dark visor was added to the list. Genuine part, so you know it's proper.
The Arai visor mechanism is simple, but you need to be firm. If you try to do it nice and gently you get nowhere, but imagine you've got seconds to chuck one on Bruce Ansley's lid in the pits at the Isle of Man and it goes in a treat.
And that, my friends, has left me brassic. The CBR and the gear has been a necessary purchase (in my eyes), and now I just need to get out and use them. Next week we have QR so I'm hoping for a dry day, but at the moment we have constant rain so I won't hold my breath. I'll keep you updated.