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FlatFab’s Christmas list


Dear Santa ! As I have worked a lot this year, even taking the time to write some equipment reviews for Enjoy the ride, I hope you will be generous with a nice, always-on-the-road biker from the South-West.

You already know, I travel around 50,000 km per year, everywhere in France, on all roads and in all weathers. When it rains, when it freezes, when it snows, when it's windy enough... It's not always fun, and that's why I would like some heating equipment to keep me warm during long winter journeys.

But you who only go out in winter, you also know that after the rain comes good weather. And it's not more pleasant when the asphalt melts under the dodger and you sweat profusely in your helmet... even though technical solutions exist to cool your skin and your blood! And then, when you ride for hours and hundreds of kilometers, it's also good to feel protected in the event of a fall and to wear a helmet that doesn't hurt your neck. So for all these good reasons, here is my gift list for Christmas 2019.

First on my gift list for Christmas 2019: latest generation heated gloves!

For winter 2019/2020, the French equipment manufacturer Ixon is marketing two variations of heated motorcycle gloves and “connected”. In partnership with the French “young shoot” air conditioning8 (specialist in thermoregulating textiles), Ixon offers iT Series gloves. Available in ASO (thicker) or YATES version, in black or black and fluorescent yellow.

The principle ? No electrical resistance, no thick gloves. A fine technical textile (with Primaloft thermal lining) which allows you to maintain good sensitivity of the controls as well as thermoregulation of the skin controlled, to the exact degree, by a digital application to install on your mobile phone. All without a cord attached. In fact, the batteries (one per glove) are integrated into the glove cuff. On the battery side, their announced autonomy amounts to several hours (variable depending on the desired temperature). As for their full charge, it only takes three hours.

If in addition, I explain to you that these gloves are approved according to European standard 13594 in its latest 2015 version at the 1KP level, with carbon protective shells on the top and anti-shock pads on the palm, and that Ixon n Didn't forget to add a screen wiper in case of rain... So you'll understand that I need them.

Gloves Ixon it series

An effective internal airbag vest

Presented at eicma salon in Milan at the beginning of November 2019, the dainese universal wireless airbag vest is called the Smart Jacket.

Why this one rather than another? Firstly because it can be worn over or under any slightly loose jacket. In fact, its electronic box is impervious to water and perspiration. Then, because it does not have a back plate, which allows me to keep mine which I chose very large and approved EN 1621-2 level 2. Finally, because its algorithm has been defined to trigger the inflation of the protective cushions in almost all fall configurations. Including in the event of a collision while stationary, with or without hitting an obstacle.

Dainese smart jacket

A special “very cold” under-jacket

For those who are cold of all kinds or for weirdos like me who ride when it's freezing, the equipment manufacturer Gerbing , a specialist in heated clothing, has been improving its products for bikers and snowmobilers alike for 45 years. And for this winter, it's a new under-jacket, the gerbing E-Liner under-jacket, which comes to us from the United States.

Here again, no more electrical resistance plates! The Microwire Pro® process provides a larger heating surface, with hundreds of unbreakable Teflon-coated steel wires sewn into fabric incorporated into the windproof and water-repellent softshell garment. The heat spreads quickly (10 seconds after activation) and evenly over the entire surface of the body: back, bust, collar and sleeves. In addition, this system has a lifetime warranty, and you can connect it to the motorcycle harness or to an optional external battery... I am sure that even you, Santa Claus who comes down from the sky, will adopt it !

An ultra-light modular helmet

When you ride for a long time, the weight of the helmet (possibly increased by wind pressure) ends up tiring the cervical vertebrae and creating chronic pain. Especially in very cold weather. The problem of helmet weight arises even more on modular helmets, whose chin bar mechanism adds weight. Not to mention the sun visor and its mechanism.

Hence, on my gift list for Christmas 2019, the modular helmet from the South Korean manufacturer HJC , RPHA 90S, entirely in carbon fiber. It was announced at 1,400 grams! It nevertheless includes all the very practical equipment that makes life easier for the traveling motorcyclist. Namely: lockable screen, removable double sun visor, Pinlock anti-fog film, micro-metric stainless steel chin strap closure, tool-free screen removal, removable and washable interior foam... So if you too, Santa , you want to take care of your old bones, think about a carbon helmet.

hJC modular helmet

A refreshing vest that doesn't get wet

Because, fortunately, winter stops one day and the sun comes back, it's sometimes over 40°C in Aquitaine and it's not likely to get better in the next few years... It's always good to have with you something to lower the temperature and avoid overheating. For years, I have wet my t-shirt and my neck warmer under a ventilated jacket to cool my skin. But when it's really hot, that means stopping every 30 minutes. Not very practical.

It's been a while now since I discovered the macna “Dry Cooling” vest. This Dutch equipment manufacturer is the only one to offer this technology. The water gets into the vest then evaporates very slowly to reproduce the phenomenon of perspiration and cool the skin without wetting it. Nor without wetting the clothes you wear underneath the vest.

But the first version of this vest suffered from some flaws. Starting with its white color which got dirty very quickly because of sweat.
With the Evo version, Macna corrects the situation in particular with a much less messy gray color. The hydrated pockets of macna Evo vest cover more surface than before, while the non-hydrated surfaces (in black on the vest) are made of a very light fabric, more breathable than on the first version, which makes it more pleasant to wear. So, I too am including him in my Christmas 2019 Santa gift list.

macna vest

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Fabien Lecoutre

Driving trainer, motorcycle journalist, author of biker tourist guides and the Passion Moto Sécurité website... I am above all a passionate "always ride".

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