Archive for ATGATT

Helmet – Vega V-tune full face helmet

The Vega V-Tune full-faced helmet offers a variety of nifty features – Bluetooth equipped, volume/track controls on the outside of the helmet, drop down sunshield (which reminds me of “Top Gun” every time) all in a sleek gloss black finish and for a price that was too good to resist.

I picked this up as a second helmet seemed like a good idea, and quite frankly I wanted to see how a different type of Bluetooth equipped helmet worked.

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Helmet – Vcan 136 – Tinted Visor

So I’ve been wearing the Vcan 136 helmet for a few months now, and aside from the minor soldered connection issue early on (quick fix and no further issues) it’s performed flawlessly.

The helmet is comfortable, reasonably well vented and fits me well. My only complaint is that the visor wasn’t tinted. A few minutes hunting around on Ebay sorted that out, with a tinted visor quickly shipped to me.

Vcan 136 with tinted visor

The visor is a drop in replacement for the clear plastic one the helmet comes with, and looks better. We’ll see how it does for real over the next few weeks.

Jacket – No-Name Armored Cordura

When I got my bike I wanted some proper apparel without breaking the bank, I turned to Ebay and ordered a few items. One of the first was a Generic Black/Gray Cordura Armored Jacket. The price (at slightly under $100 delivered) was excellent, and the colors matched the bike – seemed perfect. Delivery was amazingly fast (within a week).

Ebay no-name Jacket

I’ll admit that I was suitably impressed with the jacket when I first got it. It was plenty warm, comfortable and shed water nicely, but as the weather grew warmer I realized that despite the zip out liner in the jacket, there was NO venting AT ALL, resulting in my getting all melty (and flustered) any time I had to put the thing on in anything room temperature or above.

I still think it is an excellent spring/fall jacket (the lack of venting, and any interior pockets being the only two issues), but I’ve since replaced it with a Power Trip Mojave Mesh jacket (also armored and with removable liner) from Royal Distributing which is much, MUCH, more comfortable.

Helmet – Vcan Model 136 Helmet

I bought this helmet in April, and am a big fan. The helmet itself is nothing special, full face helmet with the sort of venting you’d expect, all in a matte black finish. It’s the integrated bluetooth that I find particularly useful. Allowing me to listen to music, hands-free answering (or ignoring) of both phone calls and text messages and the use of my phones GPS while riding.

Vcan Mdl 136

Within two weeks of it’s arrival the speaker inside the helmet failed. I took it all apart and found that one of the soldered connections had broken off. Fortunately I am a little handy and with a bit of cursing and muttering I was able to re-solder it, and popped some marine silicon on there for good measure. It’s worked perfectly since.

The sound quality is so-so, but we’re not lounging on the couch, it provides adequate background music (in the left ear only) for a rider, without drowning out traffic noise. The external volume control (a dial – turn counter clockwise for lower, clockwise for higher) is PERFECT allowing the rider to adjust the volume in town or on the highway with little effort (and can be done with either hand – although the control is on the left side of the helmet).

Although the unit is advertised as having a one button does all (answer/ignore/connect etc) button in the middle of the volume dial, I MUCH prefer using Android apps to make the entire process (except volume control) hands free so I can concentrate on the ride.

Battery capacity depends on use. Non-stop music the battery in the helmet seems to last for about 4 hours. Used in standby mode with a phone I haven’t managed to kill the battery yet (8 hours +).

I know riders have mixed feelings on this, but I feel better knowing that if my daughters school calls while I’m riding I can take the call without having to pull over EVERY time my phone rings. The music is an added bonus, and I can’t recall the last time I rode without it.

The unit is also capable of pairing with like (Blinc) helmets for rider/pillion or rider/rider (with a stated range of approx 1000 meters), but I have not yet had a chance to test this.