DAVIDA, SHOCK FACTORY, POWERHOUSE: a round up of various items we’ve put to the test this year…
A one piece polycarbonate lens with stainless steel trim and stretch retainer band. The latter stretches round the outside of an open face lid, and can be secured to the rear of Davida’s excellent Jet range of helmets by simply passing the band through the leather goggle retainer at the rear (see pic below). Since I only use a full face helmet on sports bikes, I’ve used the visor extensively and in a variety of conditions. With a decent open face you’re going to experience peripheral vision beyond the scope of nearly all full face lids, and unlike goggles or shades Davida’s visor does not compromise angle of view. With the aviator style visor in situ, vision will be further enhanced by a total lack of misting, since temperature will be the same on both sides, making inserts and anti fog products redundant. I found the surface to be more scratch resistant than own brand, full face visors from manufacturers like Shoei and Arai.
The solitary downside of this useful piece of kit was very marginal: a combination of three figure speeds and single figure temperatures made eye watering an occasional and brief issue. To some extent, simply angling my head down a few degrees helped avoid experiencing an impressionistic world from the saddle: the other option being to slow down… The visor comes in clear and light smoke tint, and is simply a no brainer for owners of a Davida Jet lid.
The Jet itself has proved robust, comfortable and in terms of noise reduction is quite simply the best helmet of any type I’ve experienced, which turns out to be a far from unique opinion. Davida offer a sumptuous range of paint schemes, and urban users can look stylish while unleashing a volley of abuse – or simply chatting up whoever takes their fancy at the lights….
SHOCK FACTORY M SHOCK
This little beauty has been decorating the 03 750 Silver Machine’s arse end since early summer, and has been absolutely equal to the task placed in front of it, on a wide variety of surfaces, conditions and speeds. This is significant since Mike Capon’s creation had initially been perceived as more of an upgrade for roadsters and tourers whose OE equipage has often been found wanting in the suspension department. There is no remote reservoir and all damping is controlled by a single rotary knob, pre-load being adjusted in the usual manner by wielding a C spanner (supplied). And yet the simple dual control option works brilliantly, and unlike vastly more expensive pieces of kit, each shock is individually numbered, put together and set up to owner specs by Mike, which gives the product a bespoke feeling. It’s all about as far from a warehouse in Shanghai as you can get: components are high quality. Mike adjusted the shock and spring for my weight before despatch, bearing in mind the type of riding and bike involved. I found this setting to be on the firm side for the iffy surfaces to be found aplenty on Dorset and Somerset B roads – even on a sportsbike you’ll be quicker on poor surfaces with compliant suspension – but all that changed the minute we got on anything remotely respectable. The 750s from SRAD incarnation on have all been sweet handlers, but we’re talking a K3 and anyone riding a late nineties / early naughties sportsbike who is looking to freshen things up without breaking the bank could do far worse. The 750 stayed in Bg’s two bike fleet when temperatures started to drop, at which I backed off on the damping. In winter softer settings give the tyres a better chance to stay in touch with the dubious tarmac beneath. Thus adjusted, even with Racetechs in situ and in poor conditions, the Gix never had a moment. Recommended.
Powerhouse Restored Calipers
Lawson Smith is the man responsible for caliper rebuilds and refurbs at Powerhouse. This option often makes more financial sense than simply binning the old and buying the new – and not just financially. If the job is done properly, you will end up with a product with functionality as good as new – the cosmetics may not quite match up to box fresh, but we’re talking about calipers here. Powerhouse also offer a range of refurbed calipers for direct sale: again, decent value – part of the deal is that you send off your old ones for Lawson to salvage as he sees fit.. This was the fate of the Silver Machine’s OE 4 pots (c.2003), whose worn internals rendered them more suitable as part of a percussion ensemble. A set of refurbed Tokicko calipers were promptly despatched, and braking power was restored to original spec, without the custom sound track. Purely from a GSXR viewpoint, an alternative would have been to go down the radial route, as Suzuki did themselves from 04. However, that would have entailed more expense, since forks from the later bike would be required along with the radial calipers. Powerhouse’s service was prompt and the goods did the business. Recommended.