Top UK Track Days
Here in the UK we have a strong history of riding. With our country lanes providing excellent riding in virtually all parts of the country, along with the bank holiday tradition of get-togethers and mass outings, there’s a lot of fun to be had on our roads. However, sometimes that simply isn’t enough. If you’re anything like me, you’ll relish the chance to really let loose with trackdays whenever you can. Regardless of your level there’s a trackday out there for you. But they can be expensive, usually upwards of £100 before you’ve even gassed up. This list should give you a bit of a better idea of the right track for you.
Brands Hatch (Fawkham, Kent)
The classic British racetrack, Brands Hatch, has something of a fearsome reputation. As the spiritual home of superbike racing, it’s definitely one to put up on your to-ride list. Racing usually starts here at 9:00 am, and can continue until 6:30 pm, but no later, due to a nearby housing estate. Still, that’s more than enough riding to be had. While it is considered an advanced track, there are numerous novice and intermediate events held here. While it’s possible to have your trackday here as a beginner, it’s well worth waiting until you have around ten under your belt and going for the higher-speed advanced rides. The only real drawback is the cost, which will usually set you back upwards of the £150 mark.
Silverstone (Silverstone, Northamptonshire)
While in the past it’s not often been considered a course ideal for superbike racing, Silverstone has seen a good deal of work specifically to convert it for bikes, most notably the bridge at Bridge Corner. There are a few restrictions worth noting at Silverstone, namely a 102Db volume restriction (105Db static). The course itself offers a nice bonus in the addition of MotoGP legend Ron Haslam hanging around the place, although he’s not always on hand. The track limits the number of bikes to around fifty (depending on who you book with), which makes a nice change.
Donnington Park (Derby, Leicestershire)
Having failed to pick up both Formula One and MotoGP, Donnington is something of a sickly child when it comes to UK race circuits. Still, the 23 years of MotoGP experience it’s had means that this is still something of a Mecca for us superbike types. Demanding technical expertise and offering exhilarating rides, Donnington Park is a circuit of two halves. It’s not a particularly varied course, but it sure as hell separates the men from the boys. A really nice touch is the chance for track evenings. Prices seem to vary greatly, so look out for the good deals.
As well as those three greats, it’s well worth looking at cricuits like Cadwell Park, Snetterton and Oulton Park, which can offer much cheaper days out if you’re working on a budget. Whatever you do, make the most of your next trackday and be aware of the restrictions for roadworthiness, clothing, and volume. Take it from me, being turned away from a trackday because of a silly oversight really stings.
HOOD are the UK’s leading manufacturer of protective motorbike jeans.
Our Relationship with KNOX Armour
With a history that stretches back as far as 1981, KNOX armour is the go to gear for dynamic impact protection for motorcycles. That’s why we at Hood Jeans use this great guard in our products.
The consistency and the technological superiority of the KNOX brand has made it a leader in the industry and the ideal, high quality product to team up with our great high end jeans. All of KNOX’s products are CE approved and held in the highest acclaim by those in the motorbike industry.
Our optional use of the KNOX knee and hip armour ensures that should the unfortunate happen, the mix of this gear and our own Hood Jeans keeps you as safe as possible - have a look at our real life stories for testimony.
KNOX Flexiform Lite Range
The latest generation of the KNOX Flexiform Lite range is one of our most popular upgrades for our jeans. Made from the highest performing PU foam, these are soft and very flexible protective pieces that offer amazing protection yet are barely noticeable in your jeans. This new armour adds that extra comfort many other protectors don’t to riding - something at the centre of our jeans.
Our great modern looking jeans offer amazing impact protection thanks to the KNOX option. Aside from this new KNOX armour, we also have some other fantastic, body saving KNOX products and the Kompakt Back Protector is one of our favourites. Team this item up with our K7 jacket and you have one of the most comfortable protectors on the market and also one that’s brilliantly portable as it’s amazingly light and folds up to a tiny footprint.
This item is suitable for everything from extreme sports, and is extremely slim and light - only 500g - meaning unlike others we could mention, you’ll probably not even notice it.
KNOX Advanced X armour is also a great addition to the range and provides amazing, award winning protection Advanced X is very economically priced and and is one of our best sellers. It’s a three layer armour and has a honeycomb core, making it light weight and extremely flexible. It’s available for knees, hips, elbows and shoulders also, meaning you have protection where you require it.
The technical innovation of KNOX products goes well with the on the ball ethos of our own products. All of KNOX’s gear is independently tested and CE certified, so you know you can trust it. Unlike others, KNOX armour is seen to live up and to surpass its claims through independent tests.
So, if you’re looking for great quality products, from two companies who provide excellent mutually compatible products, then our work at Hood Jeans with KNOX is probably exactly what you need. Protection, style and innovation for you via our excellent K7 range.
Need to know more? Check out our range of motorbike jeans with Knox Armour options.
Poole Global Trek and Hood Jeans
A world trip via the road is probably the greatest of all testaments to biking. Getting out in the open air and just seeing the great planet we call home is one of the dreams of many riders. Nick and Lesley Poole from Wymondham in Norfolk, England did so, wearing Hood Jeans motorbike jeans all the way.
The couple started their journey in 2006 and managed to travel to as far flung places as Panama and Laos on their BMW GS1150 Adventure - an aptly titled bike if there was one. Having covered a distance of 89,000 miles their trip in our jeans is a testament to the spirit of adventure and one we are proud they trusted us with.
Across the Universe
From culture to culture and country to country and dare we say it dubious driving nation, to dubious driving nation, the journey these pair took is something of spectacular merit.
The journey, which took on board raising money for charity Keeping Abreast, began in 2006, though the couple would claim that they had decided on doing so a lot earlier. Beginning from Norfolk they brought the very basics necessary initially including a ball compass, 2 security cables and of course an inflatable saddle cover for comfort on those longer tracks. They also brought essentials such as a skipping rope, umbrella and a Frisbee.
The couple travelled the USA first and have managed to see such far flung parts as Alaska, before heading to Mexico and Central America and its wonderful countries. From there South America was on the cards, before they skipped across the New Zealand and the Australia, where they visited family in both places.
The Far East
Asia was next on the wonderful trip and trips to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and elsewhere ensued before they travelled to Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. Of course, travelling through the Middle East, to Europe is one that not even our gear can help them with and it all was dependent on the political situation at the time, which was fortunately okay. Once in Turkey, the couple rode home across Europe, through Bulgaria, Hungary and the South of the Continent until they reach Blighty.
Through thick and thin and thrill and excitement, Nick and Lesley managed to come back all in one piece after the trip of a life time. Our gear protected them all the way and still looked good at the very end, while it also obviously ensured their safety on their trip around the world.
Three years is a long time to be away from home, however upon arrival home, the press heard about the trek they wanted part of the wonderfully exciting story. Just so you know, the BMW also remained in one piece and we’d imagine there are few bikes in the world that have seen so much, in fact we doubt any of our Hood Jeans gear has either.
Interested in checking out our 2012 collection? Click here - Hood Motorbike Jeans
What is D3O Armour?
D3O armour has the excellent properties of being soft and flexible in normal conditions, but on impact , its molecules lock together to reduce and dissipate the force transmitted it’s nearly impenetrable. It is available on all of Hood partner brand Kyrano’s motorbike jeans as standard.
D3O armour’s popularity is down to the simple fact it provides the strength of body armour, yet it doesn’t actually take on the bulky appearance of such strong, but large plating and it’s soft and flexible so comfortable to wear . So, how does such thin armour actually work?
What’s it Made From?
The D3O technology is a composite material, comprising polymers and dilatant fluid – dilatant materials increase viscosity with the rate of the strain. For the non-scientific among us, this means in standard conditions, the molecules flow freely allowing the material to remain soft and flexible, but on impact, they lock together to absorb impact energy and reduce the force transmitted. The molecules instantly return to their flexible state.
The material is strain rate sensitive which means the stronger the impact, the more the molecules react, and better the protection.
The best and most real life example most people use is corn starch and water. If you stir the mixture at a slow rate it can be easily done, however faster stirring means increased viscosity and makes it a lot harder to do. This is very similar to what happens when D3O materials take an impact.
The great thing about D3O armour on bikes is that it’s amazingly flexible and as comfortable as normal clothing when it’s in everyday use. However when it undergoes an impact its molecules lock together to reduce the force of the bang transmittedand dissipates the impact energy across its mass.
Originally the D3O material made its way to the public eye in winter sports and the winter sports games as it was used in the Spyder race suits for the US and Canadian Ski teams.
The vanity of snow sports means wearing a conventional helmet is off limits, though obviously essential for well being if you land head first into some concrete like compacted snow. So, D3O beanie hats became the answer to all problems. These hats offer a fashionable, but practical take on head gear for snow sports.
This then led to the material being used in ski jackets and pants, as well as into lacrosse armour, ballet shoes and a range of other areas, including iPhone covers.
When compared to older kinds of armour, D3O is a far slimmer and more stylish alternative. The fact that the armour can be placed in our motorbike jeans means it is very popular with people who don’t want the atypical biker image.
The pads also provide a lot more flexibility for everyday life and really just feel like any other form of slightly thick clothing. The material has only begun to find its position in the consumer market and with a number of advances expected in the near future, expect to see the armour become increasingly strong.
If you want any more information on D3O body armour and its amazing properties - just contact us.
Road Safety Campaign for Younger Riders
Teachers will tell you one of the best ways in which to teach children of any danger is to show them the repercussion of their actions. Of course for younger ones, speed is often one of the pivotal motivations of purchasing a bike and a mixture of inexperience and power can be deadly.
There’s no doubting that no matter what young people will want to go fast, so the only real pragmatic thing to do is to educate them and protect them. This is why our work with the Road Safety Team of Gloucestershire Council began. We wanted to show the different protection levels of different clothing.
We’re all familiar with inexperienced riders without the appropriate gear – tracksuit bottoms being one example of the apparel on show. So, with the commission of the Safety Team, we created a garment that was half jogger, half our HOOD K7 Motorcycle Jean. This garment was used at clubs, events and talks to show people that protection doesn’t have to cost in style terms. The perceptions that leather trousers are the only protective gear out there still is strong with many; however, we wanted to change that notion.
Our commission didn’t end there; the council asked us to do a drag test with our motorbike jeans and the high street jogger mix to show the variation in protective qualities. We joined these two pairs of trousers in two halves and put them through the same drag test.
By filling the trousers up with 50KG of para- aramid and dragging the garment for a quarter mile at 40mph, we could show the protection levels of the different clothing. We drove both sides of the trousers for this same distance, or as much of a distance as they would last. As you can imagine, it was an eventful but expected result.
A 40mph, the jogger became a shredded shadow of itself within the first few metres, whereas our renowned Hood K7 jean’s side performed just as we expected – excellently.
Our speciality Hood/ Kyrano jeans, with their tight weave denim did very well in the test and when compared to the jogger show instantly what we set out to show. The denim lasted for a good period of time and when it eventually wore though the high-tech para-aramid lining did an excellent job of holding everything together and staying perfectly intact.
Of course, this demonstrates to anyone on the spectrum of very interested to sceptical the abilities of our jeans. Our Hood Jean has never failed a customer, even at speeds of up to 90mph. The high-tech para-aramid abrasion protection did very well, performing exactly as it said it would do – which makes us proud and keeps you safe.