â€œ The 3in diameter Mini Mirror includes bar ends to fit standard 7/8Â” diameter bars, or will clamp around most standard bar ends. â€ž
Let's face facts - mirrors on motorcycles look awful. There it is, a sleek, powerful, sexy machine and then a pair of "mickey mouse" ears stuck on it that look unsightly.
Owners of faired sports bikes don't have it as bad as the owners of un-faired bikes, like me. A full fairing provides a foothold on which to bolt on a pair of mirrors. However, the mirrors are usually set so the rider can see most of its arm and elbows and a tiny slither of the road behind, and being virtually un-adjustable, the view is not easily changed. Therefore, the only way to see behind, other than turning round, is to keep moving your arm. This is tiresome on long journeys and quite frankly, unsafe.
The mirrors on naked and retro bikes are stuck on a long stem that it attached to the handlebars. Unlike most of the mirrors on faired bikes, these mirrors are usually fully adjustable allowing the rider to see more of the road behind.
There is one major draw back in that the long stem catches the wind and tends to vibrate. This vibration is exaggerated with the normal vibrations sent through the frame from the engine. In turn the vibration affects the mirror turning the view in to a haze. Again this is not very safe.
I am a rider that likes to be able to have all round vision. I like to know what is going on behind me, as well as in front. It is also a skill that is taught in advanced motoring schools. Continually turning your head to have a look behind is not best practice on a bike, for obvious reasons.
Whilst at a bike show I noticed a naked bike with a mirror stuck on the end of the handle bar. The mirror was oval shape and around 3" long by about 2" across. Intrigued I had to investigate further. Looking at the small mirror I thought that there was no way you could see anything but your arms and chest. How wrong was I.
I sat astride the bike, got in to the riding position and looked in the mirror. I could not see any part of my body - only the rear plastic of the bike and the view beyond. "Brilliant". I had to get a set of these for my Speed Four.
The bike I was on was a show bike that had been tricked up and these mirrors were specialist parts that were only available for a Bandit. I asked the bloke on the stand if there was any way that they could be modified to fit my Triumph. The response was a definite no. Fantastic.
Disappointed I left the stand. Back at home I carried out some Internet research and found some of these bar end mirrors. The price varied greatly from Â£20 per pair to nearly Â£100 per pair. There were no reviews or comparisons available (as with many products - which is why I now love Ciao so much!). In all cases the fitting instructions involved cutting the bar end off and effectively stuffing the mirror in the end. I was a bit apprehensive about this.
After nearly giving up hope I stumbled across the Motrax bar end mirrors. These were 3" in diameter and round, as opposed to oval. The description stated that these mirrors came with a clamp that was fixed to the bar ends - no cutting or mutilation was involved. The next best thing was the price Â£29.99 per pair.
Whilst I did not like the immediate look of the round mirrors (I did have my heart set on the oval ones), and I could not tell if they would give the same view as the oval mirrors I decided to purchase a pair, after all at Â£29.99 if they did look awful, or did not provide the vision then I could just chuck them on Ebay and try to recover some of my money.
I ordered the mirrors from M&P and waited for delivery. These mirrors were the easiest things to fit. They came on a small clamp that was opened up, put on to the end of the handle bar and then screwed up tight. Fitting took a matter of seconds. In fact, it took longer to unscrew the original mirrors (and stems) from the top yoke!
The 3" round mirror did not look too bad. In fact the shape is a grower and the more I looked at it the more it seemed appropriate for the bike. The glass is mounted in a black plastic casing, which in turn is mounted on a ball and socket joint meaning that they are fully adjustable. The ball and socket joint is tight - which is a good thing since the mirror can be positioned in the best place for the rider and it will stay there - even with the vibrations created by the engine.
The view the round Motrax mirrors give is great. The round shape does not compromise vision at all, and just like the oval shape ones, it shows the tail plastics and the road behind. The rider is not in view.
Now the mirrors were fitted it was time to give them a quick ride out. The mirrors, being on a ball and socket joint, sit millimetres above the bar ends. There are no ugly and long stems to catch the wind. The mirrors do not vibrate - at all and they provide crystal clear views of the road and objects behind. I can even see the individual numbers and letters of the number plate of the vehicle behind - this would never have happened with the original mirrors (unless I was sitting still with the engine turned off).
Having a mirror stuck to your bar end is weird, at first. I thought they looked out of place. In addition, I kept knocking them since I used to like my hands right at the end of the handlebars. However, like everything else you get used to them. It should also be noted that these mirrors stick out a bit further than the bar ends which means they can easily be knocked off when filtering through/past stationery traffic - if you pass vehicles that close.
The only disadvantage with these mirrors is that they look a bit cheap and nasty. The black plastic case is not flattering - and it is a shame that they are not produced in stainless steel - however, they would be a lot more expensive if they were. The black suits my bike since it Green with a matt black frame and stainless would not look right.
All in all, the motrax bar end mirrors are the best around. At Â£29.99 per pair they are at the cheaper end of the scale. Fitting them takes seconds and there is no need to 'butcher' your pride and joy as there is no cutting required. The vision and clarity is second to none and the fact they don't vibrate (not even a little) is excellent.
So if you want to get rid of your mickey mouse ear mirrors, and give your naked bike the look it deserves, as well as having fully functional mirrors with great views behind then get a pair of the Motrax bar ends.
(This review has previously been posted on other review sites under the name of yackers1).