How do they do it? You've seen them -- wearing beanie
helmets and T-shirts, teeth in the wind.
When I ride, bees, bugs and even Juglans nigra
(Eastern Black Walnuts, for the uninitiated) conspire to pound
the snot out of me.
And that's with a full-face helmet.
So how do those naked-faced dudes survive the onslaught?
Just like hot dog ingredients, why people buy stuff from
infomercials, who uses "Personal Warming Liquid" and the Riemann
hypothesis, we'll never know.
For the rest of us, there's the V2 Sponge.
Weird name; weird shape and only John Bull knows who came up with the idea,
but it works.
Why it works is a mystery, but the company says
that the "microcell" foam has the "tiniest fibres you can imagine"
(that's "fibers" for us Yanks) that -- get this -- "don't
just slide over the muck that's left on your visor, they
actually cut into it like little cheesewires and lift it away."
OK, so what do I know? The Brits are aces with anything
related to motorcycles (uh, motorbikes), having basically invented and dominated the
industry for the first 50 years or so (see the
The British Motorcycle Directory). If they
say the V2 Sponge works, I'll believe it.
But why England? Don't we have more bees,
bugs and, yep, even Black Walnuts here than there? I guess
not. But just like toffee, tea and Marmite, don't
we need the V2 Sponge too?
Well, maybe not the Marmite...
Rated as the UK's Motorcycle News "Product of the Year"
for 2005 and raved about by nearly every independent bike rag in
Blighty, the V2 Sponge is now available in the Colonies too.
But, you ask, what is it really?
The V2 Sponge is a visor cleaning system specially designed for
motorcyclists. The small package (photo below) contains a
-- you guessed it -- V-shaped sponge, an orange carrying bag and a
couple of special visor wipes.
The basic idea is to wet the sponge and keep it sealed in the
plastic carrying bag and in your motorcycle jacket pocket.
Take out the bag, open it up and use the specially formulated
and shaped (in case you haven't noticed, it's a "V") sponge to
clean your visor.
The material is not like any sponge I've ever tried; the foam is
pretty dense (photo below) and relatively stiff. It is not
impregnated (there's a word for you...) with any chemical --
just a pure and plain ol' micro-cell sponge, albeit with
"21st Century" technology .
It's reusable multiple (as in: alot) times, and when it gets
dirty, simply rinse and wring with more fresh water and you're all
So what's up with the "V" shape? Believe it or not, they
did a lot of research on the foam, the shape and everything
else. Supposedly the V "increases the length of the
leading edge of the sponge by 7% for the same given height and
improves muck lifting all along that edge."
By the way: "muck", translated from Blighty to Yank-speak means
"dirt" (that's "doit" in Brooklyn). Another reason for the
"V" shape is so the tip of the "V" can be used to clean up
inside the visor without removing it. The visor, that is.
And supposedly the squared-off "V" shape gives the thing more
corners, which can be used to work off the muck.
Hmmm...that one sounds weak, but we'll let it pass.
The special blue wipes that come in the package work very nicely
to absorb what little water is left on the visor, and the end
result is a clean 'n' shiny outlook on life. By the way -- I've heard
reports of V2 Sponge owners becoming obsessed with cleaning
their visor after they've tried it a couple of times, so do
everyone a favor and make sure you're pulled over out of traffic
of the V2 Sponge
The company claims that the V2 Sponge is "100% Soft and Safe",
and works on clear, tinted, mirror and iridium plated visors.
They don't recommend cleaning visor inserts, like the
Fog City or ProGrip, because they're too soft.
We tried dirtying up a visor with some basic potting soil from
one of my wife's indoor plants (shhhhh!) and we used the V2
Sponge to clean it off 50 times in a row, just for kicks (it was
a rainy day) and there were no noticeable scratches.
But the V2 lads reasonably suggests using common sense: "you
wouldn't rub your tank or fairing if it had a coating of dry
dusty sand all over it and a visor is no different", they say.
Apparently they don't know lawyers like we know lawyers...
Yep, it seems like a simple product, but simple is good,
n'est-ce pas? It works better than anything I've
tried, and it's a nice modern upgrade of the old
Wee Willy system, which has a limp sponge and requires a --
yuck! -- chemical to do the same thing.
And before you ask -- yes, you can use that stinking, black
hell-water that they keep in gas (uh, petrol) stations for
cleaning car windows, but who wants to? I don't step
within 10 feet of that stuff, car or no.
You can also carry a bottle of Glass Plus in your pocket, but
that's a little like carrying a 30 mm, 6 point socket and 1/2"
drive breaker bar because your rear axle nut may come loose.
Doable, but not practical.
On the other hand, you can simply buy a few of these and keep
one in every jacket pocket while you laugh at beanie
NOTE: Brand-new product in the U.S.A., distributed by SMF Cycles.
Order online or call 866-599-6111 for dealer info or for more information.
Retail Price: $4.95 per V2 Sponge pack + $1.50 S/H. Dealers can
order them in packs of 20.
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "C" (October 2011): "I used
the V2 Visor Sponge and loved it. It worked great on
my helmet shield and was also awesome on getting bug
guts off my headlight covers and front plastic. The
sponge is quite small and wears out quickly, but I
noticed that it's made of the same material as the
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
I tried the magic eraser and not only does it work
the same, it's larger, thicker and much cheaper than
the v-sponge. Kudos to the guy who discovered it,
but kudos to me for finding a cheaper replacement."
From "R" (9/09): "I used a V2 sponge yesterday for
the first time ever. Prior to that I have always used
Sprayway cleaner (review) as suggested on here. I was
impressed with the V2 sponge that it cleans the visor fast and it so
My question is my buddy brought this up he was wondering if the Mr.
Clean magic eraser was safe for visors. I looked on the Mr. Clean
sight and it mentions only "helmets" in the list of what it can be used
for. And also it does not list what chemicals or whatever it has
as the cleaning agent.
Just thought I'd ask and maybe yall could do a review if it seems it
should work and works well. Then that could be a find it anywhere,
very very portable solution to cleaning our visors."
Editor's Reply: If it has embedded cleansers or
ammonia, I wouldn't use it. I use only water, Glass Plus or
Sprayway to clean my helmets and visors.
From "W.C.": "I think the V2 does a great job, it
cleans very well and it does not seem to scratch the visor. It is
very easy, keep it wet, put in the included bag, and throw it in the
From "J": "Um, why? I mean, a packet of Windex wipes
works well, is cheap (maybe not as cheap, but...), fits just about
anywhere, and are available at every grocery and almost every
convenience store and gas station."
Editor's Response: Good Question, "J"! Actually,
Windex should not be used on polycarbonate visors because it contains
ammonia, which can cloud the plastic. And the V2 Sponge is
specially formulated so it won't scratch the visor; paper towels or
other household wipes aren't always safe to use on clear polycarbonate,
as they may scratch the relatively soft material.
From "D.": "You are DEAD on with this review!
I bought a bunch of these V2s quite a while ago and think they are
fantastic. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I have, more than
once, stuck a V2 sponge in the face of a co-rider during a break stop
extolling the virtues of this very simple product. Yes it's simple
but it's one of the handiest accessories that I carry with me - and the
sponge seems to never run dry!?!"