A “Magic Eraser” type of sponge to help keep a helmet face shield clean.
Moisten the V2 Sponge and keep it in its sealed plastic carrying bag for use on the road.
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 wBW review of 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 set.
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 first?
wBW Video: V2 Visor 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 Pinlock, 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.
Humph. 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 wearers.
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 small.
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 tank bag.”
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!?!”