Long gone are the days of parking your bike on an upturned milk crate in the middle of the farmer’s field – although, yes, we miss those simple times. Today our motorcycle federations are increasingly environmentally aware (no bad thing) and ask that we use pit mats whenever we’re working on our bikes in the open, and especially at enduro service where a fuel spillage isn’t a possibility, it’s a probability.
Pit mats, sometimes called environmental mats, are typically little more than rubber-backed carpets. But not all. Our Warren M. being something of an OCD-type caught sight of Polisport’s polypropylene (plastic) folding pit mats – which work so well with their folding bike stands – and knew these were for him.
What’s to like is that this mat is a real man’s solution to the pit mat job. The folding plastic panels come together (their hinged) to give a clean and, importantly, flat working platform. There’s a proper recess – with absorbent mat – ready to catch up to a litre of spilled liquids. And we like the wee pockets arranged around the outside which are ideal to place nuts and bolts, caps etc temporarily removed from the bike – so it offers an easily ordered working platform. It is easy to keep clean (invariably it gets jet-washed) and so doesn’t look so much like an environmental disaster after just a couple of uses, as mats can. The moulded-in handle makes it a doddle to carry around too.
It’s a highly functional piece of kit and once folded you can simply slide it into the back of the van nice and neat, although we could argue the one downside is it takes up a fair bit of room and isn’t as easily stowed as a rolled mat. It weighs a bit too – so two negatives there. But on balance we like the Polisport pit mat a lot. At about £80 (in the UK) they’re a steady £20 or so more than a decent mat, but the extra outlay is worth it.