Its that time of year again, the nights are drawing in and for after work rides it is now essential to run some lights on your pride and joy. I had some Hope HID lights several years ago and was always impressed with their slick design and the fantastic aftermarket warranty service. I did however switch over to the cheap side last winter, deciding to go over to some cheap Chinese lights, you know, the ones that are all the same but have about a hundred different names on Ebay! I have to admit for the money their brightness was OK, they were quite industrial looking, with a bit of a pin-point beam, but when a fully charged battery died (after half an hour of riding) down one of my favourite downhill trails, my trust in them was somewhat destroyed.
Now this trick little beauty, the R4 came to me a month or so ago and has had a good thrashing around my local woods several times since. Their performance and design is second to none, with the actual light unit being far more light-weight and smaller than the original HID version. They come with a great, simple to add and remove velcro helmet strap, lovely machined bar mount, hat strap and different option cable lengths, dependent on where you mount the battery.
The simple to use, single button on top of the light, depicts which mode (6 to choose from) you want the light in, with many variants available at your fingertip. With the light switched to the lowest power it has an incredible 50 hours burn time, wow! On maximum output it is reduced to 2 1/2 hrs, but with the lesser power available so easy, you can greatly extend the life of your battery on a ride when turning the power down on parts of the trail (i.e up a fire-road) where full power is not necessary.
The battery itself is a 5200mah Li-Ion unit kicking out 1000 lumens which generates a full 1446 lumens and the charge time is 6 hours. The all important bit, the beam, is awesome, with a great wide and long distance, with a full stretch of 105 meters. Weight comes in at 338g
Hope have also just released the massively powerful R8, this beast is coming in at around the £350 mark and is the daddy of Hope lights, hopefully we will have one of these coming in on test soon too, watch this space!
Price £250.00 rrp www.hopetech.com
Words: Jim Buchanan Photos: Doc Ward, Jim Buchanan