Think R8 and you instantly think about that beast of an Audi; high end, top notch German design and engineering, sleek looks, highly reliable, with one hell of a power plant behind it. Well replace the word German with British and you have the perfect description for Hope’s new 2200 (3000 generated) lumens 8 x Cree XP-G2 LED light.
This thing really is a work of art, big and burly with a 2 hr run time on max power, going down to literally days of run time on the lowest of the 6 power levels. These power levels are chosen simply by the number of times you press the on/off switch upon the top of the light unit itself.
The power level can also be seen (if running the light on your bars) by the colour the button goes, nifty! Also, after previous criticism, for only having the light flash a few times to tell you your battery is about to die, Hope now comes with a built-in battery indicator light.
Lots of lights (especially those from our Asian neighbours) never really meet up to our expectations, with beams either being to wide or usually to pin-point. The beam pattern of the R8 is incredible, sporting 4 spot lights, 2 diffused lights and 2 elliptical optics, it has an amazing wide, long and close beam, seeming to have all options covered.
We at Enduro Mag have had one of these units on test in the UK gloom for the past month and have to say, we’re impressed. It’s quite a weighty lump of a battery at 665g, but the power source fits easily onto any part of the frame (with a velcro strap) where the weight isn’t noticed. On arrival we thought the light unit was maybe too big and weighty for helmet mounting at 180g. However after a few rips with it fitted to a helmet and the battery in a back-pack, it soon became our preferred method of use with the light being exactly where you are looking. The R8 comes with a real nice handlebar mount (adaptor for narrower bars), this and the helmet mount are also quick release, so you can leave the mounts on all winter. There is a power lead extension and a head mount/strap type thing too.
So at £350 it is not a cheep Chinese glow-stick, so who’s going to buy one? I’d say lots of people to be fair, the sort who’ve maybe owned Hope lights before and know of the no quibbling warranty and the sort of people who like carbon, titanium, XX1, XTR; and most of all, the people who want to turn up with their mates on a night ride and light up the trails like a stadium, with that ‘I’ve got the bestest ones’ smug look on their face!
For more information klick here!
Words and pics: Jim Buchanan