IT’S the sort of bizarre gadget Wallace & Gromit might have dreamt up – but a pair of brainy bikers believe their helmet windscreen wipers will soon have them roaring down the road to riches.
Motorcycle-mad siblings Alan and Jill Boulton have invented a gadget which allows bikers to clean helmet visors with a simple flick of the wrist.
The Visorcat is “a complete visor cleaning system” which contains fluid, a cleaning sponge and wiper blades, and can be worn over a biker glove.
The gizmo, which can remove dirt, flies, and dust with the sweep of a hand, was created and produced with the help of friend Andy Pringle, who also serves as a director in their company Visual Products Ltd.
Ms Boulton, a former journalist who lives in Dunbar, said: “My brother and I are both very into bikes and one night he was taking his down a dark, narrow country road when he realised there was a car coming up very close behind him, basically trying to challenge him.
“Alan is a very experienced biker and normally could have just accelerated away, but his visor was dirty and he didn’t want to risk it with his vision obscured, so he ended up just pulling to the side so the car could pass. I suppose you could say in this case humiliation was the mother of invention.”
Mr Boulton, who had been working as a mechanical engineer, decided he wanted to try something new, while his sister was also at a “career crossroads” after giving birth to her son.
She added: “We began to do market research and looked at putting together a prototype of a visor cleaner that a biker can easily and safely use while actually riding.
“Having all this research and evidence really helped when applying for business grants.” The team were “very lucky” to be awarded a £10,000 prize from the Glasgow based Cultural Enterprise Office which went towards securing a patent for their invention.
After perfecting their design, the Visorcat was launched earlier this year. Ms Boulton added: “The Edinburgh and District Advanced Motorcyclists (EDAM), who are part of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), agreed to road test the Visorcat for us during October – a month where we managed to have just about every type of weather in the space of four weeks. They liked it so much they gave it their official seal of approval.”
Rennie Ritchie, staff examiner at the IAM, agreed: “It provides the rider with better vision, which of course leads to greater safety,” he said.