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03.07.2014 admin
Davida’s iconic low profile Ninety2 helmet has now been significantly improved with a quilted leather-lined interior. Constructed with a Kevlar reinforced fibreglass composite shell, it’s lined with a polystyrene shock absorber that is bolstered around the ears, and finished with a quilted leather interior with cloth trim. Davida have been producing British designed and handmade helmets for more than thirty years, and have been uncompromising in their commitment to quality head protection.
The Ninety2 is available in over fifty colour-ways, and are hand sprayed in their factory in Liverpool. The jacket is named in tribute to the Jackie Robinson Parkway that runs from Brooklyn to Queens.
This is a tough and good looking jacket finished with a red tartan lining and satin lined sleeves.
So after some time companies are starting to think about this scene and how to better serve it. Now Pike Brothers are known for producing high quality heritage gear, from shirts to dungarees. The one thing that stands out most is that the removable Kevlar lining, if you’re like me and prefer to wears jeans like this whilst riding through the south of Europe in the summer when it is baking hot, they are comfortable on the bike. French brand Fleur De Bagne produce low quantity high quality work wear with a contemporary angle. The designs have a distinct Gallic angle, taking its inspiration from the Le Millieu, the French criminal underworld of the early 20th Century that thrived around the port of Marseilles. The St Jean Du Moroni is a well constructed thick cotton work shirt that can be worn as a light jacket or as a layer under leathers. The shirt is named after the Saint -Jean du Marconi penal colony in Guyana where French convicts, often just children and vagrants, were sent to languish.
Our mates down at Bolt are retailing some very cool reading lamps converted from Bates motorcycle headlights by Barrie Sharpe’s Sharpeye. Mounted on an aluminium machined base with a brass Sharpeye plaque, they come in three variations, the round 16cm Roadsta, the smaller round 13cm Speedsta, and the  triangle 13cm Tracka, each encased in a chrome surround. Barrie, one of the founders of the London Rare Groove movement and founder of legendary clothing label Duffer Of St George, is a DJ, musician, fashion designer and motorcycle builder. Bolt is the love child of scooterist and biker Andrew Almond; a showroom for professional bike builders, a gallery for artists and photographers, and a retail space for independent apparel and vintage collectables.
Never heard of Fleurs de Bagne but what a weird brand name…in French Fleurs are flowers but would translate here as Pearls and Bagne is slang for prison. So Pearls of Prison is an ode to prison fashion – yet they do not sell stripey pyjamas or balls and chains! So would I want to wear fashionable prison garments at the risk of looking like an escaped convict from the last century? I’m four months in with my Alexander Leathers Arkansas jacket, and it’s already become a close friend.
Inspired by the classic 1920’s half-belt jacket, it’s a simple design with an angled breast pocket and two hand-warmer pockets lined in moleskin.
Alexander Leathers are based in Selkirk Scotland, and their focus is the recreation of classic leather jackets of bygone eras.
The Arkansas is available to order, and can be manufactured in Horween Horsehide, Horween Chromexcel Steer and Bison, Goatskin or smooth steer, in a variety of colours. Churchill Gloves are made from deerskin, an extremely strong yet soft and flexible leather.  Unlike other leather gloves, deerskin gloves dry to their original soft condition.
Every hide that is used to make Churchill glove is chosen for optimum colour matching and weight.
The Maverick has a Poron Urethene foam padded palm that is a flexible high density product that maintains excellent resistance to compression. Churchill claim “Experienced cutters, sewers, formers and inspectors, plus the finest quality materials, make Churchill deerskin gloves the finest motorcycle gloves made in the USA”. If you are in the USA you can order through the Churchill website (Feel The Ride), but if you need the gloves shipped outside of the USA each set of gloves must be inspected by the U.S. If you’re in the EU you can order from  Churchill’s sole UK distributor Foundry Motorcycles, who hold a wide range of Churchill gloves.
The Engineer boot was developed as a protective work boot in the depression era and were adopted by bikers in the late 40s and early 50s and have since become an enduring symbol of motorcycle wear. Available in black or brown, the 9” boot is made of fully dyed, heavy duty oiled leather on a 2005 last with a hand cut gusset and extra length straps. Iron Heart was founded by Shinichi Haraki in 2003, Giles Padmore partnered with him a couple of years later to expand business outside of Japan.  Together they seek to source and create “classic and timeless clothing crafted out of the finest materials to the highest standards. Originally made for bikers, their clothes are made from heavy weight fabrics and are designed to be durable, and to a degree protective for bikers.
As with most Ironheart products, the Wild Ones are made in limited runs, so best to get your order in quickly.
The one garment that for me is the most under appreciated piece of kit to wear on a bike is a vest. A vest can be worn over a sweat shirt, jumper or shirt, without bulking and making your jacket tight and uncomfortable. Pike Brothers have recently added the 13oz pure cotton blue selvedge wabash denim to their range of 1937 Roamer Vests.  Wabash denim was popular workwear in the early 1920s and 30s and mostly associated with railroad workers and extensively used for heavy labour. The vest has three front pockets with buttons made of real ivory nut and heavy bar tacking on pockets and seam ends. Pike Brothers have a premium reputation for producing authentic workwear of the early to mid 20th Century.
Founded on Portobello Road in 1930, during WW2 they specialised in the production of uniforms for the US Allied Forces. Josh designs and sells a range of well built practical accessories, and arguably the most impressive is the tool roll.


This is a simple but functional design that is handsome to look at and very useful to have when your less than trusty ride has decided to throw yet another tantrum. Thanks to American craft brand Field, you can now add the missing piece of the jigsaw to your garage.
Until now The Bike Shed has focused on reviewing custom bike builds, but we feel it’s time to launch a weekly blog that focuses on the gear that’s enjoyed by those of us who participate in the scene. First up has to be the defining biker garment, the leather jacket, and what could be more fitting than the stunning GT Mk 4 jacket from Alexander Leathers Modern Classics collection. Each jacket is hand-made, stitch by stitch, by one leather crafts-person, to order, in the customer’s choice of leather, colour and lining.  An artisan company based in Selkirk, Scotland, Alexander make jackets to last a lifetime, and the build quality reflects it. The team at Alexander Leathers share a passion for authentic vintage leather jackets, their primary focus is to recreate the classics of bygone eras using only the best materials available and employing traditional manufacturing techniques coupled with outstanding attention to detail. The GT Mk 4 features three large bellowed pockets, and one D pocket, the Alexander Cafe Racer collar, a wind flap shielding the zip, a  leather belt, a one piece back, and  stud cuffs. In six short years Ruby have forged a reputation for producing high-end luxury helmets that are both resilient and striking. Not content with providing the customer with the helmets in an eclectic array of stock colours and limited edition designs, Ruby are now offering an ‘a-la-carte‘ online ‘costume’ configurator where you can create a one-off bespoke design.
Whatever way you go, you’ll end up with protecting your precious brain matter with something very special. Denim jeans are entrenched in the mythology surrounding custom bikes, and you’ll be hard pushed to find quality that matches Tellason. A niche manufacturer out of San Francisco owned and operated by old friends Tony PaTELLA and Pete SearSON, Tellason were born out of lifelong obsession with denim. Heritage is premium to Tony and Pete, and they’re proud of the fact that their jeans are not only made in America, but that the pocketing, thread, buttons, rivets and leather patches are as well.
The engineer boot was first manufactured in 1939 as a boot primarily used by shipbuilders in Portland, Oregon, building ships for World War II. What better way for Eastman Leather, the famous military jacket specialists, to launch their motorcycle brand, ELMC, than with a stunning pair of engineer boots.
Very occasionally you come across something that is such a killer idea that you kick yourself and curse that you didn’t think of it first. Dreamt up by bike builder, cafe owner, now voltmeter designer, and our good mate Josh at Muff Customs, this is so simple it’s genius. You can buy it online, or with a cup of coffee at Muff Cafe, 4c Roach Road, Hackney Wick, London E32PA.
Their smallest profile helmet has a traditional old school shape, with a profile no larger than is absolutely necessary for it to be road legal. Driven by the spirit of tradition and a love of motorcycles, they have developed a range of helmets that capture the desire for adventure and freedom.
My vintage Belstaff Trailmaster had seen it’s glory years, so I took the plunge on the Robinson jacket, the product of a collaboration of Brooklyn’s Union Garage NYC and legendary American manufacturer Vanson Leathers.
A dangerous strip of crumbling asphalt, its blind curves and heavy trucks make it a challenge for even the most urban-savvy riders. Union don’t claim the tough ten ounce Martexin wax cotton shell to be 100% waterproof, but it kept me bone dry in very heavy rain. I particularly like the generous zippered ‘rabbit pocket’ built covertly inside the rear base of the jacket. To achieve this high level of safety they teamed up with a European PPE manufacturer who specialises in bullet proof vests and protection gear for military and police forces.
Get to your destination, two minutes later you have the lining out and your are free to roam in comfort.
As with every selvedge jean expect this denim to give and expand to allow your legs to create a custom fit that you will love for years.
Whether it’s wool watch caps, deck shirts, thermal Ts or military jumpers, these rugged garments work well on the bike and look pretty cool.
This was a comfortable jacket straight out of the box, but after a short time it has moulded to my shape perfectly and has become easy to wear on and off the bike. The cuff is a classic button closure and the front is closed with a heavy duty front zipper. Inspired by 1920’s – 1960’s jackets worn by war heroes and icons of the big screen they build jackets for the enthusiast and the fashion conscious.
Their manufacturing methods are labour intensive with each jacket individually hand cut by highly skilled leather craftsmen.
It doesn’t contain armour, but its anti-abrasion qualities are high, and this jacket won’t be disintegrating in a slide up the road. They are sewn with a single or double needle lockstitch machine, using a 92 top thread and 62 bottom thread form the Coats American Company. You could even pop down and buy them in person, have a coffee, and see the stunning Matchless bobber Foundry built and exhibited at last weeks BSMCIII event.
These are a stunning variation on the biker classic and have been in development for considerable time, with the Ironheart team making sure every last detail is perfect. The boots have brass vintage style Japanese roller buckles and a Vibram 705 half sole and cats paw heel. That crucial one extra layer under a leather jacket can provide the added core insulation that makes the difference between a soul-crushing frigid ride home and arriving at your destination feeling human. Their garments display a meticulous degree of attention to detail and are designed to be striking in appearance whilst being uncompromising in comfort and durability.
They combined the finest fabric with European craftsmanship creating sturdy American menswear with a European influence, a tradition they continue to nurture today. Like all things denim, it’s a little stiff to begin with, but eases in quickly to become a snug and pliable layer. Muff is a workshop and cafe dedicated to new wave custom bikes and good hearty food and coffee.


He also offers great food and excellent coffee and serves local artisan beers to soak up in the impending summer sun, or to drown your mechanical failure blues.  Muff is a friendly destination for an urban ride out, and somewhere to buy some cool gear. Made from fine bridle leather the roll holds ten tools with an additional side pocket for other bits and pieces.
They are built in limited production runs, but turn around time is short, so if you need to order one you won’t be waiting long.
Perhaps you keep them locked away in a nice orderly fashion or maybe they’re just strewn all over the floor. Found in a small hardware shop in Japan, the rugged Trusco Tool Box is a staple classic worthy of a place on anyone’s shelves. Careful though, your mates might end up asking to come round and asking to see your tool box!
Their aim is to create a product that will develop its own unique patina, character and shape with time and wear.
Designed by biker Jerome Coste, he set out to create “the finest helmets in the world”, an aspiration some would say he’s met. By choosing from their extensive range of colours, patterns and finishing details you now have 273, 375 ways to create a unique design and your very own customised Ruby helmet. Each pair is made from raw, selvedge denim manufactured in the legendary Cone Mills’ White Oak plant in Greensboro, North Carolina. The smooth design with lack of protruding fittings, nails or laces prevented snagging injuries around belt and chain drive machinery, and so they were eagerly adopted by bikers, quickly achieving iconic status in motorcycle culture. They’ve taken a 30 year reputation for producing the highest degree of authenticity and applied it to their bike gear. They have a stack Japanese ‘Woodsman” heel and a UK Goodyear storm welt and  a steel shank. The Ninety2 comes with a standard goggle retainer strap and optional studs for a traditional visor.
This pass through pocket is big enough for another layer, or the Sunday paper, a scarf etc. Like myself, most people like a selvedge denim that conforms to your body and develops character over time.
The result is a combination of our hard-wearing 11oz selvage denim jeans and a removable inner pant from made 100% DuPont™ Kevlar® – an extremely robust combination, as the pant will withstand 12 seconds of abrasion, keeping your skin protected.
The stitching has a nice contrast to the dark blue, promising to slowly settle in and give a handsome detail once you’ve worn these jeans for a spell.
If you are looking for jeans that work for you on the bike, and are comfortable after riding or on a night out, you need the Pike Brothers MotoRoamers. Robust and cleanly finished, these look equally good in the workshop or in the living room. An Alexander jacket is designed to last a lifetime, developing it’s own patina, character and shape with time. If you’re looking for a robust and good looking jacket that will serve you on and off the bike, then the Arkansas could be the one for you.
However the protective qualities of the gloves are not compromised by the ventilation, these gloves are extremely tough, but very comfortable and tactile.
It’s fastened closed by two adjustable straps and can be easily mounted to your handlebars or frame. Manufactured from stamped and enamelled steel to give it a distinctive look, it also features a unique hinged lid and removable dividers that allow for a range of tools and uses.
Or if you really want something special, you can book an appointment with their designers and they will create something for you. The jeans in their range are named in homage to their other life-long obsession, The Clash.
They are high quality, low volume producers, with each garment constructed from custom-made hide. The length is perfect, covering my tackle and my lower back without being too long and bunching up.
The MotoRoamer comes with EN 1621-1 certified hip and knee protectors (height adjustable) as standard.
The back pockets are deep and generous to allow your wallet to fit nicely without interrupting your riding position.
After all, these are the pieces of metal that keep you riding and surely they deserve only the best.
We’re throwing the net wide to capture niche brands and individuals who make quality gear that feeds our culture. Unlike a new leather jacket, there’s no wearing in period, this was comfortable from the get-go, even with the CE-certified D3O armour in back, shoulders and elbows.
Worn with decent base layers it stands up in cold weather, and on the couple of warm days we’ve had so far it feels airy. The body is relatively short, which is fine by me as it avoids bunching up at the front when on the bike, but the jacket can be ordered longer if required. I have a personal issue with armour, as consumer grade body armour tends to be uncomfortable, bulky and of questionable effectiveness, but in this case it’s ergonomic and fits the contours of the jacket so well I’m not aware of it being there. Pike Brothers do just that, offering quality denim with the protection of Kevlar and padding in the hips and knees.
A really useful detail is the interior leather panels in the elbows, shoulders and in the jacket openings offering extra abrasion resistance.
The idea behind the new MotoRoamer: The first protective selvage motorcycle jeans with EN 13595-1 certification.



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Comments

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