This week's Gear Guide features protection for your digits, your pegs, your pinkies and your brain matter, and with 50% sales, your wallet.
GASOLINA AUTOBAHN BOOT
Gasolina was founded by Todd Fell, who bought his first bike, A Harley 125, in 1952, and he still rides every day. He moved to Guanatajuato, Mexico, in 1996 to retire. He found a local boot maker to make him some cafe racer boots, and a business was born.
Gasolina are sold in UK by premier custom builders The Foundry. They can be bought off the shelf, or made to order in a number of different colours and sizes, with literally hundreds of combinations.
The Autobahn is a handsome hi-rise boot with a three strap configuration designed for comfort and adjustability. The tube of the boot is adjustable and can accommodate a broad calf.
The boot has a thick exterior 1.8 - 2mm floater leather shell with a rough natural texture, and a soft ‘glove’ lining. The stitching is in black. The leather is vat dyed, so the leather absorbs the colour, resisting scuffs and wear.
The Autobahn has a completely sewn Goodyear welt construction that means the soles can be repeatedly resoled. The boots come with genuine rubber sole that provide excellent grip.
They can be worn over leathers or under leathers, and look great with jeans. They are a comfortable boot that can be worn both on and off the bike.
Gasolina boots are manufactured in Guanajuato, Mexico in small batches with great attention to detail, with no assembly line. These are a high quality, robust but comfortable boot that are surprisingly inexpensive considering the quality.
All Gasolina stock at The Foundry are currently on sale at 50%, so grab a bargain.
PRODUCT REVIEW - DAVIDA NINETY TWO HELMET COSMIC FLAKE STARS AND STRIPES
After seeing the Cosmic Flake Stars & Stripes Complex Flake design on display at The Bike Shed III event, I took the plunge and ordered it in the Ninety Two shell.
A lightweight open face helmet weighing just over 1100g, the Ninety Two is Davida’s smallest profile helmet, manufactured to the highest quality control required by British Safety Standard certification BS 6658: 1985 Type B. Made with a fiberglass composite shell reinforced with Kevlar, a polystyrene shock absorption liner with additional protection around the ears and a detachable leather lined interior trimmed with fabric, the Davida Ninety Two is a modern safety product which also combines traditional styling.
The Ninety Two has been especially designed to be a close fitting helmet to give a quieter ride and prevent lift at speed. This fit is achieved by making the helmet width below the ears slightly narrower than at the temples. It feels tight to start with, but pulling the helmet as open as I can whilst putting on, and easing it into place, it provides a secure and comfortable fit. Removing the lid needs the same technique.
The Ninety Two comes in three shell size and six helmet sizes XS 53-54, Small 54-56, Medium 56-58 Large 58-60, Xl 60-62 XXL 62-64 and is produced in all the styles as standard.
The metal flake paint is deep, sparkly and vibrant, and sings in the sunlight. The design in unashamedly reminiscent of Easy Rider with a hint of Evel Knievel. I ordered mine without studs or stickers. The business for any Peter Fonda wannabes.
David Fiddaman has been making lids for over thirty years, “....a genuine and relentless pursuit rewarded by a worldwide reputation for the quietest, most comfortable, and well made open face motorcycle helmets available.”
MOTOSTUKA SHANKS GLOVES
MotoStuka’s founder and only employee, Rob, wants us to know: “Motorcycles are my life! Particularly old funky ones. I’m obsessed with the quality of my products. And my design credo is, “If it’s good enough for grandpa, it’s good enough for me!”
MotoStuka is an independent design studio based in Southern California that focuses on producing accessories and shop-wear for the DIY motorcycle builder and vintage enthusiast.
Rob goes on to tell us “MotoStuka is founded on principles rare our throw-away culture. Our products represent a dedication to simple, elegant design, high quality materials, and an obsession with time honored craftsmanship.”
Shanks start out as high quality gloves from a remaining nameless reputable manufacturer. At the MotoStuka workshop they undergo the “treatment”. “Shanked” and finished out with waxed thread, they’re then conditioned with a balm made of locally sourced natural materials. This age-old recipe waterproofs the leather and gives it a distressed rich copper finish. Every glove is unique in color and feel, but “ALL get more beautiful with every mile!”.
These are a great looking, back to basics glove, produced with care and attention by a biker every bit as eccentric as the bikes he rides.
OAK STREET BOOTMAKERS NATUAL VIBRAM SOLE TRENCH BOOT
The Oak Street Trench Boot is the perfect solution for those looking for a hard wearing boot to wear on the bike as well as something that can be worn at work or in the pub. The solid Vibram sole are resistant to oil and fuel, have good grip and are solid enough to kick over the most stubborn old Brit. The natural toned leather is hardy and tough wearing, yet supple and ages to give a great patina.
The son of a cobbler, Oak Street Bootmakers founder and designer George Vlagos apprenticed at his father’s shop where he learned the craft of shoemaking from an early age. George seeks to preserve the heritage of fine shoemaking through thoughtfully designed and attentively crafted shoes.
All Oak Street shoes and boots are handcrafted in the USA by shoemakers with over 20 years of experience. The highest standards of production are employed to yield shoes that are as durable as they are comfortable. Each pair makes use of replaceable outsoles, a feature normally reserved for formal footwear, to ensure a lifetime of wear.
Oak Street shoes and boots are constructed from renowned Horween Chromexcel leather. Chromexcel undergoes 89 separate processes taking 28 days and utilizing all five floors of the Horween facility in Chicago. Over the past 100 years very little has changed in the formula. Food-grade beef tallow, cosmetic-grade beeswax, marine oil, chrome salts, tree bark extracts and naturally occurring pigments are combined. The mixture is then applied using heat, steam pressure, the hands of craftsman and time. This ultimately yields a soft, supple and durable leather.
These are a great boot. They’re not armoured, so if you’re looking for a premium level of protection, these aren’t for you. But if you're looking for a handsome, hardwearing and practical boot that serves other functions as well as riding your bike, then you’d be hard pushed to find better. They come both with a toe cap, and without,
AERO LEATHERS HEAVY FRONT QUARTER HORSEHIDE JEANS
“Heavy duty and extra tough and strong for serious biking”.
If you’re not interested in looking like a Marquez wannabe at the traffic lights on the South Circular, but want a pair of leather trousers to protect you in the unfortunate circumstance of an off, then Aero’s Heavy Front Quarter Horsehide jeans would be a wise option.
Aero Leathers Regular Fit five pocket jeans are made as they should be with no cheapskate knee seams. The jeans have two back pockets, two front pockets with heavy cotton drill pocket bags, plus right hand ticket pocket, a brass Talon zipper fly, triple stitched crotch, plus a topstitched inside leg seam and approx 16" bottoms.
They’re lined to the knee in 100% Cotton. The standard leg length is 34", but other leg lengths can be ordered.
These are possibly the heaviest, toughest and strongest leather jeans available. Front Quarter American Horsehide is immensely popular with riders of old school motorcycles and these jeans are made with this in mind. Aero Leather Clothing are rated by many as manufacturers of the best and the toughest leather jackets and jeans on the planet.
They look great with engineer boots, rolled up with Redwings, or a pair of Alpine Stars if that’s your thing. They’re durable, warm, and very tough.
GUEST REVIEW FROM WORN TO RIDE http://worntoride.com/
WORN & WOUND WATCH ROLL
You wouldn’t leave your bike out to rust taking a battering from the elements so why would you let your watch be subjected to the same punishment? After all, most watches tell a story, handed down through generations, adorned daily and to most people a trusty companion, it’s only fair that you show them the same treatment.
The guys behind leading watch blog, Worn & Wound had the same thought and set to work designing a watch roll inspired by classic American outerwear and luggage, with rugged good looks and ease of use being paramount.
Designed and constructed in New York City, the W & W Watch Roll is more than capable of holding up to four of your favourite time pieces. The exterior is made from heavy-duty waxed army duck canvas with pockets and trim being constructed from quality black Italian leather. The inner lining is ultrasuede, creating the perfect surface for keeping them scratch free or creating a perfect surface for resting your watch while you change its strap.
The waxed canvas has a cool roughed up look, which ages and scars with use. Simply place your watches into the roll, fold over the flap, roll it up, secure with the leather cord and toss it in your bag.
If you’ve got as many watches as you do bikes, then you should probably get yourself a Watch Roll.