Expedition gear, heritage knitwear, special edition Redwings, a pocket size jump starter, and a bar mounted black box recorder just in case some idiot topples you off. All in this weeks Gear Guide.
PRODUCT REVIEW WOOLRICH X WEST AMERICA JACKET
Woolrich teamed up with West America to create a limited edition collection for a trip by the West America crew from Whistler to Patagonia, documented earlier year in Iron & Air.
"These garments are the direct result of a shared mission to create American made, fully functional, superior quality, timeless goods."
Manufactured to get dirty, withstand campfire smoke, ride motorcycles and stand the test of time. This jacket is a rugged, no nonsense, no frills, tough ass shell, designed to layer up under according to the conditions. As with everything Woolrich do, this is made tot he highest standards.
"Best enjoyed when doing something epic. Designed for spontaneous actions and unscripted journeys."
Constructed with heavyweight waxed duck cotton canvas this jacket will stand up to the harshest beatings and will mold to your body over time. Built to last, the guys over at West America put it to the wheel every day on their tour to Patagonia, South America.
Simple hidden features like the snap closure glove pockets and wrist cuff snaps make it easy to use. The removable throat guard is great for those cold rides. It's designed to ride with bi-swing, gusseted shoulders for ease of mobility, gently curved bottom hem, and a slightly dropped back hem. It's made entirely in the USA.
I took delivery of mine a couple of weeks ago and it's already kept me bone dry in the rain. It's roomy enough to layer up, and is really a rugged shell layer. This is a jacket designed to be knocked about, so not one to be precious with. There's no lining to tear or elaborate pockets to snag. It's basic and tough. Perfect.
REDWING KANGATAN 8180 MOC BOOTS
It seems that Redwing moc boots have become something of a staple of the new wave custom scene. They're not bike specific boots, but are ideal for riding if you're OK doing without armour. Thick, supple leather, strong stitching and solid thick Vibram soles that are ideal for kick starting. They're built as work boots, so they take some serious battering. I've got a pair that are fifteen years old and still going well, resoled once and regularly re-oiled.
From time to time Redwing will release special editions, and the Kangatan 8180s are particularly striking.
Back in the 60's, Ted ‘The Kid’ Williams was baseball’s recently-retired golden boy. Still referred to as "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", he was as much a war hero as a sporting one, having taken two separate sabbaticals from his baseball career to fight for his country - first in World War Two, then later the Korean War, before returning to the MLB.
Seizing upon his marketing potential, the Sears Company released a line of sports equipment endorsed by the great man himself. In amongst the Ted Williams shotguns, Ted Williams 8mm cameras and Ted Williams fishing boats, were the Ted Williams Red Wing Boots – officially designated as the 888 Supersetter, and, at the time, the highest quality boot that Red Wing had ever produced.
It is from these boots that Red Wing drew inspiration for the model 8180. Using Kangatan Portage cowhide leather, rather than the kangaroo leather of the Ted Williams originals, they are built in Minnesota, just like the 888s were, and are a fitting tribute to the archival boots that inspired them. The green of the leather is a deep olive, looking almost charcoal in low light, but when the sun hits them they have a a mossy sheen.
These seven hole Vibram crepe soled mocs will serve you well, and are an interesting contrast to the heritage brown and reds of traditional Redwings.
19 DEHEN 20 CLUB QUARTER ZIP JUMPER
Dehen Knitting have been making traditional sports wear since 1920. Set up by German immigrant Wiliam Dehen, it remains a family owned and run business to this day.
Dehen Knitting manufactured many of the original motorcycle club sweaters in the 30’s and 40’s, and is the only original manufacturer that has survived to make the same sweaters today. Like the original, Dehen’s reproduction club sweaters are made on old-world looms and are built to last for generations. They feature 100% worsted wool, include nearly three pounds of yarn, and have vintage style Talon zippers.
Before WWII, Motorcycling in the US was seen primarily as a sport, and many of the people that rode motorcycles were affiliated with a club. Competition racing, hill climbs and Gypsy tours were common, and the clubs that were attracted to these events wore their own distinctive apparel, usually a wool quarter zip sweater, often with contrast colored sleeves, and usually decorated with the club name and logo. While the look of motorcycling changed when returning GI’s adopted denim and leather, the iconic motorcycle club sweater became less common but never disappeared.
These still work well today work under a leather jacket in he colder months. With the tight wool knit and thick cuffs and waistband, these can be zipped up high on the neck to keep out the cold. These are incredibly warm, yet breath well, and are very comfortable.
You can get the club sweater in black solid or striped white or vintage gold sleeves, or in plain black. These jumpers come at a premium but are built to an extremely high standard and are made entirely in Portland, Oregon
ANTI GRAVITY BATTERIES MICRO-START JUMP STARTER/PERSONAL POWER SUPPLY XP-1
I could have done with one of these shoved under my seat after the Bolt party a couple of weeks ago when my Norton battery died at 1am in the rain on the Camden Road.
The new Micro-Start from Antigravity Batteries is the worlds smallest Jump Starter/Personal Power Supply (PPS). So small it fits in your pocket, so powerful it will start your motorcycle or your 4X4 easily. It will also charge or power your cell phones, laptops, tablets, GoPro cameras and more no matter where you are. Just charge it once and have your own PPS wherever you ride or drive. No need for jumper cables or a power outlet.
The Micro-Start is a self-contained jump starter and power supply that you can take anywhere and get out of those dead battery emergencies. It even has a flashlight. The Micro-Start is the best tool you can carry under your seat or your backpack with you for safety and peace of mind where ever you are.
It packs into a slim-leather carry case containing a micro-Start XP-1 unit with detachable mini jumper clamps, one black universal cable with 8-different detachable tips to fit all the different brands of laptop charging ports (Apple, Acer, Dell, HP, Asus, and more). It also has a further black universal Cable for all 12v Accessories such as Mobile DVD players, or other 12v Accessories.
It has a white universal 4 into 1 USB Cable with 4 different tips to fit most 5v USB chargeable electronics such as all cell phones, iPads, iReaders(Kindles), Go Pro Cameras, GPS, tablet computers, and anything else using the 5V USB standard (tips included are Mini USB , Micro USB, Apple 8 pin, Apple 30 pin). it has 1 home charger and 1 mobile charger to plug into cigarette lighter socket.
RIDEEYE - BIKE BLACKBOX - KICKSTARTER
"Crash detection sensors. HD video. One month battery life. One touch operation. CNC machined. Fight back with RIDEYE."
Rarely does something come on the market that is so needed. Every motorcyclist should have one of these. Designed by cyclist Cedric Bosch, this works equally well on a motorcycle as it does on a pedal bike.
"We’ve all had our share of close calls, but nothing will stop us from experiencing the freedom that bikes embody. Last year my friend was seriously injured in a hit-and-run doing the thing he loved most, and I promised him he would never have to ride with that fear again. Today, I’m proud to introduce Rideye. It’s time to fight back."
Rideye couldn't be easier to use. A single press of its button turns it on and starts recording automatically. Another press, and it turns off. Rideye's internal microprocessor handles the rest. Rideye uses state-of-the-art lithium cells and efficient power management to achieve an impressive battery life of 24 hours. Even if your daily commute is an hour long, Rideye will finish the month with charge to spare.
Rideye continuously records high-definition (1280 x 720) video onto its internal memory, which can hold 2.5 hours of video. The 120° optics cover an impressively wide field of view, recording every event and even allowing you to identify license plates in most incidents (left hand turn, right hook, and opening doors). When the internal memory is full, Rideye automatically removes the oldest video to make room for new recordings. You’ll never have to worry about downloading after each ride- it will simply be there when you need it.
In the event of an incident, a single press of the button stops recording and saves the file. If you can't do it yourself, Rideye's BlackBox sensor will do it for you when it detects a crash. At the center of the BlackBox system is a triple-axis accelerometer which measures Rideye's movements at a rate of 1,600 times per second. When an impact is detected, the corresponding video file is saved to protect it from being overwritten.
"Rideye is unlike anything you've ever seen, and its design reflects that." It begins life with precision machined aircraft-grade aluminum and hard-anodize it for a brilliant, durable finish. The Lexan inlays are laser cut to a precise, water resistant fit, and sealed with an Armadillo scratch-resistant coating. "Every part is manufactured without compromise."
Check out the Rideye on Kickstarter.