ELMC – ROADSTAR JACKET
Gary at Eastman Leathers has been making specialist vintage style flying jackets since 1984. His jackets are authentic to the original garments, matching every detail as closely as possible. The materials and method of manufacture are of the highest quality, with all their jackets made in the UK. Gary started the business from a passion to produce an authentic garment as good as it could be, and “…being proud of the end product”.
Gary, a life long biker, has taken this pride and uncompromising commitment to quality to his motorcycle clothing range, ELMC. The collection takes inspiration from West Coast motorcycle culture of the mid 20th century.
The Roadstar jacket in American Walnut literally had me salivating. It is simply a beautiful jacket. It’s early 50s styling hark back to the days of Brando and Dean. Inspired by the early Buco models J-21 and J-24, this was the catalyst for the ELMC brand.
It’s construction is near to perfection in every way, from the choice of leather, to the cut thorough to the stitching. The colour is stunning.
The Roadstar is made from 2.5oz Italian premium grade veg tanned horsehide, which is tough yet supple, and means the jacket will last decades if not a lifetime, and will stay intact in the unfortunate mishap of a slide up the road.
It’s lined in 100% wool plaid that will keep you warm on colder days. It has cotton silesia sleeve linings, and unbleached cotton drill pocket linings. The labels are (for you denim geeks) shuttle-loom woven, and the hardware is vintage dull nickel.
This is an expensive jacket, but to purchase would be an investment. It would be the last leather jacket you would ever need to buy.
PRODUCT REVIEW – RED WING 8111 IRON RANGER HERITAGE BOOTS
GUEST REVIEW FROM THE BIKE SHED’S RESIDENT YANK TIMM WELLENS
Growing up in the Mid West I’m used to people looking for good, honest work clothing. The most important item has to be your shoes. From the farmlands one brand that stood out most is Red Wing. Their boots are made for work, built to be durable but also comfortable at the same time. I remember my step father, a plumbing contractor, buying his Irish Setters boots. To hold them you could feel the quality in your hand. You knew these boots meant business.
The City of Red Wing is located in southeast Minnesota, and was incorporated in 1857. The city was named after a famed Sioux tribal chief. Founded in 1905 by Charles Beckman, for more than a century Red Wing shoes has built comfortable footwear for hard-working people. The boots are crafted to last and protect.
So looking for a stylish pair of boots that I could use on the bike but also carry off in work at my desk, I discovered Red Wings Heritage range. They have taken the traditional boots and given them new life. They capture the essence of classic style and deliver a boot that has the durability to last.
I pulled the 8111 from the box and could see that these are boots to be reckoned with. The double leather capped toe is reminiscent of boots from almost a century ago, along with the traditional craftsmanship. These are as resilient as the iron miners that wore them.
The Mesabi Iron Range is based in remote northern Minnesota, and its residents are proudly known as Iron Rangers. The boots they wore in the mines had to be as tough as the demanding conditions. The double layer toe was added for extra protection and the heel pocket moved to the outside for extra support. This provided a smooth and comfortable one-piece surface on the inside of the boot.
The 8111 has a 6” rise featuring premium Amber Harness leather and chrome hard-wear complete with speed hooks. From the stitching to the leather, this is one fantastic pair of boots.
Putting them on for the first time they felt good with adequate width to allow room to move. The Goodyear welt construction was forgiving and easy for walking from the get-go. The lush leather with the natural look is easy to wear with most things and can be used for those more smart casual dress gatherings.
I am looking forward to getting more use with these boots on the bike, kicking tyres and telling tales.
We will be documenting the life of these boots, reviewing how they fare with wear and tear both on and off Timm’s collection of old Brit bikes.
The 8111 can be bought at Red Wings London store in Newburgh Street, which as well stocking the full Heritage range, also has some fascinating historical artefacts.
PRODUCT REVIEW – KITE TWR GLASSES – 10% DISCOUNT
With the proliferation of open faced and retro full faced lids, many bikers are forgoing the visor in favour of more minimal look and just wearing shades. Which is all good until the damn things fall off.
Being a bike builder himself, Kite founder John Foden wanted to create glasses that satisfy his tastes and needs on a bike. Kite have introduced a new design that incorporates metal hoops at the end of the arms that keep their glasses securely in place.
The TWR (Temple Wrap) are a heritage inspired design. Influenced by the vintage glasses worn by cyclists and skiers, they combine a contemporary-retro frame with the durable metal components of traditional sporting eyewear. John first got the idea from a tweed clad mustachioed dandy’s vintage specs at last years Distinguish Gentleman’s Ride. And so the “anti-wraparound glasses” were born.
Kite managed to source the last Italian factory still manufacturing the unusual, curled design. They are made from the finest quality Acetate from the Mazzucchelli, who have been making glasses since 1849. The TWR are available in six styles and a choice of ten colours and ten lens types.
Kite offer their glasses both as sunglasses and prescription glasses and use fine quality Zeiss optics. They have recently opened a store in Westfields, Stratford, with an in-house Optometrist offering a full service.
John made us up a pair of TWRs with light enhanced lenses (LELs) which look great and are prefect for night riding, so I could finally throw away the nasty plastic safety glasses I’ve been wearing when the sun goes down. These are available to order in any of their designs. They look cool, and work really well providing a clear bright view.
The TWR are stylish and comfortable, and stay exactly where you want them, which is key when bombing along on a motorcycle.
Kite have generously offered the readers of The Bike Shed Gear Guide a 10% discount. When ordering online the voucher code box appears when you choose your glasses, enter the code kitebsmc and proceed to check out.
To order LELs email [email protected] with reference “Special Edition Night Lens”. The 10% discount still applies!
PRODUCTIVE REVIEW – NORTH SEA CLOTHING EXPEDITION JUMPER
North Sea Clothing make seriously warm gear. Vintage collector Neil Star started out by sourcing and selling original Submariner sweaters issued by the Royal Navy in WW1 and WW2 to North Atlantic convoys to keep out the bitter chill. They became harder to find so he decided to re-make these sweaters to the exact specification of the original design. North Sea Clothing’s motto is ‘Whatever Weather”.
There is nothing more wretched than being cold on a motorcycle. Too many times I’ve been caught out and felt the will to live ebb from my near hypothermic body as I’ve shivered the many miles home.
These sweaters are perfect for wearing under a leather jacket in the winter months, and as the temperature drops at night in the spring and autumn. They provide a single layer of insulation that keeps out the bitter cold. Wool is one of the most effective materials for all-weather clothing, it’s a breathable insulator, keeps you warm in the cold, and releases heat and moisture when you’re hot. Wool also has key safety factors, such as high UV protection, and due to its high water and nitrogen content it’s naturally flame retardant. It has a higher ignition threshold than many other fibres.
The Expedition is a shawl collar sweater made from 100% British wool, with long ribbed waist and cuffs that seal the insulation. The collar can be fastened tight with the brass shank anchor collar button. It’s a slim fit that allows it to be worn comfortably beneath a leather jacket without bunching. Because it’s 100% wool it has plenty of give to allow for bulging pecs or a beer belly. These are built for purpose and are incredibly durable. These last for years, if not decades.
The Expedition is available in navy, ecru (natural cream colour) and green.
SILVER PISTON JEWELRY – THE HOBO NICKEL RING
Steve West of Silver Piston has a passion for motorcycles and people who ride them, and from this he drew the inspiration to make unique jewelry for people who want something rugged that can be worn under gloves and whilst working on engines. His pieces are made by hand in Atlanta, Georgia.
Steve’s jewelry is stout and simple, utilising strong textures. His designs use heavy grade sterling silver as a base. His pieces are built for everyday life so are hardy and tough. Most of his work is hammered or brush finished leaving you free to wear without worrying every time you need to poke about under your ride. If you scratch or dent the ring, it adds to the patina.
The Hobo Nickel ring is a real Indian head nickel, with customized Day of the Dead decorations. This is achieved via a collaboration with a nickel carver named Shane “Hobo” Hunter. One variation is the excellent cafe racer hobo nickel with it’s open face helmet.
Once decorated, the coin is returned by Shane and Steve cuts the head out by hand. He then rounds the head so he can solder it to the silver band. He cleans it up and oxidises it in a solution of liver of sulphur and then gives the ring its final polish. The result is stunning.
The Hobo Nickel can be worn by both men and women, on and off the bike. Steve has a clear goal, to make “Kick ass jewelry for people who kick ass.”
GUEST REVIEW FROM WORN TO RIDE http://worntoride.com/ – ALTELIER DE L’ARMEE APRON O15
Oil and grease marks are a staple of motorcycle fashion, but there comes a time when you need to add a protective layer to your clothing whilst working on your bike.
Fortunately you no longer need to put on any old overalls whilst you’re hard at work in the garage with tools scattered all over the place thanks to Dutch masters Atelier De L’Armee.
Hand cut and crafted in a small workshop in Amsterdam, these guys produce some of the finest bags, heritage clothing and leather goods you’ll ever see. Inspired by the functionality and durability of vintage workwear and military clothing, each one is unique down to the mixture of deadstock, repurposed and new materials used to make them.
Each item tells a story and is individually numbered to reinforce the individuality. In this case, the Apron 015 is made out of selvage waxed heavy canvas mixed with a French army leather sling and rivetted stress points.
There are enough pockets to hold as many tools that you may wish to carry and the story ends with an ingredients tag showing exactly what’s been used to make it. This is a definite must for anyone with a garage, workshop or even just a front room.