In this week's Guide we've got made to measure leather, protection for your head protection; protection for your knees, ankles and toes, from Bell, Roland Sands, Draggin and MotoKouture.


PRODUCT REVIEW BY THE BIKE SHED’S VERY OWN ALI LATIMER - DRAGGIN TWISTA JEANS Now I’m a firm believer in testing something before writing about it, but we all know that Draggin are one of the leaders in motorcycle jeans that are designed to properly protect you in a crash with their Kevlar lining… well I’m not going to force that side of the test, if it ever happens, I’ll be sure to let you know how they did!


I have however tested them for casual purposes and riding in without crashing; and I have to say, these are the comfiest pair of jeans I have ever worn; now I’m not just saying that, they really feel great both on and off the bike, the moment I first slid my sparrow like legs into these skinny fit jeans, I knew I had a bit of kit that I will live in. Unlike conventional Kevlar lined riding jeans, these have a seamless exterior, making them look just like a regular pair of jeans. Without the additional knee armour no one would know they are quite so purposeful, yet with the Knox knee armour inserted they still look good, only close inspection allows anyone to realise they are armoured, but best of all, they lose none of their comfort.


I have ridden the Bonneville and the Ducati Café Racer in these, two very different riding positions and they felt great in any position, they have a high enough back rise to stop unwanted drafts but not so high that they remind you of your granddads army issue slacks. They don’t gather behind the knee nor in the crotch, they’re airy for a warm summers day and yet are thick enough for Spring and Autumn riding too, I doubt they’ll be warm enough in the winter, but I have over trousers for the coldest of days which I can peel off when I get to my destination and have these on underneath. On the Café I wore my work books under them and they hugged the boots at my ankle well with no rising, on the Bonnie I wore my MX style boots over them and they were close enough not to need folding within the boot, something I’ve always found annoying with other pairs of jeans.


They are made from 98% Cotton and 2% Elastane, but the level of flex they have makes it feel like more, they really move well without any restriction, the lining is 100% Kevlar and they are machine washable on a cold cycle. So to summarise, if you like a skinny jean; which clearly I do… I don’t see another option for your next pair of jeans, I can’t praise them enough… and I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of Draggin Jeans in the past… consider me well and truly converted!


MOTOKOUTURE MK HAND MADE BESPOKE LEATHERS So the Bike Shed crew have just got back from Belgium having attended the Cosmic Nozem custom bike show put on by Steven and the MotoKouture team. There was a fine display of cycles, but also some pretty cool gear too. MotoKouture have a reputation for producing very high quality and innovative builds, examples of which were on display at the Bike Shed III in May. Not only do they build bikes, but they build leathers too. They offer a completely bespoke service for leather jackets, trousers and one-pieces.


Husband and wife team Steven and Sophie will build you your garments from scratch, taking detailed measurements and talking through designs with you. The jackets and suits can be made in single or multicoloured versions, striped horizontally or vertically in many contrasting colours, pockets where you want them, back protection, shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee armour if requested, and inner lining in purple or orange satin.


“We are very happy to hear any special request, to discuss ideas and take care of special graphics.” MK Hand Made label has a firm philosophy to follow. “Over the years we have gathered a reputation of high quality and this shows in our products, from the craftsmanship in our workshop to the choice in materials.”


The hide they use are high-grade Mastrotto NKP leather with high technical standards. Tough and flexible, abrasive and highly water repellant. Forcefield Body Armour is incorporated where needed. Whilst at the show this weekend, the Bike Shed’s own Vikki Van Sorensen was measured up for her one piece race suit. Shown here is Steven in one of MotoKouture’s bespoke race suits at Dirtquake this year.


ROLAND SANDS HESHER JACKET The Roland Sands Hesher II Jacket is an updated version of the original Hesher jacket. The Hesher II is a short workwear inspired jacket in heavy duty duck canvas. Made from water repellent material (not waterproof) with pre-curved and rotated sleeves for a comfortable riding position. The interior lining is in a luxurious (very) red satin. It has pockets on the chest and features front zip pockets, with the ability to insert shoulder and elbow armour.


It’s not leather and it’s not one of those new-fangled textile materials that’s stronger than steel but softer than a butterfly’s wing – it’s canvas. Good old fashioned duck canvas cotton. The canvas weighs in at 14.75oz and has a water resistant finish; good for those damp autumn mornings.


It’s not a hard-core motorcycle jacket that offers tons of protection while sacrificing off-the-bike looks and comfort. Instead it offers off-the-bike looks and comfort (once it breaks-in) while, at the same time, providing more protection than a denim jacket or a sweat shirt and it looks pretty damn good too.


STYLMARTIN LEGEND The Stylmartin Legend R motorcycle boots are part of the Stylmartin touring series. These full grain leather boots have a classic style and high quality finish. The Legend R boots have internal ankle protection on both sides of the boots for increased protection in this vulnerable area. These boots look great on a classic or a retro styled custom.


The Italian company mainly makes racing boots for road and off-road use, but they have now branched into touring boots and sneakers. Because of their racing background, there is more protection than the average retro styled boot. The upper is constructed with a full grain writer leather, and the lining is water proof and breathable. They contain internal polyurethane malleolus protection. They feature a zip fastening for easy removal and an adjustable strap on the instep and leg. The sole is an anti-slip, oil proof and hard wearing rubber.


They are available in black, brown and a new sand colour. The full grain writer leather used for this boot tends to lighten in an irregular way with use, creating a light and shade effect on its surface. In a short time this creates an intentional vintage look.


These are a hard wearing, protective boot in a classic cafe racer style, that come at a reasonable price. Who can complain?


BELL HELMET BAG So you’ve waited what seems like an eternity for your Bell Bullitt, and it's finally arrived. You’ve had it five minutes, and it gets knocked by some idiot as you walk to the lock-up to get the bike out to show it off. You wish you’d carried the damn thing in a bag and not had it dangling as a moron magnet from your arm. Now it’s scratched, and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it for at least a week.


This can be so easily avoided by investing the princely sum of thirty five quid on a helmet bag from Bell. Made from soft faux leather and plush red interior it keeps your lid protected, and looks pretty cool in a 70s retro way. A simple and effective way of keeping any lid safe from careless pedestrians and vindictive lamp posts.