In this weeks Gear Guide we feature a new raw kevlar jet helmet, stuff to keep your toes and fingers warm in the bitter winter cold, tough protective sneakers for city blasts, and stunning restored retro vintage headlight standard lamps.
VANSON RAW 73 HELMET
Vanson, the US leather manufacturers, have an impeccable reputation for making amongst the toughest and most abrasive resistant jackets in the world. Their commitment to uncompromized quality acts a solid guarantee.
The Vanson Raw helmet is made from a fibreglass shell that has been reinforced with Kevlar. Uniquely this helmet doesn't have any paint or laquer finish, instead leaving the Kevlar finish - scratches, glue blobs and imperfections showing. No two helmets will be the same. The helmet has a three density level inner shell for extra shock absorption and removable, washable microfibre lining inside. It has a quick release chin strap and poppers to keep goggles in place.
Vanson claim it's designed for riders who prefer their bikes to have a rough and ready unfinished look to them. If you don't want to be accused of being a try hard then this maybe the lid for you. It would make a refreshing alternative to my array of sparkly metal flake lids!
It has a very thin profile for a modern helmet and is fully EC 22.05 approved.
SPOT VINTAGE LAMPS
Who can argue with the beauty of vintage motorcycle headlamps, lovingly designed to combine form and function, and safely lighting the way for our biking forefathers back in those golden eras of riding. Thanks to Christoph Köhler, we have the chance to own a genuine piece of unique motorcycling history – and use it every day in our homes.
The idea of giving old motorcycle headlamps a new lease of life came to Christoph several years ago when he had bought an old vintage headlight to use on his ‘Brown Sugar’ custom BMW. However, it was too small and didn’t fit the 1978 BMW R 100/7 special, but Christoph just couldn’t bear to let it go. Then came the "lightbulb moment"
. He explains “The lamp was lying on the table in my ‘man-cave’ and I kept looking at it – the shape of this old motorcycle headlight was incredibly beautiful – so I decided to rebuild it into a desk lamp for myself, and the first SpotVintage lamp was born. After that I built a few more for my family and friends, and then things got even more creative. I started to build big lamps with tripods and later I designed lamps with old beams and parts from a motor or gearbox.
What’s special about these products is that no two are alike, Christoph explains "I love the little dents and scratches found on some of the lamps, which suggest to me the stories of their time when they faced the wind,
” he says. “I enjoy searching for these items, as you never know what you can come across. There are a lot of garages full of old stuff, but finding parts in good condition is not easy – and the older the more expensive of course
Christoph sells stock items, but can also make bespoke lamps, either sourcing a particular type, or by using a customer donor. When Cristoph isn't making lamps he spends his time riding with his club mates at Motorcircus, charity fund raising for a number of worthy causes.
Shown here is the latest SpotVintage lamp named "Copernicus". It´s a headlight of a 1935 Opel Super 6. These lamps really are lovely - practical works of art.
HAPPY HOT FEET REMOTE CONTROLLED HEATED INSOLES.
The winter is really biting, and temperatures are plummeting. Keeping your toes warm is critical, having cold feet is miserable and dangerous.
Happy Hot Feet insoles provide radiant warmth and excellent cushion for ultimate warm toed joy. Plug in the insoles, and they do more than simply heat up, they keep you happy. Happy Hot Feet insoles are designed with an integrated 1800 mA Li-ion battery that can be recharged 500+ times, that will keep your feet warm in pretty much any condition you're likely to encounter on the bike. The Happy Hot Feet insoles are only 112 grams easy and flexible. Happy Hot Feet insoles are extremely flat, 3 mm front and rear 12 mm thick, .and are thus suitable for different types of shoes, from a technical race boot, to old school cafe racer boots, Redwings, and even trainers. They are waterproof and have deodorant built in.
They have 3 levels of heat – Low 40°C – Medium 45°C – High 50°C - in min. 3-7 hours capacities, and are CE and RoHS approved.
For best performance it is recommended not to fully charge the batteries if the insoles are not being used for a longer period of time. Charge for 20 minutes only and after 3 months charge the batteries again for about 20 minutes. Charge the batteries completely before using the insoles again during the following season.
The Happy Hot Teet insoles are 1 size – Men 41-46 and Ladies 35-40. On the backside of the insole, you can see your size. Cut and go following the cutting lines.
These are are an easy and very effective solution.
GOLDTOP TWO STRAP SHEEPSWOOL LINED CAFE RACER
It's not just your toes that need to stay warm, you're fingers are just as important. A decent pair of gloves are essential pierces of kit for winter.
Goldtop, the heritage motorcycle apparel brand that lay dormant for years, has now been reborn, midwifed by East End vintage glove collector and seller, Kessie Cullen. These gloves are based on the original classic designs, but given subtle improvements courtesy of Kessie's encyclopedic knowledge.
The Two Strap Sheepswool Lined Cafe Racer Glove is tough, durable and very hard wearing, constructed with 1.2 Aniline leather, which is very think but supple. It's stitched with five strand cotton thread, and fastened with tough period press studs.
It's based on an original 1960's Goldtop model, and made to the same high quality. They're guaranteed for a year but are built to last decades.
FURYGAN TED BOOT
French leather manufactures Furygan have been making motorcycle clothing since 1969, and are one of the most successful makers in Europe. In France, they are, of course, totally dominant.
As a French company, there is always an emphasis on style. The look is very important, but they have until recently been guilty of being a little over liberal with their branding, featuring their logo in every prominent position possible. This may be fine for your pretend racer weekend warrior sportsbike enthusiast, but for us discerning new wave custom folk proved to be a little off-putting.
The Furygan Ted is refreshingly free from their traditional branding excesses, and are clearly based on the classic Converse hi-top, replacing the star with a discrete Furygan logo.
The Furygan Ted boots are made from cow hide leather with a D3O malleolus protector and reinforcements on the heel and toes. The boots have a waterproof and breathable sympatex membrane and anti-slip, anti-torsion soles.
They're really good looking, and work well off the bike as well as on, being a perfect boot for short city blasts.