This week's Gear Guide features the inaugural product of the eagerly awaited 78 Motor Company range, a spring cotton version of the North Sea Clothing heavy-duty winter jumpers, a heavy-weight striped sweater from Iron Heart, sturdy Norton collaboration boots from Clarks, and a lovely wallet from Monday Mo Co.
78 MOTOR COMPANY SPRINT CAFE RACER GLOVE
The new wave custom scene has been built upon the long solitary journeys of single minded individuals determined to realise their dreams.
78 Motor Company was dreamt up during a 10,000 mile charity ride in 2011 from Brighton to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia by friend of The Bike Shed, Anthony Jackson, aboard a 125cc Motorcycle.
Somewhere deep in rural Russia, the sponsored helmet began to hurt his head and the famous branded gloves stretched making it impossible to open and close his visor. During long days alone riding across the Gobi desert he dreamt up a brand that was vintage and luxury to the core, uncompromising for comfort and quality for the Bobber, Brat and the Cafe crowd.
After four years of focused and uncompromised development, 78 Moto are ready to launch their own series of leather riding and driving gloves, and narrow profile open face helmets. The products will be officially launched at The Bike Shed show at Tobacco Docks later this month. We at the Shed have had the privilege to witness Anthony develop these products, and his attention to detail and unyielding desire for perfection has been inspiring.
The gloves are all hand (with partial machine) stitched from Swedish Aniline hides. All designed as a 2nd skin for a close and deeply personal fit. Every glove features double stitching, reinforced palm protection and unique 'Buddy Tabs' underside to keep your gloves together that double up for further protection "These gloves designed to fit perfectly and made with LOVE."
The 78 Sprint is Cafe Racer glove hand stitched, satin lined with attention to detail. Semi perforated and padded leather top panel, with a unique wrap over double layer palm and silicone velcro closure.
The 78 Sprint is available in Chocolate, Nappa Black and Signal Red.
Watch out for other products from 78 Motor Company coming very soon.
SUPER HEAVY KNITTED COTTON LONG/SHORT SLEEVE COTTON SWEATER
The striped sweater has become iconic in biking culture.
Iron Heart make what is probably the best cotton sweater both in short and long sleeves. Like everything Iron Heart these are super heavy weight. Don't be fooled the T shirt is no mere T shirt, this is essentially a short sleeved sweater, they're that beefy. These work great layered up, with a cut off denim or under a leather jacket, and look the business with heavy selvedge jeans.
These are made in Japan from 100% cotton in Iron Heart's own specific weave in Navy/White, Black/White, Black/Red, Blue/Black, White/Red and Black/Grey, with an Iron Heart woven brand tag.
They are one-washed, so little or no shrinkage. These can be worn and worn, and will last you without losing shape or becoming flimsy and thin.
Giles Padmore and Haraki-san started working together in 2005. This close partnership and firm friendship was forged out of a desire to take a heavyweight Japanese clothing brand aimed initially at the Japanese motorcycling community, to new international customers.
"Iron Heart garments are in the main made from heavyweight fabrics, designed to be durable, and to some extent protective for motor bikers."
Their garments are made in limited runs, using the finest fabrics available, and are ethically produced. You pay a premium for their stuff, but you get uncompromised quality that won't let you down.
NORTON X CLARKE BRASS BIKER BOOT
The launch of the recent Norton Domiracer has without doubt put Norton back on the map as a credible and viable niche British motorcycle manufacturer that can compete with the multi-national corporations. It's a stunning machine that performs every bit as well as it looks. Stuart Garner, owner of Norton claims:
"My ambition with Norton was always to bring this historic and respected British brand back into production. Now it’s about building on that and re-establishing the brand globally. Our bikes are all built by hand in our factory here in Donington, the home of British motorsport, which makes each bike unique
As an owner of a beloved Norton Commando I am a bit of a purist as far as the old Brit marques go, but Stuart has certainly got it right. Their recent collaboration with Clarks on a series of biker boots is spot on too.
"We wanted to work with Clarks because our shared heritage and British craftsmanship is revered around the world. We knew these shared values and history would create a winning partnership.
The boots in this collection were inspired by traditional and authentic motorcycle footwear and manufactured with quality components. We’ve drawn on historic and modern design examples to produce something truly original. These boots are for anyone that respects traditional design values and tough footwear
The Norton Brass are a mid calf Engineer boot in thick, hardwearing black leather with strap and buckle detail, an easy wearing inside fastening zip and an Ortholite® footbed to cushion and wick away moisture. The Goodyear Welted construction plus reinforced gear change toe panel protects the top of the boot, both on the left and right, depending on how old your Brit thumper is.
This is a hardcore boot and is as tough as it is comfortable. These come up big, so order a half size down.
MONDAY MO CO UP YOURS WALLET
Birmingham chop-shop Monday Mo Co's Up Yours Wallet marks the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with leather company Born and Bred England.
The leather ages over time and develops a lovely patina, the leather affected by oils from your skin and how often you use it. A bit of hard wear and tough love only makes these products look even cooler.
The wallets are hand cut from double shoulders of cow skin, no steel templates are used and most of the round edges are cut freehand, the layers are are hand-stitched together using a strong saddle stitch using waxed nylon thread which is almost indestructible. They are then finished on the edges by slicking and edge coating to seal and protect them.
Your can fit everything you need in this wallet. Woven into the design are four card slots, a zip closure coin compartment, anote slot and two additional large slot areas for extra credit cards, business cards or receipts - all of this is kept tightly closed by a 12 gauge Concho.
To finished the package off Monday Mo Co stamped their signature ‘Up Yours’ graphic into the back of the wallet and included a chunky chrome chain and matching leather lanyard.
The wallet is available in whiskey and black and tan.
NORTH SEA CLOTHING COTTON JUMPER
We've featured a number of North Sea Clothing's heavy duty wool jumpers as the ideal companions and life-savers on cold winter rides. As spring is upon us and it's getting warmer, there's still a need for an insulating layer that keeps you warm on the bike, but can breathe off it. This is absolutely ideal.
The Marine Cotton Jumper is a cable knit shawl collar in the same gauge and fit as the Convoy roll neck. An identical knit as it's 100% wool winter cousin, but woven from 100% cotton, which makes it ideal for the warmer months. It's available in blue or off white.
It can be worn under the leather or wax jacket when riding, and then easy taken off and stashed in the warm midday sun, and slipping on again as the evening temperature falls. It's is also a useful alternative for those of who may be sensitive to the wool.
As an avid 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 under the name of North Sea Clothing.
His products are uncompromising in quality. These jumpers are designed to be worn well and without ceremony, and just get better the more they're worn.