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Test ride with the Vanson wax cotton Road king

It was last year sometime when Bryan at Vanson sent me a sample of their new jacket. Within 24 hrs of it being at the shop there were a bunch of folks clamoring to get one of their own.

Besides trying this jacket on in the shop and using it on a couple test rides I had not yet taken it for a long spin until the other weekend.

The jacket has a great fit without giving you the 80s power suit look. Off the bike it gives a flattering fit to everyone I have seen try them on. The cut is flexible enough that it is attractive on women as well. Two white leather stripes down the sleeves add a nice retro look to the jacket.

 Tom Geiger and I checking out the B44 Victor I rode into the Oily Pipe's 'Vintage Daze' show. The only pic I could find of me with the jacket on.  (photo courtesy of David Beck)
Tom Geiger and I checking out the B44 Victor I rode into the Oily Pipe’s ‘Vintage Daze’ show. The only pic I could find of me with the jacket on.  (photo courtesy of David Beck)

The cut is a little generous compared to Vanson’s other offerings. Usually a large, the medium fit my size 42R comfortably.

Stock, it comes with CE approved shoulder and elbow armor held in place with Velcro. Back armor is optional. 

The jacket scores with all its pockets, 4 out and 2 inside, give ample space for a phone, wallet, and a tool or two.

 Two inside pockets sit above the zip at the bottom to access the armor.
Two inside pockets sit above the zip at the bottom to access the armor.
 Four pockets on the outside.
Four pockets on the outside.

Saturday was slightly muggy and holding in the mid to low 80s. Two rear vent zips open up the back, as well as grommets in the pits adding to ventilation. Despite this the temps were on the upper end for stop and go riding. I await some below 80 days and maybe some rain to give jacket a full try.

 Zips at the tuck on the back aid in ventilation along with the grommets in the arm pits. A buckle on each side helps trim the waist line.
Zips at the tuck on the back aid in ventilation along with the grommets in the arm pits. A buckle on each side helps trim the waist line.
 Sleeve snaps and a zip help trim the sleeve to keep it from flapping in the breeze.
Sleeve snaps and a zip help trim the sleeve to keep it from flapping in the breeze.

Overall this jacket gets a thumbs up. I need to dig up some back armor to make this jacket my regular. 

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Keep ’em Running

 Motor Pool
Motor Pool

This fortnight’s shirt is designed by Don Haring – illustrator and more.

I met Don through the vintage scooter scene here in Philly. Besides scooters, he has a variety of vintage 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles.

It is possible that Don has illustrated almost every rally shirt for the past 12 years for the Hostile City Scooter Club and Rabble Rousers – he is a freelance storyboard artist and also teaches illustration at Drexel University.

The shirts are printed on maroon Canvas (Men’s) and Bella (women’s) 100% cotton Tees. Go buy one now!

Shirts are available for purchase only from now until this Friday (March 22) at 11 am. They will ship after being printed next week.

On the shipping page choose the fortnight deal and shipping will be 4$ per 2 shirts, and 12$ being the max cost for 5 or more shirts shipped within the US.

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Why can’t my boyfriend…

 Why can't my boyfriend…
Why can’t my boyfriend…

Ride a Triumph – Like that cool kid Matt Smith from Smoke & Throttle.

In the next shirt in the fortnight series we have Matt pull out a page from the skating past. This shirt is for those of you out there that started with four wheel on a plywood board (mine was plastic and sucked).

In the coming fortnights we have even more folks to look forward to:
Matt Welsh from (The Self Centered Man), JP from (The Selvedge Yard), Sean Theobald from (Philly Scooters), Brian Isserman the man at (Primer, Michele Melcher the (awesome illustrator), Terence Bishop from (Bishop Brand), Frank McShane yes an (illustrator), Don Haring (yup another illustrator), Jeff Day/John Joslin (TreeFort), Mike – where we get the shirts printed – hi voltage, John Ritter another amazingillustrator, Bob Lewin, Jon Geiger 2stroke nut job at GeigerWorks), David Keen, Jack Randleman, and Pete Young from the blog Occhio Lungo

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Don’t trudge it…

 Rudge Whitworth
Rudge Whitworth

Right now most folks lust for the post war days of motorcycling. Dominators, Goldies, Bonnevilles, Tigers… those are the bikes that stir the imagination. Engines that could pull the ton and brakes that were not always willing. While I love these bikes and would not blink in getting a chance on one, it is the bikes made between the wars that I think truly capture what it is I love about things on two wheels.

The depression and then the war saw the end to many moto manufacturers here and in Britain. Many of the more unique and innovative makes lost out to the austerity of the post war years that could not afford their top end offerings and some like Rudge had been repurposed for the war effort and never came back.

That brings us to shirt number 2 – Rudge Whitworth. RW is probably one of my favorites of these makes. Like many in their day they started as bicycle manufacturers and soon dabbled in bikes and cars alike.

Remember these specific shirts are a limited time offer and are available for purchase until this Friday (Feb 22) morning (offline around 10).

Shirts will be 100% cotton black Tees made by Canvas and 20$ each.

I have addressed some issues we had with shipping for the first one. On the shipping page choose the fortnight deal and shipping will be 4$ per 2 shirts, and 12$ being the max cost for 5 or more shirts shipped within the US. I am working on costs for shipping to the UK and Europe and will update those soon.

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Something new every fortnight

This is the inaugural shirt in a series that will be rolling out every fortnight. Every two weeks we will be releasing a shirt that has been designed by one of the awesome folks we know and respect. They are a mix of designers, artists, moto folks and all but one ride (sorry Frank). Each shirt will be announced on a Tuesday and available to purchase from then until early Friday morning (before 9).
So far involved in this project:

This first shirt was drawn up in cooperation with Frank McShane. Frank is an incredible illustrator, as well as the shops landlord. Both Frank and I have a love of vintage (20s, 30s and 40s) design and illustration which made him perfect to work with on the design of a logo refresh for the shop and translating that into a shirt design.

Shirts are available for purchase from now until this Friday (Feb 8) at 9 am. They will ship after being printed next week. So… stop hesitating and buy your shirt now!

Update: these shirts are no longer on sale

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Recent Happenings

Just outside the Javits was this little piece of history. How many other folks noticed it was a Rudge?
The past couple of weeks have been jammed full of moto events; the Vegas auctions, IMS show in NYC, the Hammarhead/Guzzi event in NYC, as well as the Perkiomen AMCA Swap. Since I am rubbish at making my own posts here are some good ones about the past few events.

The Bonhams Auction in Vegas turned out to be much more exciting than last years, Matt and Matt at The Self Centered Man and Smoke and Throttle have some great updates.

 It is always a treat to see something as amazing as the Burt Munro Special.
It is always a treat to see something as amazing as the Burt Munro Special.

It is always a treat to see something as amazing as the Burt Munro Special.

IMS show in NYC was a bit of a bummer. I was looking forward to see in person the new ‘Cafe Racer’ from Royal Enfield, but they were a no show. My favorite of the show had to be the Zero electric bikes.

 The Moto Guzzi V7 - classic styling and moody lighting.
The Moto Guzzi V7 – classic styling and moody lighting.

The Moto Guzzi V7 – classic styling and moody lighting.

After the IMS show and some fancy dining, Sean (from Philly Scooters) ran over to the Wayward Bound event for Guzzi and Hammarhead. Sean got some nice shots up on their Facebook page.

The Sunday right after was the Perkiomen AMCA swap in York – this is one of the bigger events in the Mid-Atlantic area that I can think of (especially this time of year).

Well, back to work now.