With the goal of offering high-quality, high-value motorcycle cruiser apparel to fill a void between the cheapest-available and Harley-Davidson branded gear, Black Brand has been created. In addition to the quality of the Black Brand apparel, the creators intend to inspire cruiser riders to identify with the brand.Everything from the large interior labels to the hang tags are there to bond the buyer to Black Brand, which the company identifies as a family in the hang tag: “Welcome to the Black Brand family, a group that is not for everyone. Black Brand doesn’t care what kind of bike you ride, just that you ride. Our gear is not what you buy when you want what everyone else has—you need to be the wolf, not the sheep to ride in Black Brand.”
Black Brand brand manager Howard Kelly confidently says, “We will set the direction and trends in the market in such a way that Harley-Davidson and other apparel companies will start to copy Black Brand designs.”Motorcycle apparel visionary Phil Davy is also directly involved in the launch of Black Brand. His goal is to get riders to so identify with the brand that they will be getting Black Brand tattoos. Davy—who is now the Senior Director, Apparel Brands at Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice—was also behind the creation of Icon Motosports apparel, and was that company’s first full-time employee as Brand Manager.Davy explained some of the innovative and on-the-edge branding that Black Brand will enjoy, and that he feels will bring success to the new line of clothing.Another feature of the line that many people will appreciate is that a donation to Homes For Our Troops will be made with every piece of Black Brand apparel sold.Let’s take a look at six must-see products from the new Black Brand motorcycle apparel line:1. Women’s Sheared Beaver Jacket. OK, Black Brand knows what you’re thinking, and so do we, but there actually is such a thing as “sheared beaver” and it has nothing to do with shaving. This high-end jacket for women features beaver fur on the cuffs and collar (a beaver-free version is the Brazilian Waxed jacket—seriously). The Sheared Beaver uses embroidery, overlays, zippers, quilting, and top grain sheep leather to give it a luxurious appearance and feel. Not just for looks, the Sheared Beaver is a technical jacket with D3O body armor.2. Cheater .50 Half-Helmet. Black Brand has developed what it calls the smallest DOT-legal helmet on the market. Intended to get riders to abandon their novelty helmets (not their Shoeis or Arais), the Cheater .50 uses four different shell sizes and an innovative EPS liner to keep the size down. Sizes will range from XS to XXXL, and there will be a Black Brand label (which cleverly integrates the mandatory DOT label) on the back that suits both men and women.3. Cutthroat Jacket. Using top grain leather, the Cutthroat jacket has an unmistakable vintage feel that will look good on authentically vintage bikes, or new bikes with a classic appearance. There are functional features such as zippered sleeves, a quilted removable liner, and twin adjustable waist straps with the Black Brand logo embossed on them. The jacket is intended for the long haul and has a six-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.4. Pinstripe Gloves. Featuring the distinctive Black Label skull graphic, along with an eponymous pinstripe, the Pinstripe gloves make a statement. Using top grain deerskin for comfort and feel, they also have perforations to bring airflow to the hands. A hook-and-loop wrist closure gives just the right sense of security. The Pinstripe gloves will be available in black (shown) and tan.5. Ice Pick Perforated KoolTeK Vest. Just in time for that hot ride to Sturgis, Black Brand brings us a vest that uses KoolTeK technology to reflect the sun’s rays, rather than absorb them, even with black top grain leather. Like the Cutthroat jacket, the Ice Pick Perforated vest has straps with the Black Brand logo embossed in the leather. It’s certainly a statement, as there are six side adjustment closures. One very practical feature—the liner has a zippered area to allow you to embroider the back of your jacket without destroying the liner.6. Street Team Jacket. With a polyester/nylon exterior, it looks like a casual jacket, rather than technical apparel. That’s the idea, but Black Brand has put D3O armor inside, and given the exterior water- and UV-resistant treatments. Inside, there’s a removable full-sleeve windproof liner. Outside, there’s a Black Brand skull embroidered on the cuff, as well as vents for hotter days. Like the other Black Brand jackets, the Street Team jacket uses YKK zippers.Event photography by Don Williams
Zero Electric ADV Bike + Al and Bridget from Throw Your Leg Over
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome to Motos and Friends, a weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Electric mobility is everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s a car, a truck, an assisted bicycle, a scooter, or any number of new innovations, the electric revolution is certainly here. In this week’s first segment, Nic de Sena took a ride on Zero’s recently announced new Adventure bike—the Zero DSR-X. There’s been a lot of hype about this new arrival on the ADV scene, and of course the questions are many. Nic talks to me about whether Zero actually have a credible, alternative energy ADV bike—or if the machine is just simply an empty promise.
In our second segment, I chat with Al and Bridget from ‘Throw Your Leg Over’. They took time out to record this episode from somewhere in the middle of Romania, of all places.
These interesting Aussies have traveled—and painstakingly documented—the thousands of miles they’ve covered riding the best roads and sights through Australia, Tasmania, Europe, eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, among other places.