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Dressing for success

Now that the weather is finally warm, it’s time to break out or buy new riding apparel that shows your style. Last year’s just won’t do! What a great week for riding the bike it’s been. This week and next promise to bring even better days for riding. Finally the weather is getting warm enough to be out and about almost all day long. We are leaving old man winter behind as an icy memory. Mornings however are still somewhat chilly which begs the questions of what to wear for the day and of course is the weatherman going to be on target?

Successful layering is a must, at least during this time of year. NEPA is always an interesting place for convergent and complicated weather patterns. Highs moving in and lows coming out of Canada cooling the air are often interspersed with rain and wind and the ever present overcast skies. Without warning, bright sunshine and a heating up of the temperature have you ending up with weather that you didn’t dress for in the morning.

The layers for motorcycle riders may differ a bit from those of the ordinary Joe. Of course each layer must show your biker persona. Personally, I will often wear a cotton ROTC shirt with my Fieldstar jacket for the cool mornings. Luckily. the scooter has a compartment to put the jacket in when the weather warms up on the way home.

Many bikers like to wear clothes that reflect the motorcycle company of their ride. I can’t tell you how many black and orange shirts and jackets I see out there. Then you have the brightly colored crotch rocket jackets and street bike jackets. Not only the company but also the class of bike can help determine the appropriate look as you ride.

There is the requisite number of T-shirt designs with skulls, flames and skulls and tributes to the rides or the Bike Weeks you’ve been to that add a certain status to your riding legend. Many of these you would not consider wearing to work. Many of you, I’m sure, dress differently for work than you do for the weekly charity ride.

With the ever-increasing number of women riders, there is a turn in the motorcycle fashion industry as more companies begin to add women’s lines to their offerings to ride in style either as the driver or as the passenger.

Previously we saw that Death Row Motorcycles was adding a clothing line to its store. The owner Frank Stancato gave me the inside track on some of the hottest new designers that Death Row will be carrying. He says that they are “starting to sell Sullen Clothing out of Huntington Beach, Calif.

“They have 13 design artists; also Affliction and a few others out of California, they are one of the hottest out there for bikers, skateboarders and tattoos,” he says. “We are also going to be selling Tattooville and Lucky 13.”

This should all be in stock and ready for sale at the store’s June 7 grand opening.

I went to Sullen’s Web site to see just what kinds of shirts were available and to get a little history about the company. The company has just added a new women’s line called Sullen – G. They tell their audience “that we want to appeal to all and identify with none.” This company started in 2001 in a two-room flat in Huntington Beach as a way to get out of the 9- 5 grind. I have to admit I bought two of their shirts.

There are also several good online stores that cater to women. One of my favorites is the Motorcycle Superstore. This online shop has many companies and styles to choose from and has the site nicely organized into categories by how you ride. They even have a casual-styles section. Motorcycle Superstore also breaks down helmets and other gear for women.

Footwear: I noticed a young, very young, which is akin to inexperienced passenger, on one of those crotch rockets the other day wearing high-heel wedge shoes with canvas tops and tied around the ankles. I’m thinking these shoes will really hurt if that boy drops his bike. There was absolutely no protection on them at all. Many styles of boots are now being offered to women that are more feminine than the cowboy boot or paratrooper boot that are commonly worn.

Whatever your style, you need to feel comfortable, confident and happy with what you are wearing. Check with your local dealer or go online for styles from eyewear to footwear that help you send the message “this is me, so there.”

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