Functional Fashion: The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets

If there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. The leather jacket is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for Halloween, or down for any occasion that calls for cool. No matter what you ride, the best leather motorcycle jackets are versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. A premium leather jacket will never go out of style, and the more you wear a quality one, the more comfortable it will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. Bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. So here we’ve gathered a small sampling of the best leather motorcycle jackets the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.

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2021 Indian Models Announced Including Roadmaster Limited and Vintage Dark Horse

Indian announced it initial batch of 2021 models including its touring, bagger and Scout models. Along with new color options for several motorcycles, the 2021 model year includes a new Roadmaster Limited, a new Vintage Dark Horse and a restyled Roadmaster Dark Horse. Not included in the announcement were the FTR 1200 and the Chief cruiser, but we expect further news from Indian in the weeks ahead.

For 2021, Indian offers the ClimaCommand heated and cooled seats as standard for the Roadmaster Dark Horse and Roadmaster Limited but as an optional accessory for the rest of the Thunderstroke lineup (model years 2014 through 2021 only). The climate controlled seat is now available in Classic or Rogue styles. For 2020-2021 Chieftain and Roadmaster models, the ClimaCommand seat is integrated with the Ride Command system.

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Moto Doffo: Wine Makers And Motorcycle Racers

The Doffo Winery and MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection is run and owned by the Doffo family: patriarch Marcelo Doffo, son Damian, and daughters Bridgette and Samantha. The seeds for Doffo Winery were planted in the 1990s inspired by Marcelo’s youth spent growing up on a farm in Pampas, Argentina and a trip in 1994 to Turin, Italy. It matured with the acquisition of an old cattle ranch in Temecula, California.

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2020 Kawasaki W800 First Look

Kawasaki announced a new W800 variant, the third model in the line joining the W800 Cafe and the W800 Street (offered in markets outside the U.S.). We expected a third variant for a while now, as it had shown up in various certification documents, but what’s odd is this W800 model is supposedly the “base” model, with more retro-styling to resemble the original 1966 Kawasaki W1. To be honest, I was kind of hoping for a scrambler variant, and it’s a little curious why the W800 didn’t come out first ahead of the Cafe and Street variants. Product strategy aside, let’s take a look at the new 2020 Kawasaki W800.

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Now This Is How You Mess With A Fellow Competitor

Lost in the worldwide hate storm being spewed on Romano Fenati after he pulled the dumbest move in racing history, is this clip from the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here we have the proper way to reach out and get the attention of a fellow rider.

This video is great for a few reasons. First is the sight of John McGuinness back on a motorcycle after suffering a gnarly accident last year. What’s even cooler is seeing him – at the front of the field – aboard a 1953 Norton Manx, riding it fairly quickly. Second is the sight of two-time World Superbike champion Troy Corser absolutely riding the wheels off a 1929 BMW R57 Compressor in hot pursuit of the 20-something time winner of the Isle of Man TT. I mean, just look at Corser riding that pre-war machine harder than its probably ever been ridden in its 89 years of existence!

It’s clear in this video Johnny McPint is going for a Sunday cruise (a brisk one, admittedly) while Corser – shifting with his left hand! – is riding like he committed a crime – though some might think torturing those 89 year-old valves qualifies. Nonetheless, Corser on the BMW is catching the Norton hand-over-fist, lap after lap, until he finally catches McGuinness. Once Corser catches McPint, he reaches out for a friendly love tap – a sporting move that lies in direct contrast to the brake grab Fenati pulled on Stefano Manzi. It’s fun and lighthearted, and definitely good for a laugh between the two (John even shakes his head in amusement).

From there Corser storms away, not relenting one bit on that poor BMW. Though Goodwood is supposed to be a gathering and showcase for wonderful machines from the past, racers will be racers after all, and seeing Corser (and McGuinness, for that matter) flogging their respective motorcycles is a sight to see.

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2017 Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally Report

This past Saturday marked the tenth installment of one of Southern California’s favorite vintage motorcycle events, the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Established in 2007, the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club (VVMC) is comprised of a band of motorcyclists faithful to and united by the love of riding and maintaining old machines. They’re dedicated to the preservation and celebration of motorcycle culture and everything that goes with it.

For 10 years the VVMC has been orchestrating this rally, complete with cold beers, hot BBQ, live music, a pinup girl contest and, oh yeah, more ogle-worthy vintage and custom bikes than you can imagine. The day started off with a group ride up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu before turning back to Venice for the festivities, just a few blocks from the beach. This year’s pre-event ride saw several hundred riders and even received a police escort, making it extra convenient not having to stop at any red lights or stop signs.

This year was the third VVMR I’ve attended, and after saying hello and exchanging pleasantries with friends and some of the VVMC members, I couldn’t wait to be left alone to nerd out on the plentiful array of non-stock, custom bikes that were littered everywhere. There were tons of café racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers, choppers and other one-offs that each had their owner/builder’s unique touch.

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Troy Corser Flogs An 80 Year Old BMW At The Goodwood Revival

Every year, we find ourselves scouring YouTube for racing videos during the MotoGP and WSBK summer hiatus. You know, anything to get our racing fix. Well, this year’s favorite clip features none other than two-time WSBK champion Troy Corser riding the wheels off an 80 year old BMW at last year’s Goodwood Revival. Do you like your racing with a little wobble and weave? You’ve got it here, as Corser pushes the old Beemer to its absolute limit and the top of the timing sheet.


Well, you’ll just have to watch.

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5 Incredibly Awesome Cafe Racers

There’s something beautiful about taking what’s old and making it new and these five cafe racers are absolute works of art.

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The Ninth Annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering on May 6 included more than 350 drool-worthy vintage and custom motorcycles, from Italian tiddlers to full-on race bikes, arrayed on the green grasses of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California. All this eye candy was fawned over by around 3,000 people – record attendance for the nine-year-old event. It was enough to warm the heart of any gearhead.

This year’s Quail centered around one of the most influential bikes in history: the Norton Commando of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Almost every model and color was there, causing a near state of weepiness on the part of riders of a certain generation.

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Church Of MO – First Impression: Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport

When you think of Italian sportbikes, Moto Guzzi isn’t the marque that comes to mind first. Heck, it’s probably not the marque that comes to mind third or fourth, either. But every now and then, Moto Guzzi decides to break from its mold and produce a sport (well, sporty, anyway) bike. Such was the case in 1996 with the Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport. A combination of MV quirkiness and performance parts, the 1100 Sport wasn’t your typical Moto Guzzi. How did it work? Here’s Spanish correspondent Antonio Regidor Rao to tell you.

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Duke's Den – 10 Cylinders Of (Stationary) Power
Lead Photo by: Kevin Vesel

I adore my 1992 Ducati 900SS and 1968 El Camino SS396. They stimulate me in deep and visceral ways, both dynamically and aesthetically, and they share more things in common than simply occupying space in my garage and driveway.

First off is the first part of motorcycle – motor – each having engines with 90-degree vees, two valves per cylinder and throaty dual exhausts. The 900SS was born about 25 years after the 396 cubic-inch Chevy, so it brings belt-driven overhead cams to the party while the big-block V-8 uses old-school pushrods. The Chevy counters with liquid cooling to the Duc’s archaic cylinder finning to shed heat.

The architecture and tuning of both motors are intended to punch out torque, with each delivering incredibly strong responses at low revs. Yet the 904cc V-Twin in the SS feels more like a torque pipsqueak relative to the torque monster that is the 6486cc BB Chevy. Each 104.0mm x 95.5mm cylinder in the ElCo displaces 811cc; the Duc’s 92.0 x 68.0mm cylinder yields just 452cc.

Chevy claimed 350 hp from the L34 big-block in my car. Ducati claimed about 84 ponies at 7000 rpm. The 900SS weighs about 420 pounds, while the 396 scales in at about 650. Yes, the cast-iron Chevy motor alone weighs 200-plus pounds more than an entire Ducati!

Riding the 900SS, first introduced in 1990, requires some recalibration if you’re familiar only with modern motorbikes. It truly feels several generations behind contemporary sportbikes, and it’s an experience not dissimilar to barging down the road in the 49-year-old El Camino.

John Burns, as is pleasingly (and aggravatingly) typical, can put into words descriptions of motorcycles that humble my own. Of the pre-EFI Ducati’s cantankerous starting ritual, he once wrote: “…the air-cooled desmo-due Twin demands full choke, followed by half choke, followed by much positive thinking and an attentive throttle hand… We turn a deaf ear on percussive pops and coughs from the airbox. We ignore a stiff clutch pull and a near-stadium-sized turning radius that rakes knuckles against fairing exiting the driveway. To own this motorcycle is to be a master of creative rationalization.”

It’s a similar theme with the ElCo. Imagine how placing nearly 700 pounds of engine over the front wheels of a truckish car can affect steering effort. Then imagine not having any sort of power assist to the steering, which is what the fool who originally bought my car a half century ago chose for himself. I could cut my upper-body workout time in half just by driving to the gym, assuming I actually went to one.

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2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic Review: First Ride

First introduced by Indian in 2015, the Roadmaster built on the Chieftain platform, adding additional touring and luxury features. Now, the company is releasing a Roadmaster variant, the 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic. If the Roadmaster was a Chieftain with a trunk, the Classic is a Roadmaster for fans of leather.

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Honda's CB1100 EX Coming To America In 2017

We became fans of the Honda CB1100 when it first arrived on U.S. shores in 2013. It’s mix of old-school cool and new-school technology is a refreshing change from the hyper-focused sportbikes and streetfighters that surround us. Four years on, however, and Honda decided it was time for a few choice upgrades.

So, during Intermot 2016, Honda revealed two new CB1100 models – the RS and EX – the latter of which Honda has announced will be sold Stateside. You can get the full rundown of the differences by clicking on the link, but the main talking points are a seamless fuel tank, LED lights front and rear, revised geometry and suspension tweaks, 18-inch wire-spoked wheels, and a slipper clutch.

Honda has not released pricing information about the CB1100 EX, but says the bike will be available May 2017, in this, the Candy Red colorway. We can’t wait to throw a leg over it once it arrives, but in the meantime, below is the official press release from Honda.

Since 1959, when they first adorned the twin-cylinder CB92 Benly, the letters CB have always meant a great deal to Honda and Honda owners. They came to mean even more in 1969, as the four-cylinder CB750 represented a seminal moment for motorcycling, as the world’s first production superbike took center stage, laying down a blueprint that still stands today.

Old school became new school in 2013, when Honda brought the CB1100 to the U.S., satisfying pent-up demand from an army of riders for whom a traditionally styled air-cooled four-cylinder CB was a must-have piece of engineering craftsmanship. For 2017, the CB1100 EX has been imbued with extra layers of retro style and several performance upgrades. Manufacture takes place in Honda’s Kumamoto factory, with a production process that’s been fundamentally revised to integrate technology and expert skill in order to create motorcycles rich in craftsmanship and attention to detail, plus a place in history that only comes with the passage of many decades.

“As with past CBs, we understand the timeless pleasure that our customers get from owning and riding an air-cooled inline four-cylinder motorcycle,” said Mr. Mitsunobu Imada, Large Project Leader for the 2017 CB1100 EX. “Building on the CB1100’s desirability and joy of ownership, while adding functionality and quality to deepen the sense of fulfillment, were very important elements for us to consider. With the CB1100 EX, we hope many riders get to appreciate and understand a very traditional motorcycle structure.”

CB1100 EX
The CB1100 EX outlines the proportion and silhouette of a true 1970s superbike. Its curvaceous fuel tank, which now has a seamless design, evokes handmade craftsmanship, while the single round headlight and twin instrument dials denote Hondas from a bygone age. Adding crisp-edged modernity, the front and rear lights are now LED and new 18-inch wheels run stainless steel spokes. The classic tubular-steel frame has relaxed steering geometry, sure-footed stability and neutral handling characteristics. The 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork (SDBV) and twin Showa shocks offer improved suspension compliance, and ABS brakes are standard. The subtly blacked-out engine breathes more easily thanks to revised inlets and smaller, lighter dual chrome mufflers, producing linear, instantly accessible power and torque. An assist slipper clutch makes for easier lever engagement and rear-wheel stability on downshifts. With its classic lines, the CB1100 EX conjures memories, mixing the engine’s addictive performance and soulful sound with evocative appeal. It’s also a machine to savor and contemplate from every angle.

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Top 10 Reasons to Go Gentle Into That Vintage Night

Seriously, after a while the parade of hot new bimbos grows old. They’re all great, but they all have their own demands, their own need to have their buttons and controls manipulated in the one certain way that makes them happy – a requirement older bikes just don’t have.

A new Ducati I had last month wanted me to enter its PIN every seven or eight starts before it would turn over. The BMW s are fast for certain, but their instrument panels are always looking at you in an accusatory way; what did you forget to do this time that she’s going to take revenge for later? The Aprilia s never turn down the heat, the new Yamaha R1 insists you grovel on your hands and knees just to ride it… luckily the only bike I own right now is an old R1, 17 years old surprisingly enough, which by most definitions means it’s only eight years away from being vintage. It’s not too soon, then, to start preparing to be one of those old codgers who used to put me to sleep going on about their Norton Commandos and BSA Gold Stars. Rage against what? Why not get a jump on it?

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Ghost Works XR69 Replica Races Against World's Best At Phillip Island Classic

You may not be familiar with the company Ghost Works, but chances are good you’ve seen the company’s work. An industrial-design consultancy based in Portland, Oregon, Ghost Works specializes in athletic footwear design. Everything from running shoes to cycling shoes, Ghost Works has designed them. The company also has a long-standing relationship with Fox boots, having designed several products within several categories for the popular motocross brand. The company is no stranger to the moto world, but beyond simply designing boots, the Ghost Works team are enthusiasts of the sport.

“Our team at Ghost Works is passion driven,” says Eirik Lund Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director of the Portland design firm. “Not only do we design the products, but we use them too. It’s not enough for our products just to function, they have to function well.”

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