By Teddy Quinn, Brand Ambassador
In the summer, Santa’s elves are leather-smiths!
Motorcyclists are a rare breed. It’s safe to say that we evaluate our purchases with appearance and style trumping functionality and practicality. That’s just the way we’re built. However, when we find items that blend all of those values, we’re hooked. Such was the thought process that went into selecting my swag from Milwaukee.
I’ll admit, for an increasingly seasoned rider, my gear was lacking. Of course I had the usual spaceman helmet. Two, actually, one black and one a bright neon green which I’ve affectionately dubbed the “Neon Tiger” in homage to the Killers’ hit song from their “Day and Age” album. I had cared enough to invest in some oil-resistant “tactical boots” from Dick’s Sporting Goods and a pair of tan leather gloves from Corrazzo out in Portland, OR. My motorcycle jacket, however, arguably the most important piece of the motorcyclist’s wardrobe (think Brando’s Perfecto in The Wild One), was a second-hand piece rescued while I was working at a used clothing recycler in the summer of 2004. It was made by “Wheels of Man” (a gold star to anyone who can remember this manufacturer because even Google is stumped) and had seen its fair share of use before I discovered it on the job poking out of a tightly knotted plastic grocery bag. I’m guessing it was from the late 70′s or early 80′s. I pulled it out, it fit, and I was happy as a clam.
Me and that jacket have spent some serious time in the saddle together but I always knew I would eventually need something better. The leather was worn and tired and had developed green streaks of what I assume was a form of leather corrosion. The main zipper worked but the pockets were hit and miss and the jacket had no vents, no extra padding, and no removable liner. In the early spring and fall she was great. In the summer, riding was hot and uncomfortable and the zipper had to be pulled down so low that I resembled Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.
So first on my list of swag from Milwaukee was a new jacket. My choice: The Maverick. Why? That’s easy; Top Gun! If you’re going to name a leather jacket, “Maverick” promises one hell of an experience. Plus, “that’s right, Iceman, I am dangerous!” It had the look I was searching for – unassuming and functional. I liked the placement of the pockets, the vents and the liner. Going by the pics on the site, I felt good picking the Maverick and when it came I knew it was the right choice. It’s a heavy leather jacket that is as breathable as a mesh t-shirt. Pockets are plentiful and well placed. In short: this jacket can be my wingman anytime.
Next, biker gloves! I liked my existing pair so I thought this might be a difficult pick. However, I thought about the reasons why I liked mine and was able to find a pair from Milwaukee that were just as good if not better than my existing pair. I have a flare for the vintage motorcycle look and wanted gloves that fit that motif. For me, there was nothing better than Milwaukee’s Leather Gel Palm Gloves. They have the vintage look, modern comfort and are unassuming. Awesome!
Your feet (should be) the only part of your body that actually touches the pavement – unless your one of those knee-dragging sportbike types, of course. It is important to invest in good motorcycle footwear and protect yourself from road debris, engine heat and the occasional hot oil from your ride – I mean my bike is 36 years old and not exactly 100% oil-tight. Milwaukee’s Trooper Boots offer style, protection and comfort. When they’re on my feet, shifting and braking are precise and, while stopped, footing is strong and comfortable.
Milwaukee has some great gear for reasonable prices and I’m thoroughly happy with what I picked for my swag. It’s a blend of style and functionality that every biker craves. Well done, Milwaukee!