Giving The Gift Of Branded Motorcycle Clothing

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Motorcycle Clothing

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start dropping hints about your preferred holiday gifts. Your family may want to find you a present that reflects your passion for motorcycles, but might not know where to begin. They are lovely people, your family, but that’s how you end up with a bunch of motorcycle-shaped Christmas tree ornaments and Orange County Choppers calendars.

As far as getting presents for yourself, you know what you want – you’re probably picturing it right now. (Red, white, and green may mean Christmas to some people, but it means Panigale S Tricolore to you!) Yes, you know what you want, but you probably can’t afford it, or else you would’ve already gotten it.

A good, safe choice for both family and self-gifting is branded motorcycle clothing from your favorite bike brand. No matter how many Triumph, H-D, or Honda (or whatever your persuasion is) t-shirts you have, you’ll always be delighted to get one more. Of course, some marques are more geared up than others. There are many people who do not own any clothing that doesn’t have a bar-and-shield on it. Harley even makes neckties, without a trace of irony. I think BMW has a line of embroidered golf shirts, but BMW t-shirts somehow don’t seem right.

T-shirts (and ballcaps and whatnot) are a great way to claim your allegiance when you’re not on your bike. They are also a happy reminder to yourself of the better things in life. I’m not very organized, but if you’re like me, you keep your bike t-shirts separate from all the others. They’re really a different category.

Now, before you go shopping for clothing emblazoned with the corporate logos of the makers of your fave joy-machines, we have to address a central ethical question: Is it OK to wear gear with the logo of a bike you do not own? Some people say, absolutely not. If you don’t actually ride, say, a Moto-Guzzi but wear the shirt, you are a poser, a phony, a “wanna-be.”

I say, lighten up, Francis. It’s a t-shirt, not a tattoo. A ballcap can be a statement of aspiration as much as a statement of membership. After all, what’s wrong with being a “wanna-be” anyway? Weren’t we all there at one point? We should be thrilled if people want to get a bike, or upgrade to some particular bike, and are keeping that dream alive with some personal trinkets. And it doesn’t even have to mean that – it can just be an expression of taste. It certainly doesn’t have to imply that you’re trying to be something you’re not. I have a Bugatti t-shirt (OK, not a bike, but still), and absolutely nobody thinks I have a Type 57 hidden in my garage.

There is a point where you have to draw the line, and I think that point is the leather jacket. If you’re wearing a biker jacket that has “Harley-Davidson” emblazoned on it, to me, that it really does imply that you wear that jacket while riding your Harley. You’re better off saving that money for the down payment. You don’t put on a uniform before you leave for boot camp, you know what I mean?

What do you think? Do you wear any gear from a brand of bike you don’t own? Or wish you owned? Or used to own?

  • Mark D

    Metro Racing has a great selection of cool old bike shirts (Cagiva! Combat Wombat!), but I find their lack of Kawasaki branded apparel disturbing…

  • HammSammich

    As a Bonnie owner, there’s plenty of Triumph branded gear readily available. Without sounding too ungrateful (hopefully), my family has unfortunately discovered this. After 6 1/2 years with the Bonnie, I now have Triumph branded jeans, t-Shirts, polos, sweatshirts, a wallet, a wrist-watch, and numerous ballcaps and beanies, a belt buckle, and a pair of coffee mugs. It’s all a bit overwhelming. It seems too cheesy to use more than 1 or 2 branded items simultaneously, so it tends to get piled up and seldom used…except for the T-Shirts – Triumph does have some cool T-Shirts…

  • katesy

    Even though I sold my Suzuki I would still totally wear this jacket, or one similar, if it could be found. http://www.yourprops.com/Angelina-Jolie-s-Jacket-original-movie-costume-Hackers-1995-YP10347.html

  • Lourens Smak

    These vintage-look motocross shirts are very cool imho.
    http://www.reignvmx.com/items/jerseys/list.htm

    The only branded item I have is a Castrol-racing neck tube, but it’s mostly black, with red, green, and white stripes and a small logo.

  • Mason Apostol

    Rumor has it that Hammarhead is not presently in business. Suddenly I wish I had a shirt to remember the bikes by.

  • Piglet2010

    I want a “Montesa-Honda” shirt (since I ride a Dullsville).

  • E Brown

    My t-shirt buys tend to be less brand-based and more event-based – motorcycle meets or moto-club shirts. What I DO buy for every vehicle is… watches. I owned a 1980s 911, 944, and 928 and bought a Porsche Design watch from the era and I’ve been doing it ever since. These days you can find a watch that was made to commemorate/associate with just about everything (which makes it weird there’s no official CBR600RR watch). I don’t often wear them, but fun to collect.

  • HammSammich

    T-Shirts at my local dealership are generally between $15 – $25, with most of them going for $19.99. You can also buy them on sale online at Pure-Triumph. When I can find a T for under $25, that seems pretty reasonable to me. Looks like the Lucky Brand Website has Triumph shirts on sale at $27.65…