6. Schuberth C3 Pro
What is it? The latest and greatest from the German helmet maker. This helmet incorporates enough technical features to make every ride enjoyable and safe.
Why I picked it: This is a pricey bit o’ kit, but the level or attention to detail really makes it stand out. The kind folks from Schuberth U.S. were on hand to talk about their products and fit show-goers to the helmet that meets their needs. The C3 Pro immediately caught my interest after Sean MacDonald raved about it to me at the recent Aerostich pop-up event. Leave it to a German helmet manufacturer to design a helmet that seals against your neck, ensures the right amount of oxygen in your lid on cold days, and incorporates an integral antenna for the optional SRC Bluetooth system. All this is built into an attractive flip-up face and flip-down sun visor. This is the Swiss Army and Rolex of helmets rolled into one. I cannot wait to get my hands on, and my head in, one for testing.
7. British Motorcycle Gear and Belstaff Apparel
What is it? Legacy brand Belstaff makes jackets for motorcyclists that have the traditional style that we all crave, with added modern attention to detail and safety.
Why I picked it: British Motorcycle Gear is the U.S. distributor for Belstaff motorcycle apparel; a brand of with real history. Their jackets have been worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and T.E. Lawrence and many others over the years. BMG’s own line of gear felt like quality stuff and the best part is that they are priced reasonably well for the features and functionality built into the jackets and pants. If you’ve tried the other major brands, give BMG and Belstaff a try; it’s quality gear that looks right at an unpretentious price. Pick wisely, however. Waxed cotton outer fabric, while steeped in heritage, will not provide the same level of abrasion resistance as leathers or modern textiles. Nevertheless, it would be a perfect jacket for posing around town and on your retro standard or fancy Italian scooter. For those looking for more protection and all-season performance, take a look at BMG’s Long Way Down and Discovery jackets.
8. This custom Triumph Thruxton
What is it? A Thruxton with a custom Airtech-Dunstall full fairing.
Why I picked it: With a nod towards the thriving aftermarket for their classics, Triumph had a populated their floor space with customs from various makers and owners. There were some pretty off-the-wall creations, including a twin-engined 1955 Triumph called “Double Vision, but the one that first caught my eye was this relatively unassuming red bike. The fairing really transforms the in-person presence of the bike and I think Triumph would do well to enlist the services of Airtech Streamlining to develop an off-the-shelf fairing kit for owners who want some wind protection and old-school racing style. I want one, desperately.
9. Josh Herrin
Who is he? Former AMA Pro Superbike Championship racer, Josh is now jumping up to Moto2. He is the second full-time American rider in Moto2 history and the only rider to have made such a big leap from AMA.
Price: Josh is not for sale.
Why I picked him: At 23-years-old and already on an unprecedented path of success, Josh is refreshingly down-to-earth and fun to talk to. We talked about everything from his training regimen, to mountain biking, to the fact that he is 6-years engaged to his fiancé and how she shows up to every one of his races to support him. That and the fact that his favorite bike to ride on the street is a Yamaha WR250X. You can catch him in the 2014 Moto2 Championship racing with Caterham.
10. British Customs
Who are they? British Customs (BC) designs and manufactures bolt-on parts for Triumph motorcycle owners. They also do creative and functional one-off builds showcasing their most up-to-date solutions.
Why I picked them: The folks at British Customs embody that problem-solution spirit that I really admire about the customs and aftermarket motorcycle industry. They are a relatively small outfit but their products cover the entire Triumph range and they punch well above their weight. I got to chat with Jason Panther, founder of BC, and his team on the show floor and was impressed with their enthusiasm and grounded perspective on work and play. Their project bikes all embody distinct visions about motorcycles and are built with off-the-shelf and prototype farkles (that means function and sparkle folks). The beauty is that if you like the concept behind any of their builds, you can pick and choose which parts you want from the build right from their website. They also had a Scrambler project bike on display at the Triumph booth. The Scrambler Dirt Bike was caked with mud. That should tell you something.