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Dressed For Thrills

Sportbike Gear Guide — Photos by Joe Bonnello

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Well accustomed to playing host, Southern California Motorcycles owner Tom Hicks was more than accommodating when we asked to borrow his service bay, bikes and some of his crew for our annual look at sportbike apparel. A roadracer-turned-track day terror, Tom knows the ins and outs of what riders are looking for as well as anyone. As the largest stocking retailer of Triumph-licensed apparel on the West Coast, the number one retailer of Ducati apparel and the largest stocking dealer of Arai lids in the country, Tom certainly sees the value of soft goods sales. "If you are going to do something, do it right," says Hicks of stocking and selling apparel. "You can’t be all things to all riders, but you can certainly have everything for some riders!" To that end, Hicks has just opened "Desmo Femminille" — a store-within-a-store devoted to selling nothing but Ducati-branded riding gear to women. Like we said, Tom understands the nuances of niche marketing!

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We managed to get our cover boy Brandon Sechrist to skip out of school at Cal State Fullerton and pass on his wrench-spinning duty at Southern California Motorcycles to hang with the other industry insiders for this shoot. Devin Mitchell, hanging with Brandon here, grew up racing dirtbikes along with her brother Donovan Mitchell, and she is currently Scot Harden’s go to girl as Tour Coordinator for KTM Adventure Tours North America. She literally stopped in for the shoot while driving the support truck and trailer to the Nevada 200 Rally. Like other young riders, Brandon and Devin loved these bold textile choices from Icon. Devin’s $160 pink Team Merc Stage 2 jacket matches the hot pink Hooligan Mainframe helmet ($250) and Hooligan 2 gloves ($35) shown on the contents page for a color coordinated riding effort. Brandon sports the men’s summer weight Hooligan mesh jacket with graphics to match the Battlecry Alliance SS helmet. Like all Icon gear, these picks come with CE-approved armor in the elbows and shoulders and an EVA back pads.

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These bright colors, aggressive graphics and mesh materials may be a bit bold for "ahem" more mature riders, but not to worry, today’s apparel companies offer a full range of sporty gear from mild to wild in both leather and textile options. Take a tip from Tom Hicks and cater to every sportbike customer that walks in your door.



Alpinestars

MPN’s own Mod Squad kicks it into high gear in these aggressive looks from Alpinestars. At left, Devin looks ready for a little adventure in the $179.95 T-Barcelona jacket ("T" for textile). in addition to this hot red/black number, the Barcelona is also available in black/white and black/blue combos. Front and center Southern California Motorcycles financial operations manager Cyndy Knauss is decked out in the $429.95 Octane jacket and the matching leather/synthetic blend 3/4 gloves which sport a $69.95 pricetag. Cyndy is currently looking to trade her Ducati Multistrada in for the new 1098 Superbike, and says she really likes these gauntlets. Brandon gets comfy on the bike in the $699.95 Air Flow leather jacket which comes in a basic black iteration as well.



AXO

Made for a man, but strong enough for a woman? Girls get to have all the fun in this dynamic duo from AXO. At left, cover girl Michelle Olson parked her dirtbike and set aside her June wedding plans to MX/Arenacross/WORCS racer Casey Johnson long enough to shrug into the Freeon Jacket. While this pick fits Michelle’s petite frame nicely, boys can get in on the action as this affordable $169.99 fully vented jacket comes in sizing up to 3XL. Right: Cyndy looks bad ass (but in a good way!) in the leather J-Air jacket. Available in men’s and women’s sizing, the $299.99 J-Air has an anti-bacterial perforated lining with three inner pockets and a zipper to attach to AXO’s matching leather riding pants.



Cortech

Brandon is ready to slide into action in his $299.99 Cortech Python leather jacket while Michelle has just slipped out of the $289.99 Cortech Impulse Series II jacket. Both jackets are constructed with a combination of perforated and non-perforated leather panels and get removable, CE-approved body armor. Rotated sleeves and adjustable waists and cuffs also come standard. Since Helmet House also handles Shoei distribution duties, the color-matched X-11 Kiyonari and Vermeulen replica lids were de rigeur for this fashion shoot.



Fieldsheer

Another look at our cover couple reveals Brandon’s Fieldsheer Flex jacket is constructed of race-quality 1.2mm to 1.4mm Brazilian cowhide. A stretch material in the chest and upper back panels allows for more mobility and better comfort for the rider in the $399.95 to $459.95 Flex (priced depending on size). Meanwhile, Michelle models the $299.95 leather ladies Track Paddock jacket. It has CE-approved armor in the back, shoulders and elbows and comes complete with a removable "Hydro Pilot" liner that can be worn as a separate jacket.



FirstGear

Our gang of rock stars makes beautiful music in FirstGear’s latest apparel offerings up in SoCal’s secret loft. From left to right Scorpion Sports’ media handler and resident roadracer Teri Gorrell takes a break in the men’s Hammer jacket; Brandon shows off the Scout IV leather jacket ($379.95 to $429.95); Michelle plays groupie in the $299.95 Betty jacket (also available in white/orange and white/light blue iterations); and Cyndy rocks out in the $299.95 Vixen, which, like all of the picks to click on these pages, comes with CE-approved armor.



Held

Tom Hicks himself makes a cameo in Held’s GT One touring jacket which features a polymide "AIRGUARD" outer shell with a detachable water/windproof and breathable Z-liner membrane. Cyndy plays monkey in the middle in the Janett ladies cut jacket which also gets a Z-liner and comes in the black/red color combo seen here as well as black/blue and black/silver. Devin rounds out our shop crew in the leather Celina jacket (with CE-rated armor protection at the elbows and shoulders). Our trio also show off Held’s matching riding pants and a full selection of the German manufacturer’s renown high-tech riding gloves.



M2R

You said track day, right? Our industry-insiders cum models make tracks in M2R’s hot new looks, courtesy of Motorcycle Stuff. Brandon sports the $249.95 Rallycross EVO textile jacket which sports the optional EVO Upgrade Kit including a thermal liner, 15-liter hydration bladder and CE armor for an extra $49.95. Devin perfects her serious look in the Saber jacket constructed of Grade A 1.4mm leather. Note the use of both matte and gloss panels. The $299.99 Saber also comes in a black/red combo. Finally Cyndy takes a load off in the $299.99 powder blue Cherish leather jacket which comes with both a removable thermal quilted vest lining and vented nylon soft touch mesh inner liner.



Spidi

Michelle channels Pacino in Spidi’s $499.99 Scarface Wind jacket. Click Stop retainers keep the fit sung at high speeds and CE-certified low profile shoulder and elbow guards keep riders safe without additional bulk when off the bike. Brandon is stylin’ in the R-Course leather jacket. He gets Click Stops too, and this pick also gets upgraded CE-certified Biomechanic shoulder and elbow guards as well as an internal pocket for an optional Warrior spine guard. Ringing in at $589.99, the R-Course comes in black or blue, too.



Icon

Longtime magazine man, scriptwriter, liberator of small third world nations and sometime MPN contributor Joe Colombero crashed our party in Icon’s new Accelerant leather jacket with external alloy insert/protectors on the upper arms and back of this lightweight $390 jacket. Cyndy backs Joe up in her fully perforated $350 Pursuit jacket. Perfect for summer, the jacket has a zip-out windproof liner and also comes in light blue or black in this flattering ladies-specific cut.

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