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Gear Review: 55 Collection Hard Jacket

Product: 55 Collection Hard Jacket Made in: Barcelona Cost: €480 (US $510)
It’s likely you’ve never heard of 55 Collection; the Barcelona-based leather goods company is relatively small and has only been on the scene for a few years. So, allow me to introduce you to a company that’s making some of the best-looking and unique motorcycle jackets out there at the moment.

Adopting the “non serviam” nonconformist attitude that seems to run through a lot of Spain’s motorcycling culture (check out the crazy/beautiful custom works of El Solitario MC, for example), 55 Collection’s jackets may split opinion because of the company’s willingness to make jackets that are fashionable – that is to say, jackets that have a strong fashion element. The old dudes will decry hipsterism or some such thing. And indeed, I’ll admit that when company founder Aitor Gonzalez offered me a chance to try out one of his jackets I naturally defaulted to the most conservative of his offeri…

The universe tells me to calm down

I went to buy a helmet today. I have no bike; I have not taken my CBT. And I have no actual money, just that which credit card companies are willing to lend. But still, I put on my jacket and trudged out in the snow, determined to buy a helmet.

"I'll wear it around the house," I told myself. "To get used to it."

There is some logic in such thinking. When I was 18 and took a training course to get my motorcycle endorsement in the United States, I found myself distracted by my helmet. I was too easily amused by the fact I could sit there and mumble to myself without anyone hearing. And some strange aspect of the whole thing made me feel I was in a pillow fort – I wanted to close my eyes and take a nap.

So, sure, even though training courses here provide helmets and it's a good idea to make sure you want to do something before you go spending hundreds of pounds on it, perhaps it might be smart for me to buy a helmet and get used to the feel and experience of the thing. That way, when I start training (whenever that is) my attention won't be split amongst re-learning to ride and re-accustoming myself to the gear. It might be smart to do that... if I had the money.

"But this is really important," I told myself. "I'll put it on my credit card."

The day before I had almost simply ordered a Caberg Ego online. I had stopped myself with the realisation that I really should know whether something fits before I fork out so much money for it. Better to go to a shop, I told myself, and I planned an excursion to Cardiff's Hein Gericke branch – a short walk from Cardiff Central train station.

This morning I found myself over-thinking what clothes I would wear. What looks cool? What outfit is least likely to give away the fact that I'm totally green? On the train into town I started getting jumpy at the thought of where, exactly, I was going to hide this helmet from my wife. It would seem too frivolous a purchase to her. I felt almost as if en route to a romantic rendezvous. Walking to the Hein Gericke shop my hands were shaking with excitement.

I arrived at the front door and... it was all gated up. On the door is a sign saying the shop has gone into administration (i.e., gone bankrupt). Cardiff's Hein Gericke is no more.

I stood and considered making the walk to Bevan Motorcycles, roughly 1.5 miles away – a bit of a trek in the heavy snow that was falling. As I pondered this, a car drove through a puddle of slush and mud, drenching me up to my groin.

"This is the universe telling you to go home," I thought. "Save it for another day."


  1. If you consider the Law of Attraction, the Universe is reacting to your doubts. If you simply think it and believe it, the Universe will make it happen. If you have doubt in your mind, the Universe will make that happen too.


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