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Showing posts from May, 2017

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…

Review: 2017 Kawasaki GTR1400 (aka Concours 14)

The market for sport-touring motorcycles seems to have cooled in recent years. Unless you count KTM’s 1290 Super Duke GT, we’ve not seen a truly new sport tourer in quite some time. Stalwart machines like the Kawasaki GTR1400, Honda ST1300, and Yamaha FJR1300 have received tweaks here and there but generally look exactly the same as they did a decade ago. It’s the ebb and flow of motorcycling, I suppose; things fall in and out of fashion. But with more and more adventure-styled bikes being designed with no intention of going off road, I can’t help feeling that – in terms of purpose, at least – the sport tourer is ripe for a comeback. 
So, last autumn, when I had reason to want a bike that meshes the concepts of fast and comfy, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to throw a leg over a model I’ve long admired: the Kawasaki GTR1400 (better known as the Concours 14 in the United States).

I spent several weeks with the Kawasaki, primarily using it as transport to attend EICMA, which is hel…