Finishing up your Christmas shopping at the last minute, yet again? Here are 12 original motorcycle gift ideas for the motorcyclist on your list.
Top Pick: Up-N-Smoke Engine Project Prints
We’re suckers for breathtaking photos, and Daniel Peirce’s collection of motorcycle engine photographs pushes all of our buttons. It features many of the greats, including everything from a beautiful Vincent Black Shadow V-twin to a sandcast Honda CB750. There’s even a Pierce and an Ariel Square Four, with more to be added in the future.
In fact, we’re such fans of Daniels’ aesthetics that we talked him into putting together the image for the plaques (above) for our European People’s Choice Concours d’Elegance at the 2006 Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham, Ala. And just in case our recommendation isn’t enough, consider this: Even the folks at the Barber Motorsports Museum respect his work, as his prints are but a few of the pieces of art for sale in the gift shop there.
The Gift Selection
1. Perfect for decorating an office or garage, we love this poster from the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. A limited-edition reproduction of the 1926 Milwaukee State Fair National Motorcycle Championship, only 1,000 posters will be produced. Each print is numbered and has an image size of 19.5in x 26.5in. Visit the Museum gift shop online for shirts, hats and a variety of other posters. Price: $25. More info: National Motorcycle Museum
2. London’s famous Ace Café is a long bike ride away, but the spirit of the place is close to the hearts of motorheads everywhere. Give a Bike Cartoon T-Shirt or Ace Café London Mug to your favorite café racer pal. Prices: $8.50 (mug) and $28.50 (t-shirt) at current exchange rates. More info: Ace Café London
3. The Superior Sound Of Classic Racing Bikes is a collection of motorcycle racing sounds from a bygone era, when big singles roared alongside howling multi-cylinder and shrieking, unmuffled two-stroke engines. After listening to the sounds and interviews with stars of the past like Jim Redman, Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read, you may wonder if GP racing isn’t just a little poorer in these homogenous days. Narrated by Phil Read. Price: $20. More info: Aerostich
4. Metro’s Air Force Blaster cuts drying time by 75-80 percent, leaving no spots or oily residue. It’s also really good at getting water out of tight spaces, eliminating those annoying water streaks that appear out of nowhere when you start riding because of hidden droplets. It has rugged all-steel construction, is safer than using compressed air or leaf blowers, has a powerful twin-fan motor with a five-year warranty, and is made in the U.S. Price: $229.99. More info:
Air Force Blaster Motorcycle Dryer
5. Designed for use with bikes that have centerstands, the MAT makes it possible to turn your bike 180 degrees in the space of its own length. Made of polycarbonate that has been machined to tight tolerances ensuring smooth operation, the MAT is a handy device for storing and maneuvering your bike: Turning a bike around to drive it out from your garage is much easier than dragging it backwards. Works best with a smooth garage floor and has a max load of 600lb. Price: $78. More info: Aerostich
6. Autumn Riders supplies quality embroidered motorcycle apparel. Detail on the long-sleeve henley we sampled is very good; the Norton Commando is clearly identifiable from 10 feet away. Choose from over 250 motorcycle models from BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Moto Guzzi and more. Autumn Riders offers shirts (denims, polos, tees, henleys, sweats), vests, jackets, patches and hats. Add embroidered text (like we did with “Ride ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em”) at $3 a line for a personal touch. Prices: $29.95 and up. More info: Autumn Riders
7. The History of Motorcycle Design Through a Collection of Patents is a seven volume collection of patents that chronicles the evolution of motorcycle design. Separate volumes include Pre-1900, 1900-1909, 1910-1915, 1916-1919, 1920-1929 and 1930-Later. A seventh volume focuses on sidecars. In all, the collection contains 455 patents on 2,380 pages, and all the drawings and text are included for each patent. The books may be ordered separately or as a discounted seven-volume set. Price: $25-$40/book, or $190/seven-volume set. More info: Vintage Motorcycle Works
8. The first Harley-Davidson Panhead, the machine that established company as the premier postwar motorcycle manufacturer, is recaptured in phenomenal detail in this hand-assembled 1/10-scale (9in) die-cast recreation. Featuring more than 150 separate parts, the bike comes complete with a leather upholstered seat. Hand-painted in authentic Harley-Davidson colors. Price: $135. More info: Franklin Mint
9. For those days when it’s too hot (or you’re too lazy) to put on leathers or other protective overpants, these classic-fit Kevlar-lined jeans have a simple straight leg with the traditional five pockets you’d expect. The Kevlar lining extends from just below the belt loops to just below your rump. There’s also Kevlar protection that wraps around to cover the front, and outside of the knee and shin. Available for men and women in blue and black. Price: $89.95. More info: Draggin Jeans
10. Daniel Peirce has over 26 years in the commercial photography business, but his recent Up-N-Smoke Engine project is the product of his newest venture into art photography. His beautiful metallic prints feature a variety of American, European and Japanese motorcycle engines, photographed and detailed in stunning clarity. Price: $59 for a 16in x 20in print. More info: Trick Photography by Daniel Pierce. Other sizes and prices available at: Cruisin’ Goods
11. Some of us around here (associate editor Hall more than the rest) have an affinity for old Hondas, so we think this Honda 750 engine model is about the coolest thing ever. Highly detailed and nicely molded, this 1/3-scale Honda CB750 SOHC plastic engine model has a battery-powered motor that runs the internals, which, joy of joys, you get to observe moving. It looks tough on your desk, and it’s not nearly as heavy and hard to move around as the real thing. Assembly required, but that’s half the fun! Price: $37. More info: Aerostich
12. Jeff Decker was exposed to vintage racing before he could walk. He spent two years working at a foundry where he mastered each step of the lost wax process, and now he not only sculpts his own pieces, but molds, wax chases, casts and contributes to the patination process of every one of his amazing works of art. No two pieces are exactly the same: “The lost wax process is unpredictable, just like the images I try to capture,” Jeff says. This piece, “By the Horns,” measures 22in wide, 30in long and 40in high. Price: $25,000.
Price and availability confirmed at time of publication. Subject to change, please visit the product website for the latest prices and availability.
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