We are children of the 70s who love looking back to the early days when motorcycles, off-roading and hot rods became recurring subjects in our daydreams and doodles. It consumed us then and it consumes us now, as you’ll see in this review of modern goods that evoke wonderful nostalgia in a major way.
We grew up studying and talking about guys like Ed Roth, Mickey Thompson, Dave Deal, Malcolm Smith and others like ’em. While kids idolized baseball and football players, we admired hot rodders and off-road racers. In today’s safety and apparel market there are many retro options that give a nod to that era, but here are some of our top picks for proper vintage-inspired goods.
Let’s start with these Biltwell Inc. open-face helmets. The “Gringo S” employs a flip-open face shield in a Flat style or the crowd-favorite Bubble Visor. The standard Gringo requires snap-on face shields or you can pair the helmet with a variety of goggles. We chose the Biltwell Moto Goggle with the simple, throwback checkered strap.
The gold Biltwell Work Gloves put an exclamation point on yer moto-ensemble and confidently display their retro stitching and hunks of protective cowhide. You can also get ’em in Chocolate or Black. The Moto Gloves come in a bunch of understated styles/colors that would look good wrapped around the grips of your vintage streetbike, BMX bicycle or dirtbike.
Based in Temecula, CA under the leadership of its very creative owners (Bill Bryant and McGoo), Biltwell Inc. has quickly become a successful mainstay in the chopper/bobber/custom-bike scene worldwide. They get it, ’cause they live it.
We’re also big fans of Hometown Jersey, based in Joshua Tree, CA. These things are perfect for Car Clubs or Motorcycle Clubs and harken back to the good ol’ days of dirt racing and club meets. We’ve posted reviews of their various color and sleeve options in the past, but now, we had had to get our hands on the new striped variations.
The Hometown Jersey “Striped Sleeve” features a black chest, which they will impeccably hand-stitch your words of choice, be it your hometown, group name, company, etc. And, if you wanna feel like a real Wild one or a rebel without a cause, the Full Stripe jersey is now available (you can leave it as is or have Jill apply your desired text to it).
Feeling nostalgic yet? Do these items stir memories of less-pretentious times? These Biltwell and Hometown Jersey products remind us of the simple-but-intentional styles of early off-road racing and recreational enthusiasts. When new stuff is crammed with flashy designs or use NASCAR-like color palettes, these throwbacks are a breath o’ fresh air.
As for the backdrops and vehicles we used for these pics, they mean something. They represent machinery and locations that take us back to visions of dry lake beds and old town squares where smiling riders and drivers would gather to play or hang out. Our origins of Southern California often surface in our Midwestern living. We can’t help but picture our Dad racing at Ascot, Riverside and in Baja, wearing a similar helmet and a killer vintage jersey.
Have you purchased your Christmas presents yet? Anyone have a birthday coming up? Ask your loved-ones what size helmet, gloves or shirt they wear and keep these links handy. Heck, treat yourself to one of ’em, they’re worth the investment.
Biltwell Gringo S
The open-face helmet that allows the shield to open and shut. Tons of colors and styles on these at different price points, but all look like they’re straight outta the 60s or 70s.
The open-face helmet that uses snap-on shields. If you like to raise and lower your shield a lot to grab some air or talk to fellow motorcyclists, consider getting goggles instead (they have some fog-free lens options on their site).
Biltwell Work Gloves
Three color options, thick leather, cool looks. We dig ’em.
Biltwell Moto Gloves
They remind us of quality BMX-style gloves. Good for play, good for many knuckle-protecting uses.
Biltwell Moto Goggle
We love the combo of an open-face helmet and goggles. Takes us back. If you want to avoid foggage, check out their more expensive Overland goggles with a fog-free lens and bag.
Hometown Jersey Striped Sleeve
We’ve already gotten tons of compliments on these. Email the folks at HJ to inquire about costs for specific wording and/or custom logo options. Prepare to answer passersby about where you got this jersey, people dig ’em.
Hometown Jersey Full Stripe
If you keep your eyes peeled in old motorcycle club photos or watch old biker movies, you might catch a jersey like this. Run it as-is or have them stitch some words on it, either way, this is a bold, stylish move for your bike riding or hot roddin’ adventures.