Every sport has its heroes. They lead the way, accomplish what we had thought was impossible, set the standards for future achievements and inspire us to dream.
Motorcycling has many such heroes - racers, of course, but also designers, engineers, technicians, historians and other innovators who continue to redefine the sport's possibilities. To honor those who have shown the way thus far, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) maintains a Motorcycle Hall Of Fame museum in Pickerington, Ohio. Now the folks at Intersport Fashions West (IFW) have created another way to remember our heroes - their new AMA Hall Of Fame leather jacket.
"It's our tribute to the AMA Hall Of Fame museum and all the famous motorcyclists who are in it," explains IFW's Paul Golde, pointing out the official Hall Of Fame shoulder patch and the satin liner imprinted with the names of museum inductees. "From the sale of each jacket, $10 goes directly to the museum."
While the jacket's proceeds do contribute to a worthy cause, Golde emphasizes this is not a flimsy gift shop souvenir. The jacket is made of top-grain, competition-weight leather, with heavy-duty seams and stitching to ensure durability. Tapered, zippered sleeves and a snap-adjustable waist with a dropped back were made with riding in mind. There are internal pockets to hold optional shoulder and elbow armor, plus zippered handwarmer pockets and an inside pocket to store personal items. In other words, this commemorative jacket also has a fully functional side - IFW designed it to be worn, not to gather dust inside a closet.
Despite the jacket's classic look, Golde adds that it will appeal to a wide range of customers. "The buyer demographic is anyone who appreciates American motorcycle history and racing," he says. "I know younger guys are interested in it, because it's got a lot of nostalgic style, and retro seems to be in right now. Older guys like it, too, because it's the kind of jacket they had when they were young."
To make sure the jacket's features are fully appreciated, Golde suggests putting one on a mannequin, while displaying a second one so the Hall Of Fame liner can be seen. The black/rust/beige jacket is available in men's sizes S-XXXXL and comes with a five-year limited warranty.
IFW hopes their AMA Hall Of Fame jacket reminds riders of their current heroes, while also raising funds to help the museum honor those still to come. "A lot of people buy this jacket because they see the lining and all the museum touches," Golde says. "It's fabulous that we have a museum dedicated to American motorcycling, and this jacket celebrates that." - Laurie Watanabe