Fishtail parka

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If you’re into the whole ‘mod’ thing, this iconic item of clothing is a must have, especially if you ride a scoot. After posting about the “Being” movie, I received a few queries asking ‘where can I get those coats?” Well as many of you know (just skip this post if you do!), it was the coat of choice for the original scooter-riding mods, mainly worn as a functional garment to keep their smart clothes clean. It’s been years since I’ve worn one myself, but they were a pretty decent overgarment, tough, reasonably waterproof while you were wearing them, your body heat somehow keeping you fairly dry in all but torrential downpours. Once you took it off though, it the whole coat became sodden!

If you’re going to wear a parka, how you ‘dress’ it is up to you, but IMHO, less is more. Just because you can get a bunch of target and union jacks patches on t’interet, doesn’t mean you should. Beware the whole ‘comedy mod’ tag! This, by the way, isn’t a modern phenomenon. We took a very high handed attitude to kids (the same age as us) in the early eighties wearing patches that said “Remember ’64” (you don’t!) and “We’ll fight them on the beaches”  (you won’t!).

The one pictured above, US hooded shell M51, is available on Amazon here

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Gabicci Photoset

1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_01 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_02 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_03 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_06 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_09 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_10 1377263758S32_Vintage_brochure_Page_14I posted the Gabicci video back in July, here’s a second bite of the cherry, featuring images from the brochure. I’ve stripped out the pictures of the cool, skinny model dudes in mod influenced gear, and focused on the scooters. Personally, my memories of Gabicci are not as a mod brand, back in the day, but as a premier “Casual” (with a capital C) knitwear brand, worn alongside Lyle&Scot, Fila, Ellese, Farah and Lacoste. But then again, Casuals were basically that generations incarnation of Mods. (Discuss… can of worms opened!). Anyway, it’s one of those labels I would have avoided just on ideological grounds. But they’ve got some pretty decent looking clobber there, so if I was a few years younger, and a few stone lighter I’d give them a whirl. Probably.

Anyway, the scooters are courtesy of the New Originals scooter club, and they look bloody brilliant.

If it’s your cup of bovril, check out the Gabicci website here.

Wiggo, again.

Bradley Wiggins Fred Perry shotsBit late posting this, as it appear in the Mail at the end of June, but with Mr Wiggins back at work in the Tour of Poland, I thought I’d take the opportunity to follow up my post on Britain’s favourite cyclist, olympic hero, mod and Lambrettista.

In what later turned out to be some publicity shots for his new range of clobber for Fred Perry, Wiggo was seen “speeding around on his moped” (the Daily Mail’s words not mine) on Southport pier. Apparently, the gold and white SX200 scooter, is a gift from the clothing range after Mr Wiggins worked with the label to create a cycling inspired collection of apparel, footwear and accessories.

wig2 wig4If you follow the link to the Daily Mail article, you’ll find a couple of pics of him scooting down the pier. I’d post them here, but they’re copyright. (I’m sure Fred Perry won’t mind me posting there pics, especially as I’ve linked to their website) But the fact that it was all a bit of a set up for a photoshoot will explain his lack of a crash hat… as he’s been quite outspoken (and rightly so) about wearing a helmet on your bike.

Here’s the original article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2350032/Bradley-Wiggins-spotted-cruising-Southport-SCOOTER.html#ixzz2aRT0rX5C

And here’s the Fred Perry Modern British Hero collection: http://www.fredperry.com/men/bradley-wiggins

And Bradley… if you read the blog, let me know mate. I’d love a celebrity endorsement!

Lambretta gloves

gloves_tan_big_altWhile researching (I use the term loosely) my helmets post, I came across these rather nice tan gloves on the Heritage Helmets site. Now, I don’t always agree with slapping a Lambretta logo on stuff, but I think these look pretty good, perfect for Summer riding. If we ever get a Summer that is.

They’re £34.99 inc. Free UK P&P, and also available in black.

Grab a pair here.

EDIT: I was given a pair of these gloves for my birthday yesterday, and my first impressions are really good. Stay tuned and I’ll write a full review after I’ve worn them for a wee while!

A quick look at… helmets

UPDATE: I felt this post was a little short on full face helmets… and the one type I did post was $900. So I put a shout out on the LCGB Forum for recommendations of classic looking, full face helmets. Ktmh5 recommended a classic Bell lid, link here, which is nice, but maybe more of a motorsports drivers helmet.

More to my taste, were these from Biltwell, which I was sent to by vegansydney. Proper old school looks, and a nice range of open and full face lids. Prices are more pocket friendly too… the fullface “Gringo” model (DOT approved), coming in at a pocket friendly $149. I’m particularly fond of the “Gloss Hazard Orange” Gringo. The Gingo is only shown  with bubble visors, (which I love on an open face helmet), but am not sure about on a full face. Thoughts? The open face Bonaza helmets look purty too… from class white, to matt black and metalflakes. Something to pretty much match any Lambretta then. Check out the Biltwell site here.

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The original post continues below

I’ve posted about helmets a couple of time before, both Trojan Records and Momo Design helmets.

So what other options are there? Tons. Too many to mention… but here are a few ‘honorable mentions’, that might appeal to us Lambrettisti out there. Before you jump down my throat and get all health and safety on me, this is just about style, and not about safety. The vast majority of the helmets are open face, and riders can have strong opinions about that. That’s fine, let me know in the comments.

LAM60017-1 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.07.10 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.07.19 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.07.36 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.07.44 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.08.08 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.08.21Firstly, I’ll kick off with some “official” Lambretta branded helmets from Heritage Helmets (the same people who make the Trojan ones). You’ll have seen these online and in the mages, and I think they actually look pretty good. You can get them for about £150 from the Lambretta Store, amongst other places.

Next, and I’m sorry if you are not in Brasil (I wish I was), are the helmets from COOT, (Which in case you didn’t notice is SCOOT with the S dropped off). Nice helmets, you can choose from “Ska” “Bluebeat” or “Acid Jazz”. The names themselves will give you a feel for the site. Classic looking open face helmets, and they use a very nice SX in their publicity shots, what’s not to like? Find out more here.931166_426885520741256_378916533_nCoot HelmetsScreen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.18.45 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.18.26Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.15.56 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.14.37 Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.13.40Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 17.13.14

Finally, for now, I’ll round off with the “Rolls Royce” of helmets. Les Ateliers Ruby. As far as I can tell this is a boutique Motorcylists shop in Paris (edit: Apparently Atelier means “Workshop” or “Studio” especially one used by a designer. So we’ve both leaned something). And they do sell lovely skid lids. But they ain’t cheap. They start at €550 for an off the peg “Pavilion” (or €880 for a visored “Belvedere”) and from €710 for a “A la Carte” option from their online helmet design feature. For the truly loaded you can design your own helmet from scratch. New to the range is the fantastic full face Castel, which will set you back €930. But it is a thing of beauty. Now, I think a open face lid sets off a Lambretta rather well, (unless you’ve got a really fast one), but these full face helmets are a bit special, and would compliment any classic scoot. If you could afford to ride your pride and joy after shelling out for one!

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So, that’s my rather brief and uncomprehensive, not to say unrealistic look at helmets. And really, safety and fit should come before style. But I’m rather unqualified to judge that, just make sure before you buy yours that it meet all the relevant standards, and it fits. So, what do you wear? Have you got a favourite lid you think I should feature? Know any other classic looking full face helmets? Let me know.

Indicator gloves

The first thing I did when I got my first Lambretta (actually a Serveta LI 150 Special) was to take a hacksaw to  the indicator stems. This was probably illegal, and it certainly puzzled my safety conscious dad. But they just didn’t look right. And unless you’ve got a penchant for an original 80’s style Spanish bike, (be it a Special or a Lince 200), indicators just don’t fit the Lambretta look.

The one possible exception to this rule, is original 60’s aftermarket accessories… such as the Ulma “Fried Eggs” that I have a picture of somewhere. I’ll dig it out, and post it.

An alternative solution for those needing to indicate their intentions to other motorists may come from the cycling world… with these indicator gloves. Via Bless This Stuff. I’m not sure though. Anybody seen a more elegant solution, or do Lambretta riders and orange flashing llghts just not go together?ImageImageImage

Team S Equipe T-shirt

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Love the simplicity of this shirt. One for those ‘in the know’ about classic Lambretta racing.

Trust me, if you’re thinking of buying a t-shirt with a ‘mod’ roundeland a sillouette of a scoooter  on it,  don’t. Buy this instead. You’ll thank me in years to come.
Available here.  Alternativley, pop over to I’m Scooterist. They’ve got some nice stuff too.

Scooter attire – The Barbour

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Ok, so the sun is shining and it’s probably Harrington weather… but who know’s what the rest of the year has in store…
I’m pitching this somewhere between the full mod fishtail, and the biker jacket I posted previously. You really can’t go wrong with a classic Barbour. I’ve got something similar by another brand – Jack Murphy.
If you want to know why I got it wrong, and should have gone for a Barbour there’s a great article here. Although, to be honest, I’m pretty happy with my choice :).

Fishtail tails

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If you’re a Lambrettista, and something of a traditionalist… the motorcycle jacket I posted about previously won’t cut it for you. For some, the only gear to wear in inclement weather is a Fishtail parka. Well… an original M-51 Parka (The sixties classic, pictured) will set you back a few quid these days. Your looking at an eyewatering £400 or so for a good, used, but restored one. A (slightly) more affordable, and some say better, version is the M-65… warmer, lighter… and still with a vintage feel about it. Expect to pay around the £100 – £150 mark. If you want the look of a ’51 without the price tag, Mod clothing specialists Jump the Gun do a very good repro one for about £100. By the way… if you’re wondering what the codes stand for, it’s quite simple really… it’s the date of original issue by the US Army… M-51 issued in 1951 (so a lot of surplus around by the early 60’s), and the M-65 replaced it in 1965, a bit late for the original mods, but picked up by many revivalists, from ’79 onwards. 

A couple of good sources for Fishtails are fishtailparkas.com and the aforementioned  Jump the Gun.