LIKE any other activity, motorcycling has acquired its own subculture of fashion and clothing, whether it’s technical riding gear or casual clothing and accessories. If it sells, cycling brands will slap a logo on it and send it out the door.
And like any other activity, golf, football, there are some items of clothing and kit that are truly no-go areas in many people’s eyes. In this article, we take a look back at some of the most outrageous motorcycle fashion faux pas ever committed.
The Ten Worst Motorcycle Mod Fails
10. Replica racing jackets
You can see them at BSB, motorcycle events, car jumbles and motorcycle shows. You can spot them from a mile away because they have flimsy badges, the “Repsol” lettering is never quite right, and the leather looks about as hard as MPs’ spines. They are, of course, poorly made “replicas” of racing leather. Whether they’re one-piece or two-piece, they’ll probably give you all the protection of a leaky condom and are a surefire way to get a number of people snickering at you once you’re out of earshot.
Yes, they are cheaper than the alternative. Granted, you may have been drunk when you clicked the “Buy Now” button, but that’s why our lord and savior Jeff Bezos created a 14-day cooling-off period on the eighth day. 14 days was chosen because that is the maximum time it takes for a person to realize that this is complete stupidity.
Save your money and get some real skins from RST.
9. Lightly apply the “Built Not Buy” stickers. ‘tailored’ wheels
This was common a few years ago and you still see it now. You will most likely find this sticker on a ritter on a bike. More often than not, it will be painted at home using three cans of matchless matte black spray paint and someone will cut off the muffler – bonus points if they’ve used an exhaust heat wrap unnecessarily (see point 5).
The bike will be something like a 15 year old Hyosung 125cc cruiser with a cloned CG125 engine. The rider will be wearing a fashionable leather jacket (the eagle motif on the back is slightly slanted), camo jeans with a wallet chain. On their bonce will be a Nitro helmet with Aboriginal art that looks like they kicked it down the stairs on a daily basis.
The air filter housing will proudly sport a “Built, Not Bought” decal with a key that breaks the top and bottom lines. There will be a bunch of wires coming out of the back of the same air filter housing that were connected to the home end connectors and the chain will be so worn it’s almost dragging on the ground.
That’s right, you’re a bike builder now mate…
8. Jeans tucked into boots
Jeans tucked into boots, why? It has no advantage on the bike, if anything it makes life worse. Yes, we all know that some motorcycle skins slide into boots, but there is a reason for this, namely increased protection. But when you’re wearing your freshest Primark specials and heading out for a Sunday ‘blowout’ there’s really no need.
No one needs to see your flashy plastic or carbon shin guards because guess what; nobody really cares.
7. Unsuitable skin and wheel
I once saw a guy driving down Mablethorpe High Street on Valentino Rossi’s full Yamaha YZF-R6 (2010 Fiat era). To be honest, the paint on the bike was pretty good and possibly a Dream Machine job. The problem was that his skin was an exact replica of Marc Marquez’s and he even had the MM93 lid on like some mismatched icing on a very confused cake.
I suppose in football terms it’s like those 50/50 replica football jerseys you can get, with both teams playing on the same shirt that day, split down the middle. They are considered the lowest of the low in football circles. This particular motorcycle faux pas is viewed very similarly.
6. Anodized stubby levers/reset
I have a friend who is a bike wrecker and general motorcycle hoarder who can’t bring himself to throw anything away. Even bent or slightly torn parts of the bike will find a place in his (eBay) display and inevitably everything will eventually find a home. However, there is one item that gets blasted and thrown away as soon as the bike lands in his shop, any cheap, ugly, anodized tattoo.
And I’m with him on this one because, what’s the point? And before every spare parts company in the UK sends me nasty emails; drink, I don’t talk much about you. I’m talking about the crap you can buy on AliExpress, Wish.com, and pretty much every other dodgy website out there. Yes, your bike can be a full seven grams lighter than stock by fitting your new ones “The #1 Super Fast Best Brake Lever™’ flick-up adjustable tasks. But you will 100% look like a bigger blonde when that chocolate box alloy cracks halfway through 300 miles and you have to get home without a front brake.
5. Exhaust cover when it’s not really needed
This has become more common as café racer culture has taken off, but fitting an exhaust wrap to a bike that doesn’t need it is a bit like wearing jodhpurs and a riding helmet while doing your weekly shop.
On the right bike, the exhaust shroud has a practical purpose. It can prevent you from burning your leg if the exhaust line is tight, and it can prevent the heat from the exhaust from damaging the fairing or transferring to the mechanical parts of the bike. The thing is, your otherwise stock Triumph Thruxton doesn’t have a fairing, you Chicken Legs aren’t in danger, and the handy man at the factory already designed the bike, so the heat from the exhaust isn’t harmful. effect on the engine.
Not only that, but fiberglass wrap can also kill a motorcycle’s exhaust system if you’re not careful. The water soaks the coating, which then sits on the pipe and degrades the metal. There is also a train of thought that the insulation that the packaging provides is enough to cause the metal to fatigue and crack because the heat cannot escape fast enough.
4. “Polite” vests
Okay, I’m going to hide behind my laptop now because we’ve been writing about this on social media recently and it’s sparked quite a debate. The ‘POLITE’ vest (written in a very similar font to ‘POLICE’ and surrounded by a checkered stripe) is one of the most divisive items of motorcycle kit or clothing. Above all, it will stir the pot and generate (mostly) amusing banter between bikers.
It is on one side of the fence “Well, it doesn’t hurt, does it?” the crew. Their argument is that it’s a free choice to wear whatever you want, so leave it up to them. Then there it is ‘Oh my god, what a button, “Hey Kev, look at that Muppet”‘ many who just find them a source of amusement whenever they are spotted. However, in the end we have “in arms – must be shot/hanged/arrested” posse banging on about how impersonating a police officer is a crime and must be punished.
I’m not sure where I actually sit on that, but that doesn’t stop it from making the list. Purely and simply because I’m writing the damn thing. I wonder if you combine a POLITE vest with an ex-Police R 1200 RT and a white Arai RX7, is it easier to filter through London?
3. Using the cleaned sliders you purchased on eBay
Look, I’m not pointing fingers, but it happens. I just looked on eBay and there are any number of used sliders for sale and it’s not like we’re talking about the jobs of former famous racers. They’re just worn out sliders!
The thing that bugs me about this is that they are literally useless. I break it down as follows. You’re not fooling your friends, they all know how you ride so they know you can’t/don’t/don’t have your knee down yet. This means that the only people you have to impress are people you don’t know. Strangers, random people, people you’ll never see again. The stupid thing is that no one really cares.
2. A pair with completely matching equipment
Nothing screams “BMW dealer really saw us coming!” like a couple on a road trip wearing completely matching motorcycle gear: textile, boots, gloves and cover. The whole shebang.
There are not many couples who walk around in the same clothes in the evening. Why would you do that when you’re on a bike? The closest thing I can compare it to is couples who share a Facebook page – as soon as I see them I start thinking ‘ok which one of you cheated?’.
In addition, a motorcycle kit is a very personal choice. One brand might make lids that fit like a glove, while others are uncomfortable as hell and give you an instant migraine. There is a very good chance that one of the people in the pair is traveling in a kit that is not as suitable as they would like. The only thing keeping them quiet about it is that it cost an extra £3,000 on the bike and they are too afraid to mention it.
1. Glue ears, ponytail, mohawk
The act of sticking furry ears and mohawks on motorcycle helmets originated at the end of the last century and was funny for about a week. You could (and surprisingly still can) order any number of brightly colored accessories, from cat ears, furry dog ears, fox tails, mohawks, and even afros for your sliding lid, and I’m sorry if I sound boring, but I just don’t get it.
One of the old Visordown editors summed up this type of riding accessory perfectly a few years ago. He said: ‘Pulling up for a ride in this is like turning up to a pub in your girlfriend’s underwear and expecting everyone to think it’s funny. It’s just weird. “What are you playing at?”
what more can i say
Editor’s Disclaimer: This article was created for entertainment purposes only. No real disrespect meant (except for the 10’s and 3’s – you dishonest ones). If you are affected by the problems mentioned in this article, go to a quiet place and sit down, you will soon feel better.