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This one has been in the works for a while. But when you want to make something special, sometimes you have to slow down and make sure it's done right. The first time I saw an old photo of motorcycle racers from the 1930s, I knew I had to have one of those jerseys. Once the idea occurred to me that we could make our own to pay homage to those early racers. It was in my head and I was set on making it happen.
I was determined to put quality first.
The 1920s and 30s' were amazing times for motorcycle racing in North America. With motorcycle makers like Indian, Harley-Davidson, Flying Merkel, Excelsior, Crocker and many more, Americans were spoiled for choice. They made good use of those days by racing their two wheeled machines on the beaches, board tracks dirt tacks and hill climbs. With little thought giving to safety, they were focused on going as fast as possible! The first motorcycle racing jerseys came out at this time. They were thick cotton or wool sweaters. They had letters cut from another material and stitched across the chest. Stripes or different coloured arms were used to identify teams or your favorite rider.
When I set out to make my own version of these classic jerseys, I was determined to put quality first. I didn't want to make something that just kind of resembled an old jersey. I wanted something that I felt actually belonged on the backs of those riders. I spent a long time speaking with manufacturers until we found the right fit. Someone who got it and was as excited as I was to bring these sweaters to life! As it turned out, I had been looking in all the wrong places. I had been searching for manufacturers in other countries, thinking that's where I would have to go to get these made. As luck would have it, our perfect match was less than 50 kms away!
. . . when you want to make something special, sometimes you have to slow down and make sure it's done right.
Everything was coming together. I got to work on fine tuning my design. An unapologetic throwback to the brave men who were thrashing their motorcycles, on frozen lakes and steep hill climbs, a hundred years ago. Our jerseys were underway. Hand-made LOCALLY from 12 oz heavy cotton with stitched wool-felt lettering. Even the neck tags are hand screened on canvas before being sewn in. It took us a few tries before it was right, but I think we came up with something to be proud of.
"My perth county moto Jersey arrived and it's a 10 outa 10.
Thick enough it will out last me.."
- Sean Mcleod
We wanted to have a little fun with the official release of these long awaited jerseys. What better way could there be then heading out to a frozen pond in February to do a little ice racing? For most of us there, it was our first time. A friend had set up an 8th mile track on the ice and provided some bikes. We may not have been setting new speed records, but we had a hell of time! Thank you to Guy from J and G Racing (flat track racing team in Ontario) for setting this day up for us. And to Graham from Almost Oldschool (locally made stainless steel handlebars) for coming out and ripping around the track with us.
Our Jerseys are now available for sale on our website and in store. A lot of time and effort went into making them and we believe that you'll love them as much as we do! You can find the Perth County Moto Vintage Racing Jersey here
Here's a little video I put together of our day on the ice.