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This list of motorcycle books, motorcycle riding apparel and much more is a perfect place to check if you're looking for motorcycle gifts for Christmas or any other gift-giving occassion:
1. What do you buy the vintage motorcycle enthusiast who has everything? Knowledge. The Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide 2010-2011 from the Vintage Japanese and European Motorcycle Club and the NADA Vintage, Collectible, and Retro Motorcycle Appraisal Guide are great pocket guides, perfect for taking along to that next motorcycle swap meet. These are the two sources we turn to first when it comes to valuing old bikes, followed by more of our own market research. Both guides provide retail prices based on condition for established makes and models, and the VJEMC guide covers even a few more uncommon makes. The Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide, $15.95. NADA Vintage, Collectible, and Retro Motorcycle Appraisal Guide, $30.
2. You really can’t have too many motorcycle jackets, but if you can only have one, a three-quarter length jacket with a zip-out liner will get you through all but the hottest times of the year in safety and comfort. Editor Hall has a Tourmaster Transition Jacket that he wears more than any other due to its utility in a variety of weather conditions, and the next one we plan to try is this studly-looking Rincon Jacket. Patterned after the legendary Belstaff Trialmaster, it features a host of upgrades the Belstaff didn’t, including chest and sleeve vents and a rear exit for flow-through ventilation when it’s warm, a waterproof barrier for when it’s wet, and Phoslite dark-colored reflective piping for night visibility. It also has removable armor at the elbow and shoulder, a back protector, and a zip-out quilted liner. Price: $159.99.
3. Art of the Bike sells more than just cool T-shirts: They sell some lovely bike-related art, too (imagine that). This limited-edition charcoal print, titled “Peter on His Indian,” is by New York City artist James A. Willis. Just 100 prints of this drawing have been made, and each measures nine inches tall by 20 inches wide. James’ work has been featured on the cover of Art and Antiques and has been featured in American Art Collector and the NY Times. His prints are available exclusively through the Art of the Bike website. Price: $129.95.
4. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum presents their yearly raffle, and this year’s combination is a doozy. The first half (and the half we really want) is a lovely 1973 Kawasaki Z1, the 903cc, dual overhead cam four-cylinder that was the Superbike of its day and is now a much sought-after collectible. The other half of the combo is a new 2010 Z1000, Kawasaki’s 136 horsepower, 1,043cc muscle bike of today. Tickets are just $5 each or five for $20.
5. Full of great photos of vintage Triumphs (and a couple modern ones), the Classic Triumph Calendar 2011 from Baxter Cycle makes a great gift for the vintage motorcycle enthusiast. Perfect for the office or garage, it measures 24 inches tall by 16 inches wide when open and includes a bit of information on each featured model, along with “This Month in Triumph History” info. Cool bikes, great photography and a bit of info all wrapped up in one lovely package. Produced by Wolfgang Publications. Price: $25, with free shipping.
6. We’ll admit it; one of our favorite things after a good motorcycle ride is a good beer. And good beer often requires a bottle opener. The buckle of the Aerostich Tap Cap Belt performs two key duties: it keeps your pants up and saves you all that time you used to spend looking for an opener (or trying to open a beer with a pair of pliers, or your teeth, or worse ...) The high-density black nylon webbing is classy enough for all occasions and strong to boot. The infinitely-adjustable buckle also allows the belt to double as an emergency tie-down strap. It’s 1.5 inches wide, and available in two sizes, medium, 32-38, and large, 38-42. Price: $15.
7. While we’re talking about beer, the only thing better than a good bottle of beer is a good bottle of beer poured into a nice frosty pint glass. Perfect for your garage fridge, this 16-ounce Busted Knuckle Retro Rider Pub Glass features the company’s cool Retro-Biker dude etched on both sides of the glass. It’s also guaranteed not to leak (unless you break it, of course). Bottoms up! Price: $9.95.
8. Another great calendar is the 2011 Vintage Motorcycles Calendar from photographers Nolan Woodbury and John Cerilli of Vintage Motorcycles Online. Featuring makes such as BMW, Moto Guzzi and Honda, this calendar measures 22 inches tall by 14 inches wide when open. Produced by Tide-mark Press. Price: $13.95.
9. Much in the way Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance wasn’t really a book about motorcycle maintenance, Shop Class as Soulcraft isn’t really about shop class either. Although author Crawford has a Ph.D. in political philosophy, his focus here is on motorcycles and the value of applying oneself to the physical nature of life through craft, and the devaluing of craftsmanship in an increasingly depersonalized society. Extremely thought provoking, it belongs on every motorcyclists’ shelf. Price: $15.
10. The latest book from Ian Falloon, The Book of the Ducati 750 SS: ‘Round-Case’ 1974 highlights this historic model. Although it was manufactured for just one year (1974), the Ducati 750 Super Sport was immediately touted as a future classic. Who would have guessed just how collectable the 750 SS would become? Expensive and rare, the 750 SS was produced by Ducati’s race department to celebrate victory in the 1972 Imola 200 Formula 750 race. Owing to its rarity, the 750 has become extremely desirable and fetches prices beyond the most expensive contemporary Ducati. For Ducatisti, it is the Holy Grail. Price: $79.95.
11. Fresh from Joe Rocket comes a new idea: A slim-cut riding jacket made of a combination of leather, textile and mesh materials, combined with a breathable yet windproof liner. The Radar Jacket was crafted to offer fit, comfort and mobility while keeping your temperature right where it needs to be. When it’s hot, remove the windproof liner and the FreeAir polymesh panels let the wind keep you cool. When it’s cold, zip in the windproof liner, which features strategically positioned flex panels for added mobility. Other features include an adjustable waistband, armor at the elbows and shoulders, and a removable back pad. Price: Starts at $299.99.
12. Perfect for proudly displaying your motorcycle addiction, this 1:12 scale rendition of a 1969 Norton Commando Fastback from The Motor Pool is finished in silver. At a height of 3.5 inches and a length of 7 inches, this Commando is the perfect size for that unused corner of your desk, and it comes packaged in a good-looking presentation case. Price: $129.99, with free shipping in the continental U.S.
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