Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Gear

CH teams up with the avid riders at Aether to create the ultimate gear guide for summer

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As these sun-soaked days of May continue to breathe life into the drained bodies and minds sapped by the East Coast’s prolonged winter, our itch to take back the asphalt grows stronger. That’s why CH teamed up with the avid riders at Aether to create a gear guide worthy of a new season. Adopting the ethos of Robert Pirsig’s classic “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” we’ve searched high and low for investment-worthy garb that’s sure to deliver both style and function for your summer plans, whether they be a ride through the Petrified Forest, a tour of Sicily or simply battling traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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Even while a number of motorcycle manufacturers look to the past for inspiration, it’s rare to find a bike that successfully marries cutting-edge technology with old-school style quite like the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. Inspired by the café racers of the ’50s and ’60s, the modern equivalent features a sporty frame and signature sideways V7 engine that’s anything but dated. And in case an on-the-spot tweak is needed, Union Garage’s comprehensive tool roll is always smart to have on hand for those who understand the value of learning the ins and outs of your machine.


For those with long stretches of road ahead of them, solid footing is key—and that’s where Danner boots step up. The heritage brand from the Northwest boasts nearly 85 years of experience and their footwear is designed to stand the test of time and then some, just like the KletterDay pack from Montana’s Kletterwerks. The vintage-inspired canvas bag is lightweight but rugged, and just the right size for a day trip out of town.

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Ideal for stuffing into your rucksack as a backup layer, the long-sleeve Slub Henley from Aether is a true asset. The naturally breathable Supima cotton shirt sports a slim silhouette, making it ideal for when the blazing hot pavement gives way to cool temps at sundown. We’ve got your hands covered, too. A snug-fitting pair of Deus Ex Machina’s leather Gripping Gloves will keep your digits protected against the elements in all temperatures.

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To keep your most valuable assets intact and operating at full capacity, Ruby’s iconic Castel Helmet and 100 Percent’s Barstow Goggles come into play. The two manage to offer a delicate blend of retro styling and function on a timeless silhouette. And there’s no denying Ruby’s superior looks.

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Last but not least, Aether’s Compass Motorcycle Pants and ultra-stylish Eclipse Jacket (constructed by Spidi) are perfect for the rider who demands sleek aesthetics as well as fine craftsmanship. The kit will have you looking good on and off the bike, and in the unspeakable instance of finding yourself on the pavement, you’ll be protected, as well. The breathable and abrasion-resistant pants and clean, classic leather jacket embody everything that goes into great gear—thoughtful design and smart materials.

Images courtesy of their respective brands