A storied and lengthy courtship
“The first motorcycle race began when the second motorcycle was built.” And when the first race convened they realized they needed protective gear!
The connection between leather and motorcycles is lengthy and goes back to the very beginning. Now I’m not saying motorcycle history started with Harley Davidson, we all know it didn’t since even Indian was founded two years earlier in 1901, but looking back you can even see that the first bike produced by Mr. Harley and Mr. Davdison out of that rinky-dink shed had a leather seat! The reason for this is simple: its an excellent material for protection and insulation and our ancestors knew this; in fact you could easily argue that without the leathers of early generations none of us would be here!
When doing research into preparing leather for my line of leather motorcycle masks I was amazed by the history of leather as a protective coating. I learned about wax hardening leather by submerging it in fully melted wax, bees wax was used back in the day, and letting all the air leave to be replaced by the wax. I learned about how leather was used to hold the metal pieces of steal armor, at the joints. I learned about our earliest ancestors and how leather was used to protect them from even the elements and mother nature herself. So it seems natural that leather would be used as man began his two wheeled adventures.
If you want a leather biker mask from Weld Burn that is wax harded I can surely do that! (Though it might be a bit excessive!)
From early gauntlet glove and tall boots to, the first true purpose built motorcycle jacket to the early leather helmets motorcycles and leather have worked in consort.
Here is a really great, and short, article from Eagle Leather on the first motorcycle jacket. Here is a companion site specifically about Irving Schott and the invention of the motorcycle jacket. Glamour magazine even has a feature on the motorcycle jacket and its adoption outside of motorcycling.
Leather and Motorcycles go together like peanut butter and jelly or Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas. And while there is an influx in synthetic materials that are revolutionize the motorcycle protective gear segment in new and exciting ways, like Kevlar lines jeans for example here and here and here, leather will always play an important roll in motorcycle riding.
Weld Burn motorcycles masks will always be made of top shelf leathers and water formed/water harden for protection and sturdiness in the harshest winds.
Here are a couple vintage photos of leather and the motorcycle with more on the Weld Burn Pinterest Vintage Photos board.