Behind the Seams. A series of interviews with the people & brains behind our brands. We hope to share some insight on how and why the products we stock are so damn good. Learn the faces behind these brands and help support small business!
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Here we speak to Lee Tanks, one of the three owners of Clutch Moto, a Sydney based moto apparel company specialising in protective raw denim. We are proud to have this 100% Australian owned label, as the newest edition to the Moto Est. brand lineup!
» When did you start riding motorcycles & what's your current ride?
I remember clearly, the very first time riding as a seven year old on the back of my Dad’s old Suzuki. Even at that age, I knew it was a feeling that would stay with me forever. I‘ve had many bikes since and I currently ride a Harley Davidson custom Bobber.
» What is the single best thing about living the moto life?
The disconnect and connect. When riding you can really disconnect from all the things that make us busy and concentrate on one thing that you really enjoy. At the same time connecting with people who share the same passion is always something special. After all, the riding community really are the only people who “get it”.
» Give us a brief history of your brand - how, when & why?
We started as a group of friends who frequently rode bikes together. We shared our frustrations with current motorcycle gear having all the protection, but lacked an appreciation of current trends and a certain style. We wanted to do something about it and decided to apply our trades in safety, fashion design and business. After more than twelve months of research and testing, we launched our first range in early 2019.
» What makes your product/brand different from others in the market?
High quality, modern style with premium protection. There is no compromise on looks for optimum protection and comfort when it comes to our apparel. Other brands seem to either do safety well and style poorly or look great, but don’t stack up against proper abrasion and impact tests. Our moto denim is made from Japanese denim and features a light weight, breathable protective textile technology called SuperFabric® which has outperformed other similar protective materials using international abrasion testing protocols.
» How do you test the safety of your products?
We’ve had our materials independently lab tested to international standards for abrasion, impact and burst protection. Based on these results we submitted our products for CE certification and are waiting for final approval. We are confident, given other SuperFabric® applications include bomb disposal and NASA Spacesuits, that we will more than stack up.
» What's in the pipeline for Clutch Moto this year?
We look forward to launching our women's range this year! We started Clutch Moto because we felt other brands didn’t understand what we wanted in riding gear. When it came to women’s riding gear, it’s like they weren’t even considered. During our development stages we were told existing options didn’t fit well, were uncomfortable or just looked bad. We are proud that we will soon be able to offer products that are purpose built for the female rider, in a way that reflects their desire to be protected and maintain individual style.
» What advice do you have for new riders?
Dress for the slide, not the ride. Although that’s the beauty of our gear, it does both! I also think it is important for new riders to get a bike that matches their abilities. Make sure it’s a comfortable, controllable height and riding position for you. You can always upgrade later.