wheels on fire

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Motorbikes, and the people who drive them, have always exuded sex appeal. All that danger and speed. I spent my teen years lusting after a big 1100cc monster and hopping on the back of my boyfriend's Montesa Enduro 360cc bike and holding on for dear life while we rode around the Spanish hills at a very un-sexy 180 kph, without helmets. Not recommended. Apart from the G-force, every time you open your mouth you get a trail of spit that hangs in mid air. Although we have shown girlie biker gear here, whether you're a man or a woman the rules are the same: always spend the most you can afford. Leather gives the best protection for clothing. Look for triple stitching and Kevlar inserts sewn into the impact zones. This is a non-abrasive material that will protect you better in a crash. With helmets, only buy one with a BSI mark, as the British Standard is the highest in the world; and fit is crucial here - it should be firm. Second-hand helmets aren't worth the saving. You don't know what they've been through and helmets are made for one impact and one impact only.

Clockwise from top left: black leather top, pounds 75, Preen, 15 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London W10, tel: 0181 968 1542. Mink-coloured stretch sequin hipster trousers, pounds 109, Joseph, 26 Sloane Street, London SW1, tel: 0171 629 4774. Black leather 'rapier' biker gloves, pounds 16, Sportex, Unit 4/8 Camphill Close, Dallamires Lane, Ripon, North Yorkshire, tel: 01765 690800.

Vintage blue, red and white 'Honda' nylon biker jacket, pounds 25 from Portobello Market, London W10. Black matt PVC biker-style trousers, pounds 125, Joseph, 26 Sloane Street, London SW1, tel: 0171 629 4774. Blue helmet, pounds 279.99, Motorcycle City, 122 Great Portland Street, London W1, tel: 0171 637 5002.

Black leather biker jacket, from a selection starting at pounds 164.50, Hein Gericke, 320 Clapham Road, Stockwell, London SW9, tel: 0171 498 0819. Purple and black lace vest, pounds 30, Biba, 15 Shorts Gardens, WC2, tel: 0171 226 0788. Silver charm choker, pounds 49, Jenifer Corker from Jess James, 3 Newburgh Street, W1, tel: 0171 437 0199. Black PVC hipster trousers, pounds 169, Betty Jackson, 311 Brompton Road, SW3, tel: 0171 589 7884.

Brown leather western-style shirt, pounds 494, Clements Ribeiro, from Matches, 37a High Street, Wimbledon Village, London SW19. Inquiries: 0171 409 7719. Leather short skirt, (just seen), pounds 395, Wannabe by Patrick Cox, 129 Sloane Street, London SW1, tel: 0171 730 8886.

Black and grey all-in-one thermal catsuit, pounds 59.99, Frank Thomas from Motorcycle City as before.