Aether Apparel

The Aether Journal is where we share out latest discoveries in outdoor adventure, urban exploration & innovative design.



Motoped Survival Bike

08/26/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Motoped Survival Bike

Michael van Vliet

Possibly the world's first "tactical moped", Motoped Survival Bike is designed to survive the end of the world.

Possibly the world's first "tactical moped", Motoped Survival Bike is designed to survive the...

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Possibly the world’s first “tactical moped”, the Motoped Survival Bike is designed to survive the end of the world.

A cross between a moped and a downhill mountain bike, the Survival Bike is powered by a 4-stroke engine with a 1 gallon fuel tank. Due to its incredibly lightweight, it is able to get excellent gas mileage and has a 90 to 120 mile range. As for the survival part of the equation, the bike is outfitted with a extra fuel tanks, crossbow, survival shovel, tomahawk, harpoon, fixed blade saw, lighting system, carabiners and climbing rope, flashlight, multi-functional knife, multi tool, and bike mount for your smart phone. However, when the apocalypse comes we doubt you’ll have any service.

For more information about the Motoped Survival Bike, check out their website: motopeds.com

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Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs

07/31/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs

Michael van Vliet

This Moto Guzzi V7 by Brooklyn-based Venier Customs has been redesigned for two-up riding on the chaotic streets of New York City.

This Moto Guzzi V7 by Brooklyn-based Venier Customs has been redesigned for two-up riding...

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This Moto Guzzi V7 by Brooklyn-based Venier Customs has been redesigned for two-up riding on the chaotic streets of New York City.

This restyled Moto Guzzi V7 Stone has been transformed by Venier Customs for one of their New York clients. Dubbed the “Tractor 02″, the bike was customized for two people to ride comfortable across the bumpy streets of Manhattan while dogging taxis and buses.

To this end, the bike has been outfitted with dual-sport knobby tires as well as an elongated flat bench seat that has been shifted 30mm towards the back of the frame. It also features a GPS legendary speedo and a black LSL headlight. It has been finished with two tone glossy gray paint with a gold strip and matching gold logo.

A simple, elegant city commuter with an aggressive flat track-inspired attitude, the Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs is versatile piece of art. Check out more of Venier projects on their website: venier-customs.com

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BMW R45 by Ton-Up Garage

07/16/14 by: Michael van Vliet

BMW R45 by Ton-Up Garage

Michael van Vliet

This custom BMW R45 by Portuguese garage Ton-Up is a pitch-perfect retro throwback.

This custom BMW R45 by Portuguese garage Ton-Up is a pitch-perfect retro throwback.

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This custom BMW R45 by Portuguese outfit Ton-Up Garage is a pitch-perfect retro throwback.

Drawing inspiration from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, Ton-Up garage aims to design custom motorcycles that celebrate the golden era of motor sports. For this recent creation, they turned to the 35hp, 473 cc boxer twin engine of a BMW R45 to make a stylish city bike. They fabricated a new sub-frame, which complements the new rear shock and forks, created a new headlight grill, mounted a pair of matching enduro fenders, and swapped out the original wheels for some spoked-rims and knobby tires. To complete the look, the bike was finished with a classic cream and brown paint job.

If you’d like to see more from Ton-Up Garage, or buy the bike you see here, check out their website: tonupgarage.com

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Motorcycle Camping in the High Sierras

06/09/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Motorcycle Camping in the High Sierras

Michael van Vliet

While any well-trained sales reps will attempt to convince you otherwise, the fact is that any motorcycle can be used for camping.

While any well-trained sales reps will attempt to convince you otherwise, the fact is...

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Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles, Saturday morning. Under a dull grey sky, our fully loaded BMW GSs charged up the on-ramp and merged onto I-5 North. The weekend warriors were just starting to filter onto the road with their roof-racked station wagons and pop-trailers, but it’d still be a few hours before the happy-go-lucky glampers were out. This left us plenty of time to blitz up the big empty slab of concrete that lay between us and the Sierras.

While any well-trained sales reps will attempt to convince you otherwise, the fact is that any motorcycle can be used for camping. Whether you’re riding a Honda Rebel or a brand new GS Adventure, the only thing the type of motorcycle determines is the style of camping you’re able to enjoy. The smaller the bike, the more you’ll need to embrace the minimalist backpacking method. The bigger the bike, the closer you can get to that everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style of pseudo-car-camping. Which, is more or less the approach we took.

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Both my 1150 GS, and my friend’s 1200 GS, were loaded to the hilt with stuffed panniers and stuffed duffle bags on top of those panniers. This may or may not have been due to the fact we were both riding two-up with our respective girlfriends. If couple camping is a delicate art, than double date couple camping has got to be some next-level shit. So, to smooth out any potential bumps, we decided to bring as many creature comforts as we could carry. Full size pillows? Sure. Mexican blanket doormat for the tent? Why not? Both a french press and a stove-top percolator? Let’s not take any chances with the coffee… Ultimately though, when it comes to camping, the most important thing to have is the right attitude, which thankfully everyone had in spades.

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Traveling on Route 99, there isn’t much between Los Angeles and Fresno worth mentioning, other than the space of land exists, it’s entirely flat, it’s always hot, and invariably smells like cow manure. However, after picking up the Route 168 out of Fresno, the topography starts to perk up, the temperature cools down, and the crisp smell of pine replaces the methane-laden dung fumes that hang in the valley below. All in all, it was a much welcomed change.

We made our way up the winding mountain road towards Shaver and Huntington Lakes, where we bore witness to the withering effect of California’s drought. Entire marinas, with hundreds of empty boat slips, now sat firmly on dry land, while pontoon party boats wallowed about in the remaining muddy waters like indifferent hippos at a watering hole.

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We reached our camp site just after 3pm. After many long hours sitting on the motorcycle, it’s amazing how refreshing it can be to sit on another surface that’s not a motorcycle. A picnic bench for instance, or, the top of a pannier, and even the ground, as dirty and rough as it is, seems to hold a new and completely satisfying comfort that was previously overlooked.

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After our posteriors had adequately recovered, we set about putting up camp. Tents were erected, fire wood was procured, and a one-pot dinner was prepared under the resilient glow of a butane burner. Things were really coming together, although it wasn’t until the third or fourth campfire-grade cocktail that the “vacation” part of the vacation really started to kick in.

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The next morning we had big plans: Mono Creek Hot Springs were just on the other side of Kaiser Pass and we intended to check it out. According to the Butler Maps I had brought, the Kaiser Pass Road was supposed to be gold, and gold it was. This scraggily single-lane road effortlessly weaves its way through the Ponderosa and Jeffery pines, opening up at times to offer sweeping vistas of the Sierras before ducking back into a twisty ravine of monolith granite. The road conditions are a little rough for a dedicated street bike, with crumbling asphalt and occasional sand washes in some places, but for anyone with a dual sport bike or a questionable sense of judgment, the road was 20 miles of alpine heaven.

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Mono Creek Hot Spring didn’t disappoint either. We took a nice long soak in one of the twelve open air springs located in the area. Many of the springs have been developed with man-made concrete tubs, but a few of the more remote ones remain untouched. With a water temperature of only 100 degrees, our particular spring was technically-speaking only a “warm” spring, but the water felt just fine to us.

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Once our bodies warmed up enough to start affecting our hubris, we decided it would be a capital idea to take a swim in the nearby, and perennially frigid, San Joaquin River. Jumping into a mountain river (the water of which was probably melting snow not 45 minutes ago) has got to be the closest thing to taking an adrenaline shot to the heart. Both of which probably have an equal chance of inducing cardiac arrest. However, for those who take the plunge, there awaits a feeling of total rejuvenation, bordering on rebirth, which is reserved for both the very brave and the very foolish alike.

With our skin tingling and our lips still blue, we swapped out our wet bathing suits for the warm, dry comfort of our motorcycle pants and jackets. Rarely does such heavy gear feel so good on a warm afternoon.

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The sun was hanging low in the sky and the shadows were growing long, and all agreed it was time to start heading back. It had been a long full day. As the shivery excitement of the river left our bones, a new excitement took its place. We still had Kaiser Pass Road to look forwards to on the ride back, this time in reverse, and that was really something to get excited about.

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Aether Gear Featured in this Story:
Skyline Motorcycle JacketCanyon Motorcycle JacketMerino Neck GaiterL/S HenleyWelded Duffel BagAlta

All photos by Megan McDuffie 

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Barstow Goggles by 100%

05/28/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Barstow Goggles by 100%

Michael van Vliet

Makers of premium motor sport accessories, 100% has added the retro-leaning Barstow Goggle to their impressive lineup of products.

Makers of premium motor sport accessories, 100% has added the retro-leaning Barstow Goggle to...

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Makers of premium motor sport accessories, 100% has added the retro-leaning Barstow Goggle to their impressive lineup of products.

Inspired by the legendary Barstow to Vegas desert race that ran from 1965 to 1989, these new goggles pay tribute to that classic era of off-road motorcycling. Designed with a vintage style but sporting state-of-the-art features, these goggles combine a timeless look with safety and performance.

The Barstow is available in two different versions: the Classic Dirt and Legend Road. For more information, visit 100%’s website at: ridebarstow.com

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Johammer J1

04/18/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Johammer J1

Michael van Vliet

The Johammer J1 is the first production electric motorcycle capable with an over 200 kilometers range.

The Johammer J1 is the first production electric motorcycle capable with an over 200...

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The Johammer J1 is the first production electric motorcycle with a range over 200 kilometers.

Designed and produced is Austria, the J1 uses an innovative energy supply system that gives the bike its unparalleled range – not to mention its unusual geometry. Its many notable design features include: electric motor integrated directly into the rear wheel, hub center steering front wheel, wishbone style suspension, and side mirrors that offer high-resolution displays of speed and range.

The Johammer J1 is available in two versions, $31,000 or $34,500, depending on the size battery pack you opt for.

For more information about the Johammer J1 at visit: johammer.com

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Motorcycle Helmet Mount

04/15/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Motorcycle Helmet Mount

Michael van Vliet

These custom oak mounts have been designed to store your extra motorcycle helmets.

These custom oak mounts have been designed to store your extra motorcycle helmets.

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These custom oak mounts have been designed to store your extra motorcycle helmets.

Instead of storing your helmet in a bag in the garage, why not put them on display? These functional mounts can accommodate either a 3/4 or full face helmets and are a great way to air out your lid  between rides.

Hand built by Brandon Cameron of Texas, each mount is made using reclaimed oak and chromed steel.  Limited number are available for the price of $65 each.

Check out his Etsy shop at etsy.com

[via Silodrome]

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Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket

04/01/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket

Michael van Vliet

Designed by AETHER and constructed by SPIDI, the Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket combines a refined modern aesthetic with the finest in old-world leatherwork.

Designed by AETHER and constructed by SPIDI, the Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket combines a refined...

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Designed by AETHER and constructed by SPIDI, the Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket combines a modern aesthetic with the finest in old-world leatherwork.

With its rugged yet refined style, advanced protective padding, and Italian motorcycle racing pedigree, the Eclipse is designed to be the showpiece of any urban rider’s wardrobe.

The Eclipse Motorcycle Jacket is now available for purchase. Check out the product page for more details.

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Lotus C-01

02/28/14 by: Michael van Vliet

Lotus C-01

Michael van Vliet

With a futuristic look, the Lotus C-01 motorcycle is a new design from renowned automotive designer Daniel Simon.

With a futuristic look, the Lotus C-01 motorcycle is a new design from renowned...

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With a futuristic look, the Lotus C-01 motorcycle is the latest from renowned automotive designer Daniel Simon.

Daniel Simon has done work for Lamborghini and Bugatti in the past, and was the designer behind the Lightcycle in the 2010 remake of Tron as well as the Bubbleship in the 2013 film Oblivion. This blend of real world practicality and imaginative sci-fi vision can be readily seen in the Lotus C-o1.

For the power planet, KTM RC8’s 200hp V-Twin engine was selected and was combined with a 6 gear transmission and a traditional chain drive. Inverted carbon forks have been fitted in the front while twin adjustable shock absorbers handle the load in the back. Twin-disc front brakes and a single-disc rear brake give the bike it’s stopping power. However, the main aesthetic appeal of the bike is its carbon fiber body work and extremely long wheel base.

Lotus does not yet have a price listed, although they have stated that they will be limiting production to only 100 bikes globally.

F0r more information about the Lotus C-01, visit Lotus Motorcycle.


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BMW R1100 GS “Desert Scrambler”

01/28/14 by: Michael van Vliet

BMW R1100 GS “Desert Scrambler”

Michael van Vliet

Cafe Racer Dreams from Madrid has transformed a BMW R1100 GS into an "Desert Scrambler"

Cafe Racer Dreams from Madrid has transformed a BMW R1100 GS into an "Desert...

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Cafe Racer Dreams from Madrid has transformed a BMW R1100 GS into an “Desert Scrambler”

Unlike customizing a typical airhead model, Cafe Racer Dreams has taken on the ambitious challenge of converting a more modern oilhead. Without a traditional frame to speak of and layer after layer of intricately connected electronics, this conversion was no small task. The build is still a work-in-progress, so there is not much information about it. Check in on CRD’s website for more updates.

Cafe Racer Dreams is based out of Madrid, Spain. See some of their previous work here: caferacerdreams.com.es

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