I can’t deny the classic engineer boot has been a running theme for me these days. But, I make no apologies. The boot became an instant favorite back in January when I pulled them on for the first time. And I may have been content to move on to the next pair of boots – but then came WarBikes!
A docu-reality series about custom motorcycles inspired by vintage World War II aircraft, the show is the perfect blend of horsepower and history designed to create awareness for a historic fleet of warbirds and to help the organization that keeps them in the air. The Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force at Falcon Field in Mesa, AZ supports a fairly large group of aircraft including the B-17 Sentimental Journey – our inspiration for the latest bike build.
As a television writer and producer, I could not have asked for a better backdrop or storyline. Honoring the men and women who built and flew these historic planes takes passion and teamwork. It also takes a hands-on master craftsman and a special shop to deliver. Ralph Randolph, a commercial airline pilot and custom bike builder, is that guy, and his shop, Knockout Motorcycle Company in Mesa, AZ, is that place.
The mystique of the motorcycle, popularized in the 1950’s, has never been stronger. The success of custom build shows and shops across the country are proof positive. So, when pre-production discussions turned to wardrobe the vote was unanimous – don’t change a thing. Putting the Street Warrior Series to work on the set of WarBikes was really a no-brainer. Is there a more instantly recognizable motorcycle boot on the planet? I don’t think so.
I opened the box and pulled out the stovepipe topped, buckle-clad boots with the smooth black finish and one image came to mind – Brando in The Wild One. If you’re not familiar with the film you’ve undoubtedly been exposed to its influence – look no further than this boot.
As a total motorcycle rookie I’ve always been curious where quality footwear fits into the mix. I’m told that next to the helmet, a comfortable pair of boots with great ankle protection and durable rubber soles are the best you can wear.
For me, the old adage “Where the rubber meets the road” finally has relevance.