And the Story behind the Brand
By Bandit with photos by Jeffrey Najar & Markus Cuff
The 5-Ball Racing team has always been a team effort. We set a few World Land Speed Records, and we’re going after more. The team portion of the equation remains intact with the apparel line. Teams are tough. Humans have a tough time dealing with egos, success, money, you name it. In many respects the Dharma rule of any team is to avoid all those issues at all costs. I’ll attempt to explain.
The team mantra is to do what’s best for the team pure and simple. Here’s how this one played out. I have two old friends, one I’ve know for a decade, Jeff Najar, who is a talented, hard working guy who always steps up for family and friends. We call him Prince Najar. It fits. He’s had an on-going relationship/partnership with an industry friend for 30 years, Bob Kay. They started a leather company a few years back and struggled with it.
I’ve been working with Andrew Calogero and his wife Arleth, for a couple of years. He wanted to take over the Bikernet Apparel business and run with it. I warned him, but he insisted. Andrew worked in a family apparel business all of his life. He knows the ropes, the fabrics, the threads, you name it. Last year at a bike show I introduced Bob and Jeff to Andrew and they came to me with a plan to kick off 5-Ball Racing Apparel Line.
The core leather garment, the very essences of the line was designed by Bob Kay who has been a rider all of his life and a major player in the custom motorcycle industry for as long as me—incredible, about 40 some years. Bob put all his experience with various major companies like Nempco, Biker’s Choice, and American Ironhorse, all of his product knowledge, and passion into this 5-Ball Racing Special Ops Leather vest.
This puppy fits. It has solid gun pockets (8 inches wide and 11 inches deep) on the inside and two deep zip pocked for your cell phone night glasses, or valuables. That’s four pockets inside concealed with our classic durable 100 percent cotton twill plaid lining.
Sure, these puppies are made overseas, but everything else is handled here and that’s why we can deliver these puppies at a reasonable price for all you’re getting.
The exterior includes a heavy duty gun metal grey zipper front, bound leather neck trim and double needle seam construction. The garment exterior is high quality .9 mm leather.
Outside every Special Ops Vest has six additional pockets including two comfortable walking pockets, two classic flap pockets and two zip chest pockets.
The waist band has tightening flap snaps and our team has worked with this manufacturer for over six years. We are making every 5-Ball garment to do what it needs to do for riders and folks who use their shit in the wind for years.