Style Rider focuses on the intersection of motorcycle culture and individual style. Here we speak to Moto Guzzi rider Kara Taffs about 1970s influences, stylish women’s riding gear from Black Arrow Moto and her love of the colour gold.
Name: Kara Taffs
Residence: Gardners Bay, Tasmania
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Today’s ride: 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone customised with Agostini pipes and a new fairing and gold paint job to mimics a 1970s LeMans. She is due for a few additional modifications and repairs after being knocked over whilst parked.
Describe your style: Late 60s or 1970s with a moto or mid-western/rock kinda vibe. And, gold; anything shiny and gold. Today I’m wearing Black Arrow leather pants and gold gloves, turtle neck—essential for Tasmania!—, Classic Rock Couture Jacket, Foxy socks and Dr Marten boots and gold Biltwell helmet.
Favourite items: Leather pants by Black Arrow and this 1970s style bomber jacket from a place in Arizona called Classic Rock Couture.
Style inspiration: Everything 1970s racing, including biker jackets, bandanas, jumpsuits, helmets and cafe racers, all with a bit of late 60’s hippy. I also love the look of old advertising campaigns from the era, although they can be very sexist.
Best local ride: There is a 90 minute loop from my house in Gardners Bay down the hill through Woodbridge, Kettering, Sandfly, up to Ferntree Pub for quick pitstop at the base of Kunanyi/Mt Wellington, then back through Longley to Cygnet via Huon Valley before riding back up the other end of my road to a cracking afternoon view.
Best distance ride: I’ve done some very long and great rides on mainland Australia and Tasmania, but one of the best I’ve done so far is in New Zealand. The South Island offers incredible, if at times a little harrowing riding. Actually, Tassie roads along the East Coast are also pretty damn spectacular.
Tip for stylish riding: Colourful gloves or scarf, and NEVER gear with the typical ugly girly things like purple or pink “accents” we are offered in most bike stores. Wear what suits your body type and be comfortable but keep it clean… not that I do. I get in trouble from Hannah (Black Arrow) for not looking after my jackets or polishing my boots.
Tip for best looking safe riding gear: Black Arrow Label. I love Hannah’s style—both fashion and safety—, and she’s a good friend who also moved from Sydney to Tasmania.
Next motorcycle trip: The dream ride is Alaska to Patagonia, but realistically for now it is Italy to the home of Moto Guzzi or France next year. … or Japan! I’m easily pleased when it comes to moto destinations.
Why do I like riding? Because it’s fun, a little scary, sometimes hard, makes me feel alive, adventurous, free and independent… with a little bit of cool. It’s also been the catalyst to meeting some incredible and inspiring people from all walks of life and I’ve made very close friends, not the least from joining the Foxy Fuelers women’s motorcycle group in Sydney. PLUS, I get to enjoy some epic rides with my hubby Mark.