Style Rider focuses on the intersection of motorcycle culture and individual style. Here we speak to Ducati rider Mitch Sullivan about versatile items, working towards long-term dreams and the importance of a quality helmet.
Name: Mitch Sullivan
Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Occupation: Automotive Dealership Management
Today’s ride: 2013 Ducati Streetfighter with Termingnoni Exhaust. I have owned this bike for around five years and until recently it was my daily ride. Now, I primarily use it for the sheer joy of riding motorcycles, getting out into the hills or along the coast road.
Describe your style: Monday-Friday it’s a suit and tie. Similar to Melbourne tailor Andy Cossar, I ride my Ducati into work in a suit and tie. On the weekends, I love the feeling of throwing on a pair of black denim jeans.
Favourite items: Persol sunglasses, Lee jeans and a Breitling Super Ocean watch. I find Persol’s timeless and look great with any attire. Black jeans are similarly versatile, pairing well with both sneakers and boots. The Brietling Super Ocean watch was something I wanted from a young age and have been wearing for about 8 years now.
Next purchase: BMW M4 CSL. Buying this car has been a year-long process and is a boyhood dream come true. I have long fascinated over BMW M cars and when there were rumours that the CSL badge would return, I put down a deposit in hope. After applying and awaiting its production, I will be taking delivery later this year. I cannot wait!
Style inspiration: Steve McQueen. Whether dressed casual in chinos and a sweatshirt or formal in a three-piece suit, he always looks great. Stylish, yet unfussy.
Best local ride: I like to get up early on Sunday morning and ride along Beach Road from St Kilda through to the round-about in Mordialloc and then back into the city. With a coffee at one end this is about an hour and a half run.
Best distance ride: Reefton Spur with a stop at Marysville Country Bakery for a meat pie. The windy roads and incredibly scenic views are a world away from the Melbourne CBD.
Tip for stylish motorcycling: Helmets. I personally love taking the time to find the right style and ensure the fit is just right. I’m usually a bit impatient, but when it comes to the hunt for the right helmet, I take my time.
Helmets can be a way of expressing your personality with artwork or to pair with your bike. I’m a big fan of Hello Cousteau and one day will commission their work. I also love the classic tobacco and oil company liveries on race cars and bikes from the 1980s. It’s interesting how these corporate logos can be tied into pieces of art.
Tip for best looking safe riding gear: Quality helmets. It’s got your head in it so don’t go cheap! You can’t go wrong with a hand made in Japan Shoei. There’s a saying; ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. With a helmet you may not get that second chance.
Next motorcycle trip: I would love to take time out from work and ride the Great Ocean Road, staying overnight at Warrnambool before making my way back to Melbourne. It’s a classic Victorian ride, best done during the week.
Why do you like riding? Riding is such an enjoyable experience. Almost all of your senses are engaged and it clears your head. I can switch off from the world and listen to that iconic Ducati sound. I’m a rider that will always give a nod or a hand wave to an oncoming rider. This gesture was taught to me when I started riding and it is something I consider important to be passed on to others.