Yes, there certainly was a buzz at Kiehls Since 1871 on Montana Avenue this past Tuesday night, as custom bike builder and star of The Discovery Channel’s smash hit series, Monster Garage arrived on his hog to unveil his latest two-wheeled creation, a one-of-a- kind chopper commissioned by Kiehls to represent the brand, and eventually sit alongside their extensive collection of rare and famous vintage motorcycles (including a 1934 Harley-Davidson RL that once belonged to Clark Gable).
After the unveiling of the Kiehls bike, a masterwork that exuded passion and power even whilst sitting in the center of the store, the Mirror managed to grab a few moments with the unassuming and down-to-earth Mr. James and ask him what inspired him in the design of the bike: “Make money,” he responded with a grin (bear in mind a Jesse James custom will cost upwards of $80,000!). After I commented on the interesting fusion of classic smooth lines with some unique design attributes, Jesse expanded, “Well, you know, for a bike that’s going to sit in a store, I wanted it to be kind of timeless, it looks cool and modern, but ten years from now it’ll still look cool and modern.”
The American V-Twin motorcycle is as popular now as it was 100 years ago, and when asked about the enduring allure of these bikes, Jesse explained that for him it is not a fad, “It’s in my blood, I have to have it, I mean, I rode down here tonight nice and fast all the way here from Long Beach.”
A while ago Jesse paid a visit (on his own dime) to some troops based in Iraq and helped the guys fix up a Hummer that had virtually given up the ghost. It made for an excellent episode of his show, and stands as a very human story of one man, all politics aside, just trying to give a little back with clear humility. When asked if he planned to return he said, “I don’t know if I’m going to go back to Iraq, but I just got clearance from the Sudanese government because I’m trying to get over there to do something to help the kids.” He continued to explain, with a look of genuine sincerity (no cheese eating Hollywood monkey, he), “So many are getting killed and starving that maybe my skills can help, you know, maybe I can help rebuild a bridge or something.”
Also in attendance was Kiehls head honcho, Chris Salgardo. Although at the event he was The President in one of his skincare stores, his demeanor was more like that of the proverbial kid in a candy store as he told of the first time he saw the bike he had commissioned: “I was awestruck when I first saw it, I mean Jesse is a genius and I have been a fan of his like, forever!” He excitedly shared that he was so blown away he just wanted to ride it there and then. Chris told us also about the limited edition dopp kit that contains some of Jesse’s favorite Keihls products. “Jesse was showing me his dopp kit and all the stuff he had to cram into it so I said why don’t you put one together, and he came up with an amazing bag,” he explained.
The dopp kit in question is a rugged pack with a one-of-a-kind emblem and contains White Eagle Shave Cream, Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment, Ultimate Man Scrub Bar, and Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.If you want to catch a glimpse of the Jesse James Kiehls Chopper it will be on display for the next three weeks at Kiehls store located at 1516 Montana Avenue.