“The Stable Yard is ‘like France innit!”
Words and Images by Kevin
You find some of the coolest places tucked away just off the motorways in the UK. As a biker you relish these spots, taking a break to stretch your legs and grab a brew.
I know that if I’m in the car I tend to hammer along. Getting from A to B is a mission and I tend to miss out on these lovely wee spots. Luckily riding a motorcycle isn’t just about As and Bs, it’s about the journey and maybe not just the destination. If you’re around Leicestershire though, it really is about both.
Idle Torque is one of these gems, ran by Jack Guttridge it is located in spitting distance of the M1, the M6, the A14, straddling 3 different counties. So despite its beautiful rural surrounds, it really is a convenient destination for many riders. The Stable Yard can be found in the leafy village of Cotesbach, hosting both residents and independent businesses (Idle Torque included). There is a warm and relaxed vibe around here and you can tell that the community spirit is highly valued. Just as it should be.
A favourite customer quote of Jack’s being: “the Stable Yard is ‘like France innit!”.
It’s no wonder that people ride from all over the country to soak in the atmosphere. Jack has made a mammoth effort to ensure that Idle Torque is more than just a quick stop to grab some gear and then nip off again. It’s evident when you step inside as every fitting, fixture and display has been designed and built by Jack. This is a custom shop for custom bikers.
Adding to the already buzzing community within the Stable Yard Jack admits: “I’m a big foodie and enjoy good ale. So putting on the bike nights in the stable yard is really enjoyable and it’s a great way to meet new people. I obviously need to make a living, but the lifestyle and social side of the shop is just as important to me”.
Idle Torque was first introduced to me formally through Rahul and Birju of Sinroja Motorcycles. They proposed partnering up to make a single display at the exhibition we hosted in July and I jumped at the chance. I’d been following Idle Torque from the start as a) I love independent businesses and b) I felt a huge appreciation for what Jack was doing. One guy doing something he loves, something he utterly believes in, keeping all the bullshit out. How can you not support this type of endeavour? I followed online the grand opening and what an opening it was! There was a Spitfire engine roaring away in the yard! I was impressed with what Jack was doing with the bike nights and with the brands he puts on the shelf.
It became apparent when speaking with Jack just how important; comfort, safety, quality, style and performance are when deciding what gear to stock.
“I wanted to stock the best gear out there and also the gear that nobody else was selling in the midlands or North.”
Idle Torque is not in the game of buying cheap, stacking high and pushing out volume. It is about premium goods, made to last, converse to what is offered up in the chain stores across the country. Premium doesn’t have to be expensive either. You won’t see a skid lid for £35, but would you REALLY want to? I’m not typing that out of snobbery. Can you put your faith (and your head) into something which yields such a miniscule value to the company? Has it really been put to the test? The time into the R&D, scrutinised to the nth degree to ensure it performs as it should? Performs in every aspect it was designed for and not just to meet a minimum requirement to gain a ‘certified’ sticker?
As an example of this quality: I picked up a Knox Zeypher summer jacket at £199, this comes with the best level 1 and 2 armour available, it’s breathable, has excellent abrasion protective and looks the nuts. So when the time came to part with my cash I was surprised as I had expected to spend a lot more for such quality. It actually worked out a fair bit cheaper than buying my first leather jacket and level 2 back plate. It is way more comfortable, more flexible and works as an amazing base layer now the cold weather is drawing in. Winner!
It’s evident that there is a commonality across the brands that Jack stocks:
“Rokker, Hedon and Ashley Watson are ridiculously well-made, good-looking products that have superb protective qualities and will outperform most premium sports tourer clothing. It’s about educating people to what is now available”.
Education is key, knowing all of facts and the benefits you gain. There is lots of false economy going on in the world and even smaller cultures such as our own don’t escape it. Countering this through such a level of service is something that is striking and outstanding with Idle Torque. Ask Jack anything about his products and he will tell you everything you need to know. That level of attentiveness is lacking in today’s marketplace. “The fact that the shop assistants didn’t know anything about the brands” – is after all one of the many reasons Idle Torque exists. I for one am thankful for this.
Woven within the fabric of Idle Torque is the opportunity for us as riders to become part of a community. A community built by Jack’s passion for beautifully finished high, quality goods. Goods designed specifically for the improved well being of us as rider’s. That is something you don’t see very often, so when it comes along you need to grab a handful.