See how some of New York’s power players ride around the city in style.
Some of the most successful businessmen in New York City, from Google to Ciprianis, are ditching their suits on the weekend and trading them in for leather gear. Exchanging the boardroom for open roads, these successful men are turning to motorcycles to free themselves from the grind of city life. Not only are motorcycles classically cool, but they provide those who ride a feeling of freedom, adventure and challenge. See why men are loving being a part of the bike fraternity.
What do you do professionally?
I am the CEO of West Village GC, a construction company. I just unveiled my first design under my name, JGMansfield. I started it 12 years ago. We do high-end, luxurious interior build-outs.
How did you get interested in motorcycles?
My interest in motorcycles started about 15 minutes before my parents said I could never have one. I’ve been racing motorcycles for the past 25 years. I was married to a yoga teacher for 10 years, and I found that motorcycle racing was very similar. It’s a deep mediation. To do 180 miles per hour down 16 feet of asphalt coming into a right angle corner, you have to be deeply focused on what is happen- ing. This meditation lasts for 20 minutes of absolute uninterrupted concentration where nothing comes into your world.
What advice do you have for people interested in riding in New York City?
I would tell them to go to the track. The track is designed for you to go as fast as you want or dare. It is a safe environment, and you will be around riders that have amazing ability. Riding in New York City requires a certain skill level and awareness around you. You have to keep in mind that everyone is not looking for you. They’re looking for someone who is going to hurt them, like taxis or trucks. They’re not expecting you, because you’re not a threat.
How do you describe your biker style?
I wear a lot of leather. There’s an old saying, “Use your skin; use our skin.” Using their skin is generally a lot less painful, and there is a lot of risk riding in Manhattan traffic. I wear full Dainese leather from head to toe with body armor every time I get on the bike. There is a certain style that goes into it. It’s not 1975, and I’m not wearing flared leather. It’s 2014, and I’m wearing $250,000 worth of leather gear.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
The Isle of Man. It’s an amazing place with like-minded bike lovers. It’s like an England I never knew. I can ride as fast as I’d like, and I keep my favorite bike (a very rare Yamaha YZR500 replica) there full time. I go there very infrequently, and it’s 3,500 miles from where I live!
Photographs by Adrianna Favero
Interview & Styling by Charlotte Rose Coleman
James Mansfield is featured in DOWNTOWN’S Summer 2014 edition. Check out all our Motor Cycle Kings in our latest issue on newsstands now! Or subscribe to DOWNTOWN Magazine for home delivery by clicking here.