My Own Piece of Treen Motorcycle History

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Treen Motorcycle Leathers

Treen Motorcycle Leathers Canada

Any chance the name Treen might be familiar to you? If not, don’t worry because when I mention the word most draw a blank. Then again, maybe you’ re one of the few in North America who recognizes the name?  Well, I’ve got one and it still fits and to this day, occasionally, I wear it. It’s a cherished collectible made in Canada by former – Treen Custom Leathers made-to-measure leather motorcycle race suits.

Treen High Quality Custom Made

Treen produced excellent high quality leather riding suits which were identified by their gold background embroidered label accented with a bright red maple leaf. It was a name synonymous with an exciting era in Canada’s motorsport history.

I wondered what happened to Treen so went online and found a Treen Custom Leathers in Edmonton. I telephoned the company and the employee I spoke with had no idea of the Treen history but referred me to Lawrence Busenius, pronounced like “business and genius” he told me, an employee who has worked with the company through its change of ownership for over two decades. Indeed Lawrence confirmed I had found the original Treen!

The company was started by Brian Treen’s father Gerald in 1949. During the 70’s and 80’s Brian was the driving force behind the motorsport manufacturing area. The company designed racing suits for flat track, drag and road racing disciplines – and of course for everyday riders such as me. Many a Treen was created for our Canadian (and USA) amateur and professional competitors. They designed suits right up until the mid 90’s yet, due to the change in race suit materials and dynamics, Treen felt they couldn’t quite keep up. The company was then sold to its current owner Bob Dale Gloves, whose focus is entirely on high quality motorcycle gloves – the very item Treen started with.

The Edmonton born brand had a few Treen agents across Canada working through motorcycle leather shops. I can’t remember the Toronto address, however I do recall the day I went into the shop to get my first made-to-fit-me motorcycle suit! The sales guy took my measurements and I recall he asked me if I needed the extra knee and elbow protection/reinforcements for racing. My response was no, as I had no plans for racing (it was inevitable I would race!) And really, that was in the 80’s – kudos to this chap for thinking I… a female, was going to need the suit for racing! Treen, of course, provided the service, including lettering as I naturally had to have my name added on the jacket, just… “Vicki”.

Since my return to Canada, and perhaps from sheer sentiment of years gone by, my Treen motorcycle suit has become more important to me. I’ve had nine made-to-measure race suits since then.
My Treen suit however gets the eternal  – “first place podium”!


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6 Comments so far

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  1. Mike
    #1 Mike 10 September, 2017, 00:41

    Like #4, I too bought a brown leather Treen flying jacket in Victoria in the late 80s. It’s still in excellent condition and I’m still wearing it around Calgary on my recently-acquired BMW R1200GS. I’ll have to keep an eye out for my doppelganger. Thanks, Treen, for the quality workmanship!

  2. Condor
    #2 Condor 23 December, 2016, 00:18

    Thanks for the info on Treen and the slueth work to find out what they’re up to now. I know I’m late to the party, but I just bought my first Treen jacket used from a gentlemen who lives in Manitoba, Canada. I live in St. Augustine, Florida, so it’s made quite a long journey. It’s a red and white Kawasaki jacket with blue piping, and a big red Kawasaki “K” gracing the front. The number “12” and Kawasaki are written down both sleeves. It’s a nice change of pace from the ubiquitous Kawasaki lime green, and matches my red KZ1000 MkII nicely, as I imagine the factory green would not stand a chance.

    The jacket originally had a name (which I can’t decipher) and then what appears to be 900cc lettering on the left breast, but they were at some time removed, and replaced with NHRA “Member” and KRW Racing Helmets patches. It would be my guess that he or she probably had either a Z1 or a KZ900 before moving on. Shame, cause it’d be nice to know the name, and maybe even some history behind the jacket, as it appears to have quite a bit to tell. The Treen Custom Leathers patch is inside the jacket, with the lettering and Maple leaf stamped in gold on top of a black leather background.

    Though it was made for someone else long ago, I got extremely lucky in that it fits me like a glove, as the measurements of the jacket were my exact measurements to a T. I’m 6’5″ and 150lbs soaking wet, so that’s no small feat without either having the sleeves way too short, or the chest size as loose as a garbage bag. Most companies who just make mass produced big and tall sizes, forget about the “and” and just assume all tall guys are big or fat. So, somewhere in Canada was another fellow Wookie of similar height and weight with a love for the old Kawasaki bikes and the same frustrations with finding a good fitting jacket; perhaps my Canadian doppelganger!

    Well, this also may very well be the LAST jacket I own for awhile, as my first child is on the way, due in April. Anyway, this jacket is just, well, better in just about everyway as compared to my Schott. I’m really thrilled. After seeing and feeling the quality, I really wish Treen were still in the business of crafting suits, jackets and pants, as I’d love to have matching pants. Oh well, I can always dream that a pair that matches and fits may one day turn up or fall out of the sky and land on my front lawn; one can only hope.

    Matt Wilder

  3. Xtreemgear
    #3 Xtreemgear Author 16 March, 2016, 21:36

    Awesome post, Thanks for sharing valuable information.
    Xtreemgear

  4. Bob MacLaren
    #4 Bob MacLaren 19 March, 2014, 18:39

    Just read your piece on Treen Leathers. I was going through all my old business cards and came across one for them at 405 Roncesvalles Ave in Toronto Ontario. This was in the mid eighties but may be the address you went to. Still have mine. My grandson tried them on just lately and asked if he could have them when he got his bike. They last forever.

  5. Anonymous
    #5 Anonymous 17 April, 2012, 09:44

    I’ve been curious about Treen, so thanks for the update. I bought a Treen flying jacket in Victoria in the late-80s and still wear it whenever I take my similarly-
    aged BMW out for a spin, Calgary weather permitting.

  6. Anonymous
    #6 Anonymous 19 February, 2012, 12:07

    I bought Treen leather jackets and riding pants from their store in Edmonton. The riding gear was bulletproof and waterproof. I gave the jackets away many years ago: either they shrank or I gained weight. ;-) I still have the pants, although those seem to have shrunk too.

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