Motorcycle gear with classic styling is no longer a niche. It’s edging up the bestseller lists, and the mainstream brands are scrambling to catch up.
It’s as though we’re returning to the (perceived) golden days of the 1960s and 1970s. That means simple aesthetics, clean lines and traditional materials, and we’re just fine with that.
Public taste is maturing, and the market is shifting accordingly. Or perhaps the average rider doesn’t want to look like a Power Ranger any more—or climb into a Cordura onesie. So we’ve picked out five classic motorcycle jackets that are guaranteed to look good—no matter what bike you ride.
ICON 1000 Beltway You can’t go wrong with the four-pocket, long-waisted silhouette. Icon have taken the English classic and given it a more rugged, tactical vibe—and heavyweight protection. The $600 Beltway has a coated canvas body, reinforced with leather paneling, and the black oxide YKK zipper is protected by a storm flap with a handy magnetic closure. As with all Icon jackets, you get reassuring levels of protection via CE-certified D3O back, shoulder, and elbow impact protectors. Built to survive the apocalypse. [More information]
Pagnol M1 It takes a brave man to launch a new motorcycle apparel brand, but US-based Paulo Rosas is that man. Prototypes of this new $699 jacket drew appreciative eyes at the recent Quail Gathering, and it goes on sale in a week. The emphasis is on fit and finish, with quality antique-style brass hardware stitched into tumble-aged cowhide. There’s shock-absorption padding on the shoulders, Schoeller protective Kevlar paneling under the arms, and the mesh lining includes pockets for adding the armor of your choice. Available in Tobacco (shown) and black. [Buy]
REV’IT! Hillcrest There are numerous remakes of the classic waxed cotton motorcycle jacket, from haute couture versions with silly prices to cheap-and-nasty knock-offs. But customer feedback is suggesting that the new REV’IT! Hillcrest is one of the best. There’s no rocket science here: just respectful styling, a mesh liner to keep you cool during warmer days, and three colors: black, blue and titanium. Good value at $260. [Buy]
Deus x Dainese Leather Riding Jacket The leading lights of the custom scene are now moving into motorcycle gear manufacture, and this is one of the first releases. Deus has joined forces with Dainese to create a stylish $600 cowhide leather jacket, available in dark brown or black, and with a cotton quilted lining. As you’d expect from Deus, the styling is immaculate—but you also get practical touches such as an airtight chest closure and zipped sleeve openings for a windproof fit around the wrists. Branding is discreet, and each jacket comes with two additional leather patches featuring original Deus artwork. [Buy]
Spidi Ring Italian style doesn’t get much better than this. The $400 Ring is a crafted from relatively lightweight buffalo leather, with a soft and supple feel. Weighing in at only 1.7 kg (less than four pounds), it’s ideal for urban riding and wearing off the bike. But with reinforced seams and trouser clips, it’s more than just a fashion statement. You also get CE-approved elbow and shoulder protectors, and there’s a pocket to add a back protector if you wish. [Buy]
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