If you live in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are rising (we hope). And that means just one thing—more hours on the bike.
So it’s time to check the wardrobe and the bank balance. Here’s our pick of the latest and greatest new motorcycle jackets: we’ve got new releases from traditional English makers Barbour and Belstaff, plus offerings from edgier American brands Icon 1000 and Speed And Strength. Hide that credit card.
Barbour x Deus Niet Waxed Jacket The classic four-pocket jacket just refuses to go away. And why should it? It looks as stylish today as it did half a century ago. New variations on the traditional theme appear every season, but the $740 Niet is one of the classiest. It’s part of the burgeoning collaboration between the Australian company Deus Ex Machina and the English manufacturer Barbour, est. 1894. A heavyweight waxed cotton outer and warm quilted lining make it ideal for cool mornings, or spring and autumn riding. You get tons of storage space via multiple outer pockets—including the classic angled ‘map pocket’. Typically neat Deus touches include a lapel-style leather collar and a vivid red printed lining. [Buy]
Belstaff Xman Racing Jacket Belstaff is that other venerable British brand with a toehold in the motorcycling market. Many of its products are more fashion than function, but the Xman jacket is designed to work on the bike as well as off. The outer shell is a water-repellent rubberized fleece, with a hand-finished dye that gives a slightly distressed effect. The lining is a soft, natural cotton for maximum comfort, and there’s CE-certified removable protection for your shoulders and elbows. With quilted paneling on the shoulders and sleeves, it looks a million dollars but costs £375.00. We’ll take it in Vintage Green—but you can also choose basic Black. [Buy]
Speed and Strength Fame And Fortune Here’s another spin on the classic four-pocket jacket, this time with a heavy dose of rider protection thrown in. The chassis is a 600D polyester fabric with a water resistant coating and a removable insulated vest liner. You also get CE-approved shoulder, elbow and spine protectors, and reflective trim for extra safety at night. It’s a rugged-looking jacket with multiple adjustment points—and at just $250, quite extraordinary value. [More info]
Bell x Schott 60 Year Jacket Helmet manufacturer Bell has been operating for six decades now, and to celebrate, they’ve hooked up with Schott for a limited run of 250 $900 hand-crafted jackets. The material is heavy-duty horsehide, and there’s a zip-out liner for extra warmth when you need it. The styling is minimalist, with just a vertical ‘rally’ stripe on the front and a discreet Bell logo patch on the left arm. Understated café racer style at its best—but you’ll have to be quick to secure one. [Buy]
ICON 1000 Basehawk If you prefer not to look like you’ve just hopped off a motorcycle, this $280 jacket will keep you under cover. It’s from the upcoming 2015 Icon 1000 collection and has a strong urban vibe with hints of hoodie styling. There’s no compromise on safety though: ballistic nylon and strategically placed leather panels offer maximum protection. The softshell chassis stretches four ways for maximum comfort, and hidden underneath is a full complement of D3O impact protectors—elbow, shoulder and back. [More info]