Speed. Adrenaline. The smell of high octane fuel and the freedom of the road. There’s nothing quite like riding a motorcycle. It’s an addiction.
The best part of any obsession–after the rush of epinephrine flying at supersonic speed through your veins–is the gear. We spent the past three months beating up gear from just about every single company in the motorcycle industry to bring you this gear guide.
Below is a compilation of our favorite jackets, jeans, headsets, and anything else we think you need to stay safe, comfortable and fashionable on two wheels.
Don’t have a bike yet? Not to worry. We found National Powersports in New Hampshire to have a huge selection and insanely good prices. New Hampshire is a bit of a haul, but they offer incredible shipping deals. Right now shipping is only $199.
Back to the gear. We start with Men’s Jackets from brands like Roland Sands, Alpinestars, Dainese, Knox, Saint, and Gasolina. Check it out below the jump.
Styles evolve and trends disappear, but classic motorcycle jackets are forever cool. Leather tends to be the classic go to for a reason, but there are a few new options out there to consider too. Premium performance and iconic design define the best-in-class for 2016.
ROLAND SANDS BRISTOL JACKET
The RSD Bristol Jacket is a classic dirt track style racing jacket that was made for hitting the streets. When amazing materials meet aggressive fit with comfort and style, you get the Bristol. Designed with performance and protection in mind the understated jacket does the job of keeping you protected while looking sexy off the bike.
ALPINESTARS OSCAR BRASS JACKET
This one brings back some of the traditional retro styling of yesteryear blended with the performance and protection Alpinestars is known for. With a washed and waxed full grain 1.0-1.1mm cowhide construction, the Alpinestars Brass Jacket brings back classic rockabilly cafe styling in a comfortable and protective package. Perfect for café to cruiser.
DAINESE AVRO D1 JACKET
If you are a die hard, who cares if it’s -10 degrees I just want to ride kind of guy, this is your jacket. The Dainese Avro D1 street riding jacket is constructed with race grade leather, composite protectors and ergonomics designed for low and fast riding. If you’re a high-speed commuter, canyon carver or weekend track day warrior, it gives you pro-level protection, comfort and rather stunning style.
KNOX URBANE SHIRT
There are times you don’t want to look like a biker. Headed straight to a board meeting, or it’s just so sweltering leather is a no go. That’s when you use this ‘undershirt.’ Made predominantly out of a stretch, mesh fabric but with some softer, quilted sections on the shoulders and cotton areas on the chest and back, it’s a comfortable shirt that works with almost anything over it. Versatility for style and super safe.
SAINT BALLISTIC JACKET
This jacket is like the shell of an Abrams tank. The unbelievably tough outer skin is constructed of a blend of Dupont Kevlar® with Cordura lining. The ultra strong mix draws deeply on military and fire protection fabric textile technology. It will not fade or shrink, it’s naturally abrasion and cut resistant. This is the ultimate ‘don’t fuck with me’ jacket.
GASOLINA GRAND PRIX JACKET
While it’s more than a little stiff when new, once it’s broken in it’ll be one of the most comfortable and protective pieces of leather gear you’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. The smooth sheepskin leather is soft and durable, for comfort and looks. It naturally takes on a nice patina with age, and is the definition of heirloom quality. It’ll last your lifetime and then some.
KALUP OBLIGUE 8MM JACKET
This is for the seriously wild cards. Are you a fetishist? Do you worship speed and motorcycles? Do you like fashion and style? How about women? If you answered Yes to all of the above, you need to discover Kalup. A far out Prague based brand, they were on the hunt for supremely crafted clothes with character and personality that protected motorcyclists during wild rides.
An expertly crafted jacket with character and personality, the Oblique connects the magic of the free motorcycle culture of the 60’s and 70’s with the latest safety and manufacturing technology. Kalup is about the freedom to connect subcultures, motorcycles and fashion.
You will never leave the house without a comment, catcall, or not-so-subtle look.
Motorcycle fashion for ladies has come a long long way. Feel like you’re slipping on your leather leggings to go dancing, yet you’re actually wearing a head to toe super protective getup. The stretch is fantastic, and the comfort level extreme. The slimmest, most form fitting and flattering motorcycle pants on the market, the entire ensemble is the definition of style. A top-grain cowhide and stretch aramid fabric chassis is constructed to offer superb protection without distorting the female form.
Pre-contoured legs and a high rear waist offer added comfort and performance while riding bike…so no plumber’s like oops, if you know what we mean. The pants marry effortlessly with the jacket with an easy built in belt zipper, and either works singularly as well. It’s the sexiest you’ll ever feel in armor.
This is a man’s world…but it wouldn’t be nothing, no it wouldn’t be nothing, without a women or a girl. In the motorcycle world, women’s gear has been highly neglected for years. That’s changing. There are jackets that hug your curves, move you and your bike, and give you the perfect mix of technology and style so you are safe and super chic.
WOMEN’S DAINESE AVRO D1
The Racing D1 is everything you need to hit the street or the track. Co-injected shoulders with aluminum inserts and race grade cowhide leather with elasticated inserts take protection and performance to the next level and give it that unique look and feel only found in high-end race jackets. A 360 degree connection zipper allows you to connect to your favorite pair of leather pants for a weekend at the track or an afternoon of canyon carving.
WOMEN’S ROLAND SANDS RIOT
This full leather jacket is perfect for hitting the road or hitting the town with its chic, off-center zipper and quilted details reminiscent of super high fashion leathers- it’s just vintage enough, just protective enough and is loaded with a modern classic cafe/rocker style. Perfect for the petite rider too, it’s lighter, softer and way less bulky than the typical armor enforced jacket. Looks pretty fantastic on the bike, and off.
Jackets get all of the love because, well, you see them first. They are the ‘biggest’ part of your ensemble. But feet matter too, since they are what you need to actually hit that pedal. Here are a few Tried & True footwear highlights for track days and indulging your speed-demon ways.
STYLMARTIN ROCKET BOOTS
Sturdy and dirty, these boots are a cafe racer creation from yesteryear. The antiqued brown leather finish ages beautifully with use and is backed with a waterproof and breathable lining to keep out mother nature. The Rocket Boots take the vintage military style to the max with a buckled lace keeper that harkens back to the roughout double buckle boots worn by the soldiers of WWII.
DAINESE STREET BIKER AIR
These suede cowhide street ‘sneakers’ are ideal for zipping through the city. Their technical content ensures they are CE – Category II certified, but they are stylish AF. They have nylon heel protectors and reflective inserts which enhance both active and passive safety factors. The perforated leather construction ensures maximum air flow, keeping your dogs from boiling on hot summer days.
GASOLINA ELITE BOOTS
Inspired by a combination of the tall boots worn by early motorcycle riders, and WWII paratrooper boots, these Gasolina beauties are the real deal trifecta. Bad-ass boots that mold to your feet for comfort, are crazy safe and protective, and have unique vintage style. The natural leather is incredible high quality, and the glove soft lining is silky smooth. The welted rubber sole is incredibly sturdy and grippy, making them fantastic all weather all day stompers.
TCX WATERPROOF SHOES
Like Moses parted the Red Sea to keep his feet dry, so can you part puddles without hesitation with these bad boys. The full grain leather construction is backed with a waterproof membrane along with malleolus, toe and heel reinforcements that give riders complete protection from road and weather hazards. No matter where you are going, what you are riding or whatever may or may not be falling from the sky, keep your feet dry and protected on or off two wheels.
DENIM, LEATHER & KEVLAR
Casual doesn’t have to mean compromise. Fashion, comfort, and moto-functionality converge for the most stylish, comfortable and protective pants out there.
SAINT UNBREAKABLE SLIM FIT
133 times stronger than your average Levis, Unbreakable Denim is designed specifically for riding, boasting a 3.67 second average slide time and meeting the CE EN13595 standard for abrasion resistance. The slim fit eliminates bulk without being too tight, and the enamel-coated buttons give these daily jeans a subtle but refined style.
TOBACCO SAND CANVAS JEANS
Why limit jeans to denim? These canvas ‘jeans’ are made from heritage quality Mount Vernon Canvas and lined with 100% DuPont Kevlar. These are jeans made for riding and built to last. Sand Canvas Tobaccos form to fit your body as you break them in just like denim. Rustic, durable and guaranteed to leave a lasting impressed.
ROKKER RED SELVAGE DENIM
Okay, corny pun unintended, but these jeans rock. Made from heavy duty stonewashed selvage denim, they have an internal layer of 100% Schoeller-Dynatec fabric for extreme abrasion resistance. They’re also water repellent and have wind-blocking properties to protect from the elements. The fit is slim fit, so you don’t have to sacrifice your hipster vibe to keep those hips encased.
We love these jeans because they meet all of our required gear checklist: protection, comfort, durability, and aesthetics without looking like you’re going to carpentry class or auditioning for an 80’s music video. Made of a Kevlar/Polyethelene blend that’s softer and cooler than the motorcycle jeans of old, they also incorporate Forcefield knee and hip armor for extra protection.
The brand Einstok was founded on the simple principle that you should look as good off your bike as you feel on your bike. These guys create jeans from the finest selvedge denim available that looks, feels and fits the way your best jeans do with the added benefit of kevlar knit lining in the seat, hips and knees which will help protect you in the event of the unforeseen. Hand crafted in small batches, just like our favorite cocktails.
WOMEN’S ROKKER DIVA DENIM
These bad boys fulfill all of your inner rock ‘n’ roll fantasies and then some. Premium denim pants lined with 100% non-abrasive, wind resistant and water repellent Schoeller Dynatec that have a waxy finish, giving them a super unique leather-like appearance. The fit is forgiving and yet does not give you that ‘boyfriend jeans’ bagginess or ‘mom jeans’ butt that has been known to happen.
Endless miles of road. Thousands of hours to ride. Hundreds of bikes to choose. And ONE head. Treat it well with one of the best motorcycle helmets of 2016.
A British brand that simply oozes style; Hedon have raised the bar for Café-Racers everywhere. Ensuring a luxury feel, Hedon hand crafts each helmet and finishes the look with genuine calf leather trim. Get your order in early, as hand crafting means delivery can take up to 35 days.
NEXX X.T1 RAPTOR
This nugget protector combines the comfort of a touring helmet and the light weight construction of carbon fiber with the ease of built in bluetooth. The rear spoiler integrated into the shell ensures a smooth airflow, eliminating a large percentage of the upper drive wind and reducing the drag force at high speed.
This one has taken helmet technology and rider protection one step further by engineering a helmet that not only guards against direct impacts, but is specifically designed to minimize the effect of “glancing off” impacts as well. It also manages to look retro with a hint of modern sportiness, versatile for daily wear.
NEXX X.G10 DRAKE
This helmet is all class. Taking the classic 3/4 open face helmet to new heights, the X.G10 is constructed using a technical X-Matrix shell that provides outstanding strength as well as weight savings. The premium shell is paired with an ultra soft X-Mart Dry fabric liner and is set up for traditional 3-snap shields and visors.
BELL CARBON BULLIT
In the 1960’s Bell released the Star, the first full-face helmet, revolutionizing the industry. Since then helmets have taken all sorts of shapes and forms, but the essence has always been the Star. To pay homage to the glory days, the Bullitt inherits classic Star styling infused with contemporary comforts and safety. The low-profile fiber composite shell and multi-density EPS liner gives you the feel of the iconic Star, while meeting modern DOT regulations.
Epicurist is simply a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment…an extremely fitting name for this particular beauty, en evolution of the original bestseller with the visor addition. The Epicurist is fitted with a 2 mm hand thermoformed shield, handcrafted in Europe, attached with 2 stunning raw copper and brass machined screws. The goal here was to refine the pursuit of pleasure on the road while protecting all those beautiful faces out there. The result is stunning.
Bluetooth in helmets and warm heated booties, super strong backpacks and wallets in leather, battery tenders for if you break down, these are a few of our favorite things! When the bike breaks, when the rain hits, when you’re stuck roadside…Simply remember our favorite things and then you will feel prepared!
SENA 20S BLUETOOTH SYSTEM
Gone are the days of shoulder tapping, hand signaling, and losing your crew on the road. Technology sure can be beautiful. A headset that installs directly into your helmet, it features a staggering 1.5 mile range, advanced Bluetooth 4.1 and a built-in FM radio tuner. Rock out or follow GPS, all the while having conversations in full duplex with a passenger or other riders. An all around game changer.
BATTERY TENDER CHARGER
Now this is for those no-good-everything-is-going-wrong-split-coffee-on-my-crotch-and-my-battery-almost-died-days. The Batter Tender Plus is a 1.25 amp battery charger fully charges your batter and maintains it at a proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers. Perfect for those winter months, or even if you just want to take a worry free few weeks off from riding.
SARGENT WORLD SPORT SEAT
Is there anything worse than gritting your teeth to enjoy a great ride because your butt is frozen/asleep/generally uncomfortable? Personally, if it’s not snowing then we’re riding. And to help endure those grin and bear it days when the road is fantastic but your body is an icicle, we suggest investing in the Sargent World Sport Performance Heated Seat. Each World Sport seat pan is precision-molded for superior fit and outfitted with high-quality hardware. Super tough, lightweight material makes for an exceptional high-performance seat foundation, along with superior comfort and suspension.
KRIEGA R25 BACKPACK
Being able to ride with a decent amount of gear is pretty important, especially for the daily commuter with the requisite MacBook. The Kriega R25 motorcycle backpack has a quick release QUADLOC harness, unique to the rucksack industry. It’s an innovative & extremely efficient load-carrying system designed for motorcycle riders. Unlike conventional harness systems the load is carried on the hips & chest, transferring the majority of the load away from the shoulders and thereby preventing the neck strain experienced with regular rucksacks. It honestly makes a big difference, and looks pretty slick in the process.
KNOX HANDROID POD GLOVES
Gloves add protection and comfort and, if too thick or stiff, can cause serious havoc while riding. These super innovative exoskeletal flexible finger spines cover your knuckles, fingers and thumb for full unrestricted movement. Super strong and tear resistant Kangaroo leather covers the inside palm and fingers, and the Boa lacing system (think snowboarding boots, but on your hands) cinches them nice and snug. Putting gloves on and off has never been smarter or easier.
ROLAND SANDS BOSS WALLET
You work hard for your money. Give it a classy place to hang out until you need it to spring into action with the Boss wallet. Made from limited waxed leather with an accompanying leather strap so it never strays too far, it’s the perfect way to make sure you have beer and chill money for the road. Luxury of leather with an indestructible coat of road ready wax, it only looks better with age and wear and may even outlast the bike.