Roland Sands, fast motorcycles and fashion

Dailies, Galleries -


“Much of what is on the market is either over branded, overpriced, ultra tech or just ugly,” explains Roland Sands of his new apparel line. “We wanted to get back to the basics of what a great motorcycle jacket is. It feels good and looks good both on and off the bike.”

Roland’s just released his first line of apparel. It’s heavy on the black leather and light on garish branding. Like he’s getting at above, the line is full of the kind of things you could wear both in public and on the bike without looking like a dayglo sausage.

“We wanted to get back to the basics of what a great motorcycle jacket is,” continues Roland. “It feels good and looks good both on and off the bike. It’s subtle enough to get away with wearing without armor as a daily wearable jacket, yet is supplied with armor when you want to ride. Our jackets don’t have airbags, but do have enough padding and armor to take a hit.”

“One of my favorite things about the collection is the jackets aren’t so bike specific, you can pretty much put on any of the jackets and ride any bike you own and not look out of place. Brown, Black, Gray.”

Roland’s first apparel collection includes a range of leather, waxed cotton and even wool jackets priced from $390 to $600. They all include pockets for armor in the elbows, shoulders and back, but RSD will sell you that CE-approved armor separately. That gives you the choice to wear the jackets as simply a fashion item, or pad them out to wear on the bike. You can even add armor you already own or of a design you prefer, such as TPro or Alpinestars Bio Armor. Even thought the jackets look good off the bike, they’re made to work on one, seems are folded over each other for abrasion resistance and construction and hardware are heavy duty. Jackets in the RSD “Limited” line are pre-worn.

There’s also a range of leather gloves joining the jackets. These short-cuff Diesel gloves (price TBD) are our favorite item in the entire collection. The accordion stretch panels on the back should make them very comfortable while contributing to a look that’s very HR Geiger-esque.

And there’s accessories too. Check out this Dopp/Tool kit bag ($150). It’s made from perforated, waxed leather and is immediately evocative of fast riding, which is saying something for an item designed to transport a toothbrush. Roland was a national champion roadracer before turning custom bike builder and now fashion designer. It’s exciting to see that he’s been able to carry through an intimate understanding of fast riding through all of those worlds.

“Sometimes, it’s what something is not that makes it what it is,” concludes Roland.

We’ve included some of our favorite items in the gallery below. You can see and purchase the entire line at Roland Sands Design.

  • Ben Incarnate

    The gloves are nice to look at, but it’s a darn shame so much function is sacrificed in the name of style.

    Unless there’s some super secret impact protection, of course.

    • mugget

      Seriously? Where is function sacrificed? Obviously they’re not a race glove, remember the whole point is to move away from the neon sausage look…

      In my experience I have put holes in the palm of my glove every time I’ve crashed wearing them. I look at the RSD gloves and see reinforcing on the palm. What’s the problem?

      • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        Here’s a problem: They’re not gauntlets.

        • Grant Ray

          Yes, your’e right. We need every single one of our glove options to be exactly the same.

          (Unless I’m on a track or in freezing cold, I almost never ride with silly gauntlet gloves.)

          • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

            The extra coverage of a gauntlet is more valuable to me than cool ribbing on the glove. It’s not like there’s a shortage of black gauntlets to choose from.

            I’m not gonna give anyone a hard time about wearing non-gauntlets. But I probably wouldn’t buy short-cuffed gloves for myself.

            • Eric

              I was very price sensitive when I bought my last pair of gloves and got shorties. Fortunately my watch filled in the gap nicely in the crash.

      • Ben Incarnate

        Unless I’m missing something, there’s next to no impact protection beyond a bit of foam on the fingers. I don’t think every bit of gear has to have race-level protection, but I do wish for more than what’s provided on these.

        The lack of armor in the jackets is no big deal, as adding it is easy with the provided pockets.

      • Barry

        It’s not so much the impact protection(or lack there of) that bothers me, but the fact that you’ve put a zipper across the back of the hand, negating even the minor protection you get from leather. Plus, you just negated the “accordion” comfort because the zipper isn’t going to stretch until the impact rips the zipper open and peels the glove off like a banana. Does look cool though. I’d expect to see a bunch of them at next year’s local Fat Pirate convention, except they have fingers, so they won’t wear them.

        • JVictor75

          I knew there was something bothering me about those gloves!

          I kept coming back and looking at the pictures over and over and it just. wouldn’t. click. in my brain. Thanks! Thinking about it now, one also wonders about the placement of the aforementioned zipper on those of us who have a fair amount of hair on the backs of our hands.

          Cool jackets though. Wonder if he’d ever think about making footwear.

    • Gingerbeard

      Olympia Sports has a variety of black leather gloves, including gauntlets with kevlar-reinforced palms and knuckle protection.

  • evilbahumut

    I have the price book on my desk if you want the price on the gloves. Those are the only things in the whole collection I want.. besides the custom painted 500s that show up on a few pages…

  • Thom

    Nice , but as Ben Incarnate says about the gloves … Does this Gear Function ?

    Not much in the Description to indicate so .

    Kind of a bit pricey as well

    But nice .

    • evilbahumut

      I know guys who don’t want any type of glove but those old tan pig-skin things that barely keep your hands warm in the morning.

      The question should be “Does this gear SELL?”

      • Thom

        Sales vs Function and you’re leaning towards Sales ???

        WTH ?

        Don’t give a rats ass whether or not your body get shredded next time you dump it ? ( which WILL happen regardless of your skills )

        More concerned with your Looks , Who and How Many are buying something rather than Whether the damn thing functions ?

        Let me guess . Another SFB Hipster .

        Oh goody . Another Donorcyclist in the making . Just do be sure to check the Organ Donor box next time you renew the license .

        • Brad W.

          Thom. Why so angry? Is it because Radiohead sucks now? They are just jackets.

        • jason McCrash

          Sales always comes first. Convincing your potential market that your design and cost is worth it is what marketing teams are for. Safety is sold for safety’s sake. If you think something is or isn’t safe you have the choice to buy or not. And after 23 years of riding and 14 1/2 years as a fireman the donorcycle myth is just that. Most of our area bike fatalities (about a million people in the region) are the result of people turning in front of the bike at high speed and all the gear in the world wouldn’t have helped. For every fatality there are 1000′s of guys riding daily without getting killed. And yes, I’ve been in serious wrecks myself, all my own fault.

          • jason McCrash

            Just looked…… nope. Nice jackets though. Good to see brown making a comeback.

      • Ben Incarnate

        This is a good point. I often have to remind myself that I am not the target market for most products. :P

  • The other Joe

    Those gloves look like something straight out of the ’80s Buck Rogers series.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]


    • sam howe

      buck rogers was the man

  • Roman

    I think it’s a solid first effort. Jacket in #11 looks like a Mad Max version of my Heine Gericke. Good to see a new American company make a go of it in the world of moto gear.

  • Frosty_spl

    Love the jackets! Wish they came standard with armor for the price though.

  • Coreyvwc

    I want the brown leather jacket, like right now!
    How much???

  • pinkyracer

    But where is it made? If its Pakistan or China I’m not interested. If its Turkey, US or EU (wait, did Turkey make it into EU?), it’s worth it. Also, I’d rather pay more $ for Schoeller fabrics and Italian leather than pay the global environmental cost of Chinese leather or the social & environmental cost of (Koch bros owned) Cordura. Sadly, most consumers would not, so making socially/environmentally responsible gear is not gonna keep anyone in business.

    • Gene

      Yup, I’d be one of those consumers, mainly because I can get stuff I need at Harbor Freight that I can’t get at Sears (or other “American” retailer) at any price.

    • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      What’s the issue with Cordura?

      • Wes Siler

        From Wikipedia: “it is now the property of Invista (a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc.)”

        The Koch brothers prosecute a pretty serious, anti-democratic campaign to push kreepy konservative values like fighting universal healthcare.

        Susanna’s one of those people who likes to vote with her wallet. Can’t say I disagree with her approach.

        • super20

          I didn’t know that about Cordura. That kinda sucks, because I love my Roadcrafter, and was seriously thinking about another one. Do I at least get to keep wearing my current suit if it was made before the Koch bros. bought out DuPonts fiber unit?

  • JRl

    you got a little PS flub on photo 13.

    • Wes Siler

      Saw that. Words can’t convey how fucked up ALL these images were as RSD sent them. If I’d corrected all the flaws this article would come out in October, 2013…

  • slowestGSXRever

    sweet purse.

    • jason McCrash

      Looks like the canvas Kline Tools bag we carry wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, etc. in on the fire truck at work. Actually the Kline bag is reinforced………

  • JMS

    Think it’s supposed to be “HR Giger-esque”

    Roland Sands makes some awesome shit. The man has taste.

  • jason McCrash

    Will this American be offering his gear in American sizes and cuts or did he let the designer lock his market into the skinny jeans types? I have bunch of gear that is cut for either wheelbarrow gut bikers or Vespa riding Romans. Something that fits like real clothing would be nice. (6’3″, 280, 37in sleeve, 34in inseam).

    • jason McCrash

      Just looked…… nope. Nice jackets though. Good to see brown making a comeback.

  • Justin

    those gloves are hideous.

  • resonance

    i picked up the brown ronin jacket a week ago, its coming in the mail as we speak.

    as an aside the tool bag and gloves are not out yet, any idea when they are being added to the website?

  • nymoto

    I like the jacket with the asymmetrical zip – where is that on his website. I think you guys have 2 jackets on here that are not for sale… What’s up with that?? I want it now. Haha
    It is nice to see some stuff that isn’t logo’d.
    Nice and clean collection.

  • damien

    Must own those gloves! Thats some Blade Runner shit right there.
    And Radiohead does not suck. King of Limbs is a fucking amazing album.


    Fucking finally.

  • Archer

    Certainly looks at least as protective and a whole lot more classic than anything coming out of ICON…

    I will never be “guilted” into wearing “fashion” moto gear, personally. My Vanson sportrider gear for when I feel like it, my hi-tech Taichi gear when I feel like it.

    Couldn’t care less about what other people think.

    But these RSD items do look nice and are probably more functional than 80% of average gear, and RS is a serious rider with some serious skills. Why not support that kind of guy?

  • todd

    not for me. fit looks too loose, not cut for a riding position

    I honestly dont care if i look out of place, like I just got off my motorcycle and walked into a restauraunt…… because i did

    • gregorbean

      well put

  • mugget

    Those gloves are DOPE!!
    Added to my must have list, Iron Heart jeans, RSD or Dainese jacket, and those gloves. Then I’m set for life!

  • Danielsohn

    As someone who has a very hard time convincing his wife to wear her (admittedly goofy looking) armored jacket in place of a fashion jacket, I welcome fashionable safety gear. Best gear in the world doesn’t do a lick if its in your closet when you crash.

    BTW when did it become a fashion trend to wear spine armor with a t-shirt, shorts and nikes on a hyabusa?

  • Taco

    Am I the only one who thinks those gloves are fugly?
    On the other hand that brown leather jacket is way nice.

    • Greg

      No, you are not the only one. I agree. But then, I almost always wear “silly gauntlet gloves” and like the commenter above, don’t particularly care if I look like I just got off my motorcycle when I walk into a restaurant or store…or the office for that matter.

  • Chris Davis

    RSD flat out nailed it.

  • sam howe

    The short glove debate. i work in MC dealership and the customers love shorter gloves, well i guess its better they wear them than no gloves at all…..

  • Ramus

    Ugh. Tommy Hilfiger motorcycle apparel and a $150 perforated leather tool bag that is “evocative of fast riding” (puke).

    If you want a real motorcycle jacket look up Fox Creek Leather. Fuck the fashion.

  • Greg

    Also, I am officially sick of things called “Diesel” much like the iAnything names of late.


  • LawBreaker

    The minute a mfgr says “Looks good on AND off the Bike”… I kow its not for me…

    Vanson Jacket… Kushitani Gloves.. some Misc Textile pants ( firstgear/fieldsheer and A-Stars), a good winter oversuit..

    and a Dainese suit

    Thats it.

    Oh… and good boots


    • Wes Siler

      But there’s already a shit ton of real racing gear. And nothing that brings real safety to the kind of stuff I can wear to a bar.

      We wear all the fancy one pieces and what not too, but I want to use my motorcycles to get laid in addition to riding fast.

      • Dumptruckfoxtrot

        “I want to use my motorcycles to get laid in addition to riding fast.”

        HFL turned into Jersey Shore again.

  • enzomedici

    Finally some decent looking gear that offers protection too. All of the current motorcycle gear has icons and logos plastered all over the fuckin’ place. I like some of the gear from Icon, Dianese, A* but stop it with the logos all over the place. I don’t want to be a walking billboard. Some of you don’t care for cool looking gear and don’t mind if you look like total idiots and that is your prerogative, but some of us want to look good without all of the logos and get some decent level of protection as well.