Ask RideApart: Can You Recommend Motorcycle Gear That Looks Stylish?

Ask RideApart -

By

Mert Lawill

You ask, the community answers. It’s Ask RideApart. This week: Can you recommend motorcycle gear that actually looks stylish?

This week’s question comes from reader Kevin Rasp, who asks: “I’ve always appreciated that the RideApart staff seems to be able to blend a sense of style in with the gear review content. No doubt for racing or canyon riding, one-piece leather suits are the best choice, but for 99% of other riding scenarios it can be advantageous not to look like a Power Ranger. Can you recommend functional motorcycle gear that can keep you safe without making you look like a dork?”

So guys and gals, which items of gear do you wear that looks just as good off the bike as on?

Have a question for us? Post it on our Facebook page, or on Twitter using the #AskRideApart hash tag. We will select the best topic from our submissions and post them here each week.

  • Brian

    VERY subjective question that will have a wide range of opinions due to a lack of a specific definition of what “stylish” is or can be.

    • Richard Gozinya

      Can be subjective in the specific look, but I’d guess they mean something you can wear off the bike, as well as on it, and not look odd.

      • Brian

        I know what he is getting at, and what I was getting out without saying it is this. The situation not stated is this on how I percieve it: ” I got off my bike to go to ________” and I felt like a weenie and out of place” Well, that blank you fill in, if it comes with a dress code of acceptance, then don’t ride there, or perhaps be more confident in yourself and don’t think about what others think when they look at what you are wearing. Style is subjective to comfort and opinion ( and weather). I have walked into places in my gear where I am definitely out of place, and people look at me for a moment, know I am riding a motorcycle, and then move on with their whatever. Point is, I don’t care what they think, as I dress for me. The questioner though is not me and is therefore asking for very subjective piece of advice IMHO.

        • Mark D

          For people who only have a motorcycle as their mode of transport, having gear that is comfortable and appropriate is a virtual necessity. I don’t wear my full touring gear everytime I go get a cup of coffee or for a date. That isn’t because I’m a “weenie” whose afraid of what other people think about me, but rather a “motorcyclist” isn’t the entirety of my personality. If all we cared about was weather and comfort and safety, we’d all walk around in goretex snuggies. DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THAT WORLD?!

          • Brian

            @disqus_FYlNOqRtjQ:disqus if you read the OP-Kevin Rasp’s question, it to me does not read like the moto is his only form of transportation as you are supposing.

            • Mark D

              I think he wants suggestions for alternatives to full-on leather gear that is also proper protective wear. Sorry if I’m a little defensive, but there are sometimes really annoying ATGATT people who constantly preach about never leaving the house in a full leather suit or Roadcrafter, yet hardly ever actually, you know, LEAVE THE HOUSE. I don’t ever ride without at least a full face helmet, gloves, boots, a jacket with a CE back protector, and heavy jeans. Its just hard to make that look good! :)

              • Piglet2010

                I commute to work in a Roadcrafter Light (except when the roads are slippery with snow/ice).

              • Brian

                I hear you. A world full of keyboard jockeys that spend the time regurgitating rather than experiencing.

            • Changali Matewere

              I’m not sure why you think your narrow world view should be applied to other people in this fashion. You should probably take a step back and realize that you likely don’t know this person, and anything you’re reading into the statement other than what’s actually been written has purely to do with your own emotions rather than any stated facts.

              • Brian

                @changalimatewere:disqus First, my world view is not so narrow, but if you want to assume it is, then by all means please go forth with that misconception. I tried to directly answer the OP, and be open as to why I think what I thought based on perception and assumption. Without someone coming out and directly pointing at specific things, the internet has led to such assumptions, whether they be right, wrong or indifferent. If you want an ultra generalized answer that really doesn’t answer anything at all because of variables not known, then sure, I can certainly give you just that formulaic kind of answer for the idea of the politically correctness of it, but I tried to actually answer what I thought to be the indirect question. Do I know this person, no I don’t, but they asked for opinions from the world, accepting the potential for all aspects that may come. THAT is the nature of asking the world an open ended question. I do realize I am applying some level of my experiences in regards to how and why I answer what I do, but my experience does not equal my emotion, so please do not confuse that.

          • kent_skinner

            Goretex snuggie? Why do you hate my Roadcrafter?

            • Brian

              LOL, LMAO!

  • James Jamerson

    Since when is full gear not stylish? At least the power-rangers jacket is pretty BA even if not the pants, and I get tons of compliments on my bright white AStars.

  • Travis Zilch

    This is a very subjective question, but the Spidi JK jacket is one of my favorites.

  • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

    In my opinion, there’s nothing more stylish than someone who makes smart and practical decisions about how they carry themselves on or off a bike. Style is an attitude and an outlook, not a piece of gear you throw on your skin.

    Wes Siler’s Roadcrafter Stealth and Rukka’s (very pricey) Argonaut apparel come to mind right away as functional and aesthetically pleasing gear systems.

    • Jack Meoph

      I can’t buy cool? :(

  • Justin McClintock
  • APG7

    Alpinestar Verona. Its my daily city only jacket.

    • taba

      +1

      With Alpinestar’s Miglia shoes, pretty subtle.

  • isaac salas

    Roland Sands design rocker leather Jacket, looks great on and off the bike.

    • Davidabl2

      Inspected one about a week ago,and it appears to be more like a very nice fashion jacket with pockets for armor. does not appear to be even double-stitched.

  • Stacey

    Since we’re on the topic anyway, anyone have leather pant recommendations that’s at least office-appropriate? Ideally wearable with a blazer, but still provides SOME protection.

    • Glenn Jaffas

      I am going to sound like an Aerostich salesman on this thread, but I’m not- the Aerostich Roadcrafter is lined to prevent wrinkling clothing underneath and zips completely on or off in 15 seconds. Don’t think you will do any better than that for a commuter suit.

  • Jonathan Ward

    I use Armadillo’s Travis B jacket, which I don’t think looks too bad. It uses D3O armour and has capacity to take a back protector, win win!

    And yes, I know it is officially a ‘scooter jacket’, but who needs to know ;-)

  • Michael Howard

    Nothing more stylish than letting the world know you ride and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about it.

  • Bill White

    Maple motorcycle jeans from England. Heavyweight selvedge denim line w/ kevlar and removable CE approved armor at the hips & knees. Spendy but worth it.

  • Mark D

    Can’t beat the Rev’it Melville, but I wouldn’t want to wear it while on a busy freeway or doing serious sport riding. But in the city, or cruising on empty surface roads? Why not!

    • Michael Wilson

      Agreed. This is my city bike-to-office jacket and it’s awesome. Armor, super warm liner, water resistant, really comfortable and I get compliments on it all the time.

  • daeatenone

    I’ve been looking for stylish protective jackets for a while now and I like Wes’ modified Vanson AR2. Some other jacket that I’ve come across that I like:

    Schott Café jacket
    Roland Sands Ronin
    Union Garage Robinson
    any of the motorcycle jackets from Belstaff
    Rev-it’s City collection
    A* Dusk jacket
    BMG Montana Jacket

    As for pants, I still have not found much except for these armored/Kevlar blend pants from uglyBros (http://uglybros-store.com/products/MOTO-PANTS/AE000000/) which I think look pretty neat.
    There also seems to be a ton of brans in Europe and Asia that make pretty style moto/scooter gear, but don’t distribute to the US without ridiculous markup.

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    The more you ride the less you care about looking like you drive a car.

  • http://www.pipeburn.com Scott@Pipeburn

    ICON 1000 jackets look great and are made to last.

  • Jack S

    what do you guys do for pants? i try to wear all the gear i can, but I’ve found it difficult to find a solid pair of pants that offer comfort and protection while not being leather

    • enzomedici

      Dainese Tomsk D-Dry for Spring, Fall & Winter – they are absolutely fantastic. For the summer, I wear Dainese New Drake Air pants, also awesome.

      • Braden

        +1 on the D-Dry and Drake Air pants. The Dainese Kevlar Jeans work great as well for a more casual look.

    • Piglet2010

      I wear Dainese Oak knee armor under Kevlar reinforced jeans.

      • Rowan

        I do exactly the same.

    • Reece Bannister

      Check out covec jeans. Hard to explain how theyre better than kevlar but its on their site

    • Scott Pargett

      Deth Killers – Asphalt Resistant Jeans.

    • Adriaan Sinke

      BMW City (2): ridiculously expensive, but are still going after more than 6 years and 10s of thousands of kilometers..

  • Gerardo Astroball
  • Piglet2010

    Aerostich Roadcrafter, of course.

    • _dc

      Wow, this is really nice. It really does not look motorcycle specific at all, which is exactly the aesthetic the motorcycle gear industry needs more of.

  • Shawn Fowler

    This shirt set (three tees for $60!) from Champions Moto just came in the mail today, I’ll be wearing one of these puppies tomorrow for casual friday! http://www.championsmoto.com

    • Bones Over Metal

      Boo
      they don’t ship to Canada.

  • Lee Scuppers

    Just got a pair of Rukka Lobster gloves. They look awesome, but they’d be awesomer if they were lobster red. And if you could get red chin tentacles for your helmet so you could be like the Cthulhu lobster dude in Futurama.

    Any vendors checking this thread out for ideas, this s#!t is a goldmine, man, and it’s all yours, public domain. Just make it happen. The sky is the f*****g limit.

  • turbohawk12

    I wear the Spidi JK Leather Jacket and a pair of Drayko kevlar jeans, with RS Taichi knee guards underneath the jeans. Both the jacket and the knee guards are super comfortable and the armor is thin. Although the jacket is made of sheepskin, I feel pretty confident it’ll protect me at city speeds, and its light weight allows it to breath better than cowhide on warmer days.

    I just bought a cowhide Belstaff jacket with D3O armor are in it for colder days.

    • turbohawk12

      Spidi JK Leather jacket.

  • G-Money

    I personally love my Dainese Speed Naked Leather Perf leather jacket. It looks good, and has proper protection. I prefer riding with it, than my Spidi JK Leather Jacket.

  • imprezive

    I had a random girl on the street tell me she liked my Rev’It Ignition 2. It’s a good looking jacket off or on the bike.

    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-ignition-2-jacket

    Other than that Dainese makes some nice jeans and I’m a fan of Alpinestars Fastback WP boots.

  • Adriaan Sinke

    I have been riding with the Dainese Delta Dart for the past couple of years, and also wear it as my casual winter jacket. I have never had so many positive comments about any riding jacket..

  • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

    Really it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis for each person. Are you willing to sacrifice safety for style? That’s a sincere question, not some ATGATT snobbery. If you commute to work or ride to social events comprised of non-motorcyclists, full gear–or anything close to it– just seems gauche. Sadly, being a safe motorcycle actually can affect your personal and professional relationships and thus your livelihood.

    You can find compromises, but nothing will provide you with great protection and great fashion. You’ll have to decide where you want to fall on the safety spectrum and then accept what may happen as a result. Those Roland Sands jackets and Dethkillers pants won’t do nearly as much to protect you compared to full leathers, but it may be worth it to choose that option for personal reasons.

  • E Brown

    To paraphrase Tom Petty: “You don’t have to look like a Power Ranger…” I had a sense of style before I had a motorcycle, so I started out loathe to looking like a bike dealership threw up on me all the time.
    Leather motorcycle jackets are always in style (on tv the characters wear little else despite almost no one shown riding), and plenty are available. Buy what suits your taste and wallet. If for some reason you want something that doesn’t say bike or says it even more subtly, RSD’s Tracker in waxed cotton, Aether’s Skyline and Canyon, or at the other end of the price spectrum River Road’s Laughlin are all workable jackets that pass as casual wear.
    For leg protection, there are a few routes. High-end motorcycle denim like Draggin/Drayko/Maple, mid-range like BMW’s City 2/Summer 2, lower end serviceable denim like AGV and Sliders (also available as cargo pants and khakis). You can also get under-clothes protection like Draggin’s kevlar long johns (paired with, say, Forcefield limb tubes as knee armor), armored shorts, and such. In an off your regular duds would be ruined, but you’re still protected.
    For shoes, Icon Truants in oiled brown look great, and Stylmartin and TCX make nice looking but functional gear as well, and there’s a ton of other “technical sneakers” on the market.
    Part of wearing this gear is using your head – this is for commuter riding on surface streets at reasonable speeds, and you can get by with less protection because you don’t need as much riding around town at 35-40 mph. Resist the urge to be a squid and you’ll be fine.

  • Lourens Smak

    Motorcycle gear that looks stylish… it’s all a waste of money when you factor in the helmet-hair.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com/ Chris Hunter

    The aesthetic quality of gear seems to have improved a lot over the past couple of years. There are lots of plain or subtly-styled jackets from Icon 1000, Roland Sands Design and Aether, plus stylish helmets from Icon, Bell and Biltwell. I usually wear heavy-duty Maple jeans with built-in knee and hip protectors, but there are other brands like Rokker that are reputedly good. For gloves and boots, the choice seems to be endless.

  • appliance5000

    I recently got a kevlar cummerbund.

  • DaveDawsonAlaska

    My favorite all around combo is/was a Klim Traverse jacket paired with Aerostich AD1 pants. Good from below freezing to above 100 degrees, rain or shine or sleet or snow. Summer favorite was a Rev’it air jacket with Kevlar jeans or mesh pants.

  • Danny Valdez

    This might not necessarily be riding gear…but i wear it EVERY TIME i ride. The Chrome Cobra Merino Wool Hoodie. Awesome! Long in the back and sleeves…so leaning over on whichever bike keeps your crack covered. Not to mention the benefits of Merino Wool, especially living in Chicago (warm, moister wicking). And it’s got these cool thumb holes to keep it the sleeves in place.

  • dniq

    Dainese SF jacket, Dainese D1 or D6 jeans (or Rokker waterproof jeans for rainy weather – these come with the D3O knee and hip pads), Rev’It SLR gloves (or Alpinestars WR-3 gore text gloves for cold rainy weather), Schuberth C3 helmet.

    For cold weather – Powerlet heated jacket liner under the SF jacket, heated Alpinestars Tech gloves, and thermal wind proof underpants (I use Freeze-Out I bough from CycleGear, but Dainese also has some decent options).

    As for the boots – I usually wear Corcoran Marauder military boots, when riding to work. When riding long distance – then I exchange the jeans for Dainese Alien pants and Dainese TRQ boots.

    P.S. Riding BMW K1600GT.

  • taba

    Touring, what do you give up in protection going with touring rather than track gear?

    (Considering Alpinestar’s New Land Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants, WR-3 Gore-Tex Gloves, and New Land GTX Boots rather than their GP Pro 2-Piece Suit, GP Pro Gloves, and Supertech-R Boots.)

    Prefer the touring style, but cost, comfort, and convenience not an issue.

    Thanks.

  • taba

    Prefer touring style over track.

    Touring, what do I give up in protection?

    (Considering Alpinestars’ New Land vs GP Pro suits and New Land GTX vs SuperTech-R boots.)

    • Glenn Jaffas

      Random thoughts on touring vs track- Leather and brand-specific MotoPort kevlar are the only materials you will get approval for track use. That said, in 30 years of making Aerostich Roadcrafters (a high end textile suit) they have never been notified of one grinding all the way through in a slide. There is a big difference between high end and low end textile gear, you do get what you pay for. Most roadracers that also ride on the street wear Aerostich on the street.

  • Joe Bielski

    Man, my problem is that I’m 5’6″ and about 125Lbs. I wear a size 36 suit jacket and have a REALLY hard time finding gear that properly fits me :(

    • Glenn Jaffas

      Joe, Aerostich can fit you.

  • Guzzto

    My union garage/vanson Robinson is one of the best pieces of gear I have ever seen from a quality and design point of view , super heavy grade wax cotton with leather sewn inside all the stress or impact point with full d30 back shoulders and elbow. This is in my opinion the pinnacle of good design and its a great cut (something Roland needs to work on), I have full leathers I wear when touring but for around the city you couldn’t get better. Sure ain’t cheap but I know it going to last 10 years plus unlike some gear that’s been mentioned here already.

  • Glenn Jaffas

    The Lee Parks gloves are AWESOME.