A motorcycle isn’t a transportation vehicle. It’s a way of life. It’s a commitment. It’s a lifestyle.
Yep, biking is a certain style of life, and it definitely has a unique style. Bikers don’t have doors, windows or a roof to protect them. They are one with the bike, men with helmets and the open road. When you’re that exposed, the clothes you wear and the style you adopt are all you have to protect you. We are all familiar with the biker look – leather coats, heavy boots, heavy metal and punk rock. But this wasn’t always the case for motorbike enthusiasts, as the biker style has developed and evolved throughout the years.
It all started with a pair of boots.
The first riders, way back in the end of the 19th century, were men of means, those who could afford such a luxury. And as respectable men of the upper class, these pioneer bikers wore classic tweed suits, as expected of them in the eyes of society. However, big, black, leather boots was the first item to become synonymous with motorcycling style, as even the rich, tweed-wearing men would “dress as common folk” with classic leather boots.
With speed came gloves.
As the years passed and the Harleys started gaining speed, the riding accessories began to appear. First came the leather gloves, as protection from wind or the occasional fall. Soon after, hats started to appear, for similar reason.
Leather jackets. A motor-style game-changer.
In 1928, Irving Schott revolutionized the motorbike industry, and later the entire fashion industry, when he introduced the “perfecto”, the double-breasted leather jacket that has gone on to conquer the biking world. This badass look would eventually conquer the world of rock ‘n roll, with rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s stealing the biker look and making it their own. A simple leather jacket, forever connecting the worlds of rock and motorcycles.
Gangs and vests?
A vest isn’t exactly what jumps to mind when you think about biker gangs, but ever since the 60’s, these life-on-the-road gangs are easily recognized by their unique leather vests with their gang logo on the back. Add that with some leather boots and an open-faced helmet, and you’ve got yourself a stereotypical biker.
While, personally, I’m not a fan of motorcycles, I certainly appreciate and acknowledge their killer style. Some of them say that they live to ride. Others say ride or die. But they all say –
Ride with style or don’t ride at all.