Life riding in the city often means quick on-the-bike, off-the-bike transitions, and the more seamless those transitions can be made — namely, by not hopping out of your kangaroo-skin onesie — the better. Thankfully, there’s some excellent motorcycle gear out there that provides the protection you need without sacrificing on style. And, best of all this gear can walk right off the bike and into the bar, without screaming, “I rode my motorcycle here.” Take a look.
Dainese 36060 Harrison
The classic four-pocket design, clean lines, vintage look and great feel of the waxed, hand-dyed natural hide on the Dainese Harrison Jacket rivals Belstaff’s finest for fit and finish. But unlike the British marque’s offerings, this Italian icon comes fully equipped with form-fitted, CE-rated protective armor, hidden at the shoulders and elbows. There are also integrated reflective panels buried beneath perforated leather found along the shoulder radius that are only visible under lights at night and a rear pocket for inserting a back protector. An non-removable liner means this jacket will see most duty in the cooler months, but with the cut and feel it offers, you won’t be parking it when your bike hibernates for winter.
Schuberth C3 Pro Dark Classic
Modular helmets are best for urban riding, and the C3 Pro from Schuberth is easily the best of the modulars. Designed from Schuberth’s own wind tunnel, the C3 Pro is one of the quietest buckets on the market — only 83dB(A) at 60 mph — as well as one of the most aerodynamic — it creates zero lift at speed. With a weight of only 1,570 grams (large) it’s also the lightest modular helmet available. The helmet is also incredibly well vented, and in my testing it never fogged up. It features a plethora of integrated safety essentials including ECE certification, EPS foam lining and Schuberth’s proprietary Anti-Roll-Off System, which keeps your bucket in place when the worst may happen. The C3 Pro is also fitted with two integrated antennas, so adding Schuberth’s SRC communication system is completely seamless.
Saint CC Kevlar Drills
These stealthy black strides are constructed using 100 percent Kevlar, which means putting these on before a ride around town is like sliding your legs into chain-mail armor (but significantly stronger). Heat, abrasion and burst resistance are second to none, and the Drills are as lightweight, comfortable and versatile as your favorite pair of Bonobos. Also, thanks to a lack of fabric blends, the Drills will never shrink or lose their shape. Sizing is slim fitting with some added inseam length for crouched positions or rolled cuffs, and they work just as well dressed up with a button-down and blazer as they do with a henley or t-shirt on casual Friday.
Those Red Wings may cut it at the cafe, but behind the handlebars you need more than rough-and-tumble leather to save your feet. The Royale H2Os feature thermoformed cups at the heel and toe as well as injection-molded discs on either side for your ankle. Of course, you wouldn’t know that by looking at them; with their classic moc-toe design and anatomical footbed, the Royales are as easy on the eyes as they are under foot. A reflective pull tab helps visibility when you ride home after a long day and a velcro strap keeps laces contained. Plus they’re waterproof.
Racer Mickey Gloves
Buzzing through the city demands proper hand protection. That means armor to guard against minor mirror dings as well as simple abrasion protection. The Mickey from Racer Gloves is a short-cuffed, Clarino-leather-and-mesh hybrid with hardshell knuckles; it both protects your hands and offers incredible dexterity on the controls. Make sure to take the time to size yourself properly and you’ll end up with your new favorite riding gloves, period.
Iron and Resin Paradigm Henley
Once resigned to industrial wear (and hiding beneath brightly colored ski-jackets), the henley has now rightfully claimed an elevated style status. The Paradigm Henley by Iron and Resin features an accent pocket for some added visual flare, and it’s USA made.
Dainese 36060 Connery Sweater
Changing leaves mean warmer layers come out of the closet. The Connery Sweater, also part of Dainese’s 36060 collection, looks great on its own or worn over a button-down for added warmth. And it’s named after the most iconic Bond, so, there’s that.
Icon Cloverleaf Knee
Depending on which route of protection you choose for your lower half, you may be lacking one essential ingredient for safe riding: knee armor. The Icon Cloverleaf Knee sliders are your best option, with the ability to slide on over top of any pair of your favorite riding pants — and more importantly, slide off when you arrive.