The office dress code can be a challenge for a motorcycle enthusiast. A three-piece suit is easy to rock behind the wheel or on a transit commute, but when you’re dialed in, slicing through traffic and grinning from ear-to-ear, seersucker does little to save your skin. You could kit yourself out in full race-ready regalia, but the last time we checked, riding the elevator in an unzipped kangaroo skin onesie doesn’t score too many points with the boss. Thankfully, there’s some excellent motorcycle gear out there that provides the protection you need without sacrificing any of your executive flair. Here are our picks.
AGV Compact (Numo Evo) Helmet
The AGV Compact (Numo Evo) is the Italian brand’s best in modular protection. Unlike many flip-up lids out there, the Compact has passed rigorous testing to earn P/J homologation — meaning it doesn’t lose all of its protective qualities when the chin bar goes up. I found the Compact to be extremely comfortable in both positions, with little to no “sail” effect with my cheeks exposed to the world. While I usually shy away from modular helmets due to weight issues, the Compact wears much lighter than it feels, especially at speed. Visibility is excellent, as the scratch-resistant visor offers a large periphery. An integrated half-height sun visor can be activated with a lever mounted on the left side, so cruising with the main shield up (or the whole chin bar) isn’t a bleary-eyed ordeal. The locking mechanism used to switch from full face to open is an easy-to-operate, single-hand system, so changes on the fly are quick and easy.
Aether Apparel Canyon Jacket
The Canyon Jacket continues Aether Apparel’s trend of gear that’s technical while still flying, stylistically, under the radar. Featuring fully sealed seams, their Schoeller-Dyantec 3-Layer Fabric is windproof and water resistant, and it stands up to road rash should you be so unlucky. The Canyon wears like a technical softshell with a tailored fit, making it ideal for stints out of the saddle as well. The included and removable D3O Armor is thin, lightweight and incredibly flexible; it doesn’t look like you’re going into battle when you’re rushing for the elevator. The brushed lining on the collar is soft on exposed flesh and the fitment is wide enough to allow for a shirt and tie. Ventilation is tackled with weatherproof zippered vents in the pits and back, as well as Aether’s Coldback system, which reduces heat from the sun on your back.
YOUR BAG: KRIEGA US-30 DRYPACK
Kriega’s US-30 tailbag ($169) can be mounted directly and securely to any bike’s subframe or solid mounting under the seat, either of which is a simple task. Its size (30 liters) is perfect for carrying all your office goods plus a spare change of clothes and any number of other essentials, and it’s 100 percent waterproof. So really, you’re getting a bag that’ll get you through the workday and beyond — that is, all the gear you’d need after 5 p.m.
Alpinestars Express Drystar Overpant
Motorcycle pants can be tough to get right — especially the overpant variety. You need them to be roomy enough to squeeze a full layer underneath, but fitted enough to offer protection in the right places. The Alpinestars Express Drystar Overpants do an excellent job of ticking those boxes, while not making your legs look like sausage casings in the process. I especially liked the pre-curved legs and longer inseam, which in my testing kept the Drystars from riding up and exposing my suit pants. A waterproof membrane — the pant’s namesake — works well enough to keep work pants dry in a downpour, and a zip-in thermal lining is a good option for cold-weather months, though the pants are warm enough without it, even on cool mornings. In fact, a zippered vent or two in addition to the full-length gusset would have been a welcome addition, especially when stuck in traffic, as things tended to get steamy on the way home.
Icon Pursuit Touchscreen Gloves
The right riding glove can make all the difference on your trips to and from the office. Full-length track gauntlets offer protection in spades but lack the subtlety and comfort that a minimalist package affords. The Pursuit Glove by Icon falls nicely in the middle. New for this year, the Pursuit integrates a Touchtec leather palm to enable the use of touchscreen devices. While you should never check emails in the saddle, the convenience when stopping for java is, well… handy. The true beauty of the Pursuit lies in its extremely comfortable sheepskin leather construction and moldable, integrated knuckle armor for added protection sans inflexibility. They glove is also available in a perforated finish for the dog days of summer.
Dainese Anfibio Cafe Boot
Most riders will undoubtedly pack their double-monk straps on their back and swap footwear at the office. Yet there are some solid options for true protective footwear that could sneak under the radar in slightly more casual cubicles. Dainese’s Anfibio Cafe Boots offer classically refined looks that work well in almost any atmosphere while packing in a number of rider essentials. The abrasion- and tear-resistant cowhide leather construction houses integrated ankle guards to keep riders safe, while shifter guards protect their overall aesthetic from the rigors of riding. A split-leather internal design delivers a comfortable fit, easy to walk in — so much so that I’ve slipped them on for a night on the town without a bike at all.
Ministry of Supply Apollo Dress Shirt
Board meetings and burnouts don’t exactly go together, but you can still wear a dress shirt that does double duty. Ministry of Supply created the Apollo to help regulate body temps, whether you’re getting grilled by the boss or pulling away from the grille of an 18-wheeler. The moisture-wicking poly fabric is also cut to move with you, keeping things tucked in when you’re tucked for speed or spreadsheet work.
Sena SMH5 Bluetooth Headset and Intercom
Concentration is key when you’re riding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate while en route to your job. The SMH5 allows you to go handsfree via 3.0 Bluetooth stereo to let your team know you’re ready for the meeting and that you also just dusted a sports car. Plus, you can get voice-nav instructions if that meeting is off site. If you happen to have coworkers as riding buddies, the two-way intercom feature lets you communicate for optimal group safety. If you choose to listen to music, just try not to crank the volume all the way you up, even if it is “Leader of the Pack.”