Let’s be honest: Part of the appeal of motorcycling is the gear. Motorcycle clothing is cool, and wearing the Harley-Davidson logo can be a source of pride for both riders and passengers.
Back in the early days of motorcycling, riders adopted some of the same clothing that the early aviators wore. They quickly discovered that leather jackets and pants were not only comfortable and good looking, but they also did a great job of blocking the wind, and provided superior abrasion resistance in the event of a crash.
In 1928, the Schott company created the first popular leather jacket designed specifically for motorcycling, the Perfecto. It was made from thick cowhide and featured zip sleeves and a zip front with big lapels that snapped to the chest to prevent flapping in the wind. The Perfecto took off as a symbol of rebelliousness when Marlon Brando wore one in the film The Wild Ones in 1954 and was quickly adopted by bikers and non-bikers alike. Perfecto-style jackets have been worn by cool folks ever since. You can find early pictures of the Beatles wearing Perfectos onstage in Hamburg before Brian Epstein restyled them as moptops in suits. The Ramones all wore Perfectos. Motorcycle jackets are cool.
Harley-Davidson, never a company to leave a profitable trend on the table, has a very successful apparel arm. Go into any H-D dealership, and you’ll see that they devote almost as much showroom floor space to apparel as they do to motorcycles and parts.
Plenty of counterfeit clothing bearing the Harley-Davidson name and logo can be found at off-brand retailers, but authorized Harley-Davidson apparel is almost always of very high quality, which makes it worthwhile to buy directly from a dealer or from the H-D website.
When it comes to riding gear, Harley sells several lines of leather and textile clothes designed for men and women. Each season, Harley comes out with new items in their Motorclothes line – not necessarily designed for use on the bike, but for fashion and everyday wear. Just look for the “New Arrivals” tab on Harley-Davidson.com and see what’s new.
This season, I’m attracted to the new Contrast Stitch Knit Shirt, a Henley-style long sleeve cotton jersey with a tasteful stitched version of the Bar-and-Shield logo on the left chest. It looks cozy, warm and already broken-in. On the women’s side, I know that my wife would look adorable in the Stripe Raglan Sleeve Tee, which has a weathered H-D graphic on the front and contrasting stripes on the sleeves.
You’re already cool because you’re a motorcyclist. Let Harley-Davidson Motorclothes make you look even cooler.