When I first started riding, I ran out and bought a lot of black leather. A leather riding jacket, black leather vest, and black chaps. That’s what motorcycle riders were wearing, right? Certainly a lot of them were.
As I look back now though, I think most of the people in biker costumes were almost as new to riding as I. If fact, the two guys in our group who had actually been riding for decades rarely wore any of the biker clothes. They mostly wore jeans, a shirt and whatever weight of jacket the weather called for.
As I now look through my closet full of black leathers, I find myself less and less enamored with the color. It’s too hot in the summer. It’s too hard to see and doesn’t offer the extra visibility a motorcyclist really needs. Then, there’s the image. A black leather-clad biker roaring up on his hog presents a certain image, right? Maybe, maybe not.
This is really a two-part question. The first question is, “What image are we trying to give with our black leather garb?”If it’s some “bad hombre” vibe with a vague suggestion that we may have connection to certain outlaw gangs, then we’re actually missing the mark. Those guys don’t really dress like that. They probably laugh at those of us who do. I’ve decided that that’s not the image I want to try to present.
The second part of the question is, “Is that really the image we want to present?” For me at least, the answer is no. So, it’s time to pick another look.
As I start looking for an alternative to black leather, I discover that any other color is both hard to find and more expensive.The black stuff is so popular there is always somebody seriously overstocked, or going out of business and you can pick up some real quality garments for very little. Not so with other colors.
I’ll just have to wait over the next couple of years to see what I wind up with..
－ Guy Wheatley