The man in black

Leather riding gear

Geared up for an early spring ride to the Magnolia Festival

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

3 Responses

  1. oldman Says:

    There is not (at least in my opinion) a right or wrong attire for riding it a personal preference. Black leather or leather of any kind is not my choice for warm weather riding. On the other hand in cooler days of the year there is little (again in my opinion)that feels better than smooth warm leather. As far as image, well I don’t really know, is it any more pretentous than wearing a suit and tie no matter what your title. What I’m saying is who is in charge of what you wear you, not really.We wear what our piers think we should wear to fit our social status,not what is comfortable. So if black leather is comfortable and makes you feel safe and warm then wear it, to heck with what the rest of the world thinks,that’s one of the freedoms that comes with motorcycle riding there really isn’t a dress code. IMHO

  2. chickee750 Says:

    Hmmm. The first leather jacket I ordered was PINK – thought it would be eye catching to drivers rather than black – it did not fit…won’t admit if it was too large or too small – really just wanted it for protection. Ended up with black…go figure. But now the search for bright colored long sleeve tee shirts is on for warm weather riding – really want something that catches the drivers eye. Not for beauty, but to serve a duty. All the gear, all the time.

  3. Jack Says:

    No color works if other drivers aren’t looking. I’ve been hit twice wearing bright red. You might be able to find some ladie’s gear in yellow or bright green.

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