New riding gear available for men and women

MotoUSA headed down the road from our Irvine, California, offices to check out some new gear from Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing, a new brand under the Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice umbrella. There’s a lot to choose from considering development of the line has taken less than a year, with jackets for men and women, gloves, chaps, vests and helmets all slated to be available in the coming months.

Phil Davy, senior director of Apparel Brands at Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice, offered some opening remarks explaining where Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing would fit into the industry.

According to Davy, there’s a noticeable split between riders who put a low price tag as the top priority and those who are looking for high-end, explicitly branded goods. There’s somewhere in the middle, where a product can carry a reasonable price tag but still offer quality materials and a sense of identity that hasn’t yet been sufficiently developed. Such a brand would need an attitude and a spirit of authenticity but a malleability to appeal to riders of all types.

Elements of what would become Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing had been tossing around in Davy’s head for years, an example being a women’s jacket called the Sheared Beaver. There’s a high-end, high-fashion trend of utilizing a soft beaver pelt in clothing, sheared beaver, and he wanted to incorporate such material into a high-fashion yet functional women’s leather jacket. It carries a somewhat audacious name, especially when considered against the Brazilian Waxed Jacket, another women’s selection in the line, but also takes cues from the high-end fashion industry. It’s priced under $700, has unique design features, a name worth a double-take and embodies a defiant attitude that’s part of what Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing hopes to cultivate. For now, because the development timeframe was so short and deals continue to be negotiated, armor will not be available in women’s jacket selections during the first wave of product.

Black Brand Tech Rider Women's Gloves.

With names like Neanderthal, Killer, Cutthroat and Fahrenheit, Black Brand cultivates its badass branding on the men’s jacket side as well. Many of the armored selections come with D30 protection, 37.5 moisture- and odor-wicking liner material, and top-grain leather, apart from the few textile selections in the line. A number of the jackets also feature KoolTek treatment, which deflects heat from the leather and keeps the rider cooler in hot conditions.

All jackets use YKK zippers, removable liners, reinforced hang straps in the collars, and manufacturer warranties, six years for leather and three years for textile.

Another notable element included in the purchase of a Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing jacket, vest or pair of chaps is the donation made to Homes for Our Troops, a 501 (c)(3) that works to build “specially-adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.” A large patch will be sewn into each item that qualifies for a donation to Homes for Our Troops.

For helmets, three-quarter and half-shell options will be available, all DOT approved. Black Brand worked with Kali to make use of composite fusion technology, whereby the EPS liner is fused directly to the inside of the fiberglass shell. Each shell is made from a size-specific mold as well, allowing Black Brand to develop half-shell helmets that are nearly as small as novelty options yet retain the protective capability demanded by DOT certification.

The chaps, vests and gloves in the debut line all make use of the same top-grain leather found in the jackets on offer. There are also options among the vests that come with concealed carry pockets.

Black Brand is also working to develop a footwear line, which representatives promise will be up and available soon.

We got to try on a number of items during the product reveal, and the material quality is top-notch. Fit is precise as well. With options ranging from the $300 range up to $700 for jackets, helmets retailing at $99.95, and prices everywhere between for vests, chaps and gloves, Black Brand is looking to make a big impact on the cruiser, V-Twin, café and retro scene from the start.

If you’re at Daytona this year, head over to the J&P Cycles store to get your first glimpse and chance to purchase Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing. The brand’s website will launch later in March and will be the primary outlet for customers to get goods from Black Brand.