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Retro Motorcycle Gear Stands The Test of Time

Since the dawn of the motorcycle, riders have chosen the gear that will best protect them from the pavement and elements, while adding a sense of fashion to go with it. When riding a motorcycle really became popular in the 1950’s with the greaser era, the common style was a leather jacket, a minimalist motorcycle helmet/headgear, jeans, and boots.

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While the motorcycle realm has certainly evolved eons beyond the early roots of riding a motorcycle, the retro motorcycle gear of old still finds its way into the heart of the industry today as many riders like to pay homage to the pioneers of the industry.

In the early days, riding a motorcycle was typically associated with a rebellious bad boy theme. Daredevils opted to challenge themselves by driving and operating a two wheeled vehicle at high speeds, instead of the safer traditional four-wheeled automobiles.

Just like auto racing, motorcycle racing soon took off and riders took steps to ensure that they were the safest they could possibly be out on the race track. The gear these racers, coined Café Racers at the time, made it clear that the safest gear was the same gear that the early motorcycle adopters wore. In an effort to replicate the style to appear like their idols, all motorcycle enthusiasts went out to purchase gear to look like their favorite racers. With time, the retro motorcycle gear that became synonymous with café racers was a style itself.

Retro motorcycle gear today, paired with some of the best motorcycle helmets in the industry help keep both the rider safe and fashionable with modern advancements. Many companies have taken the traditional retro motorcycle gear from the past and reengineered them with the safety features that have become standard on traditional motorcycle gear today.

Advancements like Kevlar fabric, anti-rip stitching, and foam padding have been added to retro motorcycle gear to make sure that traditionalists can replicate the looks that helped shape the motorcycle genre into the future.

Different Types of Retro Motorcycle Gear

There are several different categories that retro motorcycle gear can truly fit into, as the genre has really taken its own unique path into a fashion and safety statement of its own. We’ve talked about how retro motorcycle gear spans from the greaser era to minimalist aspects, but it gets even deeper than that.

Some riders like to go to extremes with their minimalist efforts and will wear flannel shirts that offer little protection against abrasions or mother nature. Now that it’s the twenty-first century, motorcycle gear companies are taking advantage of the recent hype with the revival of the retro motorcycle gear and have fashioned them with the protection to match the style.


What may appear as little protection for the retro rider, is actually lined with Kevlar fabric that we previously mentioned with all of the extra features that would be commonly found in race gear like extra padding and pockets for storage purposes.

The next piece of jacket wear that is typically found with retro motorcycle gear is the classic jean look. Whether it be a jean jacket or a jean jacket with no sleeves, the jean fashion statement has been one that is synonymous with retro motorcycle gear. Some riders tend to go with a plain jean jacket, while others upgrade with the more expensive protection options available on the market. Still, there are those who still believe that a true retro gear enthusiast has to stick with the traditional leather look.

Leather jackets have always gone hand in hand with retro motorcycle gear, as they to this day offer some of the most protection for motorcyclists. If something stands the test of time, it’s because it is deservedly so. Leather jackets have stood the test of time since the early days of motorcycle riding, and have continued to provide adequate protection for riders of all ages in any decade.

Whether it’s the clean fit, feel, smell, or bad boy style, leather jackets are here to stay for the future when it comes to retro motorcycle gear.


Gloves are a toss-up when it comes to retro motorcycle gear. Some riders like to go without gloves and risk losing some of their digits, while others prefer to wear gloves. Realistically, wearing gloves doesn’t really affect the overall style appeal of retro motorcycle gear, but it’s always important to protect your own assets – so you can’t go wrong with wearing some gloves.


Since the dawn of motorcycles, blue jeans have always been the go-to for leg protection. They are more durable than some other fabrics on the marketplace and offer more protection than going without any long legged piece of clothing.

With the advancement of technology, manufacturers are now creating blue jeans apparel with Kevlar fabric and padded protection to add an extra layer of durability that all riders can get behind, not just retro enthusiasts.


Arguably the most important piece of motorcycle safety equipment, the industry has made leaps and bounds to provide greater protection than ever before while still keeping the retro theme alive. In the old days, café racers could be seen with a 2/3rd helmet and some goggles.

Nowadays, some of the best motorcycle helmets available still have the retro theme, but offer the greatest amount of protection available. Whether it’s the 2/3rd helmet with goggles or the full-face helmet, every retro enthusiast has a ton of selections when picking a motorcycle to go with their other retro motorcycle gear.

Stand The Test Of Time

Just like any other fashion statement, the retro motorcycle gear genre is alive, well, and continues to gain followers with each new motorcycle that is sold. Whether it’s to pay homage to the original daredevils who made the motorcycle phenomena take off, or the unique fashion statement that helps separate themselves, retro motorcycle gear will continue to stand the test of time.