If you've always loved bikes and your dream holiday is not the Swiss Alps but the barren roads of Ladakh, then we are pretty certain that you are not into wearing designer clothes but must be spending your shopping trips on a constant lookout for good quality biking gear. And fret no more, for there's good news - Indian market has finally opened up to the needs of bike lovers and there are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to classy and comfortable biker gear. And just in case you are still oblivious about 'motorcycling fashion' then here's all you need to know about the latest trend which is taking the bike enthusiasts across the globe by a storm, courtesy Samrat Som, Head of apparel and accessories at Royal Enfield.
So, what is motorcycling fashion?
Motorcycles have been the symbol of freedom, adventure and exploration. Replacing the horse, they became the choice of romantics on open roads, on desert trails, of map-makers, dispatch riders, journalists and brave-hearts at large. The 1960s and 70s were the glorious days of motorcycling, an intoxicating mix of speed, style and freedom. And, over the years movies have portrayed these stories, making them an integral medium of inspiration. That's precisely what has given shape to motorcycling fashion - classic and comfortable biking gear worn by bike enthusiasts across the world, inspired by explorers, adventurers, rebels and military men. A mix of protection, comfort, style and safety, it comprises perfecto jeans, leather gloves, military field- jackets in axed cotton, pants, boots, rapid-dry t-shirts, all weather touring jackets/trousers and helmets.
The much talked about Jaisalmer and Safari
Since 80% of the terrain Indian bikers ride on is hot, Royal Enfield developed Jaisalmer, a full-mesh jacket for riding in the summer. The company has also come up with a lighter-weight jacket with a high-abrasion- resistant protective layer that holds armours for elbow, shoulder and back called the Safari.
The bike enthusiasts can also invest in shoes and gloves that are right for the urban usage with adequate level of protection blended with comfort and style. Biking gear in India
According to Som, last 10 years have seen a revival of leisure motorcycling. "Fuelled by higher disposable incomes, adventure stories of the outdoor types and better roads, motorcycles once again have become a definite lifestyle choice of young city-dwellers; lithe objects of desire, ever more so a symbol of freedom in the over- regulated, increasingly virtual world, they have become a badge of honour for rakish young guys and girls, thrill-seekers with a mechanical bent; this zeitgeist has been reflected in machines built with classical lines inspiring even the creative types who might never have swung a wrench," explains Som, but adds that protective gear market in India is greatly under-served. "There's a not a niche but what I would call a big white space between low quality local offerings and the grey market imports. No definitive retail environment to shop for protective gear with the right assortment choice and services. Online or unorganized retail of imported options have their own inconveniences for the consumer (sizes, returns etc.)," adds Som.
But thankfully, awareness is growing and the consumer is opening up to riding gear that are aspirational yet accessible.