Biker fashion: Riding on street cred
In fashion circles, they say style cannot be bought.
Whoever said that probably has not been to motorcycle apparel shops lately.
These days, the latest trends in bike fashion go hand-in-hand with rider protection.
Fashion may fade, but certainly not today's riding denim pants which are "in".
Pick a pair from JR Pte Ltd, and you will be assured that your reinforced jeans, priced between $200 and $400, will not leave your lower limbs exposed in a crash.
About two decades ago, when Draggin Jeans first lined its jeans with kevlar, nobody expected a fashion revolution within the bike apparel industry.
Today, almost every brand has reinforced denim riding pants which can withstand abrasive forces anywhere between four and 20 seconds. Some riders choose riding slacks that can be worn to work.
Others go for the casual look like the Draggin Jeans' Rebel, which has a hip-to-knee kevlar inner lining.
New trends are emerging here, said bike apparel distributor Singapore Racing World.
Ventilated textile mesh jackets and pants have always been popular in our hot climate.
But riders here are starting to follow trends in Europe and the US, where lifestyle motorcycles and adventure bikes are gaining popularity.
Such riders tend to wear apparel with less technical features that border on street fashion or urban classics.
Said a spokesman for Racing World, distributor of Alpinestars and REV'IT apparel: "There's a trend towards urban riding. Now it's (also) the adventure trend. So (colour preferences) lean towards earthy tones."
Likewise, younger riders appear to be gravitating towards slightly more lightweight apparel, said a Harley-Davidson Singapore spokesman.
He said: "The trends depicted by our local riders are mostly influenced by what they see from western cultures (the US), notably the biker leather jacket, bandana (and) high-cut leather boots.
"Safety remains a top priority, but not forgetting about going out riding in style."
The spokesman added: "Getting on our marque equates to an alternative lifestyle option which represents freedom of expression."
What's equally important is "synching" your attire to your motorcycle.
At BMW Motorrad Singapore, where long-distance journeys begin with the ownership of an adventure bike, wearing a high-tech BMW Rallye suit is a safety consideration.
The outer layer of the jacket is made from wool and polyamide with a carbon finish.
There are sophisticated ventilation ports, 10 pockets, reflective strips on jacket sleeves and trousers, among other features.
Strangely, leather sneakers, which look worn, like the Dainese Street Rocker, are popular here. The new high-top sneakers may look casual, but they feature ankle protection.
Urban camouflage prints and hoodies are hip among younger bikers, as reported by Hodaka Motoworld, distributor of RS Taichi and Komine jackets ranging from $180 to $250.
Nevertheless, Racing World, which distributes several helmet brands, said customers will spend more on helmets than on jackets, especially if they are limited-edition helmets.