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I had a great time at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Novi, Michigan a couple of weekends back, and part of that fun was exploring the many scooting and motorcycling gear options available. At the show, there were gear options for almost any budget. From leather fringe jackets and vests to full on leather, armored jackets and everything in between, there was a lot of variety at the show. I spent a considerable part of my "gear time" at one booth, British Motorcycle Gear (BMG). They offer a great variety of British-designed motorcycle jackets (and helmets and accessories, etc.). What's even better is their stellar customer service and enthusiasm for all things motorcycle. At the Novi show, I spent some time with CEO Paul Brooks trying on almost every jacket that they offer.
Belstaff Jackets: Now we're in rarefied territory - the famous name, substantial prices, rugged looks and Italian quality, it must be Belstaff. Here's a rundown on some of BMG's Belstaff offerings.
Belstaff Knockhill Vintage Trialmaster Jacket: This is a granddaddy of them all and is a true old-school motorcycle jacket. Well, old-school with soft armor added (shoulders, elbows and back), but it still manages to cut a classic look. The detailing is crazy on this jacket, from the leather to the corduroy lining on the collar to the tiny Belstaff logo on the snaps, it's all there. Italian made, the 'Knockhill' is a quality jacket that costs $750 but will likely outlast you, and look great doing it. Put it in your will for someone special to remember your long, happy life wearing it on your bike or scoot.
Belstaff Classic Tourist Trophy Jacket: A reproduction of Belstaff's Classic Trialmaster Motorcycle Jacket, the 'Classic TT' adds level one Armor and a thermal liner to an icon. I'd love to get my hands on one of these to see how effective the 10 oz. waxed cotton and built-in thermal protection holds up against the Detroit winters. A classic look at a classic price ($595).
Belstaff New Tourist Trophy Jacket: A different version of the classic four front pocket design used in the 'Classic,' the New Tourist Trophy updates the look and feel by using Cordura 1000 Dernier in the place of the waxed cotton. It also keeps the level one armor in the shoulder and elbows, and adds a detachable cotton lining with Valtherm padding on the body and sleeves. It's also $595, but offers thoughtful safety updates and looks almost as good as the 'classic'.
Belstaff Mojave Leather jacket: The Mojave is a replica of a jacket worn by Steve McQueen in the 1960s. It's badass for sure, and probably looks as good off the bike as it does on. It's made of substantial weight leather with a very soft touch, but also comes with CE approved armor and a cotton/satin lining. At $725, it's a jacket that requires some thought to buy, but again, plan for it to go to someone you love after you're gone! With care, it will probably last forever.
Belstaff Mojave Waxed Cotton Jacket: This jacket is a waxed cotton version of the leather Mojave. It also adds a cool quilted look to the shoulder pads and the increased weather and wind proofing protection of the waxed cotton. It retains the CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows and is a nice-looking piece with the brass snaps. Like all of the Belstaff jackets, it's made in Italy and isn't cheap at $495, but is certainly unique.
I had a great time trying on jackets at the BMG booth at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Novi. Thanks to Paul Brooks of British Motorcycle Gear for entertaining my new jacket shopping trials. If you are going to one of the remaining shows, be sure to check out the BMG booth, as they offer some incredible, world-class products.