How Do You Dress To Ride?

If you’ve ridden a motorcycle for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that many times the type of motorcycle being ridden influences the attire of the rider.  Even if you don’t ride, you may have noticed the phenomenon.  Here’s some of my observations and some I’ve been told about.

  • Pirates:  These are often riders of Harley Davidsons and “metric” V-twin motorcycles.  The pirate look can consist of things like jeans, boots (sometimes with buckles, rings or chains), a leather vest (sometimes with no shirt underneath) a bandana, earrings, long hair in a braided pony tail, fingerless gloves, a helmet that looks like a beanie (just because you have to wear one) and tattoos.  Black seems to be the predominant color of the clothing.
  • Armadillos: These are often BMW riders or dual sport type motorcycles like the Suzuki V-Strom or similar.  You can spot an armadillo by the full face helmet, a jacket that has armor in the shoulders, elbows and back, pants that zip up the leg and have armor in the knees and hips, gloves (which are often armored too) and boots with shift pads on the left boot.  The colors of an armadillo vary and are sometimes spotted in high visibility colors.
  • Power Rangers: If you don’t know what a Power Ranger is go their website.  These are often riders of sport motorcycles.  You know, the ones that look like they should be on a racetrack.  The riders are often attired in leather suits.  But the full face helmet, leather jacket, leather pants, leather gloves and boots are usually in bright colors and all match.  They are often armored like the armadillo.  It can look pretty cool.

I tend towards the armadillo but not quite.  When it’s hot I may not be in the jacket but still wear the armored pants.  But today I rode with some friends to funeral and then to lunch wearing regular jeans.  I rode a total of about 75 miles and it just didn’t “feel right” not having the armor.  It almost felt like I was wearing shorts and I didn’t like it.

So what do you dress like to ride?

Just don’t dress like this guy that captured on the Tail of the Dragon!

Categories: General | Tags: | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “How Do You Dress To Ride?

  1. Hi Chris:
    Been enjoying all your posts all along.
    Just for the sake of chatting, now about this post, how do they categorize us, I pretty much wear something similiar to what you wear, you know, I got my gloves “GX Air, yellow” last year on sale from a local motorcycle shop, my mesh summer jacket “Shadow” on sale form a web site, I have two HJC helmets one full face and one open face, -by the way do you believe that the open face is quieter than the full face?- I use denim/levis pants, etc.
    Do you thing there is a name they have for us?

    Rodolfo Garcia.
    El Paso, TX


    • I guess you’re hybrid of a pirate and armadillo! More importantly ride your way as long as it’s safe. I don’t think an open face could ever be as quiet as a full face or modular. The only open face I’ve ever heard of being described as quiet is the new Bell Mag 9.


      • Yes, me too more Armadillo than Pirate. The other helmet I’ve heard is the new Arai CT-Z open face, I like it, it has a a peak disign that looks different from all the others.


  2. I guess I’m more of an Armadillo than anything else. I like the category names.


    • I heard them from a motor officer. He had bought a used R1150RTP to use on funeral escorts. One day a guy walked up and asked why he wasn’t dressed like an armadillo. He said “Huh?” and the guy told him Harley riders dress like pirates and BMW riders dress like armadillos.


  3. I’m a bit of a hybrid, but more of and armadillo then others.


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