Barbour has been producing clothing designed for motorcyclists since 1913, and it is perhaps fitting that, to mark this centenary, the company is launching its Authentic Motorcycle Collection.
Although classically styled, this new collection will comprise of clothing that is equipped with all the modern technologies and features expected by riders in the twenty first century.
The first two pieces in Barbour’s Authentic Motorcycle Collection are the Black Shadow International jacket and its matching Black Shadow over-trouser.
In styling terms, in its use of fabric, and in construction, the Black Shadow jacket is quite simply a re-interpretation of the company’s legendary and iconic A7 jacket that is still made today at Barbour’s South Shields factory.
The outer material is an eight ounce, thornproof waxed cotton, but this jacket incorporates features that are not to be found on any other International.
The first is a fully waterproof lining that is seam-sealed to prevent any ingress of water. Now wax cotton has excellent water-resistant or water-repellent properties but, by modern standards, wax cotton is not 100% waterproof, and certainly not to the level that is required when riding a motorcycle.
Not, of course, that we would claim that any motorcycle jacket is 100% waterproof. Such a jacket does not exist, but you can be confident that the Black Shadow is as waterproof as a wax cotton jacket can ever be.
Rain, however, is not the motorcyclist’s sole adversary, and so the jacket also comes with a zip-in, fully sleeved, quilted liner to keep the rider as warm as he is, hopefully, dry. Of course, in warmer conditions, this jacket can be removed in a jiffy.
But the ‘raison d’être’ of the Black Shadow is what it hides up its sleeves; namely CE approved armour in the elbows and shoulders.
Produced specifically by Forcefield for Barbour, this armour literally moulds to the riders shape when the jacket is worn.
To complete the picture, the jacket also comes fitted with a back protector that meets the highest Level 2 classification, as set out in the EN-1621-2 safety standard.
Many of the other features of the Black Shadow are as you might expect to find on any Barbour International jacket.
You get four external bellow pockets; including a slanted one in the left breast for right-handed access to maps, time-cards and, these days, a mobile phone!
The neck is lined with soft corduroy for comfort and, if there’s a desire to completely shut out the elements, the neck fastens with a traditional belt and buckle.
Down the front is a heavy-duty brass zip; the quality of which is without compare. This is covered by a five-popper storm flap.
Other detailing that will be appreciated by the motorcyclist are neat little touches like the rubber covered buttons to protect the bike’s paintwork, and a reflective strip on the waist belt for extra visibility at night.
But, somewhat uniquely for a jacket of this style, the Black Shadow jacket can be zipped to an equally classic looking pair of wax cotton over-trousers that are, again, almost identical to the trousers worn by trials and road riders alike in the forties, fifties and sixties.
Compare them, in fact, with the pants that Steve McQueen worn in the 1964 ISDT event in East Germany, and you’ll discern no appreciable differences.
Like the jacket, the trousers are made from eight ounce wax cotton and come with a fully waterproof, seam-sealed lining. They do not, though, have a thermal liner.
What they do come with, like the jacket, is Forcefield’s CE approved armour in the hips and knees.
So, if you’re looking to recreate that classic motorcycling look, nowhere will you find it more faithfully articulated than in Barbour’s Authentic Motorcycle Collection.
And although this look maybe somewhat ‘à la mode’ right now, make no mistake; this is genuine motorcycling apparel that has been created exclusively with the motorcyclist in mind.
Barbour has been producing clothing for motorcyclists for some 100 years now, so it should come as no surprise to that the ladies and gentlemen of South Shields have learned a thing or two about protecting their customers.
The Authentic Motorcycle Collection is available exclusively from Motolegends. The jackets costs just £399.99; the trousers are £239.99.
The trouser sizes are based on waist measurements. If you wish to wear them over a pair of normal trousers, you might, for comfort, wish to order one size larger than you would normally.
Click here to order yours now.