Goldtop bobber leather jacket review

A quality jacket that’s also comfortable and looks fantastic - worth every penny

Goldtop Bobber review

by Ben Clarke |

Tested by Ben Clarke for 2 months, 4000 miles - Quality 5/5, Value 5/5

From the minute you pick up the Goldtop Bobber you can feel its quality - there’s a reassuring heft to it, the leather is soft and sumptuous, all the zips, buckles and fasteners feel crafted rather than popped off an assembly line.

It’s a difficult thing to explain, but like all the British firm’s jackets, it feels special. From the hand-polished zip that won’t damage your tank paint to the Goldtop logo rivet on the waistband, the quality and attention to detail are palpable.

All of the zips pulls and fasteners are true to the company’s original designs (Goldtop were a mainstay of the Brit biking scene in the ‘60s through to the '80s) and it gives the product authenticity – but they’re practical too. The bead-style sleeve and pocket zip pulls are really easy to locate and operate in a gloved hand even without looking.

The jacket’s main zip pull is designed so that if it snaps off you can simply clip another on rather than having to replace the whole zip.

I love this rich oxblood colour and it goes perfectly with the signature gold quilted liner but there are three other colours to choose from; racing green, waxed brown and black. The jacket gets lots of compliments from both bikers and non, and it just gets better and better looking the more I wear it.

The colour has just begun to fade in some areas (as it’s meant to) and it will continue to bed in and evolve for its whole life. It’s also getting comfier as it adapts to my shape – the suede collar lining and suppleness of the 1.4mm leather mean that it’s never been uncomfortable.

In terms of features, the jacket itself is AAA rated and you get CE-1 shoulder and elbow armour from Knox included. A CE-2 back protector is available but costs an extra £39.99. You get three exterior zipped pockets and two interiors (one zipped) and the back is dropped.

Despite having a fixed liner and weighing in at almost 3.5kg (in a 44” chest) it stays remarkably cool. I rode through Germany in 32-degree heat with no problem and only felt hot when moving around off the bike – but find me a leather jacket that isn’t hot in this scenario.

Verdict

I had two preconceptions about a retro ‘hipster’ biking kit; it’s expensive and you sacrifice safety. But with the Goldtop Bobber, I was completely wrong on both counts. While £429 is steep for a jacket, I’ve not seen anything on the market that holds a candle to the Bobber’s quality for less.

With a maximum AAA safety rating and armour from renowned British firm Knox you can ride safely in the knowledge that you’ll be well protected in a crash.

And along with this safety, you also get a thoroughly practical, well-thought-out and most of all stunningly beautiful piece of kit. It’s worth every penny of the asking price and I would spend my own money on one without a second thought.

Pros:
Great looks
Comfortable
High quality
Maximum safety rating

Cons:
Not the cheapest
Can get hot in extreme heat

Who are Goldtop?

If you’ve not heard of Goldtop, they were formed in Hull in 1951 and fast became the preferred brand for protective helmets, gloves and boots – but not for bikers. Initially, the firm made products for horse riders and even the Household Cavalry used their kit.

As the leisure motorcycling industry grew, so too did Goldtop and they became well known for quality kit that looked good but didn’t break the bank. By the ‘90s, though, with sportsbike fever gripping the market and new kit manufacturers springing up, the brand had all but disappeared.

Then along came Kasey Cullen – a trader selling bike kit at shows and bike meets - who started getting requests for Goldtop gauntlets from riders who’d had a pair back in the day. He set about recreating the old designs, hoovering up as many original examples as possible from second-hand stores, autojumbles and online auction sites.

These days, the company is owned by Kasey and his son Joe and makes a mixture of products that are either modern reproductions of Goldtop classics or brand-new designs in the same style. One of their more famous creations is a leather jacket called the 72 Easy Rider, which was worn by Tom Hardy’s character in the Marvel film, Venom.

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