Best motorcycle shirts and hoodies

When you want a more relaxed and less ‘bikey’ look and feel, these could be for you.

Motorbike rider wearing a casual hoody

by Jim Blackstock |

There are times when you don’t want to feel too ‘bikey’. You might be heading to an event or just to hook up with some friends but you want to relax and spend a bit of time off the bike at your destination without the world knowing you rode there.

You might be riding a bike that cries out for a certain type of clothing, where a sports jacket or adventure clothing simply isn’t the tight thing.

If, for example, you’re on a custom or a retro, then you might find you want to be wearing a shirt or in the urban jungle, a hoodie but you still want to maintain your protection and ensure that you are safe while you look relaxed. So you need an armoured shirt or hoodie.

With the advances in material and design technology nowadays, there is no reason that you should have to compromise your protection when you come to choose your style.

Related: Best urban motorbike boots

So even though you’re looking for informal clothing, you should still be looking for a decent overall CE rating for the garment, from B to AAA in increasing levels of protective ability as well as decent armour in at least the elbows and shoulders and ideally, a back protector as well.

Here is a selection of armoured shirts and hoodies that will keep you safe while you look cool.

Tested by Simon Relph for six months / 3000 miles, Quality 5/5 Value 4/5

This jacket

Resurgence Pekev Ultra Riding Shirt

CE rating: AAA

Armour rating: L1

British kit and clothing giant Oxford has a massive range of clothing and included in that is what

Oxford Kickback 2.0

It comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows and there’s a pocket for a back protector as well as loops to secure to a pair of trousers.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

This denim shirt is part of RST's Built with Kevlar range and as you can imagine, uses the

RST Denim Shirt

CE A-rated, it comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows with a pocket for an optional back protector. The outer is Cordura denim with Kevlar reinforcement and there is a zip beneath the flap housing the press-studs, with a mesh lining to help air circulation.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

This hoodie from Richa is finished with a softshell outer so there is an element of water

Richa Titan Core

There are two zip-close hand-warmer pockets on the front, one inside and the hood can be removed if it becomes a distraction on the bike. Like much of Richa’s offerings, it’s also Vegan-friendly.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

This hoodie from Weise is an impressive performer on paper. CE rated to the AA standard, it comes

Weise Stealth

It is formed with a heavy-duty cotton outer with an aramid-fibre liner while a mesh layer over the top allows for air to circulate. The hood has a proper drawstring but can be removed if preferred and it has front pockets, elasticated waist and cuffs and can be joined to Weise riding jeans. Also available in a ladies’ cut.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L1

In actual fact closer to a mesh jacket than straight shirt, the Tracer Air from Rev'It has a

Revu2019It Tracer Air

It comes in a variety of colour options and features CE Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows and has a pocket for the company’s L2 back protector. It comes with two pockets on the front, a short zip to connect to matching trousers and loops to attach to jeans.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

This lumberjack-style shirt from Merlin looks good and looks after you as well. CE rated A, it is

Merlin Hendrix

It has two chest pockets, two hand-warmer pockets and one internal pocket and also has zips to open air-circulating vents to keep you cool. It comes with Level-1 D3O armour in the shoulders and elbows with a pocket for a D3O back protector and has a zip to join to trousers as well as universal belt loops.

CE Rating: A

Armour rating: L1

This armoured riding hoodie from Alpinestars looks from the outside just like a chunky casual

Alpinestars Chrome

It is formed with a knitted outer layer that is backed with aramid-fibre reinforcement on the shoulders, elbows and back. It has a high collar and a removeable hood, complete with drawstring and has a waterproof inner pocket as well as one outer pocket.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Another addition from the Oxford line-up, this time the company's latest hoodie. Made with a

Oxford Superhoodie 2.0

There are loops to attach it to your trouser belt and zips concealed within the hand-warming pockets at the front. The waist and cuffs are elasticated and the latter feature thumb loops to prevent them riding up and help seal against draughts.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L2

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