Sometimes, you may not want to actually look like a biker. You may be using the bike to get to a function where you would then prefer to look ‘normal’.
You may want to look like you are just a regular person who happens to be riding a bike. You might want to look like you spontaneously decided to take the bike instead of walk or use the car.
Of course, you could always just hop on the bike in whatever clothes you want – plenty of people do that. However, knowing what can happen in the worst-case scenario if you have an off and you’re not wearing proper clothing, then we would never, ever advocate going out on the bike in anything other than proper gear.
Related: Top casual motorbike clothing
Having said that, it is perfectly possible to look like you’re wearing normal clothes yet benefit from the highest levels of protection at the same time. You just need to be a little careful how you choose your kit.
As with any motorcycle kit, look for the protective qualities when making a choice. Helmets (arguably not many that don’t look like motorcycle helmets) should be ECE22.05 approved and jacket and trousers also CE-approved, from the lowest level ‘B’ to the highest, AAA.
Boots should also be CE labelled and look for as many 2s in the rating and gloves should be at least CE 1 KP to indicate Knuckle Protection.
With all that in mind, here are some stealth motorcycle clothing products that will keep you looking cool but stay protected.
Alpinestars J6 Boots
From the outside, youu2019d never guess these high-ankle sneakers were proper motorcycle boots, but they are. Made by Alpinestars, they are CE certified and are waterproof, using a membrane underneath the leather upper.
They are fitted with a heel cup that is derived from the brand’s motocross boots and there is also a reinforced toe cup. The ankle bracing is hidden inside the shoe and there is also a reinforced midsole to help guard against crush injuries.
Look like regular sneakers
Proper CE-level protection
Cons: Genuine lace-ups; no zip access
Spada Air Force 1
The MA-1 flight jacket is a fashion icon, worn originally by US Navy fighter pilots in the 1950s and making the transition to civilian clothing. Traditionally, the jacket has a green outer layer (for camouflage) and an orange interior (for visibility to rescuing planes).
This authentic version from Spada not only looks just like a normal MA-1, it is also CE approved and comes with shoulder and elbow armour and a pocket for a back protector. It comes in this white, platinum grey and black and if you didn’t know it was a bike jacket, you wouldn’t know.
Four-piece CE armour
Waterproof and breathable
Too nice to wear only on the bike
Oxford Original Approved Jeans
This is the latest version of single-layer riding jeans from British brand Oxford and are made with Armourlite, a denim material interlaced with the same material they make parachute cords out of, for excellent strength.
These are available in a range of finishes, but this aged version is our favourite. They are also available in straight or slim fitting and in three leg lengths, to make sure the Level-2 knee armour is in the right place. The hip armour is L2 as well and they are comfortable enough to wear all day once you’ve put the bike away.
Look like regular jeans
Stretch for comfort on and off the bike
Even straight fit can be tight around the ankles
So you might look a bit odd wearing leather gloves in the height of summer unless you are actually riding your bike but these CE approved (Level 1 KP) leather gloves donu2019t scream u2018motorcyclistu2019 from a distance.
If you know what you’re looking at, then you would recognise the hard knuckle armour and the padding on the fingers as well as on the heel of the palm and the grip sections across the centre of the palm. There’s an elasticated wrist with a zip fastening and a hook-and-loop closure tab as well.
Cool and understated design
Those who know, know
Richa Atomic Hoodie
There are plenty of armoured hoodies around but this one from Richa has a particularly casual look to it that hides the fact it is a proper motorcycle protective top.
It may only be rated to CE level A but it comes with a five-piece suit of armour in the shoulders, elbows and back making it ideal for the urban jungle. It is waterproof and the hood itself is removable in case it becomes a distraction when riding though a mesh lining helps promote airflow when it’s warm.
Urban look and feel
Comes with five-piece D3O armour
Only CE A rated
Everyone loves a leather jacket u2013 itu2019s a staple for any wardrobe, urban or rural, modern or retro. While paradoxically, many want a leather that looks like a bikeru2019s jacket though it doesnu2019t offer any protection, this jacket from Weise looks like a nicely-cut classic leather jacket that offers proper protection.
It’s CE AA rated and comes with a full suite of CE approved armour – shoulders, elbows and back, is made from 1.2-1.4mm cowhide leather and has a slim fit with a short collar.
Excellent protective abilities
Looks like classic leather jacket
Works with other riding gear
Isn’t cheap but is good
Merlin Hendrix Shirt
You will have no doubt seen riders on cafu00e9 racers, customs or retros wearing what looks like a good old lumberjack shirt. While many may well have been wearing just that shirt, others will have had proper protection with something like this example from Merlin.
It’s made from a cotton outer with an aramid-fibre lining to give it an AA rating for abrasion and construction and it comes with Level-1 D3O armour in the shoulders and elbows with a pocket for a back protector. A full-length zip hides behind the front flap with poppers to give the shirt look.
Looks nothing like motorcycle gear
A rated with L1 armour
Cotton outer and aramid lining
Not to everyone’s taste
Knox Urbane Mk2
Perhaps the ultimate in stealth motorcycle clothing, the Urbane 2 armoured shirt from Knox comprises all the protection you need in a garment that can be covered by whatever you want. It is formed with a mesh outer for cooling airflow and is rated AA, meaning that it can be worn on its own as an outer later or you can easily pop a long-sleeved top over it and no-one will be any the wiser.
It is designed to be worn snug to hold the Level-1 shoulder and elbow armour and the Level-2 back protector in place and there is a belt-loop fixing to prevent it from riding up.
Provides protection in itself
Can be worn with casual or waterproof outer layer
Excellent protective abilities
Not cheap (but worth it)
Even if you were a full-on motorcycle junkie, youu2019d be hard pressed to identify these as riding boots unless you had them in your hands. They are stunning leather ankle boots, with a slight heel and a classic man-about-town look and feel.
However, under that leather upper hides reinforced heel and toe cups and protective ankle cups in strong ABS. There’s a vented liner to help keep the feet cool and a side zip makes access easy, though the laces can also be used to get the perfect fit.
Casual look with proper protection
Zip for easy access
Too nice to ride in
WWtoukui Predator Helmet
Sci-fi fans have long coveted the Predator helmet from the movie franchise of the same name. Whether youu2019re a fan of the Arnie original, the Danny Glover sequel, the questionable Aliens Vs Predator spin-offs or the Shane Black homage, you cannot fail to recognise the trademark helmet, complete with dreadlocks and laser rangefinder.
This example is not cheap – there are less-expensive ones around – but it is ECE22.05 approved and comes with the ’locks and LED light. However, it also only comes with a tinted visor which is not legal in the UK.
E CE22.05 approved
Dark visor not road-legal in UK