Some motorcycle manufacturers have been making t-shirts and other casual clothes for years. Harley-Davidson, for example, has probably sold more shirts than bikes over the years. BMW has dabbled, but next year will see them going after the casual branded clothing market pretty hard. You can still get their “Ride” line of adventure gear, but their 2020 “Heritage” line includes some off-bike style too.
Available in January, 2019, you’ll see leather jackets and more clothing with subtle embossed branding in a super retro style. This whole line was initially conceived to match the extremely popular R nine T line. The color scheme will also reflect the old airhead aesthetic: black and white with small pops of accent colors.
The famous colour identity of the early classic motorcycles – bold black metal parts adorned with the fine white decorative lines, the so-called TwinStripes – is reflected throughout the entire collection. The original branding and the BMW metal emblem are also incorporated in the design. The copper-coloured details and visual accents displayed in these garments hark back to the materials used in classic BMW motorcycles. The new collection celebrates the history of BMW Motorrad and its longlasting passion for motorcycling.
The release assures us that “all the materials and textiles used are robust and long-lasting and they fulfill the highest standards of safety and functionality.” The entire collection straddles that fine “is it really motorcycle gear” line, though. Jeans, denim jackets? If you read between the Motorrad lines, you’ll see the not-an-announcement “BMW Motorrad has announced the launch of a serial-production motorcycle for the second half of 2020, which will mark its entry into the Cruiser segment.”
Aha, BMW, this is the R18, isn’t it. The big-bore low-tech cruiser we’ve all been scratching our heads about. As everyone knows, you can’t ride a cruiser without a matching t-shirt and leather jacket, right? I am left wondering if the entire segment of cruiser riders and possible R18 customers should be excited to get a line of clothing brand-matched to their motorcycle, or mildly insulted at BMW’s inherent assumption about cruiser riders’ need for branded clothing.
The “Ride” line consists of two leather jackets and two denim jackets, all abrasion-resistant and armored, along with a pair of riding jeans, two pair of gloves, armored but retro-looking boots, and a kidney belt. To their credit, the rest of the line is pretty clearly labeled “Style,” so hopefully that is a clear indication that those pieces, while branded, are very obviously not actually riding gear. The beanie hat and three different bandanas are an interesting addition to the line. Even with the muted colors, some pieces are very cool. Those of us who have been riding BMW motorcycles for years sure have sure wanted better t-shirts all along!