Street motorcycle apparel has caught up to track-worthy gear in recent years. From Alpinestars’ Tech Air system to Klim’s AAA CE-rated adventure kit, road riders can now expect the same protection as pro racers in the same style. On the other hand, French brand Helstons prefers a subtler stance. Favoring vintage styling, Helstons aesthetics are less technical, but that doesn’t make its designs any less protective.
The brand’s King textile jacket embodies this approach. With an understated silhouette, simple racing stripes, and fitted cut, the King is every bit retro racing jacket. However, under the throwback veneer, the jacket features a removable Thermo-Alu vest that suits the King to all seasons but the coldest winter months. For unexpected precipitation, the Helstons jacket also boasts a waterproof yet breathable membrane.
The CE-approved King doesn’t skimp on protection either. Helstons provides removable shoulder, elbow, and back armor and the textile fabric is abrasion-resistant. Of course, you wouldn’t dare wear the King to the track, but it's certainly worthy of morning commutes and weekend jaunts to the local café.
Helstons also prioritizes comfort with the King, and users can tailor the collar and cuffs to their liking with adjustable tabs. Three exterior pockets along with a wallet and smartphone pocket provide ample storage while also modernizing the jacket. The fixed mesh lining keeps the rider cool in the warmer months and stretch panels along the sides suit a wide range of body sizes and shapes.
The French brand offers the King jacket in sizes S to 4XL. It comes in a classic black colorway, but the burgundy variant adds a splash of color to the straightforward design. At €229 ($277 USD), the King joins Helstons lineup as an affordable, all-arounder that satisfies retro and ATGATT crowds alike. Yes, street motorcycle gear is better than ever, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for safety.