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Suave Motorcyclists: Workwear That May Revitalize a Subculture Part 2

*Part 1 can be found here.

International Romance

Germany sparked a revolution in the motorcycle market and America spearheaded the campaign for new, adventurous roads. The final, important ingredient was provided by Great Britain: eclectic flair. As demonstrated in period catalogs and photos, early motorcyclists were a cultural mashup. The jodhpurs (breeches) and puttees were heavily inspired by the military dress in India, which in turn became horseback riding attire in the West. The transition from reins to handlebars was subsequently effortless.


British-Indian troops serving in Africa, ca. 1900. The enlisted men are wearing cloth puttees while the officer, second from right in the white pith helmet, appears to be wearing puttees made from leather. All appear to have jodhpurs. Image via Wikipedia.

Just as traditional Indian dress has influenced motorcycling, motorcycling has influenced India. There is a huge there demand for vintage Brit bikes as established manufacturers from the U.K. are expanding their markets. In fact, the international market for all classic vehicles is anticipated to grow significantly by the late 2020s.



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