The timeless debate of fashion versus function can become a serious one when it's literally your skin on the line. So rather than forego the proper gear to keep your core temperature down, it's best to simply tailor your kit according to where and when you're riding. While taking the new Royal Enfield Continental GT out recently, we had the opportunity to put a few pieces to the test in the strong Californian sun. The following three options offer a few starting points for riding in style through spring and into summer—with all your skin.
REV'IT! Fly Gloves
Gloves are always an essential, no argument there. But when the sun is ablaze, you'll need a smart solution. Enter the perforated-leather Fly Gloves from REV'IT!, which are attractive and functional. Sturdy PU-injected knuckles and fingers add additional protection to the fully hide-wrapped glove, and a slightly extended wrist prevents forearm chill during evening rides. Revzilla sells the Fly Glove for $90.
Randolph Engineering Aviator
Originally developed for the US Military, the standard issue Aviator from Randolph Engineering is one of the most iconic—and most imitated—sunglass styles ever. And though they've been around for decades, they're far from outdated. Originally designed for pilots, the polarized frames sport signature bayonet temples, which the shades can easily put on and taken off while wearing a helmet—a truly valuable, and often overlooked, feature. Plus, the adjustable nose pads allow for a customizable fit, ensuring your eyes are protected from road grime at all times. More details at Randolph Engineering, where the Aviator sells for around $199.
Roland Sands Design Clash Jacket
After a positive experience with the Roland Sands Design Enzo Jacket last summer, we were excited to try out the all new Clash Jacket from the Southern California-based motorcycle racer-turned-designer. With a decidedly more badass look, the rocker-styled leather jacket features an off-set front zipper and side synchs for a well-tailored fit. Wrist zips make putting on and situating gloves significantly easier, while interior pockets on the elbows, shoulders and spine allow for added armor. While the collar opening is casual and the rear is cut long for comfort in a range of positions, the overall fit is aggressive, thanks especially to rotated, pre-curved sleeves. And much like the Enzo, the supple leather of the Clash makes the jacket feel like a trusted old friend from day one. Find it from RSD online in black and oxblood for $650.
Riding images by Kevin Wing Photography, all others by Graham Hiemstra