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Barbour returns to motorcycling roots

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Barbour has announced the launch of the Barbour International Authentic Motorcycle range, marking a welcome return to motorcycling for the British clothing manufacturer.

The wax cotton International jacket has been a mainstay of Barbour’s range since its original introduction more than 75 years ago. It has now been redesigned to accommodate CE-approved elbow and shoulder armour, and a Level 2 back protector as standard.

Manufactured in an 8oz wax cotton, Barbour’s International motorcycling jacket features a near identical specification to the original International, albeit with a new waterproof tartan lining and a reflective belt.

The jacket also features a dark red satin zip-out thermal liner, which can be removed on warmer days and, naturally, the International’s distinctive diagonal chest pocket, originally introduced in 1951 for quick access to maps.

To offer increased protection for motorcyc lists, Barbour has also developed wax cotton over-trousers that zip together with the International motorcycling jacket. The trousers also feature CE-approved armour in the knee and hip areas, as well as a waterproof lining.

Following its original launch in 1947, the International quickly became a firm favourite amongst motorcyclists, and in the 1954 International Six Day Trial more than 70% of competitors wore the jacket.

Steve McQueen in his Barbour International at the 1964 ISDTTen years later, the International was worn exclusively by the American ISDT team, featuring Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins, the stunt rider who performed McQueen’s famous fence leap in The Great Escape.

Steve Buck, managing director of Barbour, said: “In recent years, traditional and classic motorcycles have become increasingly popular. Many of our customers told us that they prefer to wear traditional motorcycle clothing when out on their bikes, but that it needed to include protective armour. We have listened to our customers and we have created the Barbour International Authentic Motorcycle range that not only looks the part but also offers significantly enhanced levels of protection for the rider. The jacket and trousers are almost identical in design to those originally worn by riders from the 1940s through to the 70s, so our motorcycling heritage has been incorporated into these garments for a truly authentic look.”

The Barbour International Authentic Motorcycle jacket will be priced at £399.99, including elbow and shoulder armour and a Level 2 back protector. The trousers will be priced at £239.99 and will incorporate knee and hip armour. All the armour has been produced specifically for the Barbour collection by Forcefield.  Both pieces will initially be available exclusively through MotoLegends and will be on sale at the beginning of March.

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