By Marc Cook September 12, 2016

In the beginning, there was gravity, two wheels and an engine. Motorcycling was born and motorcyclists wore whatever was on hand—long coats, dusters, work gloves and boots. A multimillion-dollar industry specializing in motogarments was still a hundred years away, though it wouldn’t take long for the leather jacket—adopted by pilots who braved the enemy and the elements in open-cockpit aircraft—to filter into motorcycling. By World War II, the so-called bomber jacket morphed into an icon, becoming a symbol of rugged individualism and freedom. That it may not have been the ideal piece of motorcycling gear didn’t much matter.