BIKER chic is a growing trend, say Huddersfield University researchers.
Sales of motorcycles and related goods are growing between 6% and 10% a year, says the Motorcycle Consumer Research Unit.
And more and more of these sales are made to women, with female motorcycle equipment a thriving business.
Embroidered leather trousers, colourful leather jackets and gloves and helmets featuring fingernail designs or lipsticks can be found in stores and on websites.
And so-called biker chic is also making its mark in fashion collections across the country, with biker jackets remaining popular on the high street for women riders and non-riders alike.
“It has been at the edge of fashion for quite a while,” said Geoff Crowther, director of the unit, which is part of the university’s business school.
“Biker fashion is an icon that has translated well on to the high street.
“Women are driven towards expressing their identity in a particular style of clothing and this is one way to do so.”
Researchers spoke to 50 women about biker chic and the way in which their leisure pursuits and the clothing they wore revealed their identity.
The thriving business means many stores now stock more feminine and less heavy motorcycle gear which is easier and lighter to wear for female cyclists.
Women also buy at least two biking jackets a year – one for summer and one for winter – while men just buy one.