Belstaff, once one of the most recognizeable names in motorcycle riding gear, has been sold.
A few decades back, Belstaff was one of the foremost manufacturers of waterproof riding jackets, cranking out waxed cotton garments that were better than most stuff on the market at that time—not that that’s saying much. Since the 1980s, textile motorcycle gear has improved significantly, and left waxed cotton behind; in the last few years, Belstaff has been more of a fashion statement than a practical riding choice, with boutique stores selling to the rich and famous, instead of greasy dispatch riders.
But, with the hipster scene’s recent interest in riding, Belstaff has made a comeback amongst riders as well, although its products definitely lean towards the fashion-focused side of the motorcycle gear spectrum.
Now, Belstaff has been bought by Ineos, a petrochemical company based in the UK. For years, Belstaff has been owned by Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, which could possibly have had a lot to do with the brand’s movement towards aesthetics over function. Might we see a shift back now? Considering it’s been bought by another billionaire, probably not.