Blackbird suede-look motorcycle jacket

Blackbird suede-look motorcycle jacket

Australian motorcycle clothing company Blackbird has released men’s and women’s suede-look motorcycle jackets just in time for winter.

Blackbird Motorcycle Wear is the brainchild of former Sydney interior designer Belinda McPhee with the help of her three adult children (Belinda, 20, Eliza 17 and Sam 22) and husband Peter who all ride.

Belinda says that even though the tan jackets look like trendy suede, the leather is actually Nubuck.

“It looks and feels like suede but has a nicer smooth surface,” Belinda says.

“Nubuck is the same as leather for abrasion resistance, whereas suede has a much lower abrasion resistance.”

The lining is faux fur on the body panels with comfortable satin in the sleeves.Blackbird suede-look motorcycle jacket

It includes removable CE-approved armour made of PU rubber which is more comfortable than the foam variety. Belinda says it is “hardly noticeable to wear”.

It is also thinner yet more dense so it has better protection.

The jackets come in women’s sizes XS – L and men’s M – XXL. Prices for women’s are $459 and $10 more for the men’s jackets.

“The gear is styled for the destination as much as for riding,” Belinda says.Blackbird suede-look motorcycle jacket

She began making motorcycle gear in 2013 when her family started riding bikes and couldn’t find suitable jackets.

“They just wanted a bike jacket that looked good like a normal jacket when they got off their bikes, not with racing stripes like most sports bike jackets have,” she says.

Belinda says her motorcycle jackets are constantly being developed with new models and better quality protection.

She says she couldn’t have started the business without input from her family.

“I had ridden bikes when I was younger and I always loved motorbikes, so one school holidays when we weren’t doing anything we did a two-day riding course. It was so much fun,” she says.
Blackbird suede-look motorcycle jacket


  1. Thanks for the queries – it is worth knowing that there is a difference between suede and Nubuck,

    Nubuck is similar to suede, but is created from the outer side of a hide, giving it more strength and thickness and a fine grain. It is sanded/buffed giving it a suede-like appearance, although with a finer, velvet like surface. Suede is produced from the inner side of leather and has a rougher surface. Nubuck is also used for shoes/boots.

    Our gear is made to the high standards required of quality motorcycle gear, including 1.1-1.3mm top grain cowhide, double stitching, removable CE approved PU rubber armour and protective lining for fabric options (Dupont kevlar). We have been established for over 3 years and our customers are very happy with the products to date. It is important to us that we provide a quality alternative for motorcycle clothing.

    1. Thanks for the info.
      Do you do more than kids sizes?
      My beef with almost all apparel companies is that they never get the sizes right even if they do go past xxl
      I’m somewhere between a xxxxl and a xxxxxxxl depending on what brand I try and then I’ll either be dragging the sleeves on the ground or be strangled if I try to do up the collar button or both and that was before I developed middle aged spread.

  2. I thought nubuck was a type of vinyl made with leather fibre but a dictionary discribes it as basically suede the only difference being which side is rubbed. So if they are both leather how can one be better than the other if all else is equal?

    1. I was initially highly skeptical of Nubuck as well but I found this footwear site has a good description/answer. Suede is half a layer of leather and Nubuck is “full” leather roughed up to look like suede. So these jackets may actually be OK – provided that they are properly double stitched and reinforced.


      There are two distinct layers in a leather hide; the outermost (top grain) layer and the lower (split) layer. Suede is created by sanding the split leather surface to roughen it up. It is generally less abrasion-resistant, more prone to stretching, and less stiff than full-grain leather.


      A leather finishing process, not a type of leather. It involves sanding the top grain leather surface which gives it a “fuzzy” appearance. This surface texture is sometimes mistaken for suede, but nubuck is actually a full-grain leather.

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