Moto Culture

Belstaff: Enduring Legacy of An Iconic Brand

by Renchlist Staff

2nd  May 2023


As the iconic Belstaff Trialmaster jacket celebrates its 75th anniversary, Renchlist explores the brand's story.

1960 - Moto Racer John Lee competes in the Scottish Six Days Trial wearing a custom Trialmaster

Belstaff's heritage is rich, with a legacy that dates back almost a century.

Today, the brand is celebrated for its iconic waxed cotton jackets, like the Trialmaster.

Belstaff founders Eli Belovitch and son-in-law Harry Grosberg's vision is to produce superior protective outwear for motorcyclists.

The story begins in 1924, Stoke-on-Trent, England

1929 - Racing legend Joe Wright (seen here on his Zenith motorcycle) becomes an early Belstaff ambassador.

Competitive motorcycling in the early 20th century is a full-contact sport. Belstaff jackets quickly earn a reputation for outstanding durability.

Soon, however, the brand becomes the natural choice for adventurous spirits for its comfortable yet rugged dependability.

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart ~1927

Created to tackle the harsh conditions of the International Six Days Trial race, the Trialmaster was Belstaff's answer for post-war Britain's most adventurous bikers.

1948 Trialmaster Jacket: An Icon is Born

Sammy Miller (1951) wearing an early Trialmaster at the Scottish Six Days Trial

The Trialmaster's pre-curved sleeves, angled map pocket, pivot armholes, waist belt and neck closure strap tick every box for race-winning wearers

Embracing Belstaff in 1963, while filming the Great Escape, actor Steve (King of Cool) McQueen raced off-road wearing his beloved Trialmaster jacket.

The famous phoenix trademark appears at the end of the sixties. There is  no shortage of celebrity fans.

Today, as well as being an established motorcycle outfitter for riders committed to pushing the limits, Belstaff is also a prestigious global fashion house.

This year sees the release of three limited edition Trialmaster jackets, Tribute, Edition and concept.  They mark the brand’s past, present -- and future.