It was a strange sight: Nestled among the RCA Dome exhibits among a horde of Chinese vehicles and Pakistani leathers was ... Held, the high-end German apparel brand. Luckily, Held North America's Tommy Kincaid had no trouble attracting an audience.
New to the U.S. market are Held's women's and children's apparel, full race leathers, a textile jacket, a full-mesh jacket, and an off-road endurance jacket (MSRP: $450) that features a Coolmax liner and zip-down vents that span the full length of the sleeves. Kincaid pointed out the long zip-down vent design is better than jackets with removable sleeves as riders can still retain the armor in hot conditions. (They also don't have to worry about storing the sleeves.) Held Germany responded to Kinkaid's request for short-gauntlet gloves and gloves in a light gray. The manufacturer actually made three new models exclusively for the U.S. market. The gray glove has a kangaroo palm.
Kincaid said business for Held has been good, though like all European manufacturers, the company is feeling the sting of higher shipping costs. "The fuel surcharge often equal to the freight charge," he told us.
Another high-end German brand that was in the Dome, Schuberth, said it was still searching for a U.S. distributor. — Arlo Redwine