One of the beauties of travel is discovering name brands that don’t have strong U.S. presence. On a recent visit to Britain I chanced upon Oxford Products, a moto-gear name I wasn’t familiar with. Its vast range of products includes a jaw-droppingly handsome black-and-fluo ADV jacket—the Montreal 2.0. It seemed to leap off the sales rack. Close inspection suggested a quality product with desirable bells and whistles and more. I did a double-take! Was the low price tag—£149.99 (about $165)—an error? Why hadn’t I seen this in the US?

Turns out the 46-year-old Oxfordshire-based company is a British success story with a U.S. subsidiary: Oxford Products USA. I promptly ordered a suit. A month later I returned home and eagerly opened the package. The jacket didn’t quite have the Brad Pitt looks I remembered. But I couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t quite so visibly moved. The confusion was solved by a Google search, which pulled up two versions of the Montreal 2 fluo jacket. One with (and one without) eye-catching highlights—company logos, stylized reflector patches, and thin red plastic bands sealing the upper arm protective zone joints—that really make this beauty sing.

“Prior to bringing the new jacket range into the US, we gathered feedback from our retail dealers and among other changes, they unanimously told us that they didn’t want obvious logos, so we toned down the Montreal and have a US spec jacket,” explained Eric McFarlane, President of Oxford Products USA. More’s the pity, say I. Maybe I had seen a U.S. version. It just hadn’t caught my eye. But there you have it. So on with the show…

Read on for my full review in the January 2018 issue of BMW ON, the magazine of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association.

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