Style Rider, Ben Cooper – BMW F800GS

Style Rider aims to document the world’s most stylish motorcycle riders, be they riders of classic, custom or cafe racer steeds. Focused on the intersection of motorcycle culture with individual style, here we speak to Ben Cooper about waxed cotton jackets and quality footwear.

Name: Ben Cooper

Residence: Sydney, Australia 

Occupation: Group Innovation Director, M&C Saatchi 

Today’s ride: 2016 BMW F800GS in ‘triple black’. 

Describe your style: As an Englishman, I am heavily influenced by my time living in London and growing up in the UK countryside. Waxed cotton jackets always felt like a smarter option than logo-heavy leather jackets. Seeing images of Steve McQueen riding in a Barbour International jacket in the 1960s set my thinking about motorcycle outerwear, although I like the addition of functional elements like removable armour. 

Favourite items: My Alden Indy Boots, Belstaff waxed cotton jackets (I’m on my third), dark blue or black Nudie or Acne jeans, black cashmere jumpers with a black T-shirt, dark button-up shirts, Mission Workshop rucksack and my BMW GS riding gloves.

Next purchase: I have my eye on a pair of classic RM Williams black riding boots with a brown sole and the limited edition Barbour ‘Beacon’ waxed cotton jacket Daniel Craig wore in Skyfall. 

Style inspiration: Steve McQueen. It was interesting to see an American break convention by wearing a classically English jacket in an ultra-modern way. 

Best local ride: Sydney to Dural, onto Wiseman’s Ferry, around the water’s edge before returning home via the Old Pacific Highway. 

Best distance ride: A year ago, I rode for a week in Tasmania. This was a great experience, however, my favourite section is from Devonport to Hobart due to the diversity of riding conditions taking in the mountains, flat open plains and rivers, all the while offering good food, art, friendly people and almost no cars.

Why do you like riding: It is meditative. When you are on long trips, you are both alone with yourself, yet also with friends.

Tip for stylish riding: When packing for a trip, give yourself time to pack again as you always need less than you think. 

Next trip: Back to Tasmania or inland to the desert and Uluru.