The founder of Aerostich, a world-renowned motorcycle equipment brand based in Duluth, received a top industry honor this week as Andy Goldfine was named Motorcyclist of the Year by Motorcyclist Magazine.

"The man behind the Aerostich one-piece textile suit is an optimistic and evangelical advocate for motorcycling," the publication said in an announcement Tuesday. "Andy Goldfine has been influencing motorcycling for 33 years and has made the pastime better for all riders, whether they've used his products or not."

Goldfine started Aero Design and Manufacturing in 1983 to make the Aerostich Roadcrafter - what the company called "a lightweight garment offering convenience, comfort and high levels of protection in bad weather and crashes." The textile-based suit was a departure from the motorcycling scene's dominant fabric at the time, leather, and gained popularity with riders the world over.

"It's humbling, and I'm very grateful for this recognition," Goldfine said Tuesday. "I am very proud of the people who work here with me, and we're all proud to be able to do what we do here in Duluth, Minn. We make things that matter for people who like motorcycles."

The company now manufactures the third generation of the Roadcrafter and other gear at its Duluth factory and showroom at 8 S. 18th Ave. W. Aerostich also markets thousands of other products through its website, aerostich.com, and by catalog. Aerostich's website offers payment in a dozen currencies, from yen to rubles to euros, a testament to the brand's global reach.

About 65 people work at Aero Design and Manufacturing, and Goldfine said the company is hiring.

In a New York Times interview in 2004, Goldfine shared his business philosophy and passion for motorcycling.

"I began the business not looking for a brass ring outcome or a pot of gold. That might be the consequence, not the goal. I put products on the market the way I wanted, and that's slower and more of a pain, but I like the way they are finished. Motorcycles are a social good, and they create episodic transcendence in people, and that makes better people."

Motorcyclist Magazine gave Motorcycle of the Year honors to Triumph's Street Twin.