General

Breaking in New Motorcycle Boots. Ugh.

Last year I wrote about the newest women's motorcycle boots from Dainese, the Torque D1's, the first true women's motorcycle boot that offers real ankle support. What this means they make it incredibly difficult for you to twist your ankle. Of course, the impact protection is also incredibly supportive as well. 

I didn't think I could wear these. I still am not 100% sure. My problem was that as a woman with a very small, wide foot boots like these from Dainese are incredibly difficult to wear. 

Typically I size into a US 6.5-7 (7 if it's a narrower shoe) which translates to about a Euro 36-37. These are a Euro 38. My feet are also incredibly high at the instep. My other weird issue is that I have a small cyst on the top of my left foot, so that makes wearing any tight shoes (like if I lace my shoes too tight) especially painful. 

Since these are fairly difficult to get my foot into so I had to size up. 

I've been wearing them around the house for about a total of 1.5 hours and luckily I haven't felt any pinching or piercing pain anywhere. Just tightness from a new pair of boots, especially race boots. They're just not easy. 

I did find that crossing my legs while sitting on a kitchen stool did make my toes go numb... so I recommend not doing that ;D

I've also added my super insoles to still give me the extra heel height that I like having.

They seem to fit okay, of course I removed the insoles that came with the boots but it certainly makes the heel and ankle space a bit tighter. I'm hoping as I keep breaking them in they only get better!

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Breaking in new boots isn't fun. It can be a pain in the ass really. But I really wanted the extra ankle support that these boots offer that my old Sidis don't even though they took great care of my feet when I crashed two years ago.. I'm also doing a track day next month so I want to be ready for that too. 

Also, I'm trying to sell my new-used Sidis (not the ones I actually crashed in) if you know anyone who might be interested.

 

Women's Motorcycle Gear Project

I'm starting a new project and I need some volunteers. I'm starting with a few volunteers to fill out my database so I can put this new website together. I don't have a name yet, but my goal is to help women figure out what might fit them, and how the sizing and fitments will work. 

Size charts only tell you so much, so I'm using real women with real gear (sorry, no casuals on this site for now) to help you shop. On this site you'll find measurements for every woman who submits a photo along with sizing and fit feedback from each person. Hopefully it makes searching for gear easier by also entering your measurement e.g. 41 chest and search results will deliver options for you that might work.  

Katherine in her Rev'it Levante Jacket (40) and Rev'it Tornado Women's Pants (38)

Katherine in her Rev'it Levante Jacket (40) and Rev'it Tornado Women's Pants (38)

So I need your help because I can't possibly be every woman who rides!

Fill out this google form and then email me some photos (instructions provided in the form) 

 

https://goo.gl/forms/4oz8vFgkGajIdfoF3

I might not use your submission depending on what it is. I'm still figuring out how this is going to work and be organized so the more data I have to start with, the better. Only 1 of each item can be submitted right now, so you can submit:

  • One Jacket
  • One Pants
  • One Jacket AND One Pant

I'm shooting for a launch this Summer so if you want to be notified when it launches, sign up for my newsletter.

Email me if you have any questions or post a comment here and I"ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you!!

 

Goodbye MSF, It Was Nice Knowing You

My old site, San Francisco City College via motorcycle school.com

My old site, San Francisco City College via motorcycle school.com

12 years ago I committed to becoming a certified rider coach with the motorcycle safety foundation. Last month I gave up that commitment. To some it's not a big deal. Just a job, whatever. 

IMG_0407.JPG

To me, it meant meeting new riders, feeling their excitement and helping many of them overcome fears, anxieties of learning how to ride. After I took my first safety course in 2004, it led me to incredible confidence, happiness and a passion for riding I never imagined.

I learned so much in my short coaching career, and I definitely owe it to the San Francisco school that made it happen for me. They were incredibly supportive, encouraging and positive. I never left that school to teach anywhere else because I couldn't imagine finding another school that treated students the way we did. My bosses were always focused on creating positive learning experiences for their students. Sometimes there would be folks that didn't quite follow that philosophy but they didn't last very long. If they were there only for Themselves, then it was painfully obvious they really weren't there for You.  

Im so sad to give up my certification for now but I hope someday I can get back to teaching again. I really loved every minute although it was hard at times.  

It was one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had and I'll never forget what I learned, who I met and how it helped me evolve as a person. 

In the meantime, I'll do what i can from over here... 

An Open Letter to New Women Riders

 

So you just decided to get into riding motorcycles. WELCOME! We are so happy to have you. But before we get on the road, I just want to let you know a few things because I want you to know what you can expect. And I know there's a lot to learn. 

I've seen so many new women join the ranks of fellow motorcyclists. And I'm SO happy to see that! More women, the merrier! As a women's gear enthusiast, the focus of my message is more about you, not your motorcycle.

Something that I keep seeing that's really really difficult to swallow is the fact that many of you are simply wearing what you have in your regular closet. And this is especially disconcerting because it seems that you just don't know any better. Almost as if no one in your world has bothered to mention:

"Hey, you know that jacket you're wearing won't do anything to prevent you from breaking your elbow, or shoulder or getting road rash" or

"Hey, those boots are going to slip out from under you when you put your foot down on slippery pavement or an oil patch" or

"Hey, that open face helmet is still exposing your face and mouth, which are the most vulnerable parts in a crash" 

I feel like for some of us, this is definitely a no brainer. But that's easier when you've grown up around motorcycles, or you have a lot of motorcycle friends, or are really familiar with motorcycle culture. But when you're BRAND, spanking NEW and this is a totally alien planet to you, it's just not common sense yet. Because the little bit of motorcycling you've probably been exposed to is limited to movies, tv, movies and tv. And we can all agree that real life isn't portrayed quite right in the movies or tv.

So that's what me and my fellow female motorcyclists are here to tell you. The reality is that your body NEEDS gear. It NEEDS to be protected. And that you ARE vulnerable.

My elbow post accident, and that's while wearing really good gear. Just imagine what that would've been like without any at all!

My elbow post accident, and that's while wearing really good gear. Just imagine what that would've been like without any at all!

My Revit Jacket held up great in a 40-45mph lowside. It really doesn't take that much. I wasn't racing, just riding at the speed limit into an easy right hand curve.

My Revit Jacket held up great in a 40-45mph lowside. It really doesn't take that much. I wasn't racing, just riding at the speed limit into an easy right hand curve.

I was crossing the street this morning while walking my dog, and a care went speeding by down our residential street going at least 30mph when they really should be going 15mph. I had a quick vision of that person not seeing me and hitting me as I crossed the street. The tremendous force of that would've thrown me a good 20-30 feet from where I stood. And you can only imagine how my body would make out from something like that.

But now imagine wearing a full face, Snell approved helmet. And then head to toe protective gear with body armor covering your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and spine. And then boots with ankle protection and reinforced soles, heels and toes. Now how would I make out?

As a brand new rider, it might seem like you could never get hurt because you're not "racing". I hear that SO much when people ask me about what gear they should buy. And it's quite the opposite! There are FAR MORE choices for casual, functional, real street motorcycle gear than what's available for the racetrack. Because there are probably more of us on the street. In some cases, you might get hurt far more on the street than you will on the track. The constant stop and go traffic patterns make us vulnerable to being struck as we're moving, and the last thing you want is for someone *else* to stop your motorcycle for you!

I also find it ironic that if you're riding around with just a tank top and nothing else, that you obviously are proud of your body. And have no trouble showing it off to everyone who sees you driving that motorcycle. But, the minute someone cuts you off, merges into you or turns left in front of you (which is a constant occurrence in Philly) then you're going to lose what you've just shown everyone that you value so very much.

But I want to assure you of one thing, you can absolutely look fantastic while being safe and protected. No, you won't have the exact same clothes as you are probably wearing right now on the motorcycle. But you can definitely get really, really close. If you're in it for the Look of riding motorcycles, and not the Feel, then you're in for a world of hurt. And a really expensive hospital bill, and a week / weeks / month / months off of work, and a bruised ego and whatever else comes out of you making an uninformed, uneducated choice.

And Last but certainly not Least, meet my friend Brittany of RockTheGear.org. She has an incredibly painful but inspiring story to tell which I think every new rider should read before they learn to ride their motorcycle. There's absolutely no way for me to tell her story since it can only really be told by her words. Read her story and then make see if you can still make the same decision.

Me and Brittany Morrow at the Women's Sportbike Rally East, 2015

Me and Brittany Morrow at the Women's Sportbike Rally East, 2015

If after you've figured out everything that can possibly happen, and you still choose to wear very little or nothing at all then More power to you.  And I honestly applaud your ability to take those kinds of risks, where I'm just a big wimp. There's a huge difference between knowing what's coming and making your own decisions vs. having absolutely no clue and making the most uninformed, uneducated choice that can result in living with regret.

#atgatt

(all the gear all the time)

Motorcycle Etiquette

brammo_empulse As a city girl, I find myself surrounded by a variety of motorcycle / scooter riders. I can honestly say that I've never seen people ride the way they do here. 

I've gotten used to seeing the whole No Helmet, No Gear thing, given PA's lack of a helmet law. But what is really annoying is the lack of motorcycle etiquette (including scooters) that I'm used to experiencing. In addition to general lack of pedestrian and driver safety really. But I suspect that sort of thing is common in most big cities.

Tonight, I was riding home just a few blocks from my house about to pull into a gas station on my right. I'm going maybe 10-15mph and these two bikes pass me on the left inside my lane. I've NEVER had that happen when I rode in San Francisco. Ever. The one time I had someone pass me on the right while out riding my ride leader yelled at him for being such an ass (and doing that to other riders as well, not just me).

The attitudes about motorcycles and scooters here are far less serious and seem whimsical at best. I guess it's a difference in attitudes that are specific to this region. I don't know.

But what I do know is that I'll never be ok with it. And if you're one of those people who like passing your fellow motorcyclists in their lane WITHOUT permission, you're not only risking my life but yours.

Record Number of Women Own Motorcycles

philly moto girls revit dainese tourmaster pants jacket leather marryl gear2  

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) more women are not only riding motorcycles today but Owning them as well! 

More Female Riders Than Ever According to Latest Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey

IRVINE, Calif. Dec. 16, 2015 –Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high, according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.

“Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more are women than we’ve ever recorded. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least once in 2014, a quarter (25%) of these riders were women (riders aren't all necessarily owners).”

Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. More than 17 percent of Gen X and Gen Y owners are women (I definitely see younger and younger women riding these days). Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.

“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are coming up,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for everyone, and that’s being recognized by younger generations.”

gearchic_sarah_schilke_bmw_motorrad

The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sportbikes at 10 percent (we still have work to do, fellow sporties!).

In the survey of some 48,000 American households, women were asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.” When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important factors.

The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious (Hell Yeah!). While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 of men had any formal training (are boys letting their egos in the way?). In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.

Other key survey results:

  • The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males
  • More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop
  • New bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders (I guess I'm in the minority, used all the way!) 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree

****

The MIC Motorcycle Owner Survey is free to MIC members, but can be purchased by non-members for $12,500. 

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.

QnA: Finding a Motorcycle to Lower?

2006 Triumph Speed Triple Reader Susan asks me what kind of sportbike should she get in order to lower and learn to ride. 

I am trying to find a bike that is safe to lower... I have a 27 inch inseam... all of the sport bikes are too tall and I dont want a cruiser or rebel.... wanted a ducati 696 but thats too tall and too much power... any suggestions ? - Susan ( love your page too )

Dear Susan,

First, thank you for reading GearChic.com!

A Ducati Monster 696 can be a terrific bike to start on. But it's not for everyone. And it certainly wouldn't have been for me. If you've read about me, then you know I started on a lightweight scooter. No, you don't have to start on a scooter. However, it's MUCH easier to start on something LIGHTER AND TALLER than heavier and taller. My scooter weighed ~250lbs but had a 30" seat height! But it didn't matter since the weight was really low (below my butt) and I could easily pick it up when I dropped it. :D

If the Ducati Monster 696 is the sportbike if your dreams, then I really recommend starting with something smaller and spend the time you need to learn how to ride! Just because you start on something like a Ninja 250 doesn't mean you are going to be married to that bike forever. We can't grow taller, so what can we do? We can hone our riding techniques and skills so balancing a bike with 4-5" of extra seat height doesn't matter!

suzuki drz 400 sm

By the time I started riding a Ninja, it was an easy transition. I was already used to using my left foot first and keeping my right foot on the brakes to keep the bike from falling over. I was already used to something almost 300lbs, so jumping up to ~350lbs was easy.

The other thing to know is that with a 27" inseam, you will probably never flat foot anything if your dream is to ride a taller bike like a Ducati. Also keep in mind that lowering sportbikes means losing ground clearance, meaning when you lean you will be limited to how much you will be able to! Something that you don't understand know, but trust me you will learn to love especially when you ride a sportbike.

A Ninja 250/300 might have a 30" seat height but that doesn't mean you can't ride them. Keep in mind that when you buy a proper pair of motorcycle boots like these you will automatically be 1.5-2" off the ground from the heel to the arches of your feet. You're now close to 29". And when you take your motorcycle safety class, you will learn the proper techniques to brake and use your controls so you don't drop you bike.

2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250

The key to all of this is being willing to learn, grow and make mistakes. It's not easy, it's not quick and it's going to take time. But trust me, when you put the time into a smaller, lightweight bike the payoff is amazing!

But that's what worked for me, and I feel I'm a MUCH better rider because of it. There's absolutely NO WAY I'd be able to ride bikes like these without having invested the time and making mistakes.

Whatever you decide, just know that motorcycling is something you work at, constantly. Even after 12 years, I still struggle every time I ride to do it better and safer each time.

 

QnA: Can a short woman ride sportbikes?

Riding my Husband's 2006 Triumph Speed Triple

Riding my Husband's 2006 Triumph Speed Triple

Reader Farhana emailed me asking if it's ever going to be possible for her to ride a sportbike at 4'11". 

The short answer is YES. Here's her original question and my slightly longer answer :D

I'm currently in the riding course, and needed input from women rider. I am 4'11, and I need input for bikes. I really want a sport bike, but since I have never maneuvered a bike before, everyone is telling me to start on a Rebel. Do you even think it's possible for me to ever ride a sport bike? I appreciate your time.

-Farhana

Dear Farhana,

Everyone is correct!

To ride the SportBikes of your dreams you have to start somewhere. Motorcycling is a constant learning experience and you have to build skills to jump to the next bike! I started on a rebel in my safety course and also started on a scooter. You won't ride a rebel forever, but you'll learn so much so you can ride a SportBike someday.

Never flat foot, even with  fancy Daytonas . 

Never flat foot, even with fancy Daytonas

Me, riding the tallest motorcycle I've ever ridden. A stock DRZ400SM with ~36" seat height. Yikes.

Me, riding the tallest motorcycle I've ever ridden. A stock DRZ400SM with ~36" seat height. Yikes.

I have learned that because I'm shorter, starting out on smaller motorcycles was the only way I could get enough experience to manage bigger, heavier bikes. If you try to attack a larger bike that's beyond your experience level, it's going to be a much harder learning curve. Gaining confidence and learning to ride something smaller and lighter is one of the best ways to adapt quickly to taller bikes. Since we'll never grow taller, all we can do is master our skills and learn to ride better than someone taller.

That being said, since I don't know your inseam, I'm going to assume it's ~26-27"? Personally, I've been able to ride bikes with 2" higher inseams than my own. Mine is 28.5" and I'm very comfortable on 30-31" bikes. There's a chance you won't be able to physically ride anything larger than maybe a bike with a 29" inseam. It's totally dependent on the individual, really. I think if you can get close to flat foot on your left, then there's no reason why you can't ride something. Of course, building enough confidence to ride something that tall without dropping or falling constantly is going to take a while.

And for inspiration, watch this video:

 

Before you start, check out my post about riding motorcycles when you're short. It'll give you some tips to get started.

Good luck!

1 Year Later, Still In Philly.

SF to PHL, the long way down: 3,624 miles later  

When I think about the last year, this image always pops in my head. We drove 3,624 miles from San Francisco and drove into Philly when it was 19 degrees out. WHAT was I doing here?

Well, turns out it was one of the best (and most difficult) decisions of my life. To get up, leave the people I love the most and the only home I've ever known to move to Philadelphia and work for Revzilla.com in our beautiful retail store.

revzilla navy yard philadelphia pennsylvania motorcycle gear best selection philly

 

It's been an interesting year and I'm thrilled to say that I'm still here. Leaving a city like San Francisco was NOT easy. And I mean, really freaking hard. It took me a couple months to decide and then another 3 months to physically relocate. I pushed off my move date as far as I could (February 1, 2014) from when I accepted the position (October 2014) and I still felt like it wasn't enough time. Although I was really sad at the prospect of leaving my family and just telling them what I was about to do, I knew instinctually that it was the right decision. I refused to end up in a job that I didn't love, and this was my opportunity to keep my dreams alive. When I was relieved at Scuderia West, I wondered where else can I possibly do that job? The only answer in my mind at that moment was Revzilla. I could work in that beautiful store with all the gear all the time. :-)

It was a weird fleeting thought but a series of events happened after that like my friend Jan, calling me to ask if I'd consider relocating to the East Coast for an incredible opportunity. And then looking on Revzilla's website out of sheer curiosity there it was, Boutique Gear Geek. Or, now formerly known as Retail Store Associate.

brammo_empulse_R

I really didn't know what to expect at first. My husband and I decided that we'd give it a try for at least 1 year, see what happens. If we're miserable or I'm miserable then we leave (and live with my parents or something because the Bay Area is so much more expensive than when we left!). But what do I have to lose? Well, I lost a lot of friends, family, and a riding community that I can't duplicate anywhere else. But all is not lost, and my family has been there to support me this entire time. Did I mention that I flew home 3 times between last June and December? So there's always that.

But for me, what has become the most important factor is the fact that I LOVE my job. And although everything else has been a hurdle like getting to know Philly and missing my people (and burritos!), they don't compare to the overall joy I have in what I do. Sometimes I try really hard to come up with excuses to move back home and just leave. But I can't seem to come up with anything! It's one of those things where you just know when it feels right. And by all accounts, this is the most 'right' I've felt in a really long time.

I would much rather have this incredible opportunity than dread getting up every morning, dread looking for a new job and figuring out what I want to do with my life.

If slinging motorcycle gear inside an incredible retail store is somewhere up your alley, Revzilla needs you. We're looking for a Retail Store Associate that loves motorcycles, gear and motorcycles and did I mention gear?  

Apply Here.

This is a full time job located in The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, PA with tons o' benefits like medical/dental/vision/401k/vacation days and free lunches every now and then.

 

All The Motorcycle Gear All The Time (ATGATT) on a Budget

Screen-Shot-2015-01-06-at-9.12.07-PM.png

When you are considering purchasing a motorcycle, gear should always be in your budget.  You'll need to carve out at least $1000 to find some of the more expensive, higher quality gear at lower prices. Although you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on race suits, or the most expensive leathers/textiles, you do need to spend more than $100!

If you're in denial about the risks of not wearing gear, you're in for a world of hurt as well as expensive medical bills and a ton of physical therapy. Don't forget about disability, time off work and unpaid wages because you had to spend a week at home recuperating. Then of course, on top of all that there is still the risk of riding motorcycles. You could very well die or be injured permanently regardless of what you're wearing. That's simply a decision you make from the very beginning.

Theoretically, you could buy a used/questionable helmet for $100 on craigslist and nothing else, and then climb aboard and ride. But, just because you can, does that mean you should? And if you can carve out $5,000-10,000 on your bike, then $1,000 for gear shouldn't be that much harder!

There's a part of me that says everyone should be able to do whatever they want. But the bigger part of me says, before you jump in, try and prioritize yourself a bit here and avoid major risks that will cost you far more than gently used or new gear might cost you in the short term. 

If you've decided to say yes to safety, yet you don't have a fancy job to support the dream wardrobe you've dreamed of, then here are some tips to help you shop while looking for gently used, higher quality gear.

1/ Get to know Your Size, Shape, Measurements and Weight

Every now and then I love perusing craigslist to see what kind of unworn, brand new gear is out there. inevitably there's everything from race suits to 2 piece touring leathers to expensive custom gear that someone doesn't want or need anymore.

This is of Utmost importance. I know how difficult it is to size and fit yourself online. Especially if you have a few curves, disproportionate body shapes (different size on top v. bottom) or a simply hard to fit size.   

womens_measurement_guide

So the first step to take advantage of all this luscious gear is to know and understand your measurements / sizing. take out a tape measure and figure out your chest (over the bust), waist and hip measurements. Heck, go all out and get your shoulders/arms/thighs/ sleeves while you’re at it.

One thing to be aware of with Motorcycle Gear, is that it will not be vanity sized in the way that you're used to. When you shop for casual clothes, sizing is sometimes lower than we expect because companies have created sizing charts in the last 20-30 years that didn't exist for (0/00) and that makes us feel better about ourselves when we shop. So it’s best to be well armed with real measured numbers. Get to your closest RiteAid/CVS/Walgreens and pick up a roll of measuring tape for a couple bucks, it’s the most accurate way to get your numbers! And make sure you measure starting from the 0”. Some tapes don’t start the 0” at the very end, so be sure you’re starting in the right place. 

Something that I know a lot of women hate talking about is our true size/weight. But understanding these numbers and knowing exactly what they are will make the difference between finding the right gear or not finding anything at all. I also want to remind you that the way you're supposed to wear motorcycle gear is Completely different from your casual clothes so remember to read all the articles in my Gear Fit 101 Tab , so you know what to look for when you start trying things on.

Now that you've read everything, it's time to start measuring.

A) Bust / Chest:  Over The Bust v. Under The Bust

This page has a nice overview of exactly where to measure: http://magicdressukprom.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-buy-custom-made-prom-dresses.html

However, when you compare the “over bust” and “bust” numbers, go with the biggest number and use that as your overall bust measurement. One thing I’ve noticed is that some manufacturers use one or the other. I've found my over the bust number lines up perfectly with Dainese’s “Bust”. But my under the bust number lines up with Revit’s “Chest” measurement. Confusing, I know. One thing to be aware of is if that you’re sizing yourself for a jacket with multiple liners, you might match up better with the jacket shell, not the liners.

Also measure yourself with your bra on, not off since it keeps the girls in a bit and you’ll most likely be wearing one while riding. I always wear sports bras because they’re more comfortable under my gear as well. If you can spare the push up bra, you'll have a little more room to work with or conversely, if you aren't filling up the bust spaces very well, consider one for a snugger fit. 

B) Waist

Where exactly is your waist? If you look at my pic above, my hands are right on my waist. Basically the smallest part of my upper body. where it tapers in like an hourglass. If you don’t have a defined waist then measure the largest point around your belly or your belly button, whichever is larger.

C) Hips

Your hips are right over your hip bones, or the widest part of your beautiful booty. :-)

If you don’t have much of one like I don’t, then that certainly makes things easy!

When you look at my pic, notice how my shoulders line up almost perfectly with my hips. I’m a straight shot with a fairly straight proportion. This helps me fit into a lot of gear and I could *almost* wear men's gear if it weren’t for the fact that I have narrow shoulders (from front to back, not side to side) as most women do.

D) Inseam

Take the tape and hold it at the bottom of your crotch all the way to your ankle bone. Riding pants don’t have the same fit as your casual jeans. Remember that riding pants should be articulated nicely so when you bend your knees, the pant leg will not rise up on you like a pair of boot cut jeans will. Realistically, you do NOT want pants that meet your true inseam! Otherwise they will be dragging on the floor when you walk. You only need the inseam to hit your ankle bone at the most, especially wearing them over boots.  And an incredible pair of pants (like my Rev’it or Dainese) will hug your knees at the right spot so they fit perfectly  even if they’re a little too short. :D

best women's motorcycle leather pants

Of course, if you have any problem areas that need to be addressed, like really wide shoulders or extremely large hip-to-waist or bust-to-waist ratio, that’s going to take a little advice on my part. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

I know that there are *many* body types and not everyone needs to be a small size like myself. Of course not, and that’s not realistic. However, if you know that your sizing issues are directly related to your measurements and inability to find a properly fitting piece of gear you owe it to yourself to make it a little easier. If just one dress size is really going to make all the difference in the world I would highly encourage making that dream a reality. I wish motorcycle gear were as varied as casual gear in terms of sizing and availability, but the bottom line is there are far less people to cover and motorcycle gear isn’t required like clothes are. It’s also an *extremely* expensive undertaking with a fraction of the markups that the tshirt your wearing has (i.e. nowhere near 1,000%).

I know that some of us were dealt with proportions such as short torsos, but if your height and weight are directly related to your size I recommend doing everything in your power to make it better.

Now that you’ve spent all this time measuring and measuring, it’s time to start shopping! Here are my favorite places to internet search to save tons of money:

Craigslist, Searchtempest, eBay, Google

Craigslist is one of the best places to shop for anything used. But you cannot search multiple locations at once! I love SearchTempest.org because I can put in my zip code and search XXX miles away.

I think it's pretty safe to shop regionally, so if you live in NY but see something in Philly then I think someone might be willing to ship you something. Start searching and see what comes up. Craigslist and eBay are the only ones I can think of that almost everyone uses. If you're looking for a particular type of gear, use these sites to your advantage to set automatic alerts when someone posts something.

On Craigslist, use the “set alert” and “save search” options below your city/region drop down menu  on the upper right hand corner. I'm going to be on the lookout for gently used Street Triple R's so I've set up my alert below:

 Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.00.19 PM

And of course,  eBay always has a great deal just waiting for someone like you to find it. This is how I found the most incredible online deal ever. $90 (including shipping) for Daytona Lady Stars, practically new! Google emailed me when the listing showed up so I bid on it as soon as I saw it..

To set up an eBay alert, just enter your search terms in the Search box and then click on the green link that says "Follow this Search". Then everytime you log into Ebay you'll see anything that falls into that search category on your homepage. You can also set up email alerts by going to: 'My eBay', then click on 'Searches You Follow'. Now click on 'More Actions' to get emails when new searches show up.

setting up ebay searches and email alerts

Heheh I might have a little shopping problem. Stylish, comfortable and waterproof shoes are hard to come by!

If you want to set up an even bigger alert, like across the entire Interwebs, then you need a Google Alert. 

All you have to do is log onto your google account, then go to google.com/alerts. Enter your search term and then a more detailed box shows up so you can set some parameters:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.10.47 PM

The google search will also cover websites like bikeforums and classifieds that you would never have known about otherwise. You might end up finding someone who lives across the country who has what you want but its worth a shot.

Online Sale/Clearance 

There’s always a good deal to be found on websites like revzilla.com! As much as I hate junkmail myself,  it’s the best way to find killer deals when you least expect it. Especially when brands like Rev’it have flash sales! Or something is going to be discontinued, and that’s when the real sales kick in. Often 30-40% off MSRP. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 4.37.43 PM

Right now there are quite a few closeouts on Revzilla that I wish someone could take advantage of like this Rev'it Union Leather Jacket, Size Euro 46/ US 12-14.

Note, if you have Gmail (like most of us do) you can create an alias https://support.google.com/mail/answer/12096?hl=en  for the email lists so if your address gets spammed you can easily delete it without having to give up your YouAreAwesome@gmail.com address. I'm guessing other sites like Yahoo mail offer a similar feature. 

Yellow Devil Gear Exchange

Yellow Devil Gear is run by Jessica Prokup, a fellow gear enthusiast who offers much more than used gear. She has a wide variety of gear including vintage offroad and 1-2 piece race suits. Her suit room is fantastic! She also does video reviews of things that come in so check out her Youtube page

yellow_devil_gear_used_motorcycle_gear 1

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting her shop in Long Beach and it was an awesome little spot. If there’s something you’re needing or looking for, it doesn’t hurt to send her an email to see what she has! And even better, if you live in SoCal it’s worth a trip to her awesome shop. Look at that suit room. 

yellow_devil_gear_used_motorcycle_gear 2

Moto Shop San Francisco

If you live in the Bay Area, stop by the shop and check out what my girl Aleks has on the consignment racks! Her inventory is always growing.  In fact, she just told me about a gently used Rev'it CR Leather Jacket in Cream, 36 that was just dropped off at her shop recently.

Oooo, look at those Dainese boxes!

motoshopsf_used_consignment_motorcyclegear_sanfrancisco_bayarea

GearChic.com

If there's something tyou need, please feel free to post on my facebook wall or email me and ill post on my blog to see if any of my readers have some used gear theyd be willing to part with. it seems that every rider who has at least a few years of experience inevitably has used gear lying around that they'd be happy to sell or give away.

I've also created a Used Women's Motorcycle Gear board on my Pinterest page. If you aren't on Pinterest, post a comment and I'll pin it on my board!

http://www.pinterest.com/gearchic/used-womens-motorcycle-gear/

I always have my eyes and ears peeled for gently used gear, so just drop me an email using the Contact button or post a message on any of my social media channels.

Ride Safe!