Jackets

Finding A Dream Jacket

 Lynn and Her Husband :D

Lynn and Her Husband :D

Last month, I attended the 13th Annual Women's Sportbike Rally. You can find our Event Photos from the West Rally here

As some of you may know, I'm also the Marketing Manager for both events on the West Coast and East Coast. This year's West Coast Rally was in Camarillo, CA. 

I met Lynn at check in on Friday night. We chatted about riding gear and how she is having trouble because her body has changed quite a bit and she's been wearing a men's jacket because it's all she could find in her local shops. 

The bottom line is, many women will have to shop online because all the options will NEVER be available to you in a local store. Even in the RevZilla Philly Showroom, I'm unable to stock half the options available because I'm limited to the floor space that I'm given. But for women like Lynn who may need larger, curvier sizes it's even more challenging. Women's motorcycle jackets in larger sizes can be extremely challenging. 

 Lynn, on the Left in her men's Scorpion jacket :( 

Lynn, on the Left in her men's Scorpion jacket :( 

But I was so happy to show her a couple things that I thought would give her the best options given her riding style and budget. 

Lynn's body type really needed a jacket that was generously fitted through the bust and especially the waist. A fit that you can't find in men's jackets because the hip spaces are nonexistent in most men's jackets. She was also of smaller stature, ~5'5" too which also makes things hard. So I suggested this new Olympia Eve Jacket (just introduced this Spring). 

 Olympia Eve, MSRP $179.99. Features a full, removable rain jacket liner that can be worn inside OR outside. Yep, you read that right. 

Olympia Eve, MSRP $179.99. Features a full, removable rain jacket liner that can be worn inside OR outside. Yep, you read that right. 

I don't want to make Lynn's measurements public unless she gives me permission, but I can tell you that they are very very full. And she wouldn't fit a XL in most jackets. But in this one, she's an XL. And that's because of how generously cut this jacket is for women. I didn't have anything with me except a measuring tape so I measured her up and gave her my best recommendation. 

At the price, you get not only a removable rain jacket that can be worn on the outside, but a fully ventilated, mesh jacket for the hottest riding days. The jacket also comes with really good soft CE Certified Armor (Level 2) in the shoulders, elbows and back. It's an incredible value for $179.99. And the best part is how well it fits. 

I was so happy that I literally cried (felt a bit like an idiot standing there crying over a jacket).

But, in my defense, I didn’t think I’d ever have a women’s jacket until I lost all of the weight from my health issues.

It’s silly really, but I feel so much more confident, and so much less like a lop. - Lynn

I'm so happy for you Lynn!! You look amazing in your new jacket! 

And thank you Olympia Motosports for providing curvy, generous options for American Women! You can find additional women's jackets and pants from Olympia via revzilla.com

If you're like Lynn and you need help, I hope you'll post a comment here, or message me on social media (@gearchic everywhere). I'm dying to help. 

Dainese CarveMaster 2 Women's GTX Jacket

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 2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

Damn you Winter. The minute I got this jacket a week and a half ago, our temperatures started to plummet. But good thing I'm headed out to California this weekend for a week of sun, family and riding! The Dainese CarveMaster 2 GTX is their flagship women's winter jacket, featuring a removable thermal liner and a removable down collar. It also features 6 vents which will help push this one into 3-4 seasons although it doesn't offer fully direct venting.   

What this means is that behind the mesh is the Gore-Tex membrane which is meant to keep you dry. You won't feel the air directly to your body because the membrane is in the way. It definitely helps in warmer weather than not having them at all, but it's not as effective as other jackets which offer direct vents such as Klim. 

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What does stand out about this jacket is the fitment, it's very sport oriented. If you ride sporty bikes like me, then you know how hard it is to find touring jackets that fit us on the kind of bikes that we ride.

This jacket is very fitted, and slim so when you do ride in a more aggressive position, it won't be baggy around the chest/waist. I HATE jackets that are baggy and loose especially in the body. Because when I lean forward, I need my jacket to stay out of my way (much like the cars/bikes around me :P)

I can't wait to give it a spin in California's "winter" which is um, 60 Degrees during the day and low 40s at night. I'll be headed to Walnut Creek (just 30 minutes East of Berkeley) for a week to see my family and friends. But I'll also borrow a couple of different bikes while I'm there so I can visit some of my favorite roads again. 

And then I pray the weather lightens up enough when I get back to some reasonable 40s so I can actually take this jacket for a spin here in Philly. 

Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook feeds for more photos next week. 

12 Days of Winter Deals

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Follow me on Facebook for my 12 Days of Winter Deals. I'm sharing some of my favorites for jackets, pants, boots, gloves and helmets that will save you money and time. 

Like this Olympia Expedition Jacket on sale for $267. 

You don't have to log into Facebook to see my deals, but if you're already there....

Give me a follow! 

facebook.com/gearchic 

Winter Is Coming, Rev'it Neptune GTX Women's Jacket

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I'm super excited to update my old Legacy with a warmer, newer version. The new Neptune Jacket has a heavier outer shell, and some really nice updates that make wearing it more comfortable. 

 With the Gore-Tex liner OVER the jacket!

With the Gore-Tex liner OVER the jacket!

I'm just happy that its keeping me warm without my heated jacket liner when it's 55F out. This time around, the Neptune unlike it's predecessory (Legacy) has two removable liners. One is Gore-Tex and one is a thermal, insulated liner. What this does is give the jacket a little more flexibility for summer riding. If it starts raining and it's hot and humid, the Gore-Tex jacket is wearable on the outside :) 

 Hip gusset for alllll the hips

Hip gusset for alllll the hips

What I want to mention is the fitment. They've loosened up the chest, hips and arms on this model compared to previous versions. I have a 36" bust and a 37" hips. So I have absolutely no hips or butt. I need a really straight cut. When I have the hip gussets closed, there is still a good ~1-1.5 inches (with all the liners in) of room left that could fill it out. Not a dealbreaker for me, but I knew that going in. I'm wearing a Euro 36. I can't size down because of my shoulders. With the liners in, my shoulders are too tight in a 34 while in riding position so I need the 36. I really think a Euro 36 could fit someone with up to a 39" chest and up to a 40" hip for a snug fit with all the liners. I would say this is a curvier cut than Dainese or Alpinestars. The hips flare out even when they're zipped shut on me. Although I admit, I have NO hips/butt. 

The impact that this has on me is warmth. Because it's not fitting tight in the chest when I learn forward, I get a chilly draft. If I wore my windstopper North Face vest I could eliminate that. But then wearing that with the thermal liner is too much.

What I need is a bigger chest! :P This is where layering is crucial. If I wear a thick baselayer (smartwool or Polartec fleece shirt or something along those lines) then I think it would minimize the draft on my chest.  

I'm going to take this jacket on a chilly weekend ride in a couple weeks and then I'll do a full review. Stay tuned! 

For more details on the Neptune, find all the detailed specs on Revit's website

How to Shop for a Motorcycle Jacket

MONDAY, MARCH 27TH @ 8PM EAST / 5PM WEST  

I'm doing another Q&A via YouTube Live!

On Monday, all you have to do is click on this link to join:

Http://www.youtube.com/c/GearChic/Live

(and if you missed my last two, you can watch those videos as well) 

We're going to talk about how to choose a great motorcycle jacket, something to *actually* ride in, and yes, potentially crash in. As motorcyclists, we must think about the consequences if we choose to wear something that isn't going to provide adequate protection. 

Since I am GearChic, I will be talking mostly about women's specific gear but of course, everything I mention is available for men and then ten more options on top of that. Since women have a much harder time finding gear, I'm going to give you ideas for different options depending on your riding lifestyle and budget. 

Please bring questions, or add them in a comment here so I can address them live! 

 

Fall/Winter Gear Recommendations

 Rev'it Pegasus Waterproof Gloves MSRP $129

Rev'it Pegasus Waterproof Gloves MSRP $129

 

If you missed my November newsletter, I sent out a list of winter gear recommendations including jackets, pants, gloves and boots. 

Here's a link to it in case you didn't get a copy!

 

Great Deal on the 2014 Klim Altitude Ladies Jacket

 March 2014. Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket. 

March 2014. Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket. 

It's been awhile since I put this one, and I think I was a little heavier back then as well.  

At Revzilla, this jacket used to retail for $589. Now it's on sale for $285! But only in sizes L-3XL. Sorry little ladies, it's only for the curvier girls now. And the fitment is very good for a curvy body type. It does run long however, especially in the sleeves and waist. Perfect for a touring / adventure riding position. 

Women's Gear Success Story!

dainese_airframe_womens_mesh_jacket
dainese_airframe_womens_mesh_jacket

 

Today I had a really great success story with a woman who needed almost an impossible jacket with longer arms, and a very lean body. 

She also had broader shoulders too which made it even more difficult. Another hurdle was the fact that she was rather tall and long waisted (~5'8") with a very lean build; probably a US 0-2 in the body but US 4-6 for shoulders and sleeve/torso length.

So what to do? After trying on many options, she left happily with the above Dainese Air Frame Women's Jacket, perfect for summer riding weather.  Dainese is a fairly slim brand, but not slim enough when you have to size up 2 times to fit your sleeves and shoulders.

What you don't see in the photo are also 2 key button adjustments; one at the bicep and one at the forearm to taper the sleeves even more. The last piece was adding a heavier back protector to take up quite a bit of volume in the body of the jacket.  I chose the Dainese Manis G1 Back Protector. The result was a better fitting jacket and a perfect sleeve length! This means that she can pretty much go with any Dainese ladies jacket in the same size and have a fairly good result with fitment.

Dainese tends to run narrow and long in the sleeves, but when you're caught outside of even this fitment, sometimes a little creativity needs to be employed for an ideal outcome.

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)

New Dainese Women’s Motorcycle Gear for Spring

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Dainese launched a few new products worth mentioning in its latest Spring 2016 Women's collection. Here are my favorites. 

Veloster Perforated Leather Jacket

This jacket has a great sport fit to it, without being too aggressive for street riding. It features a removable, long sleeve thermal liner so you can make this work most of the year depending how mild your winters are.  Lucky you! :-(

For those of us on the East Coast, this would definitely be a Spring/Summer/Fall Jacket. Even the toasty thermal liner wouldn't cut it in the middle of February!

I tried this one on and I really loved it. It reminded me of my Dainese Cage jacket,  which has a more relaxed fit from other women's Dainese Jackets. It's too bad my closet is already overflowing with leather.... #firstworldproblems.

Veloster 2 Piece Women's Race Suit $999.95

This suit comes in 2 pieces, both in the size that you choose. It isn't a new suit, but hot damn it's HOT! I just had to mention it. It also comes in 2 more colors including less red and more pink (for the few pinks fans out there)

! If there's one thing Dainese knows how to do, it's designing motorcycle gear. Why am I sweating so much right now? If I needed a 2 piece, I'd run out and get this one. Too bad I have tooooo much gear in my closet. The only downside to buying a set like this is if you are different sizes on top or bottom, then you're stuck. But the good news is you could always buy the Veloster jacket, and then buy Delta Pro Evo (race fit) or Pony Pants (street/touring fit)!

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Women's Torque D1 Out Boots

$389.00 I wrote a blog post about these boots earlier this week, check it out!

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Carbon D1 Long Gloves

$179.95 THANK YOU again Dainese, for adding Palm Sliders to these gloves which the mens version had previously! Some brands like Olympia and REV'IT has always made the women's gear equally as protective as the mens versions, but some brands are still catching up. These are also offered in 2 more colors as well. Whoop!

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As you may or may not know, Palm Sliders are *really* important for street riding, because the minute you fall down you will almost always put your hands out in front of you. And if you're moving, now you're tearing through the leather on your palms. These are also available in a shorter version, which I don't recommend unless you're wearing them with a Dainese jacket, because the elbow armor guards extend almost down to the wrist.

You can check out the rest of the items in the Dainese Spring 2016 Women's Collection on Revzilla.com!