casual

Cool Reflective Accessories for Your Motorcycle

rydesafe reflective decals bicycles motorcycles helmets Woo hoo! Reflective stuff! Ok, maybe I'm the only nerd that gets excited about bright objects. But I like wearing black when it comes to my motorcycle gear. I look good in it too, what can I say? :P But I know that I need to somehow make up for all the darkness with some bright reflectives to stay visible and safe as possible. So here's a few accessories I like that can help you too.

Wearing Hi-Viz Yellow or Orange is certainly a great way to be seen by more people. There's no guarantee that you'll be seen by every person, but certainly reduces the risks in my opinion. However, for me, the bright color isn't enough for riding at night.

It doesn't matter how bright your clothes are if they aren't reflective, I really believe in lots of reflective pieces so when light hits you it reflects.

So here are 3 reflective accessories that I wanted to share that I really think are cool to use.

1/ Reflective Decals, RydeSafe

"RydeSafe Reflective Decals are cut from an engineering-grade “conspicuity film” which contains microscopic glass spheres that reflect light back to its source. So no matter what direction the light is coming from, our stickers reflect it back. In the case of a pair of headlights, RydeSafe Reflective Decals reflect it right back to the driver’s eyes resulting in a more visible and thus safer user." - rydesafe.com

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They have a few different shape / pattern options. I opted for the chain links (white) and the modular kit (purple). I found mine on Amazon but you can buy them directly on their website as well. (Unfortunately they're still running an old promo code from October on the main page, so they're not on sale).

Even if you don't like these, just hop on eBay or Google and you'll find your favorite sports teams, animals, shapes, motorcycle manufacturers and more in the form of reflective decals. You're sure to find something you want to wear!

2/ Reflective Vests

There are a lot of vest options on the market. I still love my Spectrum vests, although they did close their business this past year.  The previous owner told me that it should be back next year under new management. They used a really really bright reflective tape that was Coast Guard worthy. If I do have to ride at night, I always wear my vest!

Spectrum Vest in Regular Light IMG_2643

You'll find a lot of different vests to choose from, including options from the bicycling world. But as a motorcyclist I would try to find a vest that uses CE / EN Certified Fabrics (less likely to fade) and 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape (even more visible, durable). These materials make a much brighter difference at highway speeds.

 

3/ Reflective Paracord

reflective paracord

I just found these on Amazon from Paracord Planet. These photos show how reflective this rope really is. I love the idea of making a dog leash out of it. I shared it with my fabulous dogsitter so she could use it too :)

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I bought neon yellow and purple. My plan is to weave them together somehow and then run them through the loops on the top of my Kriega R20 Backpack since the logos are the only reflective pieces. Sometimes I ride home at night with my backpack on so I want to add as much reflective as I can!

Kriega R20 Backpack

4/ 3M Reflective Tape

3M Reflective Tape Roll

I bought a roll of this on Amazon so I could make my own patterns for my last helmets. I found a ton of rolls in various colors and widths there too.

I've also started a Pinterest board to collect these ideas; check them out here.

If you have any cool reflective accessories that you like using, please share!

Technical Riding Sneakers for Women

Another video from yours truly! Check out my recommendation for women's riding sneakers in another Geek Speak from Revzilla.com.  Keep in mind that riding sneakers are meant for low speed, city riding conditions (~15-35mph). I wouldn't recommend these for any type of backroad or highway / freeway riding or commuting.

Wear This, Not That: Leather Jacket

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.12.51 PM Looks like a "motorcycle jacket". Feels like one, is this good enough to wear on your motorcycle?

I'm a sucker for a cool looking motorcycle jacket just like the next person. But, I value my body much more than that. The fact is this jacket is NOT good enough for riding on the front (or back for that matter) of a motorcycle. Here's why:

wear this not that casual clothes

Anything can be labeled as motorcycle gear. Anything. I can make a jacket today and call it a motorcycle jacket without anyone enforcing standards or minimum safety requirements in order to sell it to you.

That's the problem with all of this casual motorcycle inspired gear. It has NOTHING to do with you falling off your motorcycle, pure and simple. It's not about racing, it's not about touring thousands of miles, it's all about you separating from you bike. If you're in denial about that, then that's a completely different issue. But the fact is, you could very well fall off and probably not because you did anything wrong. That's why I wear all this stuff, because I have no idea what could happen to me.

So what's a nice alternative? For $30 more, the REV'IT Roamer Jacket is a much safer, stronger alternative. Extras like body armor, abrasion resistant leather, precurved arms (more comfort in riding position) and a removable thermal liner are included. The seams are also constructed in such a way that the jacket will stay together and hold its structure in case something happens. A LOT of thought, time and money has been spent to provide something that will work in case you are separated from your motorcycle. That's it's primary job.

Along with all these features, you have a beautifully fit jacket that will look great on or off the bike. Of course, its not as light and thin as the casual Nordstrom option, so no, it's not going to fit or feel exactly the same.

revit_roamer_ladies_leather_motorcycle_jacket

 

The Roamer is ideal for Fall, Spring and mild winters (California, Florida, etc.). The leather is softer, and more forgiving so you don't have to spend as much time breaking it in. I like the Roamer because it's a little more relaxed than it's sportier counterparts.

 

RS Taichi Drymaster Prime All Season Jacket

taichi_drymaster_prime_allseason_womens If you aren't familiar with RS Taichi, they're a little known brand from Japan that makes high quality, premium motorcycle gear.

Unfortunately they don't offer very strong options for women, specifically leather or a lot of highly technical riding gear but they do offer a few textile jackets and pants for us. I have a pair of these Crossover Mesh Pants which I only wear on really hot, humid days to and from work.

I recently discovered the All Season Jacket above, and was thrilled to see it's offered in a women's specific size. It has an integrated waterproof membrane, has large, direct ventilation, sealed zippers and a removable insulated liner. It's called "All Season" due to the venting scheme. Full armor also comes with the jacket including shoulders, elbow, back and chest.

Look out for a full review in an upcoming issue of Sportbikes Inc Magazine!

 

Riding Jeans or Riding Pants?

uglybros_aegis_k_womens_motorcycle_kevlar_jeans  

I'm intrigued by riding jeans but concerned about their crash worthiness for non-city riding. My commuting distance is a combined 20 miles of backroads,mostly freeway and a tiny bit of downtown Portland. My other riding is highways and country roads.

My favorite warm weather option is Dainese New Drake Airs (fit is super!). Should I bother with denim or stick with these as my commuting pants?

Many thanks, Linda

For non-city riding, I wouldn't recommend riding jeans. Generally speaking, riding jeans are a better alternative to your casual, non resistant, gap/old navy type jeans. The only riding jeans I do recommend are ones with denim/Kevlar/technical, abrasion resistant fabrics such as Rokker or Rev'it. And I only recommend the ones with hip and knee protection. I tend to be a stickler for armor in riding jeans, but that's certainly a personal decision.

I think you are already wearing the best option for the commute that you're riding everyday. The Dainese Drake Airs are light, strong and comfortable. I have these too, but they're a size too big so I hate wearing them!

The only reason I would do riding jeans instead is if you really want something that's more casual looking for city riding only.  I was trying to buy the Rev'it Broadway jeans for ladies myself, but after I found the knee pockets to be an inch too low even in riding position, I knew they wouldn't work :(. I was thinking of finding a pair of jeans to wear just around town and on my 10 minute commute (non highway) to work. Personally, I wouldn't wear riding jeans on the freeway.

Sidenote: the Broadway jeans are very slender, and run a size up. I'm a 27" in most casual jeans and I had to go up to a 28" in these because they were so tight. They're also *really* long and all have 32" inseams, which you can hem but that doesn't change the position of the knee armor. I actually prefer the fit of the Madison, but they don't have any hip armor.  I may still give in to these if I can get hip pockets sewn in to add armor there.

Women's Motorcycle Jeans

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Stumbled upon these riding jeans the other day after reader Amy submitted a question to me about gear. It looks like UglyBros makes super skinny riding jeans.  Since skinny jeans are all the rage right now, it only makes sense, right? however, something tells me these are way too skinny for my liking. I have 2 pairs of skinny jeans at home and those aren't as skinny as other jeans, and they drive me crazy. But the nice thing about these is that they offer hip and knee armor (one of my pet peeves with riding jeans for women when they withhold armor). Although the denim is not a denim + kevlar weave, they reinforce the hip and knee areas with DuPont Kevlar.

Given the features & fit that Rev'it offers in it's women's riding jeans, I can't see paying more for these unless I really wanted or needed the skinniest possible fit possible. Or if I simply liked the aesthetic design more than other brands on the market. Apparently this brand comes from S. Korea. I can see why they're so skinny.

http://www.uglybrosusa.com/shop/aegis/