scuderia

National Plug In Day, San Francisco 2012

Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycle San Francisco Scuderia West

(riding up California Street towards Powell Street)

Today I rode out to Crissy Field on my Brammo with Crystal and Don from Scuderia West, as well as a few other Brammo riders to make a presence at the National Plug In Day event hosted by Nissan. It's always great telling people how much fun it is to ride one around the City. 

 

What's it Like to Ride an Electric Motorcycle?

Brammo Motorcycles San Francisco New Used

One word. FUN. SO much FUN.

 

Meet Betty.

Recently, I took home this sexy Brammo courtesy of Scuderia West and Brammo to share my experiences riding the Enertia around San Francisco. As a city resident and worker in SF, it's the perfect option. I could say the same about a little DRZ400, they're both light and nimble and super easy to ride (Betty is fully automatic, however). The one thing that sets them apart is this whole electricity thing, which I find to be really convenient.

Less stops at the pump! I can fill up so to speak, in my little garage. My SV is feeling neglected, as the only time I've taken her out for a spin was on Sunday when my husband and I rode up to the Marshall store and back.  Since then, it's been me and Betty. 60 miles down, many more to go! 

I'll be sad to see her go when our time together is up (as this is just a temporary loaner), but I know this much is true; that I foresee a supermoto or sexy naked streetfighter in my future. I've never ridden a bike like this before, I'm having so much damn fun.  I think I'm sold on the supermoto riding position and hope to find something in the future that meets my city livin', vertical height and long distance traveling needs. We'll see.

If you're wondering what I'm wearing while on the Brammo, it's the same gear that I wear on my SV (ATGATT with my Arai, Sidis, REVIT jacket, pants and Racer gloves). Nothing has changed in that sense. 

Follow me on facebooktwitter, or instagram (gearchic), as that's where I'll be posting photos of our dates.  If you see me around SF, please feel free to introduce yourself to Betty. She loves meeting new people!   

 

Oil Change Class & Gear Seminar

  Learn how to change your own oil!

Then, spend an hour with me, trying on gear and figuring out what fits, what doesn't and were to buy it.

On Sunday, March 4, 2012 from 1pm-3pm, my friend Aleks will be teaching a girls only  oil change class at the Moto Shop in South San Francisco.  Changing your own oil takes maybe 30 minutes and is soooo easy. It's so satisfying knowing how to fix something on your own motorcycle. It's yours, why not figure out how it works?

Afterwards, we'll move over to the couch and my friends at Scuderia West in San Francisco will be sponsoring this class by providing samples of jackets, pants, boots and gloves for you to try on. As this class is limited to 5 people, Aleks and I are going to give you some real one on one time in this class.

As of this post, there are only 3 spots left. Ack! Sign up before someone else takes your spot. :)

See you then!

 

Riding, blogging and gear makeovers

These past few days my husband and I have been doing more riding than we've done in the past 6 months. 549 miles in 4 days. 375 of them done in one day! I found that while I'm riding I have a lot of time to think about gear. Am I comfortable? Is the A/C on too high? Do my leathers sweaty? Among other things, I also think about why other people don't wear more than jeans and sneakers while going 75-80mph on the 101, riding into ~40-50 mph winds.

Sometimes I get strange thoughts in my head like "I can't believe I'm going 70mph on a motorcycle right now." I also get ideas for my blog but then I have absolutely no way of writing them down or remembering them later. I also have found that the more I ride, the more I want to write, and the more ideas I'm able to come upwith.

The only one I remembered when arriving to our lovely motel in Cambria was the one I'm going to write for you now. (OT, Big shout out to the Cambria Palms Motel, the Best Deal In Town!. Cheap, clean, easy to find off Hwy 1. Stay here if you need somewhere to crash on the way down from SF or up to SF, especially if you're stopping at Hearst Castle).

So working at Scuderia West, I have the pleasure of meeting many different riders, all shapes, ages, sizes, riding experiences, backgrounds, etc.

Example:

  • Female customer, about 5'2", approx. a women's size 8.
  • She had trouble finding pants that fit her waist/hips and inseam. She rode a scooter and needed pants to commute in. She already had a jacket (don't know what kind) but wanted overpants as well. She had tried on various other pants but hadn't found anything that fit quite right.
  • I was going to put her in Olympia Airglides or Pro Pants, but unfortunately the inseams were going to be too long for her.
  • Gear Solution: REV'IT Zip Pants, Size Small-Short



  • The beauty of the Zip Pant is that it has an adjustable waistband. This is particularly useful for women who have hips or a disproportionate waist (ie not an hourglass shape). And you can get a size small in short! Unfortunately you can't get any size smaller than that in short, since they do run down to an XXS.
  • One thing that she wasn't sure about was the fact that when she sat on a scooter, there was a little room in the back of the pants, right at the lower back. That's perfectly normal for overpants, as they are meant to be zipped to a jacket, or worn with a longer cut jacket. Zip pants do have a fairly neutral 6 inch zipper which you should be able to find on brands such as Olympia.

Working in a place like Scud also has helped me figure out a couple things about customers who come in looking for gear, and complain that they can't find anything in other shops. A couple of observations:

  • They have no idea what proper fit is, especially for motorcycle gear, and especially for the type of gear we carry (protective, functional gear).
  • Most people, especially women, complain that nothing fits them. I'm sure that at least 50% of the time this is probably true.
  • hey probably don't carry the variety of gear that Scud does, with different fits.
  • No one ever tries gear on a bike! Fit is never 100% right while standing straight up with your arms at your sides. Not real gear, anyway. Sit on that bike!
  • Ladies, listen to me when I tell you that gear is supposed to be fitted, close to your body. Not 2 sizes too big because you want to cover up your 'problem areas'. I've seen too many women come in wearing their husband's/boyfriend's gear thinking that it was fine. Newsflash! You have an hourglass figure, hips, boobs, long legs (sometimes), smaller shoulders, a small back, etc., you get the picture. Sometimes women have this notion that in order to 'cover up' these areas that wearing large, oversized clothing is the solution. Not so! Even more so when it comes to motorcycle gear. Because the added function of gear is to Protect and Function on a motorcycle. If it doesn't fit you right it's not going to work when you crash
  • There aren't many 'apparel-only' shops vs. motorcycle dealerships. Most places are dealers like Scud that also carry apparel. But many of these places lack the selection. They could order mounds and mounds of women's gear. But they don't, probably because the majority of their customer base are men, and those that are women usually ride on the back.
  • The lack of trained apparel employees can also have a huge effect on the way you are shopping for gear. You may not realize that it's supposed to be that snug, that standing up straight with your arms at your side is going to be uncomfortable, that the garments are cut for riding position, I could go on and on. When there is no one there to guide you along the way, how are you supposed to know? Of course you're going to assume nothing fits because you may not know how it is supposed to fit.

So for those of you that still have trouble shopping for gear, or are in need of a gear makeover, I'd like to propose the following:

  • Send me your gear wants/needs. (jacket, pants, gloves, boots?)
  • Send me a photo of yourself from head to toe, preferably wearing something semi fitted (jeans, tshirt) so I can see your body type.
  • Tell me what size you wear in regular jackets and pants (in numerical US size)
  • If you already have gear, send me a picture of you wearing it.

If you send me an email with the above criteria, I'll send you my gear recommendation based on what you send!

Or if you live in the Bay Area and would like a gear makeover in person, let me know. I would be your personal shopper for Free, if you let me write it up on my blog. We'll hit up all the shops that carry women's gear and help you find gear that fits. Only flattering photos will be taken by me, I promise! We'll take some before and after pics and show the world how to find that perfect outfit for riding. The first 3 people who email me will get a free GearChic Tshirt!

First in a Series: Gear Around the Bay, Scuderia West

This is the first in a series about the best shops for women's gear in the Bay Area. But more importantly, they will carry the best that there is to offer in real gear.

Living in the Bay Area, we are so lucky to have so much available to us as motorcyclists. There are so many riders living here that of course we have more than your average number of motorcycle dealerships and apparel shops just for us!

I hope to visit 3-4 other shops in the Bay Area over the next few months to give you an up close and personal look at why these shops are so great!

Scuderia West, 69 Duboce Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For those of you who've never been to Scuderia, here is a 180 degree high res photo that will almost make you feel like you're really there. :D


Scuderia West is near and dear to me for more than the most obvious reason that I work there part time. 6 years ago my husband and I bought our first scooter there after renting one in Vegas on our honeymoon. I also bought my first helmet, jacket and gloves. I knew that Scuderia was a really special shop the minute I walked in. I also bought my first piece of gear that day, my now discontinued Vanson Textile. Long story short, it was this experience that kept me coming back to Scuderia. I almost hated going sometimes, because there was sooooo much stuff I wanted to buy there. Jackets, boots, gloves, pants, the list is endless! When I originally came up with the idea for my website, I thought it would be so cool to hang at Scuderia and learn as much as I can about gear. Where else could I go to get informative, useful information from people who knew their stuff?

And, I loved the fact that so many women were working there at the time. I'd gone back since then to buy more gear. So I took the plunge and asked Crystal one day if she needed any extra hands for the upcoming Open House. She said she'd think about it and the rest is history! I had no idea how much I would enjoy working there. It was so much fun, so easy and I sucked in every piece of information I could get my hands on.

If you take a look at the 180 pic above, you'll notice that some things you might see in most apparel shops are missing at Scuderia. No chaps, tassles, not a lot of chrome, no harley-wear. Crystal has done a fantastic job of identifying a badly needed gap in the motorcycle apparel business. The emphasis is mainly on quality products that protect, function well on a motorcycle, and *gasp* fit! Have you ever walked into an apparel shop that: 1) has dedicated apparel employees; and 2) knows how to give you proper fitment with your gear? Most shops have no dedicated apparel personnel. That expense is just seen as an unnecessary one, and/or it's really hard to find qualified, experienced people who know what they're talking about in terms of fit and selling the apparel for what it is, not how much it costs.

When you come in to buy gear, you'll find a variety of garments with different shapes and fits to accommodate different body types. Because if you've ever read my blog before this post, then you know how much focus I put on fit. I'll even let you in on a little secret. Come Closer. *We do not get commission on apparel sales at Scuderia.*


So when we tell you how well that jacket fits you (regardless of the price tag), we really mean it! There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing the smile on a customer's face when she is standing in front of the mirror, admiring herself and so happy that she found a jacket that fits her like a glove. And, even if she's not sure she wants to spend ~$400+ on 'the one', we'll even encourage to check out other options at competitor shops. Once a customer knows exactly what's supposed to fit, how it's supposed to work and why it's worth the money, inevitably, they always come back. That's what makes Scuderia so special. We're really here to help inform and advise you the best we can. Sometimes what we have won't work, but we're going to tell you that instead of pressuring you to buy something that doesn't.

One common problem that both the men and women I've spoken to about gear have shared with me is how hard it is to shop for gear. Unless someone tells you, it can be really difficult to figure out what you need, why you need it and how to go about finding it. That's the problem with shopping virtually. With the wealth of information online available to you, there's no one to help you wade through it and make sense of it all. Especially as it relates to you! What bike you ride, what kind of riding you're doing, what features you need, what features you don't need, etc. Shopping is a lot of work, whether it's for gear or for just a jeans and tshirt.

By going to a place like Scuderia, you're going to get a lot of information that you just won't find anywhere else.