Dainese

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.

Replacement Knee Armor

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UPDATE: This Forcefield armor is discontinued. 

The other day I posted about Dainese Knee Armor that I think works well as hip armor. This time around I want to show you some killer knee protectors that you might want to upgrade with asap.

The yellow armor above is made by Forcefield. The "Net Replacement Armor" as it's called is soft, pliable and molded. It also meets the CE Level 2 Standard, which is more than most of the back/shoulder/elbow armor that comes with your gear. I've upgraded the knee armor in my Revit pants to make riding in them more comfortable.I love Forcefield because it's not as vulnerable to cold and it offers Repeat Performance Technology; which means you can use it again even if you crash on it. The Net Armor is also vented and super smushy. It hardens on impact much like a competing technology called d3o. As much as I like d3o, I prefer the shapes that Forcefield has to offer since it molds better to my petite frame.

dainese_newdrake_womens_used 4 (1)
dainese_newdrake_womens_used 4 (1)

Many of you might have Dainese riding pants, either textiles or leathers. I want to recommend this form of d3o armor from a company called Rukka (Finland). The d3o Air Knee Pads are about the same height as Dainese knee protectors but offer a full length shock absorption which the hard shell Dainese does not. The width is about the same as well.

I've recommended these to many of my customers and highly highly recommend them to upgrade any of your Dainese pants (mens and ladies). Also, these would work really well in dirt / adventure pants that might have really long pockets in the knees. The coverage is longer than the other knee armor options as well!

rukka_replacement_d3o_knee_armor
rukka_replacement_d3o_knee_armor

Idea for thin, lightweight hip armor

dainese_proshape_knee.png

I prefer having knee AND hip armor in my riding pants, always. Most hip protectors are rather thick and uncomfortable. But Dainese created 2 products that I think work really well as hip protectors.  One of which is clearly designed by Dainese as a Hip Protector (pictured above). They're smaller, about 3in wide by 5in tall and designed to fit specifically into their riding jean models that offer hip protector pockets.

But the other armor they make with the same lightweight, strong material are Dainese Pro Shape Knee Protectors for their riding jeans:

dainese_proshape_knee

Both of these protectors are CE Certified and are Level 1. I put the knee protectors in my Gear 2's hip armor pockets! They're comfortable, light and I don't even know they're there.  Each pair costs less than $40, definitely a worthy investment.

 

New Dainese Women’s Motorcycle Gear for Spring

dainese_womens_veloster_leather_jacket  

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)!

dainese_veloster_2piece_womens_suit

Women's Torque D1 Out Boots

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

dainese_torque_d1_womens_boots_black

 

 

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!

dainese_womens_carbon_d1long_gloves

 

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!

So Excited! Women's Motorcycle Boots with Real Ankle Protection

dainese_torque_d1_womens_boots reddainese_torque_d1_womens_boots_black  

As soon as the temperatures come back up and it's time to go riding again, I'll be upgrading my everyday riding boots to these beauties, the Dainese Women's Torque D1 Boots. With my tiny Size Euro 36 / US 6.5 feet, it's incredibly difficult to find motorcycle boots that offer real ankle protection. What this means is full lateral support, and that these boots will make it nearly impossible for your leg to bend sideways at the ankle. Hopefully it should minimize the injury to a sprain or fracture vs. the need for major surgery.

Although you can't 100% prevent every injury, you can drop it down to the best possible outcome. When I crashed last June, I got lucky when I lowsided because although my foot was pinned underneath the bike for a bit, I only walked away with a fat bruise. Every accident is different, and you have no idea what can happen to you in each circumstance. Some people wear absolutely nothing and get up without a scratch, who knows how? But then there are many riders who can't get up at all. I don't want to be one of them, and rather than gamble with the ability to walk comfortably without pain, I'd rather wear a better boot.

Sidi Vertigo Lei lowside accident swollenfoot_after_motorcyclecrash_nobrokenbones_sidi

I do *adore* my Sidis, but I have to give in to the extra protection that these offer. They're too good to pass up.

dainese_torque_d1_womens_boots_pink

 

I just hope they fit me as good as my Sidis do. I only got to try the 36 (barely, since my feet couldn't get into the opening!) and not the 37. I put on a 38 and definitely had enough room to add my amazing insoles.

riding motorcycles with lifted insoles

So FYI, these do run narrow especially at the instep. The opening is rather narrow.  So I recommend ordering a size up unless you have narrow feet.

Going Back to Cali for a Week!

alpinestars_vika  

I'm so excited to go home for a week! I'm leaving this Friday and will be back in Philly in 2 Mondays. I'll be driving around in a rental car since it's going to be raining the entire time I'm there. So no riding for me.... *sigh*

But you may find me at the Dainese Store San Francisco on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30pm for a viewing of Hitting the Apex! A $10 donation will directly benefit the Marco Simoncelli Foundation.

Can't wait to be back in my old town.... Just wish it could be on two wheels! :-(

Reader Question: Is Gore-Tex the Best Summer Waterproof Option?

Reader Amara needs help figuring out which summer waterproof textile jacket she should get. To Gore-Tex or Not To Gore-Tex, that is the question!

Hi there, I would love some advice on gear.

I am also looking at a new textile jacket and I am choosing between the dainese tempest d dry and the gore tex zima jacket. Do you think the goretex is worth the extra cash? Are these jackets going to work with a sportsbike riding position? What pants would you recommend? I am looking for some textile pants that are well waterproofed but also have enough ventilation for hot days. 

I am 5'7, small build but have largish hips. I wear a 40 in dainese jackets and need a 44 in dainese pants to get the over my butt.

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated! I am riding an Aprilia Tuono.

Many thanks, Amara.

Hi Amara!

So when it comes to waterproof Gore-Tex gear with Great ventilation, the best option is really the Altitude jacket in Small. The reason is because they laminate the Cordura Shell with the Gore-Tex so it becomes one layer. Then the vents provide direct ventilation. In a perfect world, I'd recommend this as well. But unfortunately it’ll be too big on you, given the size you need in Dainese, they just don’t make their jackets that small yet. And the overall fitment isn't quite perfect for your bike riding style, since it's designed for dual sport / adventure style riding.

The fit is also wonderful, tailored and perfect when you're petite on top. It won't bunch up and it's super comfortable. I tried on one a few years ago and I LOVED it. Here's a terrible pic of me wearing one in 40. It was really tight on me back then, I probably would've ridden in a 42 not 40. Since it has a removable thermal liner, it runs a tad loose. I love how the material is forgiving and stretchy. I've always thought Dainese was the best when it comes to sport touring gear, simply because of the way they tailor their gear.

Dainese Zima GTX Jacket Dainese Zima GTX Jacket

As far as Gore-Tex, I think it’s absolutely worth the extra money. It’s such a versatile membrane. I only trust my older Revit Legacy suit, where the Gore-Tex membrane is attached permanently and I can’t remove it. When I open the vents I can only feel it a little bit. So the Dainese Zima jacket you mentioned is going to be very similar. This is the only downside to this suit.

I’ve worn my Legacy in 95-100F with humidity, and I can honestly say I’d gladly take that over a non GoreTex membrane. It has so much versatility in terms of temperature. You can go from 100F and drop down to the 40s. My last trip was to Deals Gap in September and it was HOT. I wrote a brief review in my ride report.

I have worn other waterproof membranes as well, but the one thing they haven’t been able to provide is the Windstopping that Gore-Tex does. I noticed a big difference when I wear my heated jacket liner with both types of jackets as far as how well the outer shell does with wind. The other thing you are getting for the extra money is a lifetime guarantee from Gore-Tex that the membrane will not fail and keep you dry! So in 3-5 years (well after the 1 year warranty from Dainese) you can call Gore-Tex and tell them your jacket is leaking, and they will work with you to figure out what’s wrong and warranty it if necessary. At some point, the membrane might fail so it’s great to have this to fall back on. With other membranes you are stuck with a leaking jacket after that first year without any recourse. The membrane also breathes so well, it literally pulls the sweat away from your body. I highly recommend reading this description of how it all works, I can’t give you a better explanation than they can!

It also means you need killer baselayers, so whether its 40F or 100F make sure you’ve also invested in proper layers like Icebreakers or Dainese  for the Summer and Schampa for the Winter. And of course, baselayers are important under all motorcycle gear to maximize comfort as well!

I think the Dainese Zima is an amazing option for your beautiful Tuono in terms of fitment. It has a fantastic sporty cut, and if I absolutely needed another Gore-Tex suit it would be high on my list, simply because it’s more fitted and I like my gear really snug and tailored. Actually I recommend Dainese for sporty rides since the pants are tapered at the bottoms (unlike other brands which have touring / bootcut leg fitments). I also think the Tempest isn’t going to be small enough for you, even in 40. The cut on that jacket is a bit looser from what I’ve seen of it in person.

dainese_travelguard_goretex_womens_pants

The matching pants would be the Travelguards, and you’ll be the same size as your other Dainese. Unfortunately they’re just not very hip friendly :)  I don't know what Dainese pants you currently own, but the Travelguards will be a little looser in the legs than say the New Drake Airs or Sherman D-Drys. The only downsides to all these Dainese pants is the venting is not direct, to your body like I mentioned above with the Klim Altitude.

revit_neptune_goretex_womens_jacket

However, another option would be the Revit Neptune, if you want a cooler option. You would wear a size 36 in the jacket (if you have broad shoulders) or 34 if you are narrower and don't need extra room in the bust. The thing about this jacket is that the Gore-Tex liner is removable, so you have to put it in to stay dry. That means when you take the liner(s) out, it's a much cooler, vented jacket! Far more versatile, in my opinion. The matching pants would be great as well, and you would probably wear a 38 or 40 since it's a different cut. I think this suit would fit well on the Tuono too. I love Revit fitments, but they aren't as sporty cut as Dainese. If you really want a tighter, more fitted outfit then you'll love them. But this Revit suit is definitely worth checking out as well.

Now, if you aren't convinced that Gore-Tex is worth it then I would recommend the Revit Sand Suit:

revit_sand_jacket_womens revit_sand_pants_womens

 

This is a MUCH lighter suit for Summer / Spring riding. If your main riding season is going to be summer and warmer weather, you'll love this option. The fitment on the jacket is similar to the Zima, very fitted and narrow in the shoulders/arms. I would also recommend a 36 for the top and 40 for the bottoms. These will definitely work well on the Tuono too! They both have 2 removable liners, one is waterproof and one is thermal so you can really change the layers to your liking. The material is really lightweight, perfect for ultra hot riding weather. If you'd rather be more comfortable in hotter weather then you'll really enjoy this suit.

Between all of these options however, I would personally choose the Dainese Combo Suit because I prefer having my waterproof membrane permanently attached so I don't have to take it on and off. And because I'm so devoted to the Gore-Tex membrane and how it performs. I'd also rather be too warm than too cold, I feel like smaller folks like us are able to take hotter temperatures a bit easier since we're *always* cold!

Hope this helps, Ride Safe.

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.

QnA: Summer Gear for Athletic Body Type?

olympia_womens_switchback2_jacket_pewter  

Reader Cori needs a 2 piece summer suit to ride in hot weather but still provide protection and comfort. She also needs help finding something with a little more room in the shoulders. 

I am looking for some advice on what gear to buy for riding in South Louisiana. I am a brand new rider (I actually have yet to ride and will be purchasing a bike next week). I will be a commuter with a 9 mile, non freeway, daily commute. What do you recommend for gear? I'm going to start with purchasing a helmet, gloves, boots, jacket, and knee pads. I am feeling very overwhelmed by the process, and have no idea where to start. Any suggestions, or places you can point me? In particular I'm looking for gear that's good for warm weather. (very, very warm).

Some back ground information, I am 5'3" and 140 pounds and am in the process of purchasing a honda rebel 250cc. I have an average to short torso, with broad shoulders ( my waist is a small and chest + shoulders range from a bigger medium to a smaller large. I don't know my inseam as of right now but I typically need pants that are labeled short. 

The only other concern I have is about my arms, I have bigger arms. ( I am a weightlifter so while I have a slim athletic build my arms and shoulders hold a lot of muscle) 
Cori in Louisiana
Hi Cori,
For your helmet, it's all based on proper fit. If you live anywhere near a dealership that has helmet options, I would highly recommend going in and getting fitted. If you can't find a dealer, then you want to check out this article on helmet shopping. Honestly, I find it impossible to help anyone get fitted for a helmet over the phone or online. There are also a ton of youtube videos for you to figure out how to fit a helmet. Do not, I repeat do not pick a helmet simply due to colors/graphics. You MUST get the fitment right for a helmet to work properly and actually protect you! I have a few favorites when it comes to helmets, but it really does come down to fitment. For example, if you have a true long oval then you need an Arai Signet-Q. But if you have a really round head and are XS, you need an Arai RX-Q. It just depends.
Gloves are also tricky in this sense, because they really require trying on and fitting. But I can give you a few ideas here:
  • Revit Bomber ; these fit longer in the fingers and narrower across the hands, but are the Best summer gloves out there. More protection and ventilation at the same time.
  • Dainese Mig C2: these fit a bit shorter in the fingers, and also are fantastic summer gloves. Avoid synthetics, they are the cheap, less protective and don't work well for pavement. You need real leather for street riding!
My recommendation for a jacket is the Olympia Switchback 2 Jacket ($239), size S (shown above). Don't worry, it's available in 2 other colors if white isn't your style! I really love this jacket not just for the fitment, but also because it has a really great fit for you. Relaxed in the shoulders, biceps and forearms, this will give you plenty of room to move around without feeling too constricting. You might feel a little tightness in the elbows/shoulders since the armor is fairly thick and rigid, so I would definitely recommend upgrading the armor to Forcefield or D3O if you find it too restricting.
The other reason I love Olympia for you is the torso is average length (lower in the back, higher in the front) and is constructed of Dupont Cordura, which provides more abrasion resistance than other mesh jackets in the same price point. The mesh is still nylon, but your slide zones are covered by Cordura.
I would also consider mesh overpants instead of just knee guards. You need more than jeans when riding, they just don't have the abrasion resistance.
First, I would recommend the matching Olympia Womens Airglide Pants ($229) in a size 4. These have a slightly fuller fit, so if you need extra thigh, hip and booty space you'll love these a little more. These are also constructed of Cordura (except the nylon mesh for airflow).
Olympia Airglide 3 Women's Motorcycle OverPants
The second pant to consider is the Revit Airwave Pants, ($199) in size 36. I would recommend these if you need a leaner leg and slightly less room in the hips/booty area. I call this table booty (which is what I have).
Rev'it Airwave Mesh Pants Summer womens textile
Both are available in lighter colors, including white (Revit) and silver (Olympia) to keep you a bit cooler.
Looking at boots, it's hard to find vented boots for women. When it's really hot, it's the opposite you actually want a slightly heavier boot to keep the heat out! Imagine a lightweight sneaker, and how quickly that absorb heat. Leather actually deflects quite a bit. A few ideas:
  • Sidi Livia Rain ($230): Ideal for wider feet, higher insteps and larger ankles. It's a very loose fitting boot. These breathe very well and are fully synthetic leather as well.
  • Dainese Svelta GTX ($289): Ideal for narrower feet (all Dainese boots are narrower, btw) and these are GoreTex which are the most breathable waterproof membrane. I've ridden in 90+ temps in GTX boots and they are fantastic.
  • TCX Aura Boots ($219): Also waterproof, they run even narrower than the Svelta in the toebox. Super comfortable and low profile.

 

Selling Used Dainese New Drake Air Women's Pants MD/44

dainese_newdrake_womens_used 4 (1) UPDATE 6/1: SOLD! that was fast. :)

Gotta clean out the closet! I have these Dainese pants that are simply way too big for me now. Check out my eBay Auction here and get a really good deal on one of the best fitting pairs of women's motorcycle pants on the market.