Olympia

QnA: Summer Gear for Athletic Body Type?

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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.

 

Summer Jackets for Tall Women Riders

revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket Longtime reader Fiona needs help finding an outfit for an incredible adventure! Lucky Girl. Check out her story and gear story:

Height and Weight: 5'11", 155 lbs

Chest, Waist, Hip Measurements: 36, 30, 39 (over clothing), 32" inseam (need about 33-34" when I get on the bike)

Message:

Hi Joann,

I've read your blog since probably the beginning of my riding career way back in 2007. Thanks for being such a great resource for all these years.

I am getting ready to buy some new mesh gear for a sweet 6-week adventure on my KLR, around the Southwest and on to the East Coast. My problem has always been finding women's gear that is long enough for me, as I'm tall with broad shoulders and a 32" inseam. For years I've dealt with my Fieldsheer gear being a couple of inches too short in the sleeves and pant legs, because if I went up in size to get enough length, the whole kit would be falling off my body.

I want my new gear to fit well, and I'm looking for a light-colored jacket and pant set (but will take any color if something actually fits!). I love the look of the Rev'it Airwave jacket and pants that you've reviewed, but will they be long enough for me? Are there other mesh or textile jackets and pants that us tall girls should consider?

I live in a very remote area of the US, where few retailers even ship, so there's no chance of trying anything on before I order. Although it seems there are manufacturers that make "tall" sizes, I don't see any way to order these online -- do I have to contact the manufacturer directly, or can I place a special order with the retailer?

I'm hoping to minimize the amount of back-and-forth and $ wasted on return shipping as I try to get the best fit. I appreciate any recommendations you can offer; thank you!

Fiona

Airwave

I think the Revit Airwave jacket in size 38 (above) is a great option for you, I would mostly be concerned with sleeve length, not so much body length. The nice thing about this jacket is the longer torso and arm length.

revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket

As far as pants, Airwaves do run a bit long but aren't offered in long sizes. The standard inseam might be too short for you.

Sand

If you're open to a multiseason pant, I would actually recommend the Revit Sand Pants in 38 Tall (available in silver). These pants are the newest version of the old Ventura which I found to breathe very very well in hot weather.  There are two liners, one waterproof and one thermal; each is removable to really adapt to changing temperatures. The fit on these is tailored, slimmish through the legs but definitely not skinny. There's a vent on each thigh for a little airflow as well.

revit_sand_pants_womens

 

The armor in these are substantial, CE and EN Rated Tryonic Seesoft. If you have a curvy hip, then order a size 40 Tall instead. If you have fairly straight hips, you will be fine in 38. If you like a tailored, tapered fit, then I would go with these or the Airwaves.

You most definitely do not have to contact the manufacturers to order the tall size in these! They're available at Revzilla. :)

Another option is the Olympia Airglide for a generous, curvy fit through the butt/hips/thighs. These run 3-4 inches long, and are too long for most of us shorties. You will have plenty of inseam on these for sure. They also fit true to women's size (US 6, 8, etc). I would recommend a size 6 since they're curvy and forgiving through the thighs. If you think you need extra room in the thighs/butt/hips then order these instead of the Rev'it above. The legs are also a bit roomier, so if you prefer a more relaxed fit you will love these.

Airglide

Olympia Airglide 3 Women's Motorcycle OverPants

 

 

 

Why Doesn't This Motorcycle Jacket Fit Me?

womens motorcycle jacket fit olympia airglide 4 mesh textile 4 season  

There's a very good chance ya just need to bend forward a bit, bring your shoulders in and your tummy back.

Then voila! Your jacket zips up perfectly. Remember that proper fit is always in riding position; never standing up!

Budget ADV Gear for Men

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We've chatted before on Twitter and I listen to your Podcast from time to time. I know you are an expert on motorcycle gear so I thought I'd ask you for some advice.  

A friend of mine was looking for some good ADV pants on a budget and I thought you might be a good person to ask that question. 

Thanks, Rob

Hi Rob!

Thanks for your email. I'm thrilled to answer anyone's questions, regardless of gender :)

As far as ADV pants on a budget, how about these various Klim pants on sale? The nice thing about Klim is the construction, Cordura. For less than $100 you can't go wrong with any of these. Hopefully there's something left in his size:

Klim Revolt - $55.38 ; however only sizes 28-30ish are left, these are vented but you can close them if need be. these are designed to be worn over the boots

Klim Mojave - $93.49; only a few sizes left, these are permanently vented for summer riding only, these are designed to be worn over the boots

Klim Chinook - $93.49; again, only a few sizes left, these also have adjustable vents and are designed to wear inside the boots

Olympia Dakar - $189.99; also Cordura construction, which zip away above the knees to turn into shorts!

My Favorite Summer Motorcycle Jackets for Women

  revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket

Summer is almost here, and living on the East Coast, I think I will have to consider something I never had to think about before, mesh textile gear.

I've ridden in plenty of hot, dry climates in California. All the way up to 100 degrees in my hybrid leather/textile jacket and pants. But with the added bonus of humidity, I don't think I'm going to survive unless I wear a mesh textile instead of leather. So here are a few ideas for jackets and pants that may help you (and me) this summer. Not only will they provide lots of breathability, but protection as well.

Dainese Airframe

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Dainese Drake Air Womens Summer Motorcycle Pants

 

The Airframe is Dainese's answer to the mesh jacket. A lean fit, perfect for longer arms/torso and narrower frames. I'm not a huge fan of how the textile and mesh are cut out on the chest but it's still one of my faves. The matching bottom to this jacket would be the hugely popular New Drake Airs. Although they're not all mesh, it is a very light, breathable, abrasion resistant fabric with large vents.

 

REV'IT Airwave

revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket

Rev'it Airwave Mesh Pants Summer womens textile

The Airwave suit is another kickass option for summer. This jacket fits a little more relaxed, not a full American fit but not as lean as the Dainese Airframe. I would say average, hourglass with roomier arms. The pants are cut as an overpant, with a full length zipper from crotch to ankle on both legs. The waist/hips are pretty generous too. Personally, I love the pants more than the jacket.

Olympia Switchback

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The Switchback is Olympia's summer jacket, which also features a removable waterproof liner. This one probably has the most generous fit with broader shoulders and more room in the arms, but shorter sleeves. Olympia features a ton of reflective piping, so if you want the most visibility, you can't go wrong. The Airglide overpants pair with this jacket to make a great summer suit.

Alpinestars T-GP Plus Air

alpinestars_t-gp_plus_r_air_summer_jacket womens alpinestars_oxygen_summer_womens_motorcycle_pants

 

New for 2014, I *love* the way it fits. Not too tight, not too loose. Lots of breathability with the mesh panels. I just wish there weren't EIGHT logos! I understand the need for logos, but why 8? 2, 3, 4 isn't enough? Ugh, I would immediately buy this jacket but the numerous logos have me on the fence. The Oxygen Air Overpants are nice too, ventiled well but they don't offer full length zippers, just a gusset closure.

Ep. 34, Women's Moto Gear for Spring

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Check out the latest episode of Moterrific, where we go over my favorite jackets and pants for spring (from this previous blog post). If you're looking for a new 2 piece textile to add to your riding wardrobe, or upgrade your existing one, listen up!

On our next episode, we're going to take a deep dive into Klim's Altitude outfit as well.

My Favorite Women's Motorcycle Textile Suits

revit legacy womens motorcycle jacket goretex waterproof textile It feels good to be back in the world of motorcycle gear! I've seen some really cool stuff in the past week or two, especially for women riders. So here's my roundup of year round / multi season suits that will take you from Fall to Winter to Spring, and maybe Summer depending on where you live.

Remember, your 2 piece suit can only work as well as your base layer allows in terms of breathability. And if you're not wearing a base layer, gooooooooo get some! Not only will it help your gear fit better but it'll also help regulate the sweat and keep the gear from sticking to your skin.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-womens-sand-jacket" style="dark"]REV'IT Sand[/button]

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The Sand is a replacement for their first attempt at an adventure touring outfit, the popular Ventura. It's based off the men's version, and follows the same shell/liner system. What I loved about the Ventura and now the Sand is that the jacket shell is super lightweight. It still has the 2 removable liners but once they're out you have a well ventilated, summer jacket. The bust and arms have a fairly generous fit as well as the hips/waist with longer arms and length overall.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-womens-levante-jacket" style="dark"]REV'IT Levante[/button]

revit_womens_levante_jacket_detail revzilla

Although the Levante isn't a 2 piece set, I have to mention this jacket. It's more of a 3 season jacket with 2 removable layers but not the warmest jacket because of the mesh ventilation on the front and back panels. The fit profile on Levante is definitely more suited to a taller, narrower (shoulders/arms/torso) body type such as my cohost on Moterrific, AdventureGoddess. Check out her review here.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/fieldsheer-adventure-tour-jacket" style="dark"]Fieldsheer Adventure[/button]

fieldsheer_womens_adventure_tour_jacket_black fieldsheer_adventure-pant-silver_front

I stumbled upon this outfit recently while helping one of my readers find pants. They have a nice profile to them and go all the way up to a US 18! They would certainly make a nice year round outfit, since you can remove the 2 in 1 liner. The shell is lightweight and would probably work ok in summer, depending on your tolerance for hot weather.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/olympia-womens-ranger-jacket" style="dark"]Olympia Ranger[/button]

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The new Ranger is an updated version of the popular AST women's jacket. Still a waterproof shell, they've redesigned the jacket overall. Check out Rania's blog post about this jacket here.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/klim-womens-altitude-jacket" style="dark"]Klim Altitude[/button]

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Women in the riding community have been anticipating this release since rumors of Klim developing a women's 2 piece GORE-TEX shell surfaced a couple seasons ago. It's here, and it basically a women's version of the men's Latitude. Just tailored and fitted for women. This version also has one key feature that the men's doesn't however; Adjustability to lengthen the pants a few inches! Finally something we get that men don't when it comes to motorcycle gear. These also go up to a Size 22!

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/dainese-womens-zima-gore-tex-jacket" style="dark"]Dainese Zima GTX[/button]

Dainese Zima GTX Jacket dainese_travelguard_gtx_womens_pants

 

I especially love how the front of the jacket lays flat, so to speak. Partly because of Dainese's special Mugello fabric, but also just the way they sew and fit everything together. The design is always clean and simple. I'm wearing a Euro 40 (US 4) with the liner in. Of course, you can pair this with any of the Dainese Womens Textile pants (no jeans).  The GORE-TEX is not removable, but the thermal liner is.

The Zima is one of my personal favorites. I'd say that it has an average fit. Not too narrow, not too curvy. Somewhere in the middle, but not as narrow as some of their other jackets. If you're looking for the matching GTX pant, the Travelguard (above; thigh vents/hip armor/adjustable knee armor) or Galvestones are the way to go. And of course, if you aren't interested in GTX, then there are a few other Dainese pants to choose from.

 

Desde La Tierra, Hasta La Tierra

revit olympia womens textile pro pants indigo jacket waterproof

At Horizons Unlimited in October, I met Erin before she and her husband left for their wild adventure from the Sierra Nevadas all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America via motorcycles.

She needed help finding the perfect outfit to carry her through the chilly temperatures she was about to face. And an outfit that would fit into her $500 budget. 

Although something like the Legacy GTX jacket and pants would've been perfect, they were also way out of her price range (almost $1,000). She emailed me about some used Airglide pants but after telling me that she is always cold and wanted something that would definitely keep her warm, I googled a bit and found gently used Olympia Pro Max waterproof pants on good ole Craigslist for $100 in her size. She preferred to find something on the warmer side, than the cooler, so these would work well. Excellent! 

She and her husband then visited me at Scuderia West's fall open house and we found her the perfect jacket, the REVIT Indigo.  Priced at ~$330, it fit her perfectly and best of all, met her budget and riding needs. 

Piece of cake :)

Have a safe and fantastic trip you two! 

To follow their journey, visit and like their facebook page, DesdelaSierraHastaLaTierra.  

Motorcycle Gear for Summer

The Pace Motorcycle Podcast

Revit Airwave Womens Motorcycle Jacket Ventilated Mesh Dainese G-Air-Frame Tex Womens Motorcycle Jacket

In my last episode of The Pace and in a recent reader email, I made some suggestions for summer gear options for my fellow women riders.  (Of course, these outfits all come in men's versions). 

 

Dainese

G-Air-Frame Tex Jacket

Dainese G-Air-Frame Tex Womens Motorcycle Jacket

MSRP: $269.95
Where to Buy: Revzilla.com, DStores Orange County, San Francisco or Chicago.  (be sure to call for availability)

The Air Frame has a removable windproof liner and a 3/4 connection zipper to wear with any Dainese pants (unfortunately you can't zip a Dainese jacket or pant to any other brands). The fit is more on the long and lean side, so I'd recommend this fit for gals with a longer torso. The shoulders are not too narrow and not too broad. 

They also have the Air Flux at $199.95, which is a little less expensive because it doesn't offer the removable liner or connection zipper. That would be a good alternative as well.

 

Drake Air Textile Pants

MSRP: $259.95
Where to Buy: Revzilla.com, DStores Orange County, San Francisco or Chicago.  (be sure to call for availability)

The Drakes are the most fitted, ventilated riding pant I've ever tried on or seen. Dainese makes all of their pants with tha 'skinny jean' shape. Instead of a boot cut leg style, they have a more tapered fit. You can still wear them over your boots, but they can also be worn inside your boots if you have plenty of calf adjustment since the knee armor also has a shin guard. If you're looking for a really lean fit in riding pants and want to find something to wear as close to the fit of your jeans as possible, you'll love the Drakes. I wear a 42 in these and I'm a size 4 in jeans. The length is perfect.  The rise in the waist is rather low, so if you have hips you may find them to be too short in the waist.
 

 

Olympia

Switchback Jacket

MSRP: $229.99

Where to Buy: Revzilla.com

The Switchback is a lighter version of the Airglide. It has a removable waterproof/windproof liner that isn't insulated. The fit and sizing is great for curvier body types and comes in hi viz!  More generous in the shoulders, arms, waist and bust. The length is a bit shorter so it's better if you have a shorter torso. 

 

Airglide Pants

Olympia Airglide 3 Women's Motorcycle OverPants

MSRP: $229.99

Where to Buy: Revzilla.com

The Airglides are an overpant, with full hip to toe zippers. I've mentioned them a few times before, as they're a well ventilated pant made of  Cordura.  The fit is generous in the hips and thighs and is perfect for a curvy body type. The knee armor is adjustable and removable too. With the large mesh panels on across the thighs, I've seen many women wear a full size smaller in these vs. their winter counterpart, the Pros

 

REV'IT

Airwave Jacket and Pants

Revit Airwave Womens Motorcycle Jacket Ventilated MeshREV'IT Airwave Womens Motorcycle Pants Mesh

MSRP: $199.99/Jacket, $189.99/Pants

Where to Buy: Revzilla.com

The Airwave offers plenty of ventilation in a lightweight jacket that doesn't have a removable liner. The fit is much like the Tornado, and has a great all around fit for almost all body types.  The pants also feature a full inner leg zipper which make it easy to wear shorts underneath and get to wear you're going . (The Tornados feature a removable waterproof, thermal liner and are for year round riding, whereas these are strictly for summer).