Pants

Questions About Women's Motorcycle Gear

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Join me in one week when my good friend Alisa Clickenger (Women’s Motorcycle Tours) joins me for a Live QnA about Riding Gear.

When: Monday, March 11th at 3:30pm Pacific / 6:30pm Eastern

Originally, we created this event for a Facebook Group called Motorcycle Mentoring, for women riders look for female mentors. If you’re new to riding and are looking for great advice and feedback from a wonderfully supportive group of women riders, this is the group for you. All riders, all riding lifestyles, all ages.

IMS 2011 at the Women Ride booth: Alisa (left), Me and one of our IMS volunteers

IMS 2011 at the Women Ride booth: Alisa (left), Me and one of our IMS volunteers

I consider Alisa to be one of my mentors and long time friends. When we first met at the IMS 8 years ago, I was inspired by her personal riding stories. She has always been a source of encouragement and motivation for me, and I am so proud to call her my friend.

I’m excited to participate in this QnA and give you all the answers you’ve been waiting for. Whether it’s how to find the right fitting jacket or how to find a pant that fits your body type. And any other gear questions you might have that you’ve been hoping to ask but aren’t sure who can help you find the answers.

How to Join

Register Here

Then wait for your confirmation email containing instructions to join the call Online Live Stream, OR via telephone.

You can also call in just like a conference call and listen in and participate that way if you don’t have access to the internet! If you have any questions, post a comment here or send me an email.

Note that everyone must register individually because you will receive a link that’s specific to your email. You do not have to use your webcam if you don’t want to, either. You can just watch!

Bring your questions or if you’re already a member of the group you can post your questions in the Facebook Event there, or post a comment here.

July 2016: Our friend Porsche (left), Alisa (center) and Me

July 2016: Our friend Porsche (left), Alisa (center) and Me

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.

 

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 Review! Revit Womens Xena Leather Motorcycle Pants

Revit Womens Xena Leather Motorcycle Pants  

I love it when my motorcycle pants fit me this well.

If you're looking for a new sport cut leather pant to zip with your Revit jacket, or to wear with another brand, these might be perfect for you. Just watch those hips, baby.

Review: Revit Womens Xena Leather Motorcycle Pants

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:

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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.

Women's Motorcycle Jackets with the Longest Sleeves

This is my second video for Revzilla.com!

In this vid, I give you all my recommendations for women's jackets with the longest sleeves.

But in case you missed my last Geek Speak video for Revzilla.com, you can watch that one here too:

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.

Sport Touring, Gore-Tex Motorcycle Pants

dainese_travelguard_goretex_womens_pants What do you wear when you ride a Street Triple, SV650, Shiver, Monster or other sport tourer and want to spend 3-4 days riding the twisties roads possible in a variety of weather conditions? 

You know it's going to rain, or be chilly, or be warm. You're up against a few different temperature differences and don't want to pack extra rain gear. These are one of the few riding pants on the market for those of us who choose to tour on a sporty bike. I'm not laying down like on a Daytona 675. But my pegs are a little higher and I'm riding a little aggressively. I need to stay dry, and I don't want to wear a dual sport, adventure style pant with wide legs and a fitment that's designed for fully upright riding position.

Women riders don't have many options when it comes to Gore-Tex, it's expensive and the market is rather small. But Dainese continues to give us many pants to choose from. Because these have a removable thermal liner, they relax the fit through the legs and hips to accommodate the extra liner, unlike the New Drake Airs which have a slimmer fit. The inseams tend to be average, but don't run long like Rev'it. When you need a shorter pant, I like Dainese because the leg fit is slim enough to wear the pants won't fall down.

If you've never experienced the power of Gore-Tex, it's an amazing fabric with the most breathability for a waterproof membrane. I appreciate the flexibility that this material gives me when I know I'll be up against wet weather, hot weather and the cold weather.

Keep in mind all Dainese pants have a slimmer fit through the calves because of the knee guards, and offer the only fully tapered textile riding pants available for men and women.

MSRP $399.95, Euro 40-52 (~US 2-14) Revzilla.com