My latest newsletter has been sent! Subscribe using the sign up form to the right, or view it right here. You can also click on the Newsletter menu to the left to view the current issue as well as past issues. GearChic - October 2011 Newsletter
My recommended list of 1-Piece, off the rack leather suits for Women.
I know, I know. You're thinking, but those aren't summer gloves! Well, there's perforation on the top of the wrist as well as between the fingers. They aren't lined and feel like second skin. What I like the most so far, is how well they articulate. As soon as you wrap your hand around the handgrip, they feel like they were sewn on your hands in that position. Ideally, that's what you're looking for in terms of fit.
I have a feeling they'll break in quickly, given how soft and supple the leather feels. The pinky and 4th fingers are not sewn together, which many race gloves have as a feature. I wonder why they excluded that from these particular gloves. I'm guessing they are trying to reach a street rider, vs. a track / racer.
I'm anxious to take them for a spin tomorrow to see how much cooler they are in comparison to my other gloves, given the fact that they have more perforation.
What's that saying? Oh yeah, I'd Rather Sweat than Bleed! I'm sure many of you are used to not wearing gloves in the summer, or if you do, it's typically a shorty glove with no wrist protection. Living in San Francisco and riding in the Bay Area, these gloves are perfect for the different microclimates we live through. I have one pair of full leather, fully perforated gloves, which I hardly ever wear. Not because I don't ride in the heat, but because I'd rather have the complete protection that my fully gauntleted, full leather gloves provide me (currently Racer High Ends), even in 90+ degree heat in Sonoma County in July.
There are so few options on the market for race gloves for women. If you're considering a pair, I urge you to add these to your list. The fit of most RS Taichi gear is on the petite side (think small Japanese men), and with these gloves, unfortunately they only make one Women's size, which they call size Lady's. Not small or xsmall, just Lady's. I'd have to guestimate that they are a 6.5-7.0 (Xtra Small/Small), based on the comparison of fit with Held gloves.
And yes, they're a little power rangerish, some might say, but they certainly add a level of visibility that I do not currently have with my gear, as it is all black (except for my helmet).
Stay tuned for a full review.
Here are some recommendations for protective pants that will keep you cool and safe in the warmest of riding conditions. I highly recommend wearing a good wicking/moisture managing base layer to make your riding pants more comfortable when going on a long ride, especially on a particularly sweaty day. It'll also help your pants fit better, making them easier for on and off (bathroom breaks!) as well.
If you're looking for a pant that has a strong abrasion resistant outer shell, breathability and fit, I hope one of these will work for you.
If there's something that Dainese is known for, it's Fit and Function. These will fit you like your favorite pair of jeans. With venting on the front of the thighs, it should keep you cool on a warm summer day. I would recommend these for the most petite fits, as it features a smaller starting size of a European 40 (US 0-2) and a narrow, straight leg.
$259.00 (New for 2011)
The Tornado (with a matching jacket) is the ultimate touring pant for women. These have 2 removable liners, one thermal and one waterproof/windproof. The outer shell offers a little more ventilation than the Turbine but offers only Knox Armor and constructed of 86% polyamide, 14% polyester. It also has a slightly different polyester mesh weave. I would also recommend these for a petite fit, as the starting size is European 34 (US 0-2). But if you're a plus size, and need something over a 10-12, I recommend the men's version of these pants.
With a slightly higher price point, you get better armor (ProLife CE), SuperFabric on the knees, and an outer shell constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura®. So you're getting a more protective pant than it's little sister, the Tornado above. For the hardcore dual sport / adventure / touring rider looking for a pant that's going to protect you and keep you cool and dry. I would also recommend these for a petite fit, as the starting size is European 34 (US 0-2).
These are the only summer mesh overpants with a full hip to toe zipper! What you'll also find are velcro adjustments in the pocket where the knee armor fits so you can move it up and down as you need to (especially if you're wearing these on different bikes which can have different seated positions). These are also a little long on purpose so those of us who are vertically challenged can hem them as needed. Just be careful not to hem them in front of the mirror. Make sure you sit on your bike to know how much length you really might need! I recommend these for the curviest/full figured/plus size girls who need more room in the hips/butt and thighs. They run up to a true US 18.
With a mesh construction on the outer shell, these offer a removable, waterproof liner and 2/3 length zippers along the sides. I like how the 2 front pockets are in a much more useful place than other pants who place them a little too high for my use. It's so much easier to reach for a pocket on your thigh than it is to reach for a pocket way up on your hip. I would recommend these as an ideal fit for the curviest/full figured/plus size women out there who need something with a wider leg fit. These also run up to a true US 18.
These look like a great pant with mesh panels right where you need them. I've never seen these in person, so I'm not entirely sure of the fit. However, with RS Taichi being a Japanese company, the fits tend to be more petite and compact, you could say.
$399.99, BWM Motorcycles USA
(Gear & Web EPC/RidersApparel/Overview/MotorcycleSuits/TextileSuits/Airflow Suit)
Unfortunately their website navigation is a little arduous and I'm unable to copy the URLs so I wrote the submenu locations above. I've only tried on the matching Airflow jacket, but from what I've seen with the jacket, I think the pants would be great. The wonderful thing about BMW is they offer Long and Petite options in many (but not all) of their gear, depending on the model. These do not appear to come in anything but a standard 4-16. I couldn't find a size chart, but you can view it electronically. You can only find these through BMW Dealers, and not all of them carry gear, so call your local dealer to check. Keepin mind the fitment is petite, and a little narrower overall.
Ladies, if you ride a scooter, or are looking for something lightweight to wear just while riding around town, here are a few of my suggestions for protective jackets that aren't as technical, yet still comfortable and protective. Some are even waterproof and lined to help keep you a little warmer for winter. All of these jackets will be articulated well for an upright riding position. If you're farther forward, in supersport position, you'll want to consider a more aggressive motorcycle jacket, since they'll be articulated better for that type of fit.
REV'IT Ginger $169.99 Sale! Fit is ideal for narrow shoulders/arms, narrow waist and shorter torsos.
FirstGear Contour Waterproof $149.95 Fit is deal for broad shoulders, chest.
These are going to be over the $200 mark, but are going to provide you with a few more features and maybe a better fit. Unfortunately I can't get some of the pics to load, but you can find most of them on Revzilla.com.
REV'IT CR $229.99 Fit is narrow in the shoulders and arms. If you're a size 0-2, order a Size 34. This one fits so comfortably, it’s not terribly warm, so you’d have to wear a good fleece or baselayer underneath to add some warmth.
GoGo Gear Military Waterproof $259.00 Fit is good for both petite and curvy body types. The smaller sizes are narrow and the larger sizes seem to be generously cut in the shoulders/chest.
REV’IT Siren $299.99 Fit is very narrow through the shoulders/arms. This is an ideal jacket if you’re really petite through these areas. The cut is also a little shorter than other 3/4 jackets. If you have a shorter torso, you’ll find this fit to be just right. I love this jacket and forsee it as a winter option...
Olympia Airglide 2 Waterproof $249.99 Fit is ideal for broader shoulders, arms, waist, chest and shorter torsos, as well as curvy hips. This one comes with 2 liners, a windproof/waterproof liner, and a thermal liner. It’s great for year round riding since it’s well ventilated without the liners in the summer. If you have trouble finding gear to fit your chest, this one won’t disappoint as the cut is very generous right where you need it.
Dainese BONN Lady $279.00 I love the simplicity and look of this jacket. It's simple and looks like you're average winter coat, but with thoughtful features such as armor, a removable hood, thermal liner and sealed zippers. It appears to be water resistant and should hold up in a light rain/fog or misty ride home. This one isn't available on Revzilla's website. If you call them, you can certainly find out if they can order it for you.
AlpineStars Stella T-Lux $249.95 This one is a little shiny in person, but it looks really good when you put it on. I really like this one. I’m a fan of the military look, personally. The fit is fairly narrow across the shoulders, arms and waist, so it runs a little on the small side. If you’re a size 0-2, an XS should fit you.
RS Taichi Drymaster Team Winter
~$250.00 (I can't remember the exact price, but it's less than $300 and over $200)
They're using their own waterproof technology called Drymaster. I'm contemplating this for the city too, but not sure if I want something warmer. It would be fine for riding around San Francisco, but I wouldn't wear it at freeway speeds, given the speed and winter temperatures. It's extremely lightweight and fits me like a glove. The fit is in between a European and American fit. Not too narrow, not too curvy/generous, but just right. This is also not available on Revzilla's website. Unfortunately I can't find it on any online retailer sites. Scuderia in San Francisco is a dealer however, and even has them in the store. :( This one is sold out for the season. Unfortunately RS Taichi only made so many available. Guess we have to wait until 2011.
That's it for now. Stay tuned for my winter recommendation post for women's motorcycle jackets and pants.