Spidi

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:

1-piece Womens Leather Motorcycle Suits

spidi_womens_mantis_track_wind_pro_race_suitdainese_womens_racing_suit  

Shopping for a 1 piece leather suit? Here are some off-the-rack options available for women riders looking for a good sport fit suit.

Unfortunately there aren't as many options for 1 piece suits as there are separates, so here's what you have to choose from if you're not able to purchase a custom suit.

Spidi Mantis Women's Wind Track Pro Suit

$1,399.95. The fit profile on Spidi suits tend to be a bit longer in the torso, and slightly narrower in the shoulders.  Check out my friend India in her 2-piece Poison suit. The fit is fabulous and great if you need more length in the body.

spidi_womens_mantis_track_wind_pro_race_suit

Dainese Racing Women's Suit

This suit is perfect for the extremely petite riders out there. Pictured below is my coworker Sokrady, in a size 40 (5'3", <105-110lbs). She usually has a hard time finding anything that fits her right, and typically rides around town in her Tornado Jacket in 34. She recently acquired this suit and it fits her perfect!

dainese_womens_racing_suit dainese_womens_racing_leather_suit_petite

 

Alpinestars Motegi Women's Suit

alpinestars_stella_motegi_leather_suit

 

$799. I love the Motegi suit, it has a nice relaxed fit to it. I would say this one is the curviest fit overall but with a slightly shorter torso/arms/legs with a similar fit to the less expensive AXO suit.

 

AXO Women's Talon Race Suit

$600.00. The Talon Suit is on sale, $200 off MSRP! The fit is similar to Alpinestars, a tad on the curvier side with shorter limbs / torso overall.

axo_talon_race_suit

 

 

Spidi Poison 2 Piece Suit

spidi_poison_womens_suit1 I wanted to share this fabulous pic of my friend India, sporting a brand new Spidi Poison 2 Piece Leather Suit. It's the perfect 2 piece suit for your next track day, or day ride along your favorite twisties.  Everyone should have a 2 piece textile, and a 2 piece leather in their closet.

I would say that Spidi for the most part runs a little leaner, similar to Dainese in fit. I haven't tried this one on in person, but am very hopeful that we will have some Spidi gear in the near future as well.

She's sized in a Euro 46. If you're interested in this suit, send me an email through the contact link on the left and I'll help you get sized. :)

Back Protector Issue

Reader Emily wrote me recently about a back protector issue she's having while riding 2-up. Check out what she had to say along with my reply:

Hi there, I live in Berkeley (I know you've decamped to Philly) and my b/f and I ride a BMW 1200GS Adventure with me on the back. We recently upsized from an 800GS. Because I found it hard on my lower back to not have no backrest, when he got the new bike he had a box put on the back with the backrest cushioning installed.

Now I am getting a bruise mid-spine from the top of the box (even though it is cushioned as well). I have a FirstGear Kilimanjaro Air jacket that I've liked but the back armor goes down just to the place where the top of the box hits. I went into the BMW dealer in SF yesterday to try their jackets and found they have the same problem. I am 5'8" and long waisted and BMW jackets for women don't come in long sizes, though their men's apparel does. Kent in the BMW store suggested I try Rev'it because they make better apparel for women then BMW (actually he suggested I start my own company making women's motorcycling appa rel).

However, I note in looking at the Rev'it website that the women's gear also does not come in long sizes. Do you know how long the back armor is in the women's jacket (I wear an 8 in the BMW GS Dry) or do you have any other suggestions? We're taking a two week trip in Montana in September and I've got to have this figured out by then or I will be be super uncomfortable.

-April

I have a couple ideas for you:

 

1) Rev'it Levante Jacket + Seesoft Back Protector

This combination gives you two things including a longer cut in the torso and sleeves as well as a back protector that's fairly long. It shouldn't be taller than your shoulder blades but I think it'll alleviate the issues you're having with the top box. This jacket is one of the only ones that work well for women who are looking for a jacket that's multi season (removable thermal layer with a mesh shell) and have a longer torso fit as well a sleeve length. Unfortunately you have to use Seesoft with the Levante because the pocket is specifically cut out for Seesoft. Alternatively, you could also use D3O instead, you'll just have to trim the sides to fit. To find out more about this jacket, check out my tall co-host's review here.

Keep in mind that all back protector inserts will never be higher than the shoulder blades because it's just too uncomfortable in riding position and the jacket just won't fit right. It would really restrict the driver's ability to fully turn their head from side to side.

revit_womens_levante_jacket_detail revzilla revit_seesoft_back_protector_insert

 

2) External Back Protector

If the previous combination doesn't work, try wearing an external back protector underneath like this one by Spidi. I like this one because it's pretty long but really thin. You can also adjust the waist belt to your height via velcro. I think this would fit perfectly underneath the Levante as well.

spidi_warrior_light_backprotector

 

What Kind of Petite Riding Jacket, Boots and Pants?

My name is Melissa and I live in London. I found your site on Google. I' m looking for some motorcycle gear as my boyfriend has a motorbike and I will be riding as a passenger pretty soon. We're planning a trip at Easter to ride from Portland to LA, which is super exciting, only thing is, I'm tiny. It's proving really difficult to find stuff that's actually "small". I guess I'm just under 5ft tall and about a US size 0-2 (UK size 4-6). I'm looking for some pants (possibly armoured jeans?) that are as skinny a fit as possible (partly for vain reasons, partly for fit!). Or do you know if it's possible to buy leg armour ie. wear my own jeans underneath (as I can imagine that trousers that are possibly a bit too big would be slightly uncomfortable)? As we're going to be travelling really light- one pannier each for 3 weeks (!) I'd like my gear to look as much like regular clothes as possible so I don't have to pack too much else..

I'm sure finding a jacket won't be as difficult. but would any leather jacket suffice or does it have to be armoured.

I already own some steel toe cap Doctor Marten boots- I imagine these would be ok.. correct me if I'm wrong!

I'm completely clueless basically!! Help!

Melissa

Hi Melissa,

For pants, the only ones I can think of that will fit you are the Vikas in 38. However, depending on your measurements and how small you are, even those may be slightly loose. I have a review of them here.

alpinestars_vika

The smallest riding jeans I know of are the Dainese D19s in 25. I would recommend buying one of these knee guards to wear over the jeans:

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/dainese-knee-v-guard

or

http://www.revzilla.com/product/alpinestars-bionic-mx-knee-protectors

As far as jackets, I'm afraid it's going to be difficult as well. And yes, you definitely want something armored. Casual leather has absolutely nothing designed in the event of a crash, things like seam strength and abrasion resistance are non existent. And if you plan on riding up when the weather is chilly, you may want to think about an insulated textile instead of leather. Especially if it's going to be wet or rainy.

revit_indigo_womens_jacket_silver

I'm also guessing that you have a very narrow torso and bust. If your measurements are small as I think they are, your best off the rack options are the Vika in 38, Indigo in 34, Sand in 34 and Tornado in 34. If your bust measurement is under 34" (over the bust), I haven't found anything that will fit below that size. :-(

As far as boots, Dr Martens are ok, since they are leather and pretty durable. I actually started out wearing those the first year I rode my motorcycle but quickly realized that real riding boots were far more beneficial for me as a rider. Ideally, you also more ankle protection, from a boot like these:

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/dainese-womens-svelta-gore-tex-boots 

They're extremely comfortable, 100% waterproof, and very slender up the calf/leg.

dainese_svelta_gtx

The soles, toes, ankles and heels are reinforced in the event of a crash. Everything is designed to keep your feet from getting crushed and absorbing a tremendous impact.

Riding a motorcycle requires a lot of functional riding gear. Anything that looks more fashionable more often than not, lacks either protection or features that are going to make your ride a less comfortable and safe one.

A side note for any women reading this who are tall, slender and/or very petite. Generally speaking, these brands are going to take the best care of you when it comes to gear:

alpinestars-1024x214 logo_revit dainese logo spidi_logo

 

The reason is that these brands are European. As such, they offer the smallest off the rack sizes and everything about them is a better fit for leaner body types; narrower torso, shoulders, arms, elbows, legs, etc. 

There is one exception with American brands and that is the Klim Altitude for Dual Sport / Adventure riders. This suit has a very long / lean fit. 

Looking for Fitted, "not gear" Looking gear

alice-1-928x1024.jpg

Requirements:

  • On the fitted, less unisex/androgynous side. 
  • Like the "not gear" look, but prefer white or lighter for visibility. But I'd consider darker. 
  • Would like to top out at $200. Less is always better. It's my first jacket; it doesn't have to be my only. But one jacket that does a good job with a layer or two under or over would be great.

I prefer a more fitted jacket. For example, I was able to try on the Dainese Air-Frame. The women riders in the store assured me that the 38 (or was it 40?) was the size I needed ("that's how it fits me, too," each said). And it might have been the best size for the elbow armor, but, wow--just way too snug across the bust. The next size up was fine, but they thought the armor in the elbows moved a bit too much. So maybe the Dainese brand just isn't for me (5'4", about 110, but C-D bust). I do like the shape of the Alice (based on the video), but it doesn't look like the bust would fit any different. Same thing with the Ignition 2. Really like the look (on the RevZilla vid and based on your blog), don't really want to spend that much, especially because I question the fit. 

The Alpinestars seem to give me a bit more room in the bust. Most of their jackets are way to branded for me, though. 

I've looked at photos/descriptions/videos/reviews of a million jackets. And have been able to try on a few. 

I just stumbled upon the Fieldsheer 3.0. Difficult to tell about fit without seeing it on someone. One reviewer said it was a potato sack.

And I do like the look of the Spidi Netix in white. But I'm not sure, without buying the thermal liner, it will be enough to carry me into the fall/winter/spring in San Diego.

Keep in mind that at your weight and size, your choices are very very limited. If you're 110, and a C/D bust, then you technically are a 40 (they dont offer 38 really) but because your bust is larger than your overall size, you may have to go up to a 42 to accommodate your bust. also, remember that all of the Dainese jackets are shorter across the front on purpose. so make sure that you are checking that fit in riding position, NOT standing or front of the mirror. They're all designed to be more comfortable with arms forward and out, reaching for your handlebars. It's definitely doesn't feel normal, compared to shopping for casual clothes. I think for you, it's partly getting used to this new kind of clothing and adjusting to a fit that's more ideal for riding position. However, that being said I can definitely understand the bust still being too tight because generally speaking, Dainese jackets do not have a very generous fit in the bust if you're larger there proportionally to the rest of your body.

And going up in size for the bust means a looser fit everywhere else. Unfortunately your proportions are backwards for gear manufacturers. You'll have to increase your budget quite a bit as well, $200 for something that fits you is almost impossible except for the Dainese Air Flux at $199. If you can wear a sports bra, I highly recommend doing so for riding because it'll reduce your bust size a bit to help the jackets fit more comfortably. European manufacturers are the *only* ones who make size 0s because American woman are an average size 10-12.

Do not go with the Ignition 2, even a 34 won't work for you. It's a very VERY boxy cut. If you want to keep the fit for the shoulders/elbows/arms, then you'll need to size down to 34 Revit or 40.  I think you may fit a Revit Xena; I know it doesn't fit your aesthetic but you will have to give up one or more of your requirements to get something that actually fits you and will protect you. Unless you start lifting weights and increasing your muscle mass :)

The Revit Indigo is multi layered, a removable waterproof and removable thermal liner. Since it's multi season, you're paying more than $200. It's a fantastic jacket, and will work mostly year round except in extreme heat or cold temps.

Another option, although bust may be too snug in a 38: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-womens-vika-leather-jacket-2012

You could do 40 in this one, since it runs really narrow. It would probably fit your bust better but still have a slender, fitted cut. http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-womens-vika-leather-jacket (this is the 2014 version of the vika, thus more $)

As far as the Spidi Netix, it's strictly summer so you'll need some sort of windblocker or thermal layer inside to keep you warm through the winter. If you had something like a North Face Windproof Jacket underneath, I could see that working in San Diego. But anything with mesh will allow a lot of wind to go through. I would recommend Spidi's liner, they work really well.

Do You Need a 1 or 2 Piece Leather Motorcycle Suit?

zoom zoom ladies track day dainese womens leathers motorcycle pants jackets  

A reader contacted me via Facebook recently and asked me what I thought about Spidi's 1 piece leather suits for women. The first thing I said was that they're outstanding. The quality is fantastic and they look incredible.

I had to poke and prod this new rider a little more. She was about 20 and just starting to ride.  I asked her why she was interested in a 1 piece and she said simply because it looked cool. I can't argue with how cool they look. I'd LOVE to wear one of these from Spidi.

spidi_trackster_ladies_leather_suitspidi_mantis_wind_pro_ladies

But I'd probably wear the one on the left (Trackster Touring Suit) more often than the one on the right (Mantis Wind Pro Suit). Mainly because I need the flexibility of a 2 piece when I'm actually out riding. And the Mantis is probably more aggressive in terms of fitment for track riding. Notice how the knees bow out a little bit on the Mantis, immediately forcing you into a more forward posture.

But which one do you need? I guess the answer is both, technically speaking. They both offer excellent levels of protection while on the road, no matter what you're riding. But which one are you more likely to wear? Probably the Trackster. Given it's easier to take off your jacket, say if you're stopping for lunch. But on the other hand, I ride with a lot of friends who wear 1 piece suits for weekend rides too, not just track days or racing. And they simply zip off the top half to walk around or when we're sitting down for lunch. That's simply not my ideal method of wearing gear.

It all comes down to what your preference is and which one fits you the best. Having ridden in 2 piece suits over the years, I absolutely love the flexibility and feel. I also tend to wear sport touring suits which aren't as aggressive in terms of fitment. They're designed more for touring and upright riding positions. I do wear the Revit Galactic however, as my summer riding jacket since it's so light and ventilated. It's definitely the most aggressive jacket I've worn so far. And it's not as comfy as my touring textiles. But I do appreciate the fit on my sporty. It almost supports me while I try and keep my upper body off the tank on long rides.

revit galactic womens leather jacket

Keep in mind also that 2 piece leathers come in many forms, not just racing. Take for example the Dainese outfit I'm in the photo at the very top of this post. The jacket is the Cage and the pants are the Firefly (discontinued awhile ago but they offer several other alternatives).

I wore that outfit for my first novice track day. As a novice, it was the perfect outfit since I definitely wasn't planning on pushing myself to the racing, knee dragging limits. Although that jacket looks a bit 'race like' it's really not. It's far less aggressive and fits more like a casual jacket without the added articulation that you see on the elbows of the Galactic pictured right above. The fitments are really what tell the two apart. One immediately feels comfortable, doesn't immediately make me bend forward when trying it on and is definitely easier to wear overall.

dainese_womens_street_leathers

 

When I'm able to do track days on a regular basis, I will probably invest in a full 1 piece suit not only for the added protection, but comfort on the bike. When all you're doing is leaning forward and riding around a track, you want your suit to support you completely in that position.

Remember that when you're venturing into leathers that there will be a break in period that's going to be uncomfortable (no matter what style or brand they are), completely out of your comfort zone and just plain annoying until they soften and loosen up. How much they break in varies from brand to brand, and type of leather to type of leather (kangaroo v. cow v. sheep v. goat, etc.). You could get anywhere from 1/8" up to a half size increase in fit.

Just remember my shopping rules to ensure that you get the right size and don't forget those baselayers to help increase your overall comfort while wearing leather!