Riding Jeans or Riding Pants?


I'm intrigued by riding jeans but concerned about their crash worthiness for non-city riding. My commuting distance is a combined 20 miles of backroads,mostly freeway and a tiny bit of downtown Portland. My other riding is highways and country roads.

My favorite warm weather option is Dainese New Drake Airs (fit is super!). Should I bother with denim or stick with these as my commuting pants?

Many thanks, Linda

For non-city riding, I wouldn't recommend riding jeans. Generally speaking, riding jeans are a better alternative to your casual, non resistant, gap/old navy type jeans. The only riding jeans I do recommend are ones with denim/Kevlar/technical, abrasion resistant fabrics such as Rokker or Rev'it. And I only recommend the ones with hip and knee protection. I tend to be a stickler for armor in riding jeans, but that's certainly a personal decision.

I think you are already wearing the best option for the commute that you're riding everyday. The Dainese Drake Airs are light, strong and comfortable. I have these too, but they're a size too big so I hate wearing them!

The only reason I would do riding jeans instead is if you really want something that's more casual looking for city riding only.  I was trying to buy the Rev'it Broadway jeans for ladies myself, but after I found the knee pockets to be an inch too low even in riding position, I knew they wouldn't work :(. I was thinking of finding a pair of jeans to wear just around town and on my 10 minute commute (non highway) to work. Personally, I wouldn't wear riding jeans on the freeway.

Sidenote: the Broadway jeans are very slender, and run a size up. I'm a 27" in most casual jeans and I had to go up to a 28" in these because they were so tight. They're also *really* long and all have 32" inseams, which you can hem but that doesn't change the position of the knee armor. I actually prefer the fit of the Madison, but they don't have any hip armor.  I may still give in to these if I can get hip pockets sewn in to add armor there.

Summer Women's Motorcycle Jacket for a Petite Frame

Hi Joanne,

I came across your blog doing research on motorcycle gear. I love how informative and thorough your writing is -- please continue sharing your insight and wisdom!

A friend of mine rides a Harley cruiser and we'll be taking a 2 hr road trip in a couple weeks. I'll be the passenger and I want to be properly geared up. I was thinking about getting the Rev'It Ignition 2 jacket, but am wondering if you had recommendations for other jackets, considering that I don't know how frequently I'll be on a motorcycle (this will be my first ride!) and I will most likely always be the passenger :)

My info is:

1/ 5'7" / 125ish

2/ bust -- 34 / waist -- 28 / hips -- 36

3/ I'll be Colorado in a couple weeks and it looks like that weekend is going to be in the low 90s, eek.

4/ What I'm concerned about is that the chest area will fit ok -- I'm pretty busty (32DD) but have a small back and narrow shoulders so ideally the jacket would need to fit my shoulders well and not be too big. I am also looking for a jacket that's not going to ride up too much when I sit.

Have you tried Ugly Bros denim? There's some versions that have kevlar woven in. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that brand if you're familiar?

I look forward to hearing from you!

best, amy

At your size, I don't think the Ignition 2 is a good option. It's *very* busty. I would actually recommend this jacket because it's longer, 3/4 length and without the waterproof/windproof liner (one liner keeps you warm and dry) and it's ventilated for hot weather. Comes in silver too. I'd go with a size 34. It's better for you than other mesh jackets due to the combination of fit/features that you need.

Rev'it Levante $299:

revit_womens_levante_jacket_detail revzilla

If it's going to be 90, I recommend 2 things:

  1. Wear a baselayer, something to moisture wick and help the gear breathe better:
  2. Wear  a sportsbra to compress the girls a bit if need be. The sports bra will also be more comfortable on a hot, long trip over a traditional bra. A running / workout bra is great. I wear a simple Gap Body one that's light and super comfy. I'm a 32D bordering 34C myself.

Rev'it and other companies make other mesh jackets, but this one hits all the points you need; bust fit, narrowness in shoulders/arms, length, coverage, etc.

The Maven will simply be too Hot. You need mesh and breathability. Keep in mind that the Levante is also a breathable mesh, not an open weave mesh like you see on other jackets. So it'll still breathe really well but not as direct as traditional mesh. Check out my cohost's review of the jacket here:

As far as denim jeans, haven't heard of that brand. My favorite is Rev'it because they offer Hip And Knee protection. It's very rare when someone offers us both! Body armor is as important as abrasion resistance, so hips and knees are a must. These offer both, as well as Coolmax lining which should help in the heat, and the denim is weaved with Cordura so it's not just regular denim with panels for reinforcement. Revit says that their lining is stronger than Kevlar, and more breathable. It's certainly softer, that's for sure. I'm very tempted to get these to commute to work with myself. I don't do riding jeans because none of them so far have offered hip and knee armor and I don't like riding without hip armor. The fit is fabulous and true to waist size. They fit like a nice bootcut jean. My only issue with them is that the legs are really long, I have a 28.5" inseam and the knee armor pockets are almost an inch too low in riding position. :(

Rev'it Broadway:

Summer Motorcycle Gloves for Men


I came across your GearChic blog & Moterrific podcast after listening to either the Wheelnerds or (more likely) The Pace Podcast.  I've caught up on all the podcasts & really appreciate all the great info & engaging interviews you & Christi have with people in the industry.  I listen quite a bit through my Sena while commuting to & from work & often on rides elsewhere (I'm a podcast addict, so I have something playing just about anytime).  

I have a gear question I've been trying to nail down for a while, since I ride mostly Kawasaki bikes - an '02 KLR650 (now 685) and an '09 Versys - both green.  I'm trying to find a comfortable summer-oriented glove for riding in the usual 80-100 degree summers we have here, and it would be a real bonus to find something in a Kawasaki green.  I currently wear a Sedici medium gauntlet style glove in the spring & fall, as well as some insulated Joe Rocket gauntlet gloves or Tourmaster heated gauntlets for winter.  During the summer, I will usually wear the Sedici gloves to work, but on the hot ride home, I will either wear some cheap dirt gloves or Mechanix gloves.  I know these won't give me the same protection as good street gloves in the event of a crash, so I'm hoping you can steer me in the right direction.

Thanks & I hope to boost your email count just a little :)


Aaron in Yuba City, CA

Hi Aaron!

Thanks for breaking my email record and making it 6 emails in the last week. I'm stoked to help you out. I'm going to warn you, these will all cost more than your budget gloves, but they are going to offer lots of protection, ventilation and comfort.

As far as Kawi Green, that's a tough one. As most of my recommendations aren't available in that color. Try not to think about that too much, you're not looking down at your hands while you're riding, right? :D But I found you one option below that is offered in green, just in case.

Here are my favorite men's summer gloves which also offer plenty of abrasion protection on the palms for street riding. They look like dual sport gloves, and they definitely work well for that but the protection on these are sweet for street riding.

1/ Rev'it Dirt 2 (my fave)

$109.99. These are extremely well ventilated and have a strong goatskin palm, reinforced palms and hard knuckle protection just in case. Like all Rev'it gloves, the fingers tend to run a tad longer.  A really neat feature about these gloves is that there is mesh above the thumbs, so if you have trouble with gloves that are too short over the thumb, these may work better. They're also touchscreen friendly, but please no texting and driving~!

Fitwise, they are a bit narrow at the wrist so if you have really wide hands/palms, go up a size. But they will stretch out in the palms after you break them in.

revit dirt 2 gloves

2/ Held Sambia

$108.00. The Sambias are very similar to the Rev'it, with different construction but the same general purpose/features. Lots of abrasion resistance in the palms for street protection, and ventilation for summer. They also have my favorite, kangaroo palms!

Fitwise, they're also a bit on the narrow side so if you have really wide hands then order a size up. Finger lengths are average, not too short, not too long.



3/ Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon

$79.95 These were actually on my mind as I read through your email. What a coincidence they come in kawi green! These also have a nice leather/mesh construction with carbon fiber hard protections. Lots of air flow with lots of protection. They also happen to be touch screen friendly.

Fitwise, I have found that these will have slightly shorter fingers and accommodate a wide palm without going up a size.


My Favorite Women's Leather Motorcycle Jackets for Summer


A couple weeks ago I posted my favorite summer textiles, but here are some leather options if that's what you need this summer. All of these have perforation or breathability of some kind to get you through the heat. Of course, remember to always wear your favorite full sleeve hot weather baselayers with any of these recommendations!

Keep in mind that even perforated leather won't save you if it's 90-100 degrees, especially with humidity. These are probably more useful to those of you on the west, or southwest where summers are a bit more bearable. Or for mild temperatures, between 70-80 degrees. The summer leather jacket that I wear is also listed below, with a link to the review so you can see how well she did in 90-100 degree dry California heat.

I know there aren't very many options for us when it comes to leather, especially perforated/ventilated ones. Hopefully one of these will work well for you.

dainese logo

Laguna Evo Perforated

$499.95 MSRP, 4 colors, Euro sizes 40-54 (~US2 - 16)

First up, the white jacket above by Dainese. Don't worry, it's also available in black. Aside from all the lovely perforation you can see on the chest and the back of the jacket. The entire surface isn't perforated, but key panels on the chest will provide airflow. Fitment wise, it's your classic hourglass, with a length below the waist. The bust isn't that generous, so if you have a larger than average bust size for your height/weight, then you may want another one the options below. I would still wear a Euro 42 (US 4), but the chest space is definitely a bit snug for me, it doesn't fit anything like the now discontinued Cage.


GP Plus R

$399.95 MSRP, 2 colors, Euro sizes 38-50 (~US 0 - 12)

The GP Plus R also has a typical hourglass fit, but starts down at a full size smaller than the Laguna Evo.  I like how this one fits, not too slim, not too broad. If you have a fairly proportionate body type, then this should fit well. The length is nice, also sits right above the hip. I'd say it has a more generous bust fitment. If I needed another leather jacket, this would be one of my top choices. There is no removable liner with this one.


alpinestars_stella_gp_plusR_womens_perforated_leather_jacket alpinestars_stella_gp_plusR_womens_perforated_leather_jacket_back





$499.95 MSRP, 2 colors, Sizes Euro 34-46 (US 2-14)

The Galactic is my favorite and current summer leather jacket. Ventilated with a removeable waterproof liner. Read my full review here.

revit galactic womens leather jacket

Ignition 2

$499.99 MSRP, 2 colors, Sizes Euro 34-46 (US 4-16)

The Ignition is a relaxed, touring / sport touring fit with a more generous and curvy fit. Read my full review here.



$449.99 MSRP, 3 colors, Sizes Euro 34-44

The Xena is the sportiest option for those of you looking for a full race cut leather jacket. This one has a smaller than average fit, I usually wear a 36 in Rev'it and I needed a 38 for this one to accommodate my bust (37").



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="" style="dark"]REV'IT Sand[/button]


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="" 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="" 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="" style="dark"]Olympia Ranger[/button]


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="" style="dark"]Klim Altitude[/button]


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="" 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.


New Review: REV'IT Ignition Jacket and Gear Pants

revit womens leather motorcycle jacket pants gear 2 ignition 2

Forgot to post this update a couple weeks ago when I posted my review of the all new REV'IT Ignition 2 Jacket and Gear 2 Pants. 

I'm in the new version above (Euro 38) and my friend Victoria (Euro 36) is in the older version on the right. Read my reviews and how my weight loss changed the fitment on this beautiful outfit once I dropped almost 20 pounds (to Victoria's size).

Review: Ignition 2 Jacket

Review: Gear 2 Pants


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). 



G-Air-Frame Tex Jacket

Dainese G-Air-Frame Tex Womens Motorcycle Jacket

MSRP: $269.95
Where to Buy:, 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:, 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.



Switchback Jacket

MSRP: $229.99

Where to Buy:

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:

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



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:

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). 


Mesh Women's Motorcycle Gear for Hot Summer Riding

What Motorcycle Gear Should I Wear?

I love reader emails. The questions are always great and I know everyone can benefit from some free advice.  My latest email is about summer mesh/textile riding options.

Here's a recent email from Nataly in Chicago:

First off, I think your website is great. (Thanks!!)

I started riding about two years ago and the same summer I learned how to ride I purchased my baby, an '09 Yamaha V-Star 650. As of now, a helmet is pretty much all the gear I use but I think more safety gear is probably a good idea. I am 21, 5'4" and 125lbs. Most of the riding I do is commute which includes to work and school. I don't really want to be walking around campus in motorcycle boots and jacket.

I am looking for something more casual as well as light weight for Chicago's hot and humid summers. Being a college student I don't have a very big budget to work with so I thought I'd ask someone more knowledgeable. I'm hoping you can lead me in the right direction. 

Right back at you, Nataly. Your attitude is great and I'm so happy you've decided to make the investment. 

So Nataly, your biggest challenge is not only the hot, humid Chicago weather but lack of secure storage on your motorcycle. I'm not worried about you going to work since you have a place to change and you probably don't have to wear your gear all day while working. But I am worried about commuting to school without any kind of locker or place to stash gear.  

Since your commute is local, I'd recommend first getting knee guards to wear over your jeans if you aren't considering overpants or textile meshed riding pants:  

I would highly recommend going over to the D-Store Chicago.  They will have a large selection of women's gear, especially mesh/textiles for Chicago summer weather for you to try on in your size. I would go there first and if you can't find anything you like, then I would consider some of the options below. But since they have a lot to try on in person, that would be my first recommendation to consider.

Otherwise, you could do a lightweight overpant like these Airwaves: 

REV'IT Airwave Pants $189

REV'IT Airwave Womens Motorcycle Pants Mesh

What I also like about these are the zippers all the way from hip to toe so you can easily wear them over shorts or jeans and then take them off and roll them up in your softbag. 

Here are some other jacket ideas for you too, under $200. All of them offer elbow and shoulder armor (which you need at a minimum) and lots of ventilation / air flow. They certainly come in other colors too, and I'd order the smallest possible size in each.

Alpinestars Rebel Air Flow $179

Don't worry, it comes in black and red if you're not a camo girl! 


REV'IT Airwave $199

(click here to find a dealer in your zip code for Revit).

Revit womens textile mesh motorcycle jacket

Taichi Sport Mesh $129.95 

Unfortunately you would have to mail order this one from  

RS Taichi Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Womens


As far as boots, I'm going to recommend boots with a GORE-TEX liner, because they will have the Most breathability. Something that will also help greatly with this are athletic socks that breathe and wick moisture away (running socks are fantastic).  

Check out my boot recommendations post from a couple weeks ago. These are all really comfortable (great for walking all day) and lightweight.  All of the ones before the "Need More Protection" section would be ideal. 

I also hope you will consider Gloves. You can easily find some perforated, short leather gloves in time for summer.

Here's an idea of what to look for:

RS Taichi Armed Leather Mesh $69

(The size "Ladies" is an XS.) All mesh on top but sueded leather on the palms. It's not as strong as a standard leather palm like these,  but should hold up in any kind of slow speed accident.  They're well ventilated, so if your hands start to sweat, they will definitely let the air flow through. The last thing you want is your hands meeting hot pavement!

RS Taichi Armed Leather Mesh Gloves Womens Size

I'm sure the Dainese store will have shorty women's vented gloves for you to check out too.

I hope that helps for now, please let me know when you find something!