city

Motorcycle Etiquette

brammo_empulse As a city girl, I find myself surrounded by a variety of motorcycle / scooter riders. I can honestly say that I've never seen people ride the way they do here. 

I've gotten used to seeing the whole No Helmet, No Gear thing, given PA's lack of a helmet law. But what is really annoying is the lack of motorcycle etiquette (including scooters) that I'm used to experiencing. In addition to general lack of pedestrian and driver safety really. But I suspect that sort of thing is common in most big cities.

Tonight, I was riding home just a few blocks from my house about to pull into a gas station on my right. I'm going maybe 10-15mph and these two bikes pass me on the left inside my lane. I've NEVER had that happen when I rode in San Francisco. Ever. The one time I had someone pass me on the right while out riding my ride leader yelled at him for being such an ass (and doing that to other riders as well, not just me).

The attitudes about motorcycles and scooters here are far less serious and seem whimsical at best. I guess it's a difference in attitudes that are specific to this region. I don't know.

But what I do know is that I'll never be ok with it. And if you're one of those people who like passing your fellow motorcyclists in their lane WITHOUT permission, you're not only risking my life but yours.

Technical Riding Sneakers for Women

Another video from yours truly! Check out my recommendation for women's riding sneakers in another Geek Speak from Revzilla.com.  Keep in mind that riding sneakers are meant for low speed, city riding conditions (~15-35mph). I wouldn't recommend these for any type of backroad or highway / freeway riding or commuting.

What's new from Alpinestars, 2014

alpinestars new land goretex jacket womens motorcycle waterproofalpinestars_new_land_pants_hiviz

Alpinestars just announced it's 2014 collection, which includes quite a few options for women. I just love it when companies release new products for us. Here are my favorite pieces in the collection. Let's start with a couple lightweights and then I'll tell you more about the gorgeous touring outfit above. Everything is slated for September release. For now, you can preorder but most you won't see delivery until sometime in September.

Cassie and Francie Jackets

For the city moto / scooter crowd, these two are fully armored (including back and chest protection), adding another level of protection which your casualwear just doesn't provide. It's difficult to find gear that doesn't look like motorcycle wear, but has some of the protective elements of real gear. Now, these aren't as robust as your typical touring jacket, but for city speeds (think 25-40mph), these will do the job. And typically, when you're a city rider, I would be more worried about the impact injury than abrasion. 

Cassie: $379.95, XS-2XL

  • Advanced poly-fiber and synthetic wool main shell incorporates performance thermal down insulation to offer optimal warmth while being light, bulk-free and without restricting movement.
  • Removable CE certified shoulder and elbow protectors offer class-leading riding protection.
  • Padded chest and back compartments (no one ever offers this feature, except RS Taichi from what I've seen) on jacket allow for Bio Armor chest and back protection accessory upgrade.
  • Easily detachable hood
  • External pockets with snap button and zip closures and internal water-resistant document pocket.
  • Reflective detailing for visibility.
  • Gun metal finishing trim on button and pull chord tabs.
  • Snap connection loops for attachment to Alpinestars riding pants and jeans. 

Francie: $269.95, XS-2XL

  • Diamond rip-stop main shell construction incorporating performance thermal insulation that offers optimal heat while being light, bulk-free and without restricting movement.
  • Removable CE certified shoulder and elbow protectors offer class-leading riding protection.
  • Padded back compartment allows for Bio Armor chest and back protection accessory upgrade.
  • Storm hood comprises elastic edging to secure hood in windy conditions.
  • Adjustable interior gator with snap button connectors forms barrier against wind and helps secure jacket to the body.
  • Convenient exterior pockets with zippers, plus inner mesh pockets and water-resistant inner wallet pocket with easy-locate red zip.
  • Main, frontal zipper, incorporates zip garage (no idea what this means) to help secure zip and avoids skin contact irritation.
  • Elastic cuff edges with thumb grip to secure sleeve in place and help seal out elements.
  • Waist and back shock cord adjustment for highly personalized fit on and off the bike.
  • Brushed fiber collar interior for comfort, plus shock cord adjuster.
  • Reflective detailing for improved garment visibility.
  • Snap-button loops to attach to Alpinestars pants or jeans.

 

Quasar Mesh Jacket

The Quasar appears to be a fully ventilated jacket for summer/spring riding. No removable liners, just lots of ventilation for maximum comfort while riding in hot conditions. I especially like the light gray color option.

$249.95, XS-2XL

  • Constructed with durable and abrasion resistant 600 Denier Polyester Fabric with extended mesh panels on the torso and arms providing substantial airflow when riding for superior comfort in warmer weather conditions.
  • Sport fit with pre-curved sleeves for enhanced riding comfort.
  • CE-certified Bio-Armor elbow and shoulder protectors for added impact protection.
  • Chest and Back protector compartments with advanced poly-foam comfort padding (CE-certified Bio-Armor back protector insert (available as accessory).
  • Internal waist connection zipper allows attachment to selected Alpinestars leather and textile pants.
  • External zipped hand pockets, plus internal pockets and waterproof wallet pocket.
  • Sleeve volume adjusters on biceps and Velcro cuff adjustment for improved fit.
  • Accordion stretch inserts on elbows for improved fit in the riding position.
  • Premium YKK® zippers used throughout the garment.
  • Reflective details for improved nighttime visibility.

 

AST-1 WP Pants

I believe the AST-1 is the updated version of the Stella ST-5 pants. It looks like these have an integrated waterproof membrane (breathable) so they're going to be a better for your spring/fall riding seasons. But if you live in a mild climate like San Francisco, these would work well year round. I especially like the subtle storage pocket on the front thigh. Of course, these have armor at the hips and knees.

$179.95, XS-2XL

  • Specifically constructed for an optimized women’s fit Alpinestars’ Stella AST-1 Waterproof Pants gives the rider peace of mind with a combination of practicality and performance.
  • The pre-curved leg construction and articulated knee design enhance comfort and mobility, while extra protection is afforded by strategically placed ballistic nylon reinforcements. (i.e. Incredible Fit!)
  • Multi-fabric poly-shell construction yields the optimal combination of durability, protection and weight.
  • Protection against the elements provided by an integrated 100% waterproof and breathable membrane.
  • Pre-curved legs and an articulated knee construction enhance freedom of movement while riding.
  • Impact protection provided by removable CE certified knee protectors.
  • Ballistic nylon reinforcements on the thighs, knees and seat area.
  • Integrated high visibility reflective piping enhances rider visibility in poor light conditions.
  • Internal hip compartments are lined with ergonomically tapered PE comfort foam for superior riding comfort.
  • Adjustable waist and secure sliding hook closure for a snug, tailored fit.
  • Extended zippered boot gussets ensure a tight seal around the ankle and facilitate fitting and removal.
  • External flat storage pocket.

 

New Land GTX Jacket and Pants

If you'v read my review of the REV'IT Legacy, you know that these riding outfits are few and far between. Like it's competitor, Dainese, Alpinestars knows how to create a suit that fits like a glove. The addition of GORE-TEX (GTX for short) provides a ton of versatility when it comes to riding year round especially between extreme temperatures. It's one of the best ways to ride between different climates and remain comfortable, warm and dry. Sadly, it also adds to the price point. But in my opinion, wearing GTX is an absolute necessity for year round riding. The materials used for both pieces consist of a Rip-Stop (it won't tear in a vertical direction, but zig/zag to prevent further damage), abrasion resistant TEFLON coated textile to provide maximum protection in major impact zones (shoulders, elbows, knees). The fitment on this outfit looks long and tall. I hope that I'll be able to see samples at some point to give you more details.

Jacket - $599.95, S-2XL

  • Ergonomically optimized and designed for women this jacket incorporates a TEFLON® engineered textile and a GORE-TEX® membrane to provide superb protection against the elements while being light, durable and breathable. Configurable and designed to accompany the Stella New Land GORE-TEX® pants, this jacket gives protection with CE-certified protectors.
  • Superior textile construction featuring GORE-TEX® membrane for protection against elements and breathability.
  • Rip-stop textile, tear-resistant TEFLON® coated shoulder and elbow areas for additional abrasion dissipation in key impact zones.
  • Arm air intakes and rear exhaust zippers, offers greater regulation of internal airflow for enhanced riding comfort for short and long-distances.
  • Removable long-sleeve thermal liner with fleece collar ensures comfort on hot or cold days.
  • Removable CE-certified Bio-Armor on shoulders and elbows is light, breathable and ergonomic for class-leading impact protection.
  • Chest and back pad compartments with advanced thermo-formed protective padding (CE certified Bio Armor back protector insert available as accessory).
  • Additional reinforced external padding zones on the back.
  • Reflective zones and colored piping increase rider visibility in poor or night-time conditions.
  • Neoprene comfort edges on collar and cuffs.
  • Internal waterproof pockets.
  • Elongated rear profiling for comfort and protection in the riding position.
  • Easy-find red internal lining zip and external pull-tabs for convenience.
  • Pre-curved, articulated sleeves with gusseted Velcro cuffs enhance fit and comfort in the riding position.  External storage provided by two chest pockets and two cargo pockets on the front of the jacket.
  • Non-aggressive micro-Velcro® used throughout the garment.
  • Premium YKK zippers with twin sliders on front zipper.
  • Optimized for use with the Stella New Land GORE-TEX® Pant with internal waist connection zipper.

Pants - $469.95, S-XL

  • Alpinestars Stella New Land touring pants incorporate a TEFLON® engineered textile and a GORE-TEX® membrane to provide superb protection against the elements while being light, durable and breathable.
  • Configurable and designed to accompany the Stella New Land GORE-TEX® Jacket, these pants give strategic protection with CE-certified knee protectors.
  • Superior textile construction featuring GORE-TEX® membrane for protection against elements and breathability. Removable long thermal liner with fleece collar ensures comfort on hot or cold days.
  • Strategically placed zippered air intakes and outlets for short and long-distance riding comfort.
  • Rip-stop textile, tear-resistant TEFLON® coated seat and knee areas for additional abrasion performance on key impact zones.
  • Removable CE-certified Bio-Armor on knees is lightweight, breathable and ergonomic for class-leading impact protection.
  • Reflective zones and colored piping increase rider visibility in poor conditions.
  • Easy-find red-tipped external zip pockets.
  • Pre-contoured leg construction with back and knee stretch panels.
  • Adjustable Velcro® waist closure for optimized fit.
  • Zip and Velcro® leg cuff closure fits around various boot models.
  • Optimized for use with the New Land GORE-TEX® Jacket with internal waist connection zipper.

Look for my full review of this outfit in Late October after I get back from Ireland :D

 

Motegi Leather Race Suit

The Motegi features an all new design for the women's line, based on the popular men's version. Personally, I could do with less logos but it's hard to pass up an exquisitely made suit. It may not look like it, but women's Alpinestars suits are proportioned really well for women with curves. This suit is constructed of 1.3mm grain leather, and reinforced Aramid stretch panels where you need them, a ventilated back hump, perforated panels on the front of the chest and legs, and a removable mesh liner (a built in undersuit for moisture wicking breathability).

Size Euro 38-50, $799.95

  • Constructed with premium 1.3mm full-grain leather for unsurpassed abrasion resistance, comfort and durability.
  • Multiple-stitched main seam construction provides maximum tear resistance in the event of an impact.
  • High-density perforations on front panels offer optimum cooling performance.
  • Extended, reinforced Aramidic fiber stretch panels on the sides of the torso, arms, crotch and back of the knees.
  • Alpinestars exclusively profiled ventilated back hump is aerodynamically sculpted for superior air flow and reduced drag at high speeds.
  • Lightweight, contoured mesh calf panels enhance fit and ensure comfort underneath riding boots.
  • Removable, CE certified GP protectors in the elbows and shoulders feature injection molded profiles and dual density foam padding for exceptional protection against impact forces.
  • Alpinestars race-derived, CE approved GP-R knee protectors feature a floating construction for a precise fit in the riding position.
  • TPR reinforcements on the shoulder offer additional abrasion and shock resistance in a key impact area.
  • Integrated PE foam padding on the hips, coccyx, upper arms and sides of the torso further enhance fit and comfort while riding.
  • Snap connection system allows integration with Alpinestars CE level 2 certified Bionic Race Back Protector for the ultimate in protection.
  • Removable mesh liner features built-in stretch inserts to ensure a snug fit and is washable for extra convenience.
  • Premium YKK fasteners used throughout the garment including flat profile YKK® Semi Auto Lock wrist zippers.
  • Replaceable Alpinestars PU Sport kneesliders.
  • Reflective detailing on front and back for improved rider visibility.

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All items available for Preorder: Revzilla.com