gore-tex

Dainese CarveMaster 2 Women's GTX Jacket

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2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

2 of the 6 vents. This one I'm wearing IS the color above described as "Black/Frost Grey/Red" 

Damn you Winter. The minute I got this jacket a week and a half ago, our temperatures started to plummet. But good thing I'm headed out to California this weekend for a week of sun, family and riding! The Dainese CarveMaster 2 GTX is their flagship women's winter jacket, featuring a removable thermal liner and a removable down collar. It also features 6 vents which will help push this one into 3-4 seasons although it doesn't offer fully direct venting.   

What this means is that behind the mesh is the Gore-Tex membrane which is meant to keep you dry. You won't feel the air directly to your body because the membrane is in the way. It definitely helps in warmer weather than not having them at all, but it's not as effective as other jackets which offer direct vents such as Klim. 

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What does stand out about this jacket is the fitment, it's very sport oriented. If you ride sporty bikes like me, then you know how hard it is to find touring jackets that fit us on the kind of bikes that we ride.

This jacket is very fitted, and slim so when you do ride in a more aggressive position, it won't be baggy around the chest/waist. I HATE jackets that are baggy and loose especially in the body. Because when I lean forward, I need my jacket to stay out of my way (much like the cars/bikes around me :P)

I can't wait to give it a spin in California's "winter" which is um, 60 Degrees during the day and low 40s at night. I'll be headed to Walnut Creek (just 30 minutes East of Berkeley) for a week to see my family and friends. But I'll also borrow a couple of different bikes while I'm there so I can visit some of my favorite roads again. 

And then I pray the weather lightens up enough when I get back to some reasonable 40s so I can actually take this jacket for a spin here in Philly. 

Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook feeds for more photos next week. 

New Motorcycle Boots from Sidi for Women

Sidi X-3 Boots

Sidi X-3 Boots

I know, I know. Blue, Pink, White? 

Well, I guess change is slow. The good news is these are real race level, offroad boots for women. That means more ankle support (lateral) and protection just like the men's version. That means they're offered in a size Euro 39 (~US women's 8.5) which I'm sad to see because they really need to offer 36, 37 and 38 (~US 6-8 which are the most common women's shoe sizes when it comes to motorcycle boots in addition to 39. I hope they read this and reconsider adding those core sizes.

If you do have smaller feet, and need a 6-7.5ish, then I would recommend these Sidi Stinger Youth Boots ($250) instead:

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They don't offer the hinged lateral support at the ankles, but they certainly offer great impact protection in all the key areas (toes, heels, shins, achilles heel) and those fantastic stitched soles. I also like that the toebox is less bulky. Dirtbikes seem to have teeny tiny foot pegs, so I can't see how a really thick boot would work very well. 

Another boot that they just released is a touring boot called the Gavia Gore-Tex ($250):

The Gavia boots are a solid touring boot, with a Gore-Tex membrane. They've never offered women's boots with Gore-Tex, so this is definitely a first. I love Gore-Tex, if it's a waterproof piece of clothing that I own it has to be Gore. I love the breathability, added wind protection, and versatility in varying temperatures. At $250, they're a fantastic option.

If you're looking for a boot to add insoles to, Sidis are pretty roomy around the instep (but my feet are just that effed up). 

Thank you Sidi for offering more options to women riders! 

New Boots from Daytona, The Lady Pilot GTX

I've always been a Daytona fan but in recent years I've left my Daytonas behind except for extreme weather conditions like freezing temperatures and heavy wet weather riding. I also have found ways of compensating for lack of height using other methods.

But if you're looking for a way to get additional height without resorting to a casual styled, chunky heel that isn't protective enough, light enough, or strong enough for riding then try these new Lady Pilots from Daytona.  

I'm liking the cleaner calf / leg design and the simplified styling. To me it also seems like there's more height offered through the soles given the wedge-boot style design. I'm going to test this theory out this week and try on my Ladystars and these Lady Pilots to see if I can tell a height difference. Fit wise, these are going to be a wider fitment overall like the Ladystars but we'll see if there's much difference. 

Either way, you save $100 and get the height you might be looking for with a simplified style and the same comfort and quality you'd expect from Daytona. 

Great Deal on the 2014 Klim Altitude Ladies Jacket

March 2014. Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket. 

March 2014. Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket. 

It's been awhile since I put this one, and I think I was a little heavier back then as well.  

At Revzilla, this jacket used to retail for $589. Now it's on sale for $285! But only in sizes L-3XL. Sorry little ladies, it's only for the curvier girls now. And the fitment is very good for a curvy body type. It does run long however, especially in the sleeves and waist. Perfect for a touring / adventure riding position. 

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.

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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.

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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.

Smaller Motorcycle Boots for Men?

alpinestars_mono_fuse_gtx_motorcycle_boots_smallfeet Reader Jason needs help finding a pair of boots! :-) 

Hello there, I have just recently started riding and had a question about boots. I have very small feet for a guy and would need to look at women's boots and was wondering what I could get away with without them being too girly looking. I wear size 7.5 in women's.

-Jason

Dear Jason,

This is no problem! TCX is one of my favorite brands, as they offer many boots in Euro 38 which I think is the size you're looking for. The TCX Infinity Evo GTX dual sports above are a prime example, if you're looking for a Gore-Tex adventure style boots:

tcx_infinityevo_dualsport_boots

 

They also have a couple of good city sneakers like the X-Street WP (available in waterproof, non waterproof and air versions) and S-Sporttour EVO if you need a good sport touring boot. But take a look through all the TCX boots, because many are offered in Euro 38.

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Alpinestars is another company that offers many boots in Euro 38 as well! If you need a sporty boot, many of their race and sport boots are offered in 38 including the SMX-6's below (which I wear).

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On the touring side of things, in addition to the Monofuse boots I linked above, they offer the Web GTX boots in 38:

alpinestars_web_gtx

 

And of course if you're looking for city sneakers, they have quite a few in 38 too. I think you'll find plenty of options in both these brands in your size in various styles!

 

Ride Report to West Virginia

2012_triumph_street_tripleR A couple weeks ago I took a nice 4 day, 965 mile trip to West Virginia and back. It was shorter than I expected, but I had a great time anyway. All I can say is I LOVEEEEE my bike! (and WV)

Sunday

So my plan was leave Sunday early afternoon, ride for 3 glorious days in W. VA and then come home Thursday. I knew that there was going to be a very rainy day, possibly Wednesday so I of course wore my Rev'it Legacy Gore-Tex suit for the trip. I decided to wear my Gear 2' pants down there since it was pretty nice out and I packed my Legacy pants into one of the US-10 packs.

In preparation for the trip, I actually purchased 2 fantastic upgrades. The first one was the Sena SMH-10R Bluetooth Headset. I wanted a better unit than my SMH5, but not a bigger one. I love the slim look and feel of the unit and am still in the process of finishing my review. Check out what I have so far here and stay tuned for an update on my social feeds and a blog post when it's ready.

The second upgrade was a pair of Rukka Apollo Gore-Tex Xtrafit gloves. I've never owned a pair of Gore-Tex gloves, because I could never find anything that fits me right. These are especially amazing because they're not winter gloves, they're simply leather street gloves with a bonded Gore-Tex membrane! That's right, they completely bond the membrane to the leather so you have a clean, lightweight glove that isn't bulky or heavy. It's the perfect arrangement for wet, hot, summer riding. Both performed beautifully, especially when I got caught in a heavy downpour for 150 miles on the freeway.

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Now let's talk about the fun stuff. The Riding!

Oh My God. West Virginia feels like home for me; my long lost motorcycle home. So many twists and turns, curves, uphill/downhill, everything I want and need when I go riding. I CAN'T wait to go back so I've already planned another trip for mid June. I was supposed to meet my good friend Tamela Rich Sunday night at a beautiful bed and breakfast in the mountains of the Monongahela National Forest. It's located right in the middle of the most heavenly roads I've seen on the East coast.

highway 250 west virginia from philly

250 is downright heavenly. It's too bad I had to ride in pitch black darkness. I left so late (1pm) that by the time I got to 250 it was ~8pm. :-( Nothing like riding twisties in total darkness. So it took me a couple hours to ride what would've been an hour in daylight. I tried to grab a couple pics along the way when I could. I believe this is right before I turned onto 84.

triumph street triple west veirgini

It was still a great ride and I enjoyed every minute. I even dodged a possum that decided to visit the middle of my lane. I rolled in to a lovely white building with bright lights (which was great given how remote and dark it was). Gotta love a hotel that has perfect motorcycle parking.

The Inn at Mountain Quest in Marlinton, VA

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I had no idea what I would be getting to until I woke up that morning to this glorious view from my room:

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It was so quiet, calm and downright peaceful. We were the only ones there that night since everyone had left earlier that day. It just worked out that previous visitors had left and no one else was checking in until the later in the week. If you and your moto-loving partner are looking for a relaxing riding weekend, my friend Tamela is hosting a moto retreat in the 2nd week of June called Ride to Reboot.  My hubby and I will be there, hopefully we'll see you there! Here are a few pics of the ranch I snapped before I left.

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The next morning my friend Tamela and I headed South.

Following Tamela on the short gravel road as we leave Mountain Quest. There's a small bridge just past where she stopped, it's a little creaky so I found standing on my pegs helped make that bumpy section feel a little smoother.

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Monday

On Monday afternoon Tamela and I headed out towards Oak Hill, WV. She's on her BMW F650GS and of course I'm on my Street Triple R. From the Inn, we headed North on 92, East on 66, then South on 219/55 to Slaty Fork. There's a really cool spot called Sharp's Country Store that we had to stop at and check out. I guess it used to be a service station so there are cool old gas pumps, and some knick knacks in the window. During business hours you can walk through the store and buy a few souvenirs. Unfortunately they're closed on Mondays!

slatyfork_westvirginia 5  slatyfork_westvirginia 3 slatyfork_westvirginia 2

gastation_slatyfork

slatyfork_westvirginia

Sadly, this is where my report gets a little sad. After this, we headed towards lunch in Marlinton, WV. It was in town that my bike died at a stop light. Everything just shut off. I thought I dumped my clutch but in fact, my bike turned off. Luckily it was right in front of the gas station so I pulled in and tried to troubleshoot. I didn't see anything visibly wrong on the battery so I put my luggage and seat back on and then tried to start it again. Nothing was turning on, no lights, nothing. After about 10 minutes, she started up again. I let it run for about 5 minutes and it didn't die so I figured it wasn't too major. So off we went to our final destination, Oak Hill WV.

I believe this is the ride route we took. "G" is Marlinton. "H" is the hotel. I believe we stopped somewhere along 41 to take some cute pictures of ourselves and our bikes.

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I can't help it, I love selfies. Especially when my friends are in them! If you don't know Tamela, read her story. She's an incredible woman who's ridden across the country more than a few times. Travel is her middle name, so check her out.

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We booked a room at the Holiday Lodge Oak Hill. Thanks to the lodge for allowing us to park right outside the front door :)

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Tuesday

Sadly, Monday was the best riding I was able to get in all week. The next morning, I was spooked out from the electrical issue so I decided to head home Wednesday :-(. I tried calling a local dealer but they were too busy to see me so I decided to leave a day early. Tamela headed home that morning, and I decided to head to Harrisonburg, WV for the night. Then it would only be a ~6 hour journey home on Wednesday.

I booked a room at the Country Inn & Suites (my favorite hotel chain) and headed that way in the pouring rain. It rained like crazy but only on Tuesday! I've never ridden that long in the rain before: 150 miles, 3.5 hours. Since it was pouring I averaged about 55-60mph. The temperature wasn't too chilly (high 50s, low 60s) but I didn't want to risk another electrical issue so I didn't use my heated liner.

I did get a little wet sadly, even though I was decked out in head to toe Gore-Tex. Here's what I wore:

I've always said that wearing anything Gore-Tex is the only way to truly stay dry. And even if you don't stay dry you have that lifetime guarantee! The only caveat is that you must be the original owner of the product, for them to verify the history of the item. It makes sense, if you bought something secondhand how do they know the original owner didn't screw something up? So I wasn't able to warranty my Ladystars, because I scored them on eBay hardly worn a few years ago. But since I only paid ~$90 for them, I'm not going to worry about it. I may just have to buy a brand new pair at some point. :D

I also get a little wet on my left sleeve because I wore my sleeve over my gloves instead of inside. I thought the velcro was snug enough to keep water out, but I guess not going 65mph on the freeway. The other spot I got wet was right above my left butt cheek. I was wearing my heated jacket liner and I think the bottom of the liner got wet and seeped up inside. I'm going to try and ride in the pouring rain again soon so I can test this theory out. Otherwise, I will definitely be contacting Gore-Tex for a warranty claim.

I forgot to mention of course, that all of my Kriega packs came with me as they work beautifully on naked bikes like mine. They also performed perfectly in the pouring rain.

The Sena headset is NOT waterproof. It's water resistant so if you get stuck in the rain it'll be okay. Turns out the unit is far more robust than Sena says because it actually held up for 3 hours in the pouring rain, on the freeway! But the battery died on me the next day. So both parts survived the journey but the next day when I rode home, it shut off without warning and wouldn't stay on for more than a few seconds. Luckily, I bought a dual pack so my husband could upgrade his unit as well. So I stole his battery for the time being and replaced it. The unit has worked perfectly since then.

Thank you Sena for making a unit that is practically waterproof! I was scared that I ruined the main unit, but the battery was a small sacrifice :D

Wednesday

2012_triumph_streettripleR (1)

The next morning, when I went to start up the bike it wouldn't start. So I took the seat off and tightened the battery terminal, it was a tiny bit loose. After that she started right up! The rest of my ride home was uneventful, as I slabbed it home on the Interstates to get back before dark.

Long Distance on a Street Triple

I have to say that although the STR isn't a long distance tourer, I definitely enjoyed the ride. Since I'm used to touring on the SV's, this is a welcome upgrade. It's definitely not something that works as well as say, an FZ1 or F800GS. But in comparison to my SV's, it's fabulous. The added horsepower is nice, and certainly noticeable especially while jumping on the freeway. But I really appreciate the suspension and handling. It's smooth, responsive and not too twitchy at the throttle. One thing I read in many reviews of this bike is that in 2012 they adjusted the throttle response so it's a smoother transition when rolling off and on.

The stock seat is great and far more comfortable. I can go a solid hour before my booty starts to complain and I have to pull over. But as with any naked bike with a minimal windscreen, any substantial riding in high winds is tiring. When I was riding in the rain it was terribly windy. I was exhausted as if I'd ridden all day in 100 degree heat. I pulled over about 3-4 times to keep up with the added fatigue along with being wet and chilly. No fun.

As I've always recommended in the past, I definitely appreciated my Techspec Gripster Pads for a little extra grip and stability against the tank. Other than that, I had nothing else to help me along. I logged a little under 1,000 miles and would've happily ridden another 500-600 if everything went the way I'd planned. Originally, I was going to spend Wednesday riding in the mountains and then take the slow route home Thursday. Oh well. I've already started planning routes for June!

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Thanks for reading, look for a full ride review of the STR soon.

me_triumph_wv

Also check out Moterrific for Episode 64, for an audio version of this ride report!

Reviews TBD:

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

Just a huge "Thank you!" for your fit guidance and...

Just a huge "Thank you!" for your fit guidance and recommendation on a jacket. I had so much trouble finding something with good protection, Gore Tex, and a cut that fit me. I took my first winter ride two weeks ago with the Zima! I really appreciate your reviews and attitude.  

My Recommendations for Women's Motorcycle Gloves for Winter

alpinestars_wr-3_goretex_womens_gloves Winter is around the corner. The temperatures are already dropping if you live on the East Coast, so you might be looking for winter motorcycle gloves!

Here's a 5 minute review of 6-7 gloves to try to keep your hands nice and toasty. Click on the link below to listen:

http://www.gearchic.com/podcast/womens_motorcycle_gloves_winter_2014.mp3