leathers

Moto Garage SALE in San Francisco!

garage-sale  

A few of my friends and I are getting together to sell a TON of stuff, including motorcycles! Click here for a full list of items and some photos.  I'm cleaning out my closet so I have gloves, helmets, pants, tankbags and lots more to sell. If you're looking for a good deal on used gear, now's the time!

Saturday January 4, 2014: 10am-5pm in San Francisco. Address and more details in link above.

 

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.

alpinestars motegi leather motorcycle suit womens alpinestars motegi leather motorcycle suit womens

 

All items available for Preorder: Revzilla.com

How are my leathers supposed to fit?

Front view of Dainese Cage jacket Another great reader question about leathers.

"Hey, Love your site, I'm new to bikes and it's helped me loads when picking the right gear! I just bought a set of leathers from ebay (risky for sizing but I have textiles in the same brand and they fit) the thing is the leather is really quite tight. I can get them on and zipped up but walking seems like an effort! Are they supposed to be so fitted? Or will they loosen off with use? Or should I have gone up a size?!" - Kristen

They should definitely fit very snug. If you're having trouble walking upright, that's probably the right fit :)

Ideally, your one piece suit is fitted and designed for riding position only. It assumes that you'll be spending most of the time on the bike. If you're riding a sportbike, then it definitely will be more comfortable on the bike than off.

You can tell if it's too tight if you can't inhale/exhale comfortably, or if there's pinching or pulling under the armpits and around the crook of your elbow and behind your knees.

A photo of you on your bike would help greatly, but it sounds like you've found the right fit if it's a brand new suit and hasn't been broken in yet.  If you're buying a set of used leathers that someone has definitely broken in, then in that case, I could see the suit not being the right size or fit.

Unfortunately, leathers are quite uncomfortable until they're fully broken in, but hopefully after you've spent some time making them feel like second skin, you'll love spending every minute in them.

Good Luck!

Leo Vince and Spidi

Carbon Fiber ExhaustLeather Womens Motorcycle Jacket  

I can't wait to meet you in person! Those are the two factories we'll be touring during my week in Italy. I'm thrilled that one of the factories is gear related. I can't wait to see how and where gear is made, who makes it and more.

Looks like I'll be at Leo on the 11th and Spidi on the 14th. Look for my tweets/posts on those days to see what I get to see. I'll My posts will appear on both my blog and the CWIA blog as well. Here are all the ways you can follow me, so there's no excuse!

Blogs - www.cycleworlditalianadventure.com, www.gearchic.com

Twitter  - #cwitalianadventure @gearchic

Facebook  - Cycle World Italian Adventure, GearChic

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus Leather Jacket

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus Jacket MSRP $399.95 Sizes: Euro 38-50 (I'm wearing a Euro 42 = US 4)

I haven't tried on every leather jacket on the market. But I've tried on more than my fair share.

The last time I tried on a sport leather jacket by Alpinestars was 2-3 years ago.  I wasn't very impressed by anything they had to offer women until now.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with our local Alpinestars representative and the North American Sales Manager to see some pieces from their new 2011/2012 collection.  They only brought a few pieces from the Stella line, but fortunately this was one of them.

The first thing I noticed when I put that jacket on is how light and comfortable it felt. It doesn't have that usual "this is the most uncomfortable piece of clothing I've ever worn" feeling that you get when you try on a sporty leather jacket. The leather typically feels stiff, restrictive. You can't move your arms very much (except forward) and you don't want to spend much time in the jacket with it fully zipped.  A common shopping tip that I give is that your leathers are going to feel more comfortable on the bike vs. off.

It's definitely the opposite with the GP Plus. It could be the stretch panels that start at the inner wrist and extend all the way up to the armpits. Or maybe the feel of the lay flat collar. I don't know. All I know is that it felt incredibly comfortable and I would have no problem wearing this piece all day long.

If I'm lucky, I'll be able to provide a full review of this piece in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed!

 

REVIT Women's Zip, Marryl and Allure

It's common practice for manufacturers to cycle out and discontinue certain pieces of gear every 3-5 years, depending on how well that item is selling or how popular it is in the market.  Unfortunately 3 of my favorite women's gear from REV'IT is being discontinued, so you'll find these all on clearance if not completely gone from your local dealer.  I urge you to try and find them if you can!

1)Zip Pants. Unisex, waterproof overpants perfect for commuting. Especially fits a curvy figure up to a Size 16 (XXXL) and can be found in SHORT.  (I found these to fit women far better than men for some reason) Scuderia West has already sold most of them, if not all of them to make room for an updated version called The Axis WR pant. Last I saw there were two size XXL on the clearance rack. Revzilla only has a few sizes on clearance left as well.

2) Axis Pants (Replacement for the Zip). One major difference with the new Axis is that they start an XS, not XXS as before.  The XS will probably fit a women's US 4. I tried on a Small and it fit like a size 6. Another improvement is the addition of a 2-way side zipper, which does make it easier for you to take them on and off without taking off your boots. I have to do that for the Zips and was happy to do so, given how wonderfully they fit.

They also appear to have added additional elastic at the waist to make for a more adjustable fit.  I always thought that the Zip pants fit women better than men, and I still think that's the case, however not for petite women.  The Zips used to come in XXS, which fit down to a Size US 2, perfect for petite frames. But they've pushed the sizing up, and as a result they've made the cut a little more generous for a curvier body. I know that many plus sized women have issue finding gear, but so do super petite women. For many women who are a size 0-4, it can be difficult to find anything affordably priced to fit.  The "sweet spot" so to speak for sizing is size 4-12. If you fall within these numbers, it's pretty easy to find something in your size.

A couple other changes that they've made with the Axis:

  • Full Hip to Toe, 2-WAY zippers that allow the pants to Fully open up on the sides
  • Adjustable and stretchy snaps on each side of the waist for a better adjustment
  • No hip armor or pockets, since the pants are priced below $150

3) Allure Jacket and Marryl Pants.

My Wishlist

Someone that I recently met on Facebook asked me recently what 2 piece outfits I'm shopping for, as I mentioned to her that I'm trying to rebuild my gear closet. Here's what's swirling around in my brain. (Forgive the terrible cell phone pics! Future photos will be on my newest toy)
1. Leather Jacket For my Dainese Firefly pants (Love them!) I'm a weird one, I wear my 2 piece leathers even in the summer. I just can't stand the idea of my flesh hitting hot, hot pavement. I'm also sticking to Dainese since I can't zip anything else to my pants. Which, is fine by me. And unless someone is willing to replace my pants with something else, I'm going to stick with them for now.

2. Winter Textile Jacket, waterproof. I'm torn between what REV'IT and Dainese have to offer right now. I really want a textile that's waterproof without the need for an additional liner. These are both such great options, I don't even know if it's worth buying a winter jacket yet since I'm going to be traveling every weekend through Mid March. But these are the two that I'm looking at right now:

    Dainese Xantum D-Dry Lady I'm wearing this jacket in the photos below with the Adina pants.

    REV'IT! Ventura Unfortunately this isn't available until mid February, so it might be pointless at that point.. I'll have to try it on and take a look at it to know for sure.

3. Textile Winter Pant. Not an overpant, but a non ventilated pant with an insulated liner.

Dainese probably offers the most variety that I've seen, of women's textile pants.

SHIFT Women's Siren Leather Motorcycle Jacket

SHIFT Siren Women's Leather Jacket $399.95 Colors: Black, White Sizes: XS - XL

SHIFT asked me to review a couple of their women's jackets, but sadly they just didn't fit me right, so I can't do a full review. But I would like to share a couple of pictures so you can see these up close. I also received the Viper and will do a separate post on that as soon as I take some pictures.

The Siren is a lightweight leather jacket. The fit is European, long and narrow in the torso, similar to REV'IT, but just a little more room in the arms and shoulders. The chest is very very narrow. So I probably wouldn't recommend an XS or S for anyone with more than a 34 inch bust. I really like the look of the Siren, I just wish it wasn't so long on my short torso. I also am cut a little wider in the waist and the XS was just too small. If I tried a Small, the sleeves would've been far too long. The cut just isn't ideal for my body type. I just won't be growing any taller anytime soon.

I think this jacket would be a perfect option for spring/summer weather riding. Since the removable vest liner is rather light, I think this would be perfect for city riding. There are 2 vents in the front and a large vent on the back. Another feature that I think is pretty useful is the black sleeve that extends out from the cuff. With the right pair of gloves, they would probably help keep the wind from blowing up your sleeve in cooler temperatures. Unfortunately the Siren doesn't have a zipper to connect it to pants, but there is a button snap that you could use to connect to your belt loop.

I know that white isn't the easiest color to keep clean, but there's something about the color and style that I find so pretty. I never thought I would be a fan of white but when you put it on, it's hard to deny how amazing it looks. I think it would definitely turn heads and make people ask you where you got it everywhere you went. I like the detailing on the back as the SHIFT logo is very subtle and stitched in a pretty cool gray color. The rear hip zips should provide a little flexibility if you have a curvy waist and need a little more room.

Overall, I would recommend the Siren as an option to consider if you're looking for a lightweight, summer or spring jacket.