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Join Me on The Lean Angle

(Left: Alisa Clickenger/ Women’s Motorcycle Tours , Right: Porsche Taylor/ Black Girls Ride Mag ,)

(Left: Alisa Clickenger/Women’s Motorcycle Tours, Right: Porsche Taylor/Black Girls Ride Mag,)

I never have enough to do so I started a brand new motorcycle show on Facebook, called The Lean Angle.

We’ll be streaming live on Facebook, on our page here: Facebook.com/LeanAngleShow.

The Lean Angle will cover a wide range of topics as it relates to motorcycles. Alisa has a strong solo travel, dual sport background (in addition to street touring) and Porsche has a lot of experience in solo travel, sport touring and cruising. And you know me and my sporty bike addiction.

We hope to be on at least once a month for ~60 minutes but will do our best to try and see you a little sooner. With summer around the corner, our schedules are hectic but we all love talking about motorcycles so check out our first episode which aired last night!

And you DON’T even need a Facebook account to watch! But if you do have an account, post a comment in the episode and let us know your thoughts including what kinds of topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes.

Facebook.com/LeanAngleShow

So it doesn’t matter who you are, what/when/how/where you ride. Join us on The Lean Angle!

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More Options for Women's Gear from Held USA

Just in time for Spring and Summer 2018, Held GmbH is releasing more gloves to the American market through Held USA and giving us Moar Gloves! 

These are especially awesome because they are higher performance gloves for women who WANT BETTER GEAR. 

First up is the Air N Dry, $250 for a GoreTex XtraFit glove that features 2 pockets. One is where your hand will be totally dry, surrounded in the most breathable waterproof membrane.

Palms are perforated and feature grey Kangaroo leather

Palms are perforated and feature grey Kangaroo leather

Held Air N Dry Gloves for Women, Black

Held Air N Dry Gloves for Women, Black

The other pocket allows the palm of your hand to feel airflow right through to the full palm of your hand and the full underside of your fingers. 

So this means if you're getting air, your hands aren't staying completely dry. 

Why is this useful? Well in mild winter climates like San Francisco, where you rarely get weather below 45F even in Winter, the glove provides plenty of wind resistance to keep cold air out for the most part. 

And then for the 2-3 weeks a year where the temperatures climb above 80F, you have a lower pocket that is fully perforated in case you need some airflow. 

Evo Thrux, top side

Evo Thrux, top side

However, for those of us who've decided to migrate over to the East Coast where it starts to get fully tropical in the summer months, these gloves are the perfect summer/wet weather companion. Here, it's hot and wet in the summer so your temperature range is constantly changing and you may need something waterproof (but not insulated/warm for winter) when it's 85F, Raining and Humid. 

As long as your hand is in the upper chamber, you'll stay nice and dry but not insulated or warm. Notice these gloves offer the *exact same* protection as the Mens Version :D

The next glove they released is the Evo Thrux, $170. These are a track worthy glove, but also very much street friendly as well. The reason the palms are grey? You guessed it, Kangaroo leather. 

Evo Thrux, Palm side

Evo Thrux, Palm side

If you've been following along, you know that I only wear my Racer Gloves when I ride unless it's too cold out. I love the feel of Kangaroo leather, it's unlike any other on your handgrips. 

These are pretty comparable to my Racers, in protection and function. Instead of carbon fiber bits, they're using SuperFabric to accomplish similar protections in the form of abrasion resistance. I think they're going to give my friends at Racer a run for their money. But I wouldn't trade these in for my Racers yet. ;)  

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If these ladies gloves follow the profile of the mens versions, then I'll say that they might have wider palms and slightly longer fingers than other Europeans including Revit, Alpinestars and Dainese. 

The last glove in their Spring lineup is the Sereena, $165. 

They're a solid leather glove for year roundish riding. They're not waterproof, not warm, just a middle weight glove that you would wear when it's not extremely hot or extremely cold. 

The perfect GoTo, as I like to call the one you wear the most. For the price, there's a lot of technical features going on here like Schoeller Keprotec, Sas-Tec Armor and Outlast. Those are awesome, but can't a woman at least get a Palm Slider for that much money? I would've skipped the Outlast and made sure there was at least SuperFabric on the palms (like the Evo Thrux) because you almost always need your gloves to perform right there. 

If I didn't have my palm sliders I probably wouldn't have a glove or palm left. 

If I didn't have my palm sliders I probably wouldn't have a glove or palm left. 

Overall, I'm happy to see that more brands are bringing on better gear for us. There are a LOT of options for women right now but sadly, most of them are more average in protection and seem to be catering heavily to the casual/fashion based crowd. 

I hope to see more women look at better gear options so that they aren't asking themselves "What If" later. 

New Rider Advice, Should I Wear Taller Motorcycle Boots?

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A new rider from Kuala Lumpur wrote me awhile back about whether or not she should wear tall, 3" boots. She rides a brand that we don't really get here, a Benelli Keeway RKV 200. It weighs less than 300lbs and has a ~30" seat height. A little taller than other beginner bikes, but certainly not impossible. She's 5'2" and my guess is she has a ~26-27" inseam. She says:

"I'm okay with riding really slowly, until gear 2, but my shortness is really killing it for me. Especially when i have to backup. Plus, i'm awful at even maneuvering the bike even when i'm off it.. lol! I guess i'm not that good at faking it when it comes to how heavy the bike is. Well, just wanted a word of advise from you and do you think wearing 3 inch high boots will help?"

First off, I have to ask if you've had any basic rider training? If not, I hope that you have some local resources to take a basic class. Being a shorter person, I have learned that your skills and riding techniques compensate very well for lack of height. Otherwise, I'd never would've been able to ride any of these bikes.

As far as taller boots, they definitely help. I'm not a fan of wearing non protective boots for riding, so ideally I'd suggest buying any of the models in this previous blog post. They will all offer extra traction and the protection you need. But if you don't have access to these or can't afford to order them and have them shipped, then work with what you can get but AVOID high heels/fashion heeled boots. If a chunky heeled boot works, then great. Given where you live, I imagine women's gear choices are really limited.

The other thing I'd highly recommend is learning how to push your bike around while standing next to it. I also wrote a blog post about this here. Sometimes our bikes weigh A LOT. There is nothing wrong with getting off the bike to park. Sometimes it's easier and faster. I always park my bike like this if it's there's any kind of incline/slope. Why fight gravity? I've learned to back up with one foot and it works quite well for me :)

Beginner Motorcycles

Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycles San Francisco Scuderia West

I posted this on twitter and facebook recently but felt it was really important to state for the record.

There's no such thing as women's motorcycles, only beginner motorcycles. 

Sorry, but there's no such thing! I don't care what anyone has told you (including other women riders), but they're wrong, absolutely wrong. And sorry but low cruisers aren't women's motorcycles, either. In fact, I think large, heavy cruisers (no matter how low) are the worst beginner bikes, ever. Not because I'm not a cruiser person, but because they're painful to balance and the center of gravity is totally screwed up! Having your feet forward changes the way you provide input and the way it responds. And if you drop your KLX or your DR, it only takes you a second to pick it up! 

In riding the Brammo recently, I've come to discover how incredibly fun an upright, lightweight dual sport/supermoto style bike could be for a new rider. It's a completely different world of motorcycles, and a completely different experience from what I'm used to.  I'm convinced that something like a Suzuki DR400SE (below left) or Kawasaki KLX250 (below right) is one of the best beginner options out there. 

suzuki beginner motorcycle beginner motorcycle

If I had to do it all over again, I would've gone this route (Thanks Betty!). I still love sportbike riding, but I think I'm falling in love with the dual sport way of life and will definitely be moving in that direction going forward. I still love and adore my SV and will be holding on or quite a while.