racer

The 3 Motorcycle Gloves I Can't Ride Without

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

I have found that living in a climate with drastically changing temperatures means I’m using 3 different types of gloves throughout the year. When I lived in California I still had 2 key gloves in my closet; one for nice weather and one for wet/cold weather. Those 2 key gloves are still in my closet but I have a 3rd that I reluctantly added that you’ll see below.

The only time of year I do not have gloves for is Winter; ~30F-45F. Because I have no desire to ride when it’s that miserable. (cold tires make Goldie very very unhappy and unsafe)

So I’ve put together a list of the 3 Gloves I Can’t Ride Without. Unfortunately some of them are discontinued but I’ve provided alternative ideas for each category. Having very small, wide hands and shorter fingers means I’m hyper vigilant about finding gloves. When I see something that might fit me and work for my riding seasons I’ll jump on it. That’s how I’ve found all of these in the past 5 years.

1/ Racer High Racer - “My #1, Go Tos”

You should always have a “Go To” glove, the one you grab and want to wear ~75% of the time. These are mine. I’m always wearing these and pretty much live in them for the majority of my riding. Typically I’ll wear them from about 60F to 80F or until the humidity starts driving me crazy. The kangaroo palms breathe well for me and although they need a little more care (like washing once or twice in the summer) I love the protection, comfort and coverage. You can read my full review here including how to get a pair.

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2/ Rukka Apollo - Men’s

These are my ‘winter’ or cold weather gloves. For me, they fit quite well even though they’re men’s gloves because my palms are slightly wider than most women’s hands. Sidenote: if your hands are too big for small/medium women’s gloves but larges are too big then try any European brand (Dainese, Alpinestars, Held, Rukka, Revit, etc.) men’s smalls because they will be bigger than the ladies small/medium but you won’t swim in them like American brands.

But if you have smaller hands, Rukka now offers the Virve for women. If I had to replace my gloves, I would buy these. The main reason I like both of these is the fact that the GoreTex membrane is bonded to the leather (also known as GoreTex XTrafit), so when you pull your hands out the lining doesn’t separate. There aren’t a lot of gloves in that category overall, and then finding a women’s fitting option is even more difficult. The Virve and this Held Air N Dry are the only two currently available like this. The nice thing about the Helds are that they have 2 chambers, so you have something you can wear when it’s not only raining. With the lower, perforated pocket you can use them as a warm weather glove since the palms are perforated. There are certainly a lot of men’s gloves in this category too like:

  • Alpinestars Patron

  • Rukka Imatra

  • Rukka Argosaurus

  • Held Sambia 2 in 1

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves . See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves. See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

As of 2/16/19, these two women’s gloves are on closeout and are the most similar to my Apollos:

  • Held Wizzard. size 6 only (~womens XS/SM); without the hard knuckles and shorter gauntlet. Side note regarding men’s v. women’s motorcycle gloves. Generally men’s gloves have longer fingers, wider and deeper palms, longer hands and wider wrists. I’ve found that women can always fill the length and width of men’s gloves, but never the depth. When I mean depth, I mean the palms. What this means is that when you are using your handgrips, there may be so much extra material there that it can cause rubbing or blisters from constantly rolling off and on your throttle or reaching for your clutch lever. You certainly don’t want your gloves to fit tight like you’re wearing a latex glove, but this is why it’s always important to try your gloves on the bike before you decide to keep them.

  • Rukka Vilma, size 10 (~womens XL); ideal if you can wear the length of a men’s glove for fingers, but you need a narrower palm/hand and a thinner palm/hand space.

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3/ Held Touch Perforated - Women’s (discontinued)

These are a perforated leather glove with almost a full gauntlet. I reserve these for the hottest riding days that I ride in. Sometimes I’ll pack them with my Racers and wear them later in the day when the heat and humidity start to drive me crazy. The main reason I chose this glove was because it was a Perforated Summer glove with a Gauntlet (wrist coverage). I could totally wear short, mesh gloves but I just don’t trust mesh on my hands like I would on my body. And women’s mesh gloves are painfully underprotected with only moderate protection. As with the rest of my gear, I don’t like risking the loss in protection.

Read my review here to find out more of my thoughts on these.

Since they’re discontinued here are a couple alternatives:

Well I hope that helps, I’m dying to go riding. It’s still high 40s here and until Spring shows up I’m going to be trapped on my couch. I’m tempted to fly home just so I can have some decent riding temperatures. Someone go riding for me….

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

Riding with CLASS Motorcycle School at Virginia International Raceway

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Not Just Your Average Monday.

Earlier this week I had the honor of attending back to back track days with my friends at Reg Pridmore’s CLASS Motorcycle School.

I attended a special, unique event earlier in April just for women riders but this one was one of their regular 2 day events at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, VA. My husband and I loaded up our bikes on the RevZilla Trailer (#IloveMyJob) and drove out Sunday, October 14th.

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

We rented one of the fancy garages at the track and made our home for the next 2 days.

By the way, we didn’t bring half the stuff most people bring with them to the track. Everyone will tell you something different, but I can tell you that you’ll probably use half of what you actually bring. So this is our simplified list in order of importance:

  1. Our track gear (duh!); suits, helmets, gloves, boots, back protectors

  2. Our bikes and keys

  3. Painters tape and duct tape (painters tape goes first, then duct tape. You’ll see why in a minute)

  4. Clean clothes for 3 nights since we left Sunday and got back Wednesday

  5. Chairs (because standing around all the time is tiring)

  6. Tool box (we have this one from Sonic). Of course we didn’t use everything but it does have some nice moto specific tools that can come in handy. I mainly used the tools to remove my mirrors, reinstall them afterwards and tighten up some loose ends.

  7. Cleaners, paper towels:

    1. Mucoff products: dry chain lube & degreaser, protectant, goggle/faceshield cleaner

    2. Simple Green; general, all purpose cleaner

  8. Tire compressor (so you can adjust your tire pressure below street levels. I drop mine to 28 front and rear for a little more stick)

  9. Tie downs to tie the bikes down to the trailer

  10. A few snacks/drinks

Oh and did I mention that because we went to the South Course on Day 1 (not North as planned), we had to leave our cozy paddock behind! So we managed all day without anything with us, and relied on track friends to help us out.

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In retrospect I could’ve used extra fuel, but there was a Sunoco station on site, just on the other side of the parking lot. This was the first track day where my fuel light actually went on at the end of the last session!

We got in Sunday night a little late but stayed up to tape up our headlights and turn signals. You didn’t have to take your mirrors if you didn’t want to but I found them distracting and they were easy enough to remove.

This is why you need duct tape and painters tape, so you can make eyes! Let’s just say my husband’s creativity inspired me. Remember to never directly apply duct tape to your lights and mirrors, you want to use painters tape first and then you can go crazy with funny colors and what not.

Although Hurricane Michael hit the weekend before, we had the privilege of riding both courses at VIR; both the North and South Courses. Originally we were only supposed to ride the North Course but it just worked out that we were able to do South on Day 1 and North on Day 2.

The South Course was a shorter, slower paced track. The upside to this is that I got to do more laps than I normally would have. The schedule for CLASS was a little different than track days I’ve done in the past with other organizations.

As with every track day, the day started first thing (7:30am-8:00am) with Check In and Tech Inspection followed by a safety meeting where rules and information for the day was presented and shared by Reg’s team.

These rules were imposed on both groups, regardless of experience level or training so you know that everyone is on the same page and things will go as safely as possible.

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Reg also impressed upon us a few other thoughts that he truly believed were important to our time at VIR for the next 2 days. I find these messages are important, not only for the track but for the street too:

  1. Slowing down, maintaining control

  2. Courtesy and consideration

  3. Learning not speeding

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I found this message to be comforting, empowering and set a positive tone for the riding ahead. One of the many personal rules I have about riding motorcycles is not riding in large groups of strangers (outside the confines of an organized, training ride with a dedicated riding organization e.g. large public rallies and parades. It simply makes me nervous because out on the street, the training and riding environment is vastly different. When a group of riders are at the track together, we’re generally on the same page. We know we’ve come here because we know it’s safer, and our environment is controlled and organized in a way that cannot be matched to a track day. I always feel 100% safer on the track than I do on the street.

As the day went on, I found myself finally figuring out this track and feeling the most confident at of course, the last lap. It took me all morning and afternoon to get my lines just right.

And as much as I wanted to get my knee down, I decided to shift my focus on hitting my apexes just right and keeping my line tight, not wide because on the street that can be a very dangerous outcome. (Imagine going wide on a 2 lane, 2 way road over the double yellows!) I finally started feeling more confident to take my lines tighter and get over my fear of going wide.  

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

There were only two groups, A and B. A was for Advanced Pace and B was for Relaxed Pace. I started out in A the first day on the South Course. Although I did fine in that group I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the pace of the other rides so halfway through day 2, I opted to ride in Group B. The group was smaller, so more room and more laps! I hardly ran into any traffic and it felt like I had the track to myself. I also had lots of opportunities for coaches to follow me and for me to follow them. Pretty much every session, there was a coach available if I needed help.

There was also a small Triumph contingent, which was also comforting.

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You might be able to see in the background, that there were quite a few non traditional sportbikes that attended too!

And yep, they also fully attended both days. SEEE?? Track Days aren’t just for Sportbikes!

It’s for everyone, anyone. It’s all about finding the right one for you, and contacting local track schools to see if their program fits in with your goals and objectives as a rider. I have a list on my website here, of advanced, nontraditional track day training around the country that I highly recommend.

http://www.gearchic.com/beyond-basic-training/

But if you do some searching online I’m sure you’ll find local schools that will be more than happy to provide you advanced street training on the racetrack.

Or, sign up for a class with Reg and Gigi and tell them I sent you!

For more information on CLASS Motorcycle Schools including dates and prices, visit their website: ClassRides.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Shoutout to Shoei Helmets and Honda for sponsoring CLASS and making sure that the instructors have the best helmets and bikes as well.

My Gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Race Star, Ace Cafe

  2. Suit: Alpinestars Womens Motegi V1 Race Suit (new version)

  3. Gloves: Racer High Racer Womens Gloves

  4. Boots: Dainese Womens Torque Out D1 Boots

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars Nucleon KR-1, SM

And in case the men out there are wondering about my husband’s gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Star Helmet (Pre 2015)

  2. Suit: Revit Venom Suit

  3. Gloves: Held Evo Thrux

  4. Boots: Dainese Torque Out D1 Mens Boots (same as mine)

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars KR Adventure; he said it was more comfortable than the model I have

My Favorite Women's Summer Motorcycle Gloves

My Favorite Women's Summer Motorcycle Gloves

My favorite picks for summer women's motorcycle gloves no matter what type of motorcycle you ride. Women's motorcycle gloves fit differently for women's hands and today there are more options than ever before for real gloves that offer lots of protection. 

Held Women's Touch Gloves

Really good women's gloves (with adequate protection) are fairly hard to come by. That's why I'm so excited to see these from Held make it to the US!

I'm a HUGE fan of kangaroo palm riding gloves. My everyday gloves are my trusty Racer High Ends, which were discontinued long ago. I'm still hanging onto the two pairs I bought more than 4 years ago. I've always worn my Racers in warmer weather, even when it's 100F degrees out. They grip better than anything else I've worn when it's that hot.

These new gloves from Held have perforated Kangaroo palms which are going to be AMAZING in the summer!

The palm slider is constructed of SuperFabric, which has high abrasion resistant properties, which they clam is even stronger than Kevlar! These gloves also feature a touch friendly pad on each index finger, for those of you who are navigating with your smartphones. You'll also notice the patented Held Visor Wiper on the left index finger as well.

I like the multiple flex points where the accordion panels are; along the top of the wrist and knuckle, thumb and fingers. This makes squeezing your handgrips that much easier and more comfortable, so even if your fingers are reaching the ends of the glove,  you know they won't fight you as you're riding.

The sizing is numeric; 6/XSmall, 7/Small 8/Medium. If you have larger hands, then you will want to try the mens version offered from 8-12. Thank you Held for NOT dumbing down the ladies version of these gloves. We want and need the SAME protection as our male counterparts. And if you have tiny hands like I do, you'll love the size 6 option, which is one of the smallest sizes available for women. I'm hoping these have a similar fit to my Racers. Once I get find out I'll update my post!

I cannot wait to get my hands on a pair of these for Spring. I just hope they fit as well as my Racers do!

Race Gloves for Women: Racer

Racer_high_racer_gloves_womens Racer Gloves finally has returned with true race gloves for women along 2 other options for street riding! 

High quality, protective, leather motorcycle gloves are hard to find for women riders these days. That's why I'm such a fan of Racer.  I have 4 pairs of their gloves which I acquired 3-5 years ago. As soon a I heard they were discontinuing my favorites, I immediately purchased replacement pairs. I currently have 2 of the High End (below, older version of the High Racer) and 2 of the Multitop. The High Ends are my absolute favorite riding gloves, out of the ~6-8 pairs that I have.

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The first new model is the High Racer, in black and white for $219.99. Unfortunately you do not have any black options. These make for an excellent track / race glove and all around street riding glove. The High Racer, much like the older model has full kangaroo skin palms, palm And scaphoid sliders, carbon fiber protectors and an incredible fit and feel.

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The second, less expensive option is the Grip, for $159.99. This glove is constructed of fully of goatskin, hard knuckle protectors and most likely a more relaxed street fit. This glove too is only available in sizes M-XL. Fingers crossed for XS, S!

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The third is a lightweight, waterproof glove, the Traveller, for $149.99 isn't insulated. Sometimes you need a waterproof glove, but you may not need a warm one.

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I should be getting a couple samples to check out in person. However, since I wear a XS/S, I doubt they will fit me. Who knows, maybe they will run smaller. I will update my post as soon as I receive them.

As of right now, Racer has only made size Medium-XLarge available in all these models. Those Austrians just have no idea how much we need XS, S. Hopefully they will make some available soon. I know that Racer Gloves USA is fighting hard to get us these sorely needed sizes, but for the ladies who do need larger sized gloves you now have 3 killer options.

Racer Gloves and the Motorcycle Show this weekend

racer gloves short sport The San Mateo IMS is this weekend, and I'll be working all weekend with my friend Lee at the Racer Gloves USA booth.

If you've read my reviews, you know how much I LOVE these gloves. It is unfortunate that the 2 best women's gloves in the line were discontinued, but I know that they're working on updated versions for women next Spring/Summer.

Pick up discount tickets at your local shop/dealer (Moto Shop, DStore, Cycle Gear, to name a few), or buy them online.

Ducati Motorcycles Women San Francisco 848

Come by and say hi and try on the best fitting gloves ever. I won't be doing any seminars this weekend, as I've committed myself to the Racer booth but I'll be there all weekend :D.

 

 

Moto Bash with Racer Gloves, Sat. 9/14

racer motorcycle gloves best womens motorcycle leather

 

Saturday 9/14 is Cycle Gear's 5th Annual Moto Bash. I'll be working from 8am-4pm at the Racer Gloves booth to tell you allllll about how fabulous they are. Swing by and say hi!

My 2 favorite pairs are made by Racer. They're based in Austria and the distributor, Racer Gloves USA is right here in the Bay Area in Morgan Hill, CA. Their gloves aren't as widely known as others on the same playing field but once you go kangaroo palms, you'll never go back. They offer a wide  liner of gloves, including full race, street, summer and winter GORE-TEX. Recently they discontinued the best women's glove on the market, but it sounds like they'll have something new to release in the next year. Fingers crossed! They do offer gloves for women, including street and winter. 

Besides a huge parking lot sale, it looks like a lot of vendors will be hand selling lots of gear. More details about the event: 

motobash cycle gear sacramento 2013

Next Stop, Held Gloves

held warm n dry gore-tex waterproof gloves

 

And another one bites the dust. Last year the most amazing riding gloves I've ever worn were discontinued for women, the High Ends by Racer. As soon as I found out, I went out and grabbed the last pair in my size. Now, they're discontinuing my Multitops. :-(

This time however, I'm going to pursue an alternative brand, Held. 

My next "winter" glove purchase is going to be the Warm n Dry by Held from Germany.  The quality is great and something pretty cool that's unique to is that they offer some of their gloves in Long for added finger length. They even offer one pair in short, the Steve IIs. These start at size XS, in size 6 and work really well for women too. 

held warm n dry gloves winter waterproof goretex

The Warm n Drys (pictured above) are not only lined with GORE-TEX but have goatskin palms and cowhide construction. They're not bulky because they don't have any kind of insulated, cushy layer. So as a result, they're not the best winter glove in terms of warmth. But they're perfect for heated grips, which is how I make it through the winter. And they should be perfect for SF Bay Area riding. 

Typically you have to trade off tactile-ness and feel for warmth. But with these and heated grips you have the best of both worlds! They start at a size 7 (by measuring the circumference of your hand right below the knuckles) which is generally a small. I can't wait til we get another one in stock so I can try them out. The first day we started carrying them, almost all of them sold out. 

The only downside is that these aren't specifically women's. But, they do start at a small size, so I'm very hopeful that they'll fit well enough after trying an 8.  Fingers crossed.

 

First Motorcycle Jacket

The first motorcycle jacket ever made was sold by Irving Schott in 1928.  If you're looking for a truly vintage motorcycle jacket, a Schott leather might be what you're looking for.

Although it appears that they don't come with pockets for armor, you could probably have some pockets sewn in after...

Schott NYC

http://www.schottnyc.com/about.cfm