shopping tips

More Shopping Tips when searching for Motorcycle Gear

Klim Altitude Jacket, Size 4  

With all the buzz from the new Klim Altitude Dual Sport suit for ladies, I thought you might find these tips useful while looking at motorcycle gear. Especially if you're a woman... but certainly useful for men too.

Aside from my Shopping Rules, these are just a few other tidbits that I share often with customers and thought you might find interesting as well!

Choosing a Brand


Generally speaking, you will want to go with an American company if you have more of a curvy body type. Or if you have shorter arms/legs, broader shoulders / torso, shorter arms or legs, that the American brands will cater to the average American woman, whom is typically a size 12/14.   And for the most part, American brands will offer the most generous fitments with more room in these areas because well, that's where most American women need it.

Conversely, if you are very petite (almost underweight) or very lean/long in the arms, legs and torso then you must go with the European brands. Italians, Germans and Dutch brands dominate the industry with more options if you fall into any of these categories.

These guidelines also apply equally to the men out there too. Long and lean, go Euro. Shorter and more athletic/broad, go American.

Remember, these are general guidelines and certainly exceptions apply to brands such as Rev'it, which actually offer the widest variety of fitments in their collection. 

Sizing your Motorcycle Boots


gaerne_black_rose_womens  sidi_apex_lei_womens

Know your European shoe size. It's pretty much right 99.9% of the time. Go look in your closet right now, find 3 pairs of shoes and see what the European size is. Then see what they say the US size is. I'm betting that the US definitions are all over the place. I've found that you can pretty much associate your casual, European shoe size with any motorcycle boot and you will have a very accurate size to start with. But much like clothing, you will then have to figure out the various fitments between the brands. (And that's where a company like Revzilla comes in to help you sort things out).

Proper Fit

When you step into any motorcycle apparel store, or a dealer that stocks gear, their salespeople should be able to steer you to a particular brand that will fit you first, and then your budget, style preferences, etc. If they have no idea how one jacket fits, vs. another, you will probably end up with something that's too big/long/wide/etc. Or worse, something that won't do it's job quite right if you go down. Fit has a direct connection to safety, and that's in the form of your body armor as far as how it's supposed to sit up against your body: snug, so it won't move and slip sideways off of your body! It also has a direct connection to staying warm, and insulating you from the cold. Any extra space or gaps increases the likelihood that you will be cold because now there's cold air swirling around in that bubble on your chest instead of keeping a nice snug seal against your body.

And that's why I'm here, and why companies like Revzilla exist to help you figure this stuff out. It's not easy (especially the first time), it's a major pain in the ass and can be one of the most frustrating things you've ever gone through in your life.

As I come up with more tidbits, I'll try to update this post. That's it for now, stay tuned for a special Gear Q n' A on Moterrific so we can address some of your specific questions when it comes to gear!

Women's Lingerie and Motorcycle Gear

bras womens

Who knew shopping for a bra was like shopping for women's motorcycle gear? 

Last night I went to the mall to return something. Somehow I ended up in Victorias Secret

Having lost weight recently, I was a little excited to see if my sizing had changed since I noticed a significant difference in fit with my current bra stash. As soon as I walked in I was approached by happy, friendly girls dying to measure my bust.

They told me that I was a size larger than I had expected, due to the fact that VS' sizing runs smaller than its competitors. For some reason, I didn't believe them at first, but I figured what does it hurt to try stuff on and see how they fit? I kicked my ego to the curb and hit the dressing room with an array of lace, silk and satin. 

Sadly, I don't have photographic evidence of my fitting session (well I do, but those pictures are the property of Mr Donn). But it went really well. I didn't expect any of their fancy bras or outfits to fit me. 

Revit womens gear 2 leather motorcycle pants I was pleasantly surprised and realized that seeing how things Fit for myself was the only way to be fully convinced that they were indeed the right size. Numbers often lie, as least when it comes to clothes. Unfortunately, you have to know that one size with one company might mean something completely different with another. In the case of VS, they run one full size larger than anyone else. Go up one full size from another brand and you'll notice the difference. (just remember to squash your ego back into its box, otherwise it'll make you miss out on some really sexy lingerie).

The last time I was fitted for a brassiere was over 5 years ago. And I've never had that done at VS. I have been to a few different department stores, but everyone carries something different and every (company) seems to have a different way of sizing you up. They were pretty knowledgable and I walked away with a couple of comfy, cute pairs in my hand.

If you walk into a motorcycle dealership and walk out without having been properly fitted or sized for your gear, there's a really good chance you're wearing the wrong size, or the wrong fit/shape. 

Whether it's gloves, helmets, boots, jackets or pants. If you're not sure, take a picture and text (415-857-GEAR) or email me and I can help. Or download a copy of my shopping tips and take them with you the next time you go shopping for gear.  

Wouldn't it be awesome if there was an online resource to help identify the right bra shape for your body type? A la GearChic for boobs? :D 

UPDATE 9/22/12

I had to go back to the mall to exchange the sizes for my fancy new bras. Turns out they were too BIG. Yep. too big. The way I figured that out is after 1 day of wearing one, it started to give a little so I had to put the strap on the tightest one. Bad sign. If they stretched out more, (which they always do) I knew they'd be too big.

After losing almost 20lbs, I knew that I should've gone down at least a bust size but thought maybe I was just not good at this whole bra shopping thing.  They were semi helpful in helping me get the right size in explaining that when you go down in the bust, you have to go up a cup. Who knew? Now, the last person who helped me (at a different VS location) was really nice. But she told me something that simply isn't true. That VS bras run a full size smaller than other brands. She was wrong. I tried on the same size at VS as at Macy's and they both fit the same. I ended up exchanging the two that I bought at VS.

I also ended up going to our huge (7 story) Macy's in downtown SF since they have a bit more to choose from. Of course, I fell in love with the higher end, designer ones because they fit so much better. 

I was a little afraid that my new bras would be to tight, but I knew they would break in a little bit. It took about a half day of wearing one to feel it really give. 

Now my girls are super happy, comfortable and look better than ever.  :)


AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference

AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference

I'll be going to the conference on Tuesday, arriving early (starts Thursday) to set up the Gear Shop in the Marketplace. 

The organizers have worked hard to put together sponsors for the gear shop that will help me help you! You can find me there all weekend, helping you get dressed. Unfortunately I won't be doing any seminars, but I will be handing out my shopping tips and give you all the free advice you want/need in the gear shop. 

Sponsors haven't been announced yet, but I'll post on twitter/facebook as soon as I can. 

Hope to see you there!

Shopping Tips

I've created a 6x9 full color version of my shopping tips.

I created these to help not only women, but men as well. We have similar challenges when it comes to buying gear. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it fits right, or we're not sure what to look for in a certain piece of gear.


Download them here (or right click and save on the pics) and share them with everyone you know. Happy Shopping!