street

Advanced Riding Skills with Reg Pridmore

trackday triumph speed triple street triple R  

I know what you're thinking. But I don't need a track day. And you're right, you don't. Instead, you need Reg Pridmore. 

I loved the track day that my husband and I did last September. But as a 'Training' environment, for street specific skills and riding, I didn't feel like it was the best option.

That's why I really want to do Reg Pridmore's Class School. I feel like his homepage says it all:

reg_pridmore_class_motorcycle_school 

"The friendliest and safest place to learn the riding skills we all need."

"At CLASS, Reg Pridmore focuses on teaching you how to become a smoother safer and more confident rider with instruction on more effective braking, shifting, cornering and how to avoid some pitfalls that often occur as a result of bad habits (even those you might not know you have)."

These two things are what make this kind of class totally different from a track day in my opinion. If you read through the FAQs, you'll see what the format is and how the class is set up.

My husband and I will probably shoot for the October class and by then we hop to have a different car that we can tow our bikes down to. Although, I'm still trying to convince him to ride down but, it's generally safer to drive your vehicle to a track class.. Hmmmm.

Whatever you do to increase your skills, just make sure it's a safe learning environment and not designed to outspeed eachother. There are quite a few different advanced courses out there if this is too far away for you. I've collected a few on my resources page for you.

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.

racer_high_end_womens_gloves 1

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.

racer_high_racer_womens_glove

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!

Racer_grip_womens_glove

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.

racer_traveller_womens_glove

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.

Spidi Poison 2 Piece Suit

spidi_poison_womens_suit1 I wanted to share this fabulous pic of my friend India, sporting a brand new Spidi Poison 2 Piece Leather Suit. It's the perfect 2 piece suit for your next track day, or day ride along your favorite twisties.  Everyone should have a 2 piece textile, and a 2 piece leather in their closet.

I would say that Spidi for the most part runs a little leaner, similar to Dainese in fit. I haven't tried this one on in person, but am very hopeful that we will have some Spidi gear in the near future as well.

She's sized in a Euro 46. If you're interested in this suit, send me an email through the contact link on the left and I'll help you get sized. :)

Reader Question: Are My Motorcycle Boots Too Big?

Hi There,

I'm in the market for my first pair of official motorcycle boots. I commute 60 miles a day on my 07 BMW F800ST which has very cramped footpegs. I have narrow feet with med/big arches. My budget is around $200-240 max.

It was suggested to me by several people to get the Sidi Fusion boots as they tend to run narrow unlike some other sidi boots. I couldn't find them anywhere locally, and I had a $140 store credit for cycle gear so i ordered them from the cyclegear website. I went ahead and ordered a size 45. The fit: The boot feels a tad bit loose, and it feels like my feet slide forward in them which cramps my toes. I slapped my FAVORITE insoles in (Sofsol Airr) and it tightened the boot up nicely, but then my toes were so cramped they now get tingly. Should I trade them in for a 46? Do i need to go to a different boot? Help! Love your podcast and always love to hear your feedback.

-Kyle

sidi_fusion_lei_womens_motorcycle_boots

Hi Kyle,

I would definitely recommend a completely different brand for you. Sidis can run narrow in the toe box, but not everywhere else as your experience is showing you (heels, ankles). The reason your toes are smashing into the toe box is probably because the heel and ankle area isn't pulling your foot back enough to keep them out of the toe box. I have the same issue with my Sidis as well. Unfortunately my feet are so small that they don't make a size small enough!

My recommendation would have been anything from Dainese. Unfortunately you will have to spend just a little more to find something that fits in your budget. Dainese is the only brand that has this type of narrow overall fit everywhere:

  • Dainese Giro-ST Boots: $259.95 These are identical to the protection you have on the Sidi Fusion boots, the fit is completely different.

For the price I think these would work really well for what you are trying to accomplish. Although they're a slightly larger investment I think you'll be *very* happy with the result. I would recommend a size 45.

Update 11/23/2014

Kyle wrote me back with an update!

So I went into cycle gear to order your suggested boots and they said they would give me the TR-Course Out for $5 less than the others. Got them for $250! Holy moley they feel great!!! Way overkill for my commute but I'm not complaining!

Dainese TR-Course Out Boots narrow feet

Klim Ladies Offroad Savanna Pants

klim savanna offroad womens dual sport pants motorcycle If you're a dual sport or offroad rider, you know how hard it is to find women's gear.

Klim offers a woman's offroad pant that is on par with their men's Dakar pants. They're even offering these in size US 2-16 and tall sizes!  The fit is great for anything upright, and there is plenty of room in the knees for knee guards and external body armor. There are also pockets to add armor inserts but since they're designed mainly as an offroad pant, armor isn't included. They're very hip friendly and generous across the thighs/butt.

Unfortunately they're not waterproof but that's where the Altitude would come in handy.

Recommendations for Gauntlet Style Women's Motorcycle Gloves

Racer High End Gloves GearChic Reader Aya posted this question on my Facebook page, expressing how unhappy she was when she walked into a certain motorcycle store and found one of the worst selections of real motorcycle gear for women. More specifically, real gloves for year round riding (think temps between 60F-80F) with actual protection! So I've put together a list for her and every other woman who's shopping for actual gloves, not just ones that are hiding behind the pink. 

I only wish these gloves in the photo above still existed. They were hands down, the most protective, amazing women's glove on the market. Then Racer (the Austrian company, NOT the US distributor) decided we weren't important anymore and discontinued them. Very, very sad. But if you ever stumble upon these on eBay or on Craigslist, do NOT pass these up.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions by brand with fit descriptions for each one.

 

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus

MSRP $189.95, Size XS-XL, 2 colors

I have to give a shoutout to Alpinestars, not only for offering a full size run of XS-XL, but 3 different gauntlet glove options including this one. The other two gloves are less expensive with fewer features, the SP-2 and the SP-8. If you want a lighter glove without the extra reinforcements, then you may like those options instead. The GP Plus gloves have additional protection like DuPont™ KEVLAR® fiber, Schoeller Keprotec and 3rd/4th finger stitched together to prevent separation. These offer the same features as the men's version for race level glove. I like the fit on Alpinestars, not too narrow, not too wide, a little better for shorter fingers. 

alpinestars_womens_gp_plus_motorcycle_gloves

 

 

Alpinestars Stella SP-2

MSRP $119.95, Sizes XS-LG, 4 colors

The SP-2's are a great street glove, less aggressive fit than the GP Plus and a few less features which bring the cost of the glove down a bit. The gauntlet is a little lighter and you'll notice the lack of accordion panel above the thumb. These also have a lot less carbon fiber, with EVA foam on the fingers instead.

 

alpinestars_womens_stella_sp8_motorcycle_gloves

Alpinestars SP-8

MSRP $89.95, Sizes XS-XL, 3 colors

The SP-8's are an entry level glove, with lighter protection reinforcements and an even more relaxed fit. Instead of a combination of goatskin and cowhide, these are only made of cowhide. They aren't as soft as the SP-2 or GP Plus, and less restrictive.

alpinestars_womens_stella_sp2_motorcycle_gloves

 

Dainese Carbon Cover ST

MSRP $149.99, Size XS-L, 2 colors

The Carbon Covers are a fantastic glove with Distortion Control on the pinky finger (meant to keep your pinky from separating away from your hand) and a really nice fit. The finger lengths are average, the construction consists of a goatskin palm and cowhide chassis, with kevlar stitching and reinforced palm sliders. These have a strong precurve, with a rather aggressive fit.

dainese_carbon_cover_st_womens_motorcycle_race_glove

REV'IT Summit H2O Waterproof Gloves

MSRP $134.99, Sizes S-XL (as of this post, Revzilla still has XL's of the non waterproof versions available)

The Summits are only available in the waterproof version, but you may still find the non waterproof ones on various websites if they have inventory available. The non waterproof versions were discontinued as of last year. I love these because they offer an incredible amount of protection for a street glove. You can read my review of both versions here. These gloves don't have a really strong precurve, so they'd work well on any kind of bike, for any kind of rider.

These also make for great year round gloves since they're not warm, just lined with a waterproof membrane.

revit_summit_h2o_waterproof_motorcycle_gloves 2 revit_summit_h2o_waterproof_motorcycle_gloves 2

 

REV'IT Xena Gloves

MSRP $159.99, Sizes S-XL, 3 colors

The Xena Gloves are REV'IT's answer to the sport / race glove for women. These are the replacements for the previous version, the Raven. They fit the same as the Raven with some minor design changes. Given the lack of protection on top of the fingers, I don't count these as a full race glove if you compare them to something like the SLR or Stellar. However, they make for an excellent, all around street glove. In general, Rev'it gloves are going to run longer in the fingers and narrower in the wrist. Since they're supposed to be a race glove, they will have a very strong precurve fit to them.

REVIT_Womens_Xena_womens_motorcycle_Gloves

Rukka Vilma Gore-Tex Xtrafit

MSRP $189, Sizes 6-10 (XS-XL)

You're probably wondering why these are so expensive. Well, aside from being a well made glove by Rukka, these are also completely waterproof and windproof with the Gore-Tex membrane. Also, the membrane is bonded to the leather ("Xtrafit") so it'll never separate. You know what's it's like to try and slip a wet or sweaty hand into a lined glove. These will definitely work better in that regard, but in addition to that they will be the lightest, waterproof glove you'll ever wear. As a result, they aren't good gloves for really cold temperatures (unless you have heated grips) since they don't have any kind of thermal/insulated membrane.

rukka_vilma_womens_waterproof_goretex_gloves_

 

If you're looking for even more protection, and want to explore men's glove options, I would recommend any of the men's race gloves among REV'IT, Dainese and Alpinestars. I would say the most slender, smallest fit among all three brands is REV'IT. I have very small hands (XS, 6) and I can almost fit into a pair of Jerez Pro's. The main fit difference with men's gloves will be wider wrists, palms, bigger thumbs and longer fingers.

I also recommend REV'IT men's gloves for women since they tend to fit fairly narrow as well. But you need to be at least a women's Medium or Large to fit into a Small/Medium on the men's side.

Are these motorcycle pants going to fit?

revit marryl womens motorcycle leather pants How do you know if a pair of leather pants / gloves / boots or jacket is going to fit or stretch? 

This question gets asked often as well. How do I know how much more it's going to stretch? It's difficult to say, really. But I can tell you that for the most part, leather can and does stretch. Especially when it come to motorcycle gear.

I recently acquired an older Rev'it pant (Marryls, pictured above) because I found them on eBay and couldn't pass them up. They're the BEST leather women's motorcycle pants I've ever seen on women of varied shapes/sizes. It's sad that Rev'it discontinued them here, because they're absolutely incredible. Of course, you can still get the fabulous Gear 2's but if you want something all leather without venting, these were a great option.

As soon as I tried to get them on, they were definitely difficult to zip up. Like, couldn't.zip.up.at.all. Like many of us do, I gave up, took them off and hoped I could drop 10lbs by the time I bought a motorcycle.

The problem was that they fit everywhere else SO damn good. I mean Perfect. I admit, I like my gear SNUG. I don't want a saggy butt, or saggy waist, or saggy anything. And that's generally how you want your gear to fit, if you can. It's a lot like clothes, when you wear bigger sizes you simply look bigger. Of course, it's also directly tied to safety as the placement of your body armor needs to be close to the body and immoveable in case of an accident.

marryl_stretch

 

I eventually slid them on and as soon as I pulled them over my hips, the stretching process started. Slowly I was able to pull the zipper up all the way (after 2-3 minutes or so) and it started to immediately feel better. You can see in the pic above that I could barely button the top, because the flap is showing. This is why it's SO important for you to try leathers on for MORE than 30 seconds. Of course, don't forget those crucial baselayers to make the process even smoother.  Another 5 minutes later and the waist/hip started to feel more comfortable to where I could sit in a chair, lean forward and start typing. I was even able to button it on the tighter (inner) button at the waist.

I know they're not done, and I have more stretching to go. I'll probably get about ~half size of break in and then they'll be loose enough to hopefully wear my winter weight thermals. It's been almost an hour and they feel SO much better than when I first started.

So don't give up, just give it a few minutes.. maybe 30..