touring

Need "Bad Fit" Women's Gear Photos

To my fabulous female readers. I'm contributing to an article about women's gear fitment and need photos to illustrate "bad fit" for women's gear, especially jacket and pant photos.

Please <EMAIL> them to me.

For example, here's a pic of my saggy butt showing the worst pant fit ever. I have a very flat butt.

This was about 6-7 years ago when I lost a lot of weight (almost 20lbs) so when I tried on my pants after ~6 months this was the result.

(For reference, these were Revit Gear 2 Pants, now discontinued but the current version is called the Ignition 3)

Before they are used, I will email you and let you know.

badfit_badsizing.JPG

Another Cross Country Ride!

Suffragettes Centennial Motorcycle Ride Announced for August 2020

Looks like my girl Alisa Clickenger is at it again. I can't wait to join their team to help make this happen in 2020. 

####

A ride celebrating the power, freedom and unity of American women on the centennial of the right to vote.

suffragette.jpg

Progress is measured in big and small ways every day. A formative step towards the equality of Women in America was the passage of the 19th amendment of the US constitution allowing American women equal vote in fair and free elections. Progress continues on to this day and will be celebrated in August of 2020 with the Suffragettes Centennial Motorcycle Ride. This cross-country ride is dedicated to all women who have fought for equality in the voting booth, in business and in life.

 The Suffragettes Centennial Motorcycle Ride 2020 (SCMR2020) is a female-centric multi-route cross-country motorcycle ride. The primary routes depart from the West Coast and arrive in Washington, D.C. approximately three weeks later. Major cities across the country will be announced as starting points for rides that will join into a single large group as they roll towards Washington, D.C. The ride will benefit several charities that service female interests across the US, and will be broadly shared via social media and editorial coverage.

Riders will have the option of registering for a nearly all-inclusive three-week tour, with other options for shorter rides. Each ride will feature unique points of interest, historic locations and will wrap itself in the majestic scenery of the United States. SCMR2020 is being announced early to inspire women to brush up on riding skills, learn how to ride and to set a goal to join what will surely be a legendary group making a powerful statement.

(Namibia, 2014: Alisa Clickenger, Founder of Women's Motorcycle Tours)

(Namibia, 2014: Alisa Clickenger, Founder of Women's Motorcycle Tours)

The event is being managed by Alisa Clickenger of Women's Motorcycle Tours in partnership with Robert Pandya of SpokesPeople LLC. “I have been hosting rides and events for women for many years after discovering the freedom and sisterhood of riding, and I am humbled and inspired by the Suffragettes,” says Clickenger. “Two summers ago I produced the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride to celebrate the bold American attitude and confidence of the legendary Van Buren Sisters ride in 1916. The Suffragettes Centennial Motorcycle Ride is intended to honor and increase the appreciation for how far women have come, and how far we will go.”

     “I have been involved in women’s riding initiatives for my entire professional career,” says Pandya. “SCMR2020 is going to be a great and meaningful event, and will arrive in Washington, D.C. with the strength and power that only a women’s ride can deliver. I know that this ride will be transformational for every participant and I know it will inspire women for generations to come.”

Those wanting the latest information on SCMR2020 can sign up for a mailing list at http://eepurl.com/c-_Viz . Updates will be sent regularly in the coming months. There will be limited entries into the three-week Full Ride Tour program, with other shorter ride options as well. Registration will start in 2018.

SCMR2020 is open to sponsorships and activation opportunities, and we’ll be tailoring each ride to create the most compelling experience possible for the participants. Interested organizations and companies can connect with the SCMR2020 team at Info@CentennialRide.com.

A complete website inclusive of the general route, inspiring stories of female riders, resource listings such as riding schools, female-friendly motorcycle media, apparel guides and more is being developed and will launch in the coming months.

“This is an exciting and epic idea! It’s going to have a lot of moving pieces,” says Clickenger. “I know that our team will deliver a unique and historical ride that will ignite women across the country. I am so excited to once again ride with mothers, daughters and sisters who share the vision and who choose to live an inspired life!”

###

The Suffragettes Centennial Motorcycle Ride is presented by Women's Motorcycle Tours, a Limited Liability Company. We recommend that all riders join the American Motorcyclist Association and enjoy the benefits of membership. SCMR 2020 media and sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Info@CentennialRide.com.

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. 

Overview of the High Racer Gloves

Racer Gloves have always been my favorite brand. I own four pairs that are over 5 years old because I have never found another glove to give me the same comfort and protection that I have come to love. 

Check out my first video overview of these gloves (as well as my first video review). Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think and look for more video reviews soon!

New Motorcycle Boots from Sidi for Women

Sidi X-3 Boots

Sidi X-3 Boots

I know, I know. Blue, Pink, White? 

Well, I guess change is slow. The good news is these are real race level, offroad boots for women. That means more ankle support (lateral) and protection just like the men's version. That means they're offered in a size Euro 39 (~US women's 8.5) which I'm sad to see because they really need to offer 36, 37 and 38 (~US 6-8 which are the most common women's shoe sizes when it comes to motorcycle boots in addition to 39. I hope they read this and reconsider adding those core sizes.

If you do have smaller feet, and need a 6-7.5ish, then I would recommend these Sidi Stinger Youth Boots ($250) instead:

sidi_stinger_youth_offroad_motorcycle_boots.jpg

They don't offer the hinged lateral support at the ankles, but they certainly offer great impact protection in all the key areas (toes, heels, shins, achilles heel) and those fantastic stitched soles. I also like that the toebox is less bulky. Dirtbikes seem to have teeny tiny foot pegs, so I can't see how a really thick boot would work very well. 

Another boot that they just released is a touring boot called the Gavia Gore-Tex ($250):

The Gavia boots are a solid touring boot, with a Gore-Tex membrane. They've never offered women's boots with Gore-Tex, so this is definitely a first. I love Gore-Tex, if it's a waterproof piece of clothing that I own it has to be Gore. I love the breathability, added wind protection, and versatility in varying temperatures. At $250, they're a fantastic option.

If you're looking for a boot to add insoles to, Sidis are pretty roomy around the instep (but my feet are just that effed up). 

Thank you Sidi for offering more options to women riders! 

REVIT Flash Sale, This Week Only

Only through TUESDAY, AUGUST 30TH! Select items are 15% off, and I'm talking about new items for Fall like the Outback 2 Ladies Jacket above. 

If you need to get ready for Fall/Spring/Winter, then this is the time. The Outback 2 is in awesome, 3 layer jacket with a removable waterproof liner, and a removable thermal liner. The cut is European fit but not nearly as slim as a Dainese women's jacket.  

Normally priced at $349.99; it's $297.99 for the sale only. And then it's back up to regular price next week. Don't worry, there are other colors like black, black and black if you prefer darker colors. 

The Enterprise ladies pant is a great option to pair with it for $199.99, although it's not on sale (but a great price for a waterproof pant!). Don't worry, this is also available in black. Remember that Rev'it is one of the few brands that offer short, standard and tall sizes for women so check out their size charts and let me know if you need help! Their pants fit true to Revit sizing.  

Great Deal on the 2014 Klim Altitude Ladies Jacket

March 2014.&nbsp;Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket.&nbsp;

March 2014. Here I am wearing a Small? in the older Klim Altitude GTX ladies jacket. 

It's been awhile since I put this one, and I think I was a little heavier back then as well.  

At Revzilla, this jacket used to retail for $589. Now it's on sale for $285! But only in sizes L-3XL. Sorry little ladies, it's only for the curvier girls now. And the fitment is very good for a curvy body type. It does run long however, especially in the sleeves and waist. Perfect for a touring / adventure riding position. 

The Perfect Bike for this Speedy Old Lady, a BMW R1200R

I know, I know. I'm not that old. Mentally I feel 21. However, I definitely cannot lean over on a sporty bike anymore for more than 10 minutes. That's really the only reason why I call it the Perfect Bike for this Speedy Old Lady. 

I'm not planning on upgrading or trading in Goldie anytime soon, however, it certainly made me think twice....

As you might recall, I rode the first 5 days of the Sisters' Centennial Motorcycle Ride last month to commemorate the anniversary of the Van Buren Sisters achievement 100 years ago.

I was able to borrow this bike from a very, very generous person in the Bay Area so I was able to pick this up early Friday morning on the 22nd of July. I've never ridden The Baron (my nickname for him) before. And it's been at least 5? years since I threw a leg over a Beemer too. I didn't know what to expect. The first thing that sort of blew my mind was how comfortable it felt from the get go. 

A break from the heat on my way to Carson City. Shown with the  Givi Tanklock XS307  (I'm pretty sure) Bag and a  Kriega US-20 Tailpack  on the rear. Perfect!

A break from the heat on my way to Carson City. Shown with the Givi Tanklock XS307 (I'm pretty sure) Bag and a Kriega US-20 Tailpack on the rear. Perfect!

I don't think may non BMW riders realize that they are ergonomically quite comfortable and so well balanced that they feel a lot lighter than they are on paper. The plethora of seat and suspension options really do allow for a wide variety of men and women to ride these things (myself included at a whopping 28.5" inseam).

Unfortunately I don't have any good up close, action shots of me actually riding so you can see how well it fit me. There are a few of me riding behind my friends Sarah and Alisa (riding an F800GS in BMW jacket, wearing a Schuberth Modular helmet) here but you have to dig to find me.  

The overall ergonomics were fantastic. The reach was perfect, I felt ridiculously comfortable slabbing all the way to Nevada (Hwy 80 East to 50 East to 395 North). I would say almost a 90 Degree seated position but the bars are tapered closer to the front forks. So a modest sport touring position. My shoulders/back never felt a thing and it was too easy to ride 100 miles before pulling over for a break.  

The overall height and fit below my waist was quite perfect, and I didn't really feel any discomfort except for my right hip which I've had issues with since an accident I had back in 2009. It gets achey if my knees are bent at 90 degrees from my hip or higher. So I did have some minor discomfort due to this, but nothing that kept me from riding 250 miles in an afternoon to Carson City (11am to 4pm, with 60-75 minutes worth of breaks for lunch and gas). 

Because of my hip, I would probably opt for a slightly different seat to increase the seat height. You're probably wondering, but how tall is it?  If I had to guess, I'd say it had about a 29" seat height (before compression). It has a very narrow tankspace because the fuel is mainly below you, so the center of gravity is much lower overall. But with the combined seat shape and skinny tank, it makes for a very easy reach. Because a bike with the same seat height but with terrible ergonomics (wider, flatter seat or wider, fatter tank) can limit how your toes touch the ground. A good example of this is my husband's Speed Triple:

Me on his 2007 Speed Triple

Me on his 2007 Speed Triple

This bike has the same exact seat height as my STreet Triple R, but I can reach much much closer to the ground because of two very important details:

  • customized rear shock, which compresses underneath my weight 
  • and skinnier tank shape, bringing my knees closer together
Me on my 2012 Street Triple R with a custom Ohlins Rear Shock

Me on my 2012 Street Triple R with a custom Ohlins Rear Shock

I would say the R1200R is perfect for a compact body type; assuming the rider has adequate experience on smaller, lighterweight sportbikes. Just because I'm smaller and I can ride this doesn't mean that everyone at my height/weight should be. It's still a 1200cc bike that weighs 500lbs. And managing the weight, getting used to how it handles (especially slow speeds), and feeling 100% comfortable in corners only comes with the 10+ years of experience I've had to practice my braking and cornering skills to ensure I don't drop any of my bikes). 

If I were smart I would've played with the Dynamic Suspension, because changing the modes would've probably stiffened up the rear a bit and brought me up to a slightly higher point to ease this discomfort.

The Speedo also has KM in addition to Miles so that threw me off as well. At one point I thought I was going over 100mph (which freaks me out).&nbsp;

The Speedo also has KM in addition to Miles so that threw me off as well. At one point I thought I was going over 100mph (which freaks me out). 

Let's look at the Electronic Suspension Adjustment (my favorite part of this ride). 

"Dynamic ESA enables you to adjust your motorcycle's suspension to suit the load and the road conditions." - BMW Owners Manual

You can actually adjust the spring preload and the dampening all in the dashboard. But you cannot adjust preload while riding. There are two modes: Road and Dynamic. I had it set to Dynamic the whole time, and I didn't even realize I could adjust preload. But since this was a borrowed bike I really didn't want to touch the settings so I left them alone. 

I could tell that it was definitely set too cushy in the corners, because it felt far too 'floaty' going through sweepers. Otherwise it felt smooth, stable and easy to push through the corners. 

In addition to various suspension modes, the Baron also had additional features including but not limited to: 

  • ABS
  • tire pressure monitoring
  • heated grips (multi level)
  • cruise control (which I never used)
  • electronic suspension adjustment (!!!! :D)
  • keyless ignition (so strange not needing a key, but so damn handy)
    • all you have to do is have the fancy keyfob in your pocket when you're ready to press the ignition button and voila! it starts right up. 
  • digital gear indicators
  • automatic turn signal cancellation (above ~15mph)
  • digital readouts of almost everything
    • the only readout not digital was the Speedometer. Which seems silly at this point, with everything digital why not add the Speedo as well? Even Goldie has a digital readout. 

Overall, such a ridiculously fancy bike. So much technology. By far, the most advanced bike I've ever thrown a leg over. 

One of the main features I used were the heated grips. Wheeee! I didn't anticipate chilly temperatures, but the morning of Saturday, July 23rd it was Mid to High 40s in Lake Tahoe on the north side. Luckily the heated grips saved me because I didn't expect that at all. 

Oh and I can't forget to mention the Power. I forgot how easy it is to cruise at freeway speeds on a Liter Bike. It comes to easy to this one, if I'm going 60-65mph, with just a light flick on the throttle and it easily kicks up another 10-20mph without a hiccup. The tiny windscreen seems useless but it definitely made a difference. I think I have to revisit a small windscreen with Goldie, getting out of Philadelphia requires slab sometimes to I may have to add this to my farkle list soon.

The increase in power and comfort certainly made the long distance ride feel like a much shorter one. But cruising right now for me, is a low priority. I'd rather have a nimble, lightweight bike with the type of riding I'm doing. But who knows? A lot can happen in a year :D

Besides the pricepoint (which I'm just not ready for) the way the 2 cylinders stick out right by my legs are in my way when I'm trying to park. I had to get off the bike to park only because it was so heavy. I actually had two firm balls of my feet on the ground, so stability was fine but it weighs 508lbs (curb weight, fully filled with liquids). Another 100lbs over Goldie. But honestly, other than parking lots and 3 point turns, I really couldn't tell. Something that I really really appreciate with BMW. The distribution of weight is very well balanced. BMW offers variable seat heights between seats and suspension options (from 29" - 33").

Sturdy footpegs! Just in my way a little bit. I actually felt really stable standing up on the pegs a couple times to stretch out. It almost felt as if I  were riding a GS instead  :D

Sturdy footpegs! Just in my way a little bit. I actually felt really stable standing up on the pegs a couple times to stretch out. It almost felt as if I were riding a GS instead :D

The only other issue I had were the footpegs. Being of shorter stature, almost every bike I ride, the footpegs are right where my feet want to go when I come to a stop. So it just took a little more effort to be conscious of where my foot went down. 

Not bad from this view, eh?&nbsp;

Not bad from this view, eh? 

Luckily the owner of this steed had a Ram Mount set up already just to the left of the mirror. So all I needed was my Universal Cell Phone Holder for my trusty iPhone 6. And as you can see my Kriega US-20 Pack was all I needed for 2 days. 

Kriega US-20 pack  securely mounted on the backseat, no problemo.

Kriega US-20 pack securely mounted on the backseat, no problemo.

Besides price point, I really can't say anything truly negative about this bike. Things like the cylinders sticking out and the footpegs are minor, in my opinion. 

And if you're still worried about seat height, please dont look at the numbers and think "Oh no, there's no way". Because sitting on the bike gives you a completely different feel and perception of what you think you might be able to ride. And of course, if you're considering a bike like this as a first and you're of shorter stature you sure as hell will need to flat foot it because you have NO experience riding. And I truly believe that riding taller bikes when you're shorter is only possible with substantial riding experience.  

Overall I'm a huge fan of this bike and would recommend it heartily to anyone who wants a rock solid sport tourer, that offers sportbike like performance in a comfortable riding position, technology and more speed. :D

Parked next to a Suzuki Vstrom. Size wise, the R1200R doesn't seem like it's that much smaller than the Vstrom. And it really didn't feel that 'big' to me.&nbsp;&nbsp;

Parked next to a Suzuki Vstrom. Size wise, the R1200R doesn't seem like it's that much smaller than the Vstrom. And it really didn't feel that 'big' to me.  

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!

Saddleman Tail Bag for your Sportbike

Saddlemen Sport Tunnel Tail Bag triumph speed triple daytona street triple I definitely see the value in a tailbag that has top access, since my Kriega packs don't. 

This Saddlemen Sport Tunnel Tail Bag looks like a cool tailbag if you have a tiny rear seat like on a Speed Triple, Daytona 675 or similar. A customer came in recently and purchased one for her Daytona 675. It looks like the straps work under the seat so if you don't have any mount points below, this should work well.

Another bag I recommend for top access is the Cortech Super 2.0 Tail Bag (available in 14L or 24L), but you do need external mount points to attach this to your seat. Cortech also offers an optional rain cover if you choose the larger 24L option.

cortech super 2.0 tailbag