budget

My Favorite Women's Motorcycle Textile Suits

revit legacy womens motorcycle jacket goretex waterproof textile It feels good to be back in the world of motorcycle gear! I've seen some really cool stuff in the past week or two, especially for women riders. So here's my roundup of year round / multi season suits that will take you from Fall to Winter to Spring, and maybe Summer depending on where you live.

Remember, your 2 piece suit can only work as well as your base layer allows in terms of breathability. And if you're not wearing a base layer, gooooooooo get some! Not only will it help your gear fit better but it'll also help regulate the sweat and keep the gear from sticking to your skin.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-womens-sand-jacket" style="dark"]REV'IT Sand[/button]

revit_sand_jacket_womensrevit_sand_pants_womens

The Sand is a replacement for their first attempt at an adventure touring outfit, the popular Ventura. It's based off the men's version, and follows the same shell/liner system. What I loved about the Ventura and now the Sand is that the jacket shell is super lightweight. It still has the 2 removable liners but once they're out you have a well ventilated, summer jacket. The bust and arms have a fairly generous fit as well as the hips/waist with longer arms and length overall.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-womens-levante-jacket" style="dark"]REV'IT Levante[/button]

revit_womens_levante_jacket_detail revzilla

Although the Levante isn't a 2 piece set, I have to mention this jacket. It's more of a 3 season jacket with 2 removable layers but not the warmest jacket because of the mesh ventilation on the front and back panels. The fit profile on Levante is definitely more suited to a taller, narrower (shoulders/arms/torso) body type such as my cohost on Moterrific, AdventureGoddess. Check out her review here.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/fieldsheer-adventure-tour-jacket" style="dark"]Fieldsheer Adventure[/button]

fieldsheer_womens_adventure_tour_jacket_black fieldsheer_adventure-pant-silver_front

I stumbled upon this outfit recently while helping one of my readers find pants. They have a nice profile to them and go all the way up to a US 18! They would certainly make a nice year round outfit, since you can remove the 2 in 1 liner. The shell is lightweight and would probably work ok in summer, depending on your tolerance for hot weather.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/olympia-womens-ranger-jacket" style="dark"]Olympia Ranger[/button]

olympia_womens_ranger_jacket_detail

The new Ranger is an updated version of the popular AST women's jacket. Still a waterproof shell, they've redesigned the jacket overall. Check out Rania's blog post about this jacket here.

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/klim-womens-altitude-jacket" style="dark"]Klim Altitude[/button]

2014-klim-womens-altitude-jacket-grey-mcss  

Women in the riding community have been anticipating this release since rumors of Klim developing a women's 2 piece GORE-TEX shell surfaced a couple seasons ago. It's here, and it basically a women's version of the men's Latitude. Just tailored and fitted for women. This version also has one key feature that the men's doesn't however; Adjustability to lengthen the pants a few inches! Finally something we get that men don't when it comes to motorcycle gear. These also go up to a Size 22!

[button url="http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/dainese-womens-zima-gore-tex-jacket" style="dark"]Dainese Zima GTX[/button]

Dainese Zima GTX Jacket dainese_travelguard_gtx_womens_pants

 

I especially love how the front of the jacket lays flat, so to speak. Partly because of Dainese's special Mugello fabric, but also just the way they sew and fit everything together. The design is always clean and simple. I'm wearing a Euro 40 (US 4) with the liner in. Of course, you can pair this with any of the Dainese Womens Textile pants (no jeans).  The GORE-TEX is not removable, but the thermal liner is.

The Zima is one of my personal favorites. I'd say that it has an average fit. Not too narrow, not too curvy. Somewhere in the middle, but not as narrow as some of their other jackets. If you're looking for the matching GTX pant, the Travelguard (above; thigh vents/hip armor/adjustable knee armor) or Galvestones are the way to go. And of course, if you aren't interested in GTX, then there are a few other Dainese pants to choose from.

 

Moto Garage SALE in San Francisco!

garage-sale  

A few of my friends and I are getting together to sell a TON of stuff, including motorcycles! Click here for a full list of items and some photos.  I'm cleaning out my closet so I have gloves, helmets, pants, tankbags and lots more to sell. If you're looking for a good deal on used gear, now's the time!

Saturday January 4, 2014: 10am-5pm in San Francisco. Address and more details in link above.

 

For Sale: Alpinestars Leather Ladies Jacket (S/42) $175 SOLD

6/3/2013: SOLD!

For Sale.  From Me.

Gently worn (a few times), Alpinestars Luxe Leather Ladies Jacket, Cream

Size Euro 42 / Small

$175

More Features:

  • removable vest liner
  • shoulder/elbow CE/EN rated armor
  • pocket for back protector (takes Alpinestars, TPro, D3O and similar)
  • premium leather, most likely 1.1mm grade leather

 The jacket is in great shape, fully broken in too. It's a really cute coat, just doesn't fit me quite right. I think this would be great on a woman with a long torso. The size is Euro 42/ Small. I'm typically Euro 40 in Alpinestars, 36 in REV'IT, 40 in Dainese or XS in other clothing/gear. 

Use the contact button on the side of this page if you're interested. Thanks for looking!

Sportbike Touring on an SV650S

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest

 

I'll admit, it's not that comfortable. But here are 3 inexpensive ways to instantly improve your sanity while riding over 350 miles/day.  

 

1) Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips

I have a fully stock set up on my 2003 Suzuki SV650S, as far as bars/seats go. One of the best $40 investments (I got a special price at the Tahoe Adventure Rally) I spent last summer was on a set of Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips. You can see all 3 pads on my tank above. They're an absolute necessity on ANY sportbike. Not only do they help you grip the tank better but they just make longer rides a little easier. The more you can grip your tank, the better you can hold your position squeezing the tank. And if you've used your body position to lean harder, you know how important it is to have a solid place for your opposite knee. :D

They make grip pads for many makes/models of bikes and even sell the material in sheets so you can make your own if necessary. They come in two different compounds and the one I have is the "C3 Grip" ($51.95). They aren't just pads, to protect your tank, but they provide so much more comfort on a long distance ride. I have a much easier time holding my body in place.  

If you ride a sportbike, why don't you have these???

Where to Buy: Tech Spec (online), Scuderia West (San Francisco)

Cost: Starts at ~$45 depending on the compound you choose.  They're having a daily contest to get yours free, but it's not clear on their website or Facebook page as to how you can win.....

 Tech Spec Gripster Tank Pads

 

 

2) Seat Pad / Custom Seat

I forgot to bring my trusty sheepskin seat pad. How did I forget something so crucial??

A few years ago I bought a sheepskin pad from Alaska Leather Online. I didn't start using it until last summer when I went on a ton of long weekend trips, riding over 250 miles/day. I don't kno why I forgot about it this time! I just know that it would've brought me much comfort on this 990 mile weekend. For $65 your butt will thank you! At least, that was the cost for my bike. Since they don't make one specifically for the SV, the Pillion seat worked perfectly. 

alaska leather online sheep skin pad 2003 sv650s seat

 

Where to Buy: Alaska Leather Online

Cost: ~$65 (for an SV, other bikes may vary)

 

3) Tank Bag

It seems obvious but having something right there for you to lean on is such a huge relief. Especially if it's magnetic. I can reposition the tank bag by shifting the magnets forward or back. Since I've only ever had magnetic tank bags, I'm not sure how else this would work with a strap mount tank bag since you have to preposition the straps.  (this photo is pre TechSpec)

I usually stuff mine pretty full (not extended) but full enough for me to push forward so I can lean in. Here's another shot of the pic above so you can see how perfectly placed my tankbag is. 

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest

 

Givi T470 Tank Bag - I believe this is discontinued but there appear to be some other versions on Givi's website. Also check TourandRide.com

Also, if you're wondering about the vest I'm wearing it's from Spectrum Ultra Sports

Reason #1,300,394 why motorcyclists should wear gear.

(Photo credit: HFL.com)

I love reader emails. I got this lovely note from a reader recently and had to share this article he mentioned. Thanks TH!

Hi Joanne,

Love your segments on Wheelnerds and Pace podcasts.  Please keep up the very informative + timely info. 

Anyways, thought you may like this article from HFL and maybe reference it next time on the Pace (perhaps even a link on your site)

I liked it 'cause you rarely see such a detailed review of gear and how it worked after rolling along the tarmac.

http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2012/02/this-is-the-city-gear-that-saved-my-life/

(make sure you view their article in Full Site mode if you're on a mobile phone, as the article is blocked unless you view the full site)

This is indeed a very good article about how even basic street gear can save your body parts from serious injury.  Normally, HFL closes articles after a certain period of time (12 hours) unless you're a paid subscriber. But luckily, they decided to keep this one open permanently, given how important the message is. 

 

Gaerne Rose Womens Motorcycle Boots

 

 

Features: Waterproof/breathable membrane, reinforced at the ankles, toes, shins and heel cup, grippy durable soles, reflective strips on the heels 

 

Size/ Fit: Euro 38 / 7.5-8.  (I had to go up a size from my normal Euro 37 in these, because they are very narrow at the arch and ankles. I simply couldn't get my foot in the boot in the 37. I typically wear a 6.5 or 7, depending on the shoe. If you are normally a Euro 37 or a 6.5/7 like me, these will fit you.  I have average width feet and my calves measure a whopping 14.75" at the largest part.  

Are they comfortable? They're very light, and comfortable enough to walk in all day. 

What else should I know? If you don't wear a long sock that goes over your calves, then the seam on the inside of the boot may irritate/scratch your calf. For this reason, I recommend a calf size of no more than 14.5" so that there's room for a nice long sock.  

One issue is that since the zipper is full length, there's no adjustability for calf fit. You'll have to wear your riding pants over the boot.  They also have a breathable, waterproof membrane.  

Review Coming, Stay Tuned! 

Mesh Women's Motorcycle Gear for Hot Summer Riding

What Motorcycle Gear Should I Wear?

I love reader emails. The questions are always great and I know everyone can benefit from some free advice.  My latest email is about summer mesh/textile riding options.

Here's a recent email from Nataly in Chicago:

First off, I think your website is great. (Thanks!!)

I started riding about two years ago and the same summer I learned how to ride I purchased my baby, an '09 Yamaha V-Star 650. As of now, a helmet is pretty much all the gear I use but I think more safety gear is probably a good idea. I am 21, 5'4" and 125lbs. Most of the riding I do is commute which includes to work and school. I don't really want to be walking around campus in motorcycle boots and jacket.

I am looking for something more casual as well as light weight for Chicago's hot and humid summers. Being a college student I don't have a very big budget to work with so I thought I'd ask someone more knowledgeable. I'm hoping you can lead me in the right direction. 

Right back at you, Nataly. Your attitude is great and I'm so happy you've decided to make the investment. 

So Nataly, your biggest challenge is not only the hot, humid Chicago weather but lack of secure storage on your motorcycle. I'm not worried about you going to work since you have a place to change and you probably don't have to wear your gear all day while working. But I am worried about commuting to school without any kind of locker or place to stash gear.  

Since your commute is local, I'd recommend first getting knee guards to wear over your jeans if you aren't considering overpants or textile meshed riding pants:  

I would highly recommend going over to the D-Store Chicago.  They will have a large selection of women's gear, especially mesh/textiles for Chicago summer weather for you to try on in your size. I would go there first and if you can't find anything you like, then I would consider some of the options below. But since they have a lot to try on in person, that would be my first recommendation to consider.

Otherwise, you could do a lightweight overpant like these Airwaves: 

REV'IT Airwave Pants $189

REV'IT Airwave Womens Motorcycle Pants Mesh

What I also like about these are the zippers all the way from hip to toe so you can easily wear them over shorts or jeans and then take them off and roll them up in your softbag. 

Here are some other jacket ideas for you too, under $200. All of them offer elbow and shoulder armor (which you need at a minimum) and lots of ventilation / air flow. They certainly come in other colors too, and I'd order the smallest possible size in each.

Alpinestars Rebel Air Flow $179

Don't worry, it comes in black and red if you're not a camo girl! 

 

REV'IT Airwave $199

(click here to find a dealer in your zip code for Revit).

Revit womens textile mesh motorcycle jacket

Taichi Sport Mesh $129.95 

Unfortunately you would have to mail order this one from TaichiMoto.com.  

RS Taichi Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Womens

 

As far as boots, I'm going to recommend boots with a GORE-TEX liner, because they will have the Most breathability. Something that will also help greatly with this are athletic socks that breathe and wick moisture away (running socks are fantastic).  

Check out my boot recommendations post from a couple weeks ago. These are all really comfortable (great for walking all day) and lightweight.  All of the ones before the "Need More Protection" section would be ideal. 

I also hope you will consider Gloves. You can easily find some perforated, short leather gloves in time for summer.

Here's an idea of what to look for:

RS Taichi Armed Leather Mesh $69

(The size "Ladies" is an XS.) All mesh on top but sueded leather on the palms. It's not as strong as a standard leather palm like these,  but should hold up in any kind of slow speed accident.  They're well ventilated, so if your hands start to sweat, they will definitely let the air flow through. The last thing you want is your hands meeting hot pavement!

RS Taichi Armed Leather Mesh Gloves Womens Size

I'm sure the Dainese store will have shorty women's vented gloves for you to check out too.

I hope that helps for now, please let me know when you find something!

 

 

budget gear and newenough.com

For those of you looking for a good deal on inexpensive, protective gear, remember to check www.newenough.com, they always have amazing deals (and reviews) as well. This week, they have Setup boots for $79 and River Road Mesh overpants for $30. Unfortunately the Setup boots are only in 4 sizes (european 38-41), but if you're lucky enough to fit these sizes, these can be a really good deal.

http://www.newenough.com/closeouts/bargain_basement/river_road/ladies_mojave_mesh_motorcycle_pants.html

http://www.newenough.com/closeouts/bargain_basement/set_up/grand_prix_motorcycle_boots.html?s=p
I wouldn't count on these carrying you for the rest of your life, but you're completely poor after shelling out $3k on your bike and another $500-$600 on insurance, then you probably don't have another $1k to spend on gear. BUT do start saving for better gear asap. This is good starter gear, but I wouldn't count on them forever.