A New Riding Friend, and the Same Complaint About Women’s Motorcycle Gear

Women’s Motorcycle Gear Is Inadequate.

I met Candice last week, flagging her down as she rode by. Petite, well-geared, looking sharp on a new Ninja 300, I could tell that she’d have a great sense of adventure and would be a fun person to get to know… plus she stopped for a total stranger, which is a good indication of like-mindedness.

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After texting back and forth a few times, we squeezed a quick 150 mile mountain ride in a couple of days ago. Old Highway 94 to Buckman Springs Road, cut back on Old Highway 80 to Sunrise Highway. That road is gorgeous and open, with big sweeping turns and spectacular views from the mountains down into the desert below. After zipping through Julian, the return to San Diego is through the farms and suburban area along Highway 67. It’s my favorite local ride, with varied roads, climates, terrain, and riding conditions.

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Every time I get together with a new female rider, the first order of business is for us to bitch about the dearth of women’s gear. Candice is on her second suit, a custom-tailored Pilot, having failed to find a comfortable fit in the two-piece Dainese. The tailoring process will make her new one-piece track suit a great fit, but the fittings require several trips to Murietta, an hour and a half away. “I’m looking forward to my new track suit, but it’s a lot of work to get it to fit right.”

I ran into the same problem with my Dainese Lady Yu suit a few years ago. I could have a suit that fit my body -or- was long enough in the limbs, but not both. As Dainese and Spidi were the only off-the-rack women’s suits available, I just didn’t have the choice of fit that the guys have.

A huge problem in being a properly outfitted and protected woman is that there just isn’t the same safety level in the women’s lines. I’m clinging to my eight-year-old, horribly ripped Racer gloves, as they are the only full-gauntlet women’s glove with all of the high-end protective and comfort options: hard palm sliders, knuckle vents, kangaroo-skin palms, and adjoined pinky and ring fingers. Even though my gloves have split fingertips and shredded suede grips, Racer doesn’t make them anymore and I can’t find anything else that offers the level of comfort and protection that I’d elect in a serious glove. I’m desperately hoping that Racer starts carrying a women’s full track glove again this fall.

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Candice agrees. Her compromise is the AlpineStars Stella glove, with knuckle protectors (but no skid plates) and a short wrist. She doesn’t have the bond-finger option or knuckle-vents, either. “At least they fit my hand,” said Candice. “I wear an extra-small women’s glove, and those are hard to find.”

Her boots are great, the Sidi Lei. I really need to upgrade to those, as my Dainese booties are super-soft with minimal protection, but they were the best available at the time I made the purchase. The Sidi boots are a bit wide for my skinny-ass feet, but there is literally NO other option in a solid, protective boot. Sidi is the only manufacturer.

We wonder why there are so few female riders, but it seems clear to me that a lack of gear is making it tricky for us to enter into the sport. We know we’re taking our life in our hands as we start riding aggressively, and with such limited options for gear, many women elect to cut short their arc of progression.

Manufacturers, if you want to win our hearts (and get our money), make us gear that suits our needs. We will buy it, and we will ride harder and have more fun. You support us and we will support you.

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Do you have any solutions?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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3 Responses

  1. Tar says:

    Those Racer gloves are a ripoff of Held gloves. Held are quite narrow, and may be worth a try. They’re not cheap, but have held up well for me in some pretty serious offs. Good luck!

  2. alexander says:

    My wife also exoperince the issue with either fitting her body or length of her limbs. She is wearing Daytona boots, and some gear from Polo. Sometime male version fit better than female versions.

    http://www.polo-motorrad.de/de/markenwelt/mohawk.html
    http://www.daytona.de, and some gear /index.php?page=811

I'd love to hear what you think!