A Cheat Sheet For Choosing Women’s Apparel
You just started riding and need a jacket for an upcoming trip with your new moto friends. So why not borrow your hubby’s big touring jacket, or snatch your BF’s sporty leather number, right? Well…
(a) you’ll look silly with all that extra material billowing around;
(b) an ill-fitting jacket just isn’t comfy; and most importantly,
(c), it won’t fully protect you, even if you’re “just” a passenger.
Many women riders don’t think about apparel fit while on a motorcycle. Complicating things is the fact that sizing can vary dramatically from jacket to jacket, depending on the type of riding it’s designed for. A snug sport jacket favors a sportbike riding position, while a touring jacket is fuller to accommodate a more upright riding stance. Oh, and “unisex” is definitely not a size.
Keep these suggestions in mind when shopping for your new gear:
- Make sure that the sleeves on any jacket that you are considering are pre-curved. This shaping prevents bunching and keeps you comfortable both in the riding position and as a passenger.
- Look for pants that allow the legs to extend past your boot heel when standing; when seated on the bike with knees bent, the hem will adjust to the correct length.
- Body armor and abrasion resistance are key when buying protective gear. Materials like Cordura and leather are better than denim or lightweight nylon for abrasion. Armor should be placed at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees—areas that’ll likely be impacted first.
- The right gear can also help extend your riding season. Removable liners make fall and spring rides more tolerable, while ventilation makes summer stints cooler.
- Look for multiple areas of adjustability, so you can tailor the fit. Waist, hip, cuff and neck adjustments are especially crucial for women. Stretch panels are helpful, too, as are snaps, buttons, zippers and Velcro.
- Don’t forget that ever-important piece of protective gear: your helmet. Make sure it’s snug, comfortable and, at minimum, DOT-approved. Snell and ECE-22.05 certifications mean that the helmets have gone through more rigorous testing.