When they wanted to sell gear to women, manufacturers used to just toss a pink butterfly on a small men’s jacket and call it a day, but companies are finally starting to realize women riders deserve gear that looks nice and protects them well too.
Back in the old HFL days, Siler and I used to complain to gear companies all the time about why no one could make a jacket that was both protective and nice looking.
The choices were either the leather race jacket, which looked like a set of race leathers cut in half and contained no less than 27 logos - or some fashion denim/leather thing that would rip in shreds when you hit the ground. For women’s gear, the situation was even worse.
Not only did everything look like complete shit, but the offerings for women were also always just a men’s cut shrunk down. The big thing about gear is that it’s supposed to protect you if you crash, and it can’t do that if the gear doesn’t fit and the armor doesn’t stay in place.
It’s shocking the motorcycle industry having difficulty bringing women into the sport with that situation, right? “We want you to buy and ride bikes, but don’t think you’re worth making gear for.” That message was sent loud and clear.
Finally, things are getting better. Now, when you look at the offerings from Dainese, Alpinestars, REV’IT, ICON, Roland Sands, Scorpion, or just about any brand, you’ll see gear that women can be safe in and look great in, as well as tons of men’s gear that you can wear in the canyons as well as out to dinner. The fit has actually been cut for women’s bodies, the gear uses real armor, and they’re finally starting to look nice.
The only area that still needs work is in the helmet department. While many choose to ignore it, men and women tend to have differently shaped heads. At least women have solid colors as an option if they don’t want some garish pink tribal print “ladies lid” but, at the moment, only Schuberth makes a helmet specific for women.
The ladies pictured are all friends of mine who are real women riders, not just models in ads somewhere, wearing the gear they use every time they ride.
We’d love to hear what gear you ladies out there use (or what gear your wives/girlfriends/friends use) in the comments below. We’ll work on a roundup to share the best women’s gear once you all weigh in.
Photos: CJ Wilson, Sinuhe Xavier, Christopher Eddy, and Matthew Jones
Leticia - Roland Sands Women’s Riot Jacket
Devonne - Ducati Women’s Leather Jacket