Many of our female readers have asked for a roundup of the best motorcycle gear for women. So here it is, written by one of our favorite motojournalists, the Motolady.
Even with the growth of the women’s population within the motorcycle industry, the general consensus is that there isn’t enough women’s gear. And, yes, there are fewer options for ladies who ride than their male counterparts.
But we mustn’t forget the many good looking and protective gear options we do have. Not all of them can be covered here, but it’s a good taste of the safe and sexy gear on the market.
Helmets There are lots of different helmet options out there. With streamlined, attractive full-face helmets available, there’s no reason to let bugs fly into your face at 60mph.
The Icon Airmada solid color helmets are lightweight, priced well ($180-$190), have excellent ventilation, and come in four different shell sizes. This means your small helmet is not just a large helmet with more padding inside. Smaller helmet, less weight, less wind resistance, etc.
Another option is the Bell Bullitt: relatively new, and gaining popularity at the speed of a salt flat racer. For about $400 you can get a slick, retro looking helmet with modern safety. Check out the retro blue and Roland Sands Designs Viva editions too.
Riding Pants Most often neglected, and one of the closest things to the ground… your legs! It is possible to have flattering pants with proper armor. Recently, protective denim (most often with Kevlar lining) had become increasingly popular.
UglyBROS Jeans recently expanded their operation with a Los Angeles based headquarters. The UglyBROS-usa jeans run between $263 and $347, and are offered in regular denim with armor inserts, or Kevlar reinforced.
Their designs are reminiscent of race suits from back in the day, often incorporating diamond-quilt patterns or ribbed accent panels. Their jeans come with contoured CE hip and knee armor—the knee armor is easily removed from the outside of the pant for quick comfort. With sturdy but slightly flexible denim material, you get a good fit on and off the bike.
Dainese has come along with the riding jeans they offer: they now have the affordable Kateville Jeans for around $190 that offer both Kevlar jersey reinforced inserts along the stretch denim, plus knee armor pockets for Dainese Pro-Shape CE-rated knee armor (sold separately).
When the Alpinestars Vika line came along, there was a lot of hubbub about their marketing scheme. They used a slim model striding proudly along in her skintight two-piece leather motorcycle suit.
The thing is, ladies have reported that the line has a good sizing range and clings to the right curves for many different shaped ladies. The pants, $390, have heavy duty stretch textile in all the right places, and super luxurious leather that doesn’t sacrifice safety. The CE knee protectors are removable and perforated for breathability.
Gloves Having a good pair of motorcycle gloves is key to feeling in tune with your controls. These days there are plenty of well-armored gloves that don’t look like they belong to a Power Ranger.
The women’s Icon Pursuit Touch Screen Gloves are $85 and the perfect basic motorcycle glove. Reinforced knuckles, slim fingers, they last forever, and you don’t have to take them off to use your phone.
The Icon Fairlady Gloves are a more stylish glove while upping the protection at the same time. They’re $140 and full of retro style. The long gauntlet fits comfortably over your jacket sleeves, lessening the wind-to-pit effect.
Alternatively, the Alpinestars Stella SP8 gloves have more modern styling, and longer velcro cuffs for a secure fit.
At $90, these gloves have a couple other perks: Alpinestars actually patented the third-to-fourth finger bridge that prevents seam failure (and nasty things happening to your pinky in the event of a slide). The palms are also reinforced with suede, and the cuffs and fingers are perforated for breathability.
Rev’It! Women’s Fly gloves are best used in the warmer times of year, as they’re perforated the whole way around. These simple black gloves are just $90, but have good protection: the leather is Karvin cowhide (coated for water resistance), and there’s EVA foam in the palm, hard knuckles and fingers joints.
Motorcycle jackets A good leather motorcycle jacket is sort of like owning a little black dress … you must have one.
The Fairlady jacket was recently released by Icon 1000 for $535, coming in both black and brown leather, and plenty of interior pockets. It’s got a tailored fit with a narrow waist to accentuate your curves, ribbed accents for a classic look, and sturdy YZK zippers.
One of the best parts is that it comes with removable D3O impact protectors in the elbows, shoulders, and back. This is a great type of flexible, comfortable armor… and the jacket looks just as good with it as without.
Again we come back to the Alpinestars Vika line. The jacket is $430, but you can find it on sale a lot these days. It originally came in black and a slightly shiny champagne; black is now getting harder to find.
The Vika jacket is made of super-comfortable treated leather that feels broken in when you first try it on. It too has elbow and shoulder armor, but no back protector unfortunately.
Dainese is a purveyor of long lasting and form fitting leather motorcycle gear, and the Jessy Lady Pelle is no different. It’s $600, black… all black, with a slim cut hip and narrow cuffs. Made of sheepskin, it comes with Pro-Shape soft EN certified elbow and shoulder protectors.
Motorcycle boots There are a lot more shoe and boot options for women than many other items, because ladies can often step into a pair of small-sized dudes shoes. But that’s not necessary; there are a wide variety of women’s styles out there.
The Icon 1000 Elsinore boots are favorites of many young women motorcyclists these days: they’re a little bit badass while remaining stylish. For $245 you get solid, tall leather, a steel shank in the sole so you can’t crush your foot, and internal floating ankle protection (it moves around for comfort). There are hardened leather shin plates and best of all, they’re comfortable for long periods of time on and off the bike.
Dainese Svelta boots are $290 and very stripped down and streamlined. The kicker here is the Gore-Tex membrane, which is both breathable and waterproof. Your toes will be dry even if you go riding through puddles.
Riding in sturdy motorcycle boots is always the best idea, but some folks may prefer a $160 casual option: the Dainese Women’s Street Biker Air Shoes. They’re simple, good looking kicks with rigid ankle inserts for protection.
Luggage MotoChic Gear Bags recently hit Kickstarter with their brilliant idea: a purse that transforms into a backpack for motorcycling ladies and other active women. It even has a pullout rainfly for when you get caught in bad weather on an adventure.
It’s got a cute motorcycle print liner, a quilted exterior, and most importantly, useful compartments and pockets.
Is there anything you think we’ve missed, or would like to recommend? Let us know in the comments.