Mrs MotorbikeWriter gets outfitted

Mrs MotorbikeWriter gest her bling on
  • Mrs MotorbikeWriter returns to tell us what women really want in motorcycle gear.

I make no secret of the fact that I like to look presentable no matter what I am doing and that includes when I’m sitting on the back of MotorbikeWriter’s motorcycles.

I come from a long line of women who love to dress to impress, accessorise to match and theme their shoes. Mr and Mrs MotorbikeWriter on the Victory Cross Country Tour

However, my frustration with motorcycle gear is that the choices are often limited to black, black or black. My motto is that life to too short not to sparkle, so I find it difficult to find motorcycle gear that revs my throttle.

I recall my first trip to a motorcycle shop to buy a helmet, jacket and pants. The selection was very limited. The brightest apparel I could find had a splash of red on it.

Anyway, I tried on the gear and stepped out of the change room that was actually a storeroom doubling as a change room. I asked the salesman where the mirror was so I could see how I looked. Surprise, surprise, there was no mirror.

I wasn’t prepared to spend that amount of money without seeing what I looked like so the young shop assistant was duly dispatched to buy a mirror from Crazy Clarks.Mr and Mrs MotorbikeWriter on the Victory Cross Country Tour

I am pleased to say that things have come a long way since then. 

According to Women Riders Now, almost 25% of the total riding population in America is comprised of women.

Australia is still a long way behind our American colleagues, though. In 2012, 27 million Americans had bike licences and 6.7 million of those were women. In Australia, women are fast approaching 10%, but that’s still small numbers.

Over the course of the last decade, the number of female motorcycle riders increased by 35% in the US, mostly during 2009 to 2012, when the female riding population jumped 20%. If the trend continues at that same rate, women will represent 50% of all riders in two decades.

These figures aren’t being ignored by bike gear manufacturers with more and more adding women’s gear to their range.

But the gear still suffers from male-dominated designers and manufacturers who don’t understand what we want. There are exceptions, of course. 

Mrs MotorbikeWriter internet shopping
Mrs MotorbikeWriter in her RSD jacket

One seems to be Roland Sands of LA. My favourite ensemble is one of their Maven “tobacco” coloured leather jackets with matching tobacco Dezel gloves. I bought them from Oliver’s Motorcycles, Moorooka, Brisbane, for not much more than you can get them online.

Far too often bike jackets are insanely stiff and almost impossible to move in, but this jacket is so comfortable I also wear it as casual gear.

I have also struggled to find motorcycle pants that I feel comfortable wearing. Leather pants are hot, difficult to put on and often squeaky. Textile pants make an awful swishing noise as you walk and I feel like a Sergeant-Major in them.

I have now settled for a pair of Draggin’ Twista jeans. They fit well and the inner lining keeps the scratchy Kevlar lining away from my skin in the heat.

READ THE REVIEW HERE

Mrs MotorbikeWriter's bling
Mrs MotorbikeWriter’s bling

I cannot find any motorcycle boots that I like. They all look like something from Terminator. Since I don’t have to operate the foot controls or put my foot on the ground, I have opted for leather cowboy boots I bought in the USA.

You also need some bling accessories to go with your outfit and as a result of my extensive hunting and gathering in America I have some fabulous bejewelled belts and sparkling bandanas. 

But the missing link in the whole outfit is the helmet. Yes, they make some with pink and purple in an effort to appeal to women, but they just don’t do it for me.

Mr and Mrs MotorbikeWriter on the Victory Cross Country TourThere are also some trendy open-face helmets, but I just can’t bring myself to wear one. I feel too vulnerable.

I prefer the modular flip-up helmet so I can touch up my make-up or chat with a friend when temporarily stopped – say at a service station – without having to remove my helmet.   

The problem with modular helmets is that they are so big.

So I am still waiting for a manufacturer to make a compact, sequinned, modular helmet or one that will match my Roland Sands gear.

5 Comments

  1. I agree there isn’t enough gear for women specifically in Australia. Thanks for pointing this out.

    As a woman rider, I do sometimes find these sorts of articles frustrating as it is easy to slip from helpful into demeaning. Mrs Motorbikerwriter doesn’t ride so maybe opinions could also have been sought from women who sit in the front seat?

  2. Hey there Mrs MW

    My name’s Kylie and I recently jumped on the back of Dave my hubby’s Harley for the first time.
    Yes getting gear can be a little restricting, especially here on the Sunny Coast. I love the look of your Roland Sands jacket. he makes a mean bike also.

    I opted for a black and white jacket. I so agree with you on the helmet. Dave wears an open face but I find that idea terrifying although I do like to whizz along with my visor up.

    Boots wise I am a bit flummoxed. Currently in some leather boots with zip sides and a rubber sole. I feel like I should have something a little more bullet proof.

    I wear leather pants but I am eyeing off Draggin Jeans. Dave has them and they seem great with the Kevlar underneath. So thanks for reviewing those.

    Great site by the way. Kate Russo sent me here. Love your work guys. x

    We have a digital mag – it runs across many topics but motorbiking is one. Here is a link to Dave’s debut Biking story just in case either of you is interested. Have a great week. x

    http://www.makeushappytoday.com/2014/09/what-is-it-about-the-motorbike/

  3. Glenn,
    You make some very good points there. I hope the industry is paying attention!
    Don’t be too concerned about Mrs MotorbikeWriter’s cowboys boots, though. We can’t pry them off with a crowbar! They are very high and offer quite good protection.
    The type of slip-on/slip-off boots that are a problem are those with elasticised sides like RM Williams boots.
    Cheers,
    MBW

  4. I would point out that some of that stiffness you speak about is how the gear maintains the integrity of your body as it tumbles down the road.
    If your cowboy boots are ‘slip on’ please be aware that slip on boots have a tendency to ‘slip off’ as noted from the days of disposal store flying boots being the gear of choice.
    You would have hated when your fashion choices were black waxed cotton or black leather.
    But you may have enjoyed the 80’s more although they were just bright and not what anybody ten years on would call stylish.
    You are right though, I would happily watch my wife spend stupid money on ‘fashion’ if it meant we had an interest we could share.
    Seems the industry has once again missed an opportunity in the market and will continue to sell us what they want to sell us rather then what we want to buy.It’s a large market to potentially ignore.
    But then I have been with women who were specifically looking to purchase a motorcycle in the dealership with the cash in their pocket and the salesmen were simply not interested, more than one dealership and more than one salesman and it’s happened to more than one woman.
    Seriously what is with that ?
    How does an industry survive when they ignore a potential 50% of their custom base ?
    It is nice to see more women on the road on bikes though something I wish had been more common when I was younger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *