My name is Melissa and I live in London. I found your site on Google. I' m looking for some motorcycle gear as my boyfriend has a motorbike and I will be riding as a passenger pretty soon. We're planning a trip at Easter to ride from Portland to LA, which is super exciting, only thing is, I'm tiny. It's proving really difficult to find stuff that's actually "small". I guess I'm just under 5ft tall and about a US size 0-2 (UK size 4-6). I'm looking for some pants (possibly armoured jeans?) that are as skinny a fit as possible (partly for vain reasons, partly for fit!). Or do you know if it's possible to buy leg armour ie. wear my own jeans underneath (as I can imagine that trousers that are possibly a bit too big would be slightly uncomfortable)? As we're going to be travelling really light- one pannier each for 3 weeks (!) I'd like my gear to look as much like regular clothes as possible so I don't have to pack too much else..
I'm sure finding a jacket won't be as difficult. but would any leather jacket suffice or does it have to be armoured.
I already own some steel toe cap Doctor Marten boots- I imagine these would be ok.. correct me if I'm wrong!
I'm completely clueless basically!! Help!
For pants, the only ones I can think of that will fit you are the Vikas in 38. However, depending on your measurements and how small you are, even those may be slightly loose. I have a review of them here.
The smallest riding jeans I know of are the Dainese D19s in 25. I would recommend buying one of these knee guards to wear over the jeans:
As far as jackets, I'm afraid it's going to be difficult as well. And yes, you definitely want something armored. Casual leather has absolutely nothing designed in the event of a crash, things like seam strength and abrasion resistance are non existent. And if you plan on riding up when the weather is chilly, you may want to think about an insulated textile instead of leather. Especially if it's going to be wet or rainy.
I'm also guessing that you have a very narrow torso and bust. If your measurements are small as I think they are, your best off the rack options are the Vika in 38, Indigo in 34, Sand in 34 and Tornado in 34. If your bust measurement is under 34" (over the bust), I haven't found anything that will fit below that size. :-(
As far as boots, Dr Martens are ok, since they are leather and pretty durable. I actually started out wearing those the first year I rode my motorcycle but quickly realized that real riding boots were far more beneficial for me as a rider. Ideally, you also more ankle protection, from a boot like these:
They're extremely comfortable, 100% waterproof, and very slender up the calf/leg.
The soles, toes, ankles and heels are reinforced in the event of a crash. Everything is designed to keep your feet from getting crushed and absorbing a tremendous impact.
Riding a motorcycle requires a lot of functional riding gear. Anything that looks more fashionable more often than not, lacks either protection or features that are going to make your ride a less comfortable and safe one.
A side note for any women reading this who are tall, slender and/or very petite. Generally speaking, these brands are going to take the best care of you when it comes to gear:
The reason is that these brands are European. As such, they offer the smallest off the rack sizes and everything about them is a better fit for leaner body types; narrower torso, shoulders, arms, elbows, legs, etc.
There is one exception with American brands and that is the Klim Altitude for Dual Sport / Adventure riders. This suit has a very long / lean fit.