AS ANY FEMALE motorcyclist will tell you, finding protective, flattering and comfortable riding gear is about as difficult as finding a man who understands our plight.
Over the past year I’ve been through multiple clothing manufacturers’ female ranges. Some were too short, others too wide. And some were just not designed for female bodies. Like a Goldilocks of motorcycling gear, I went in search of the ultimate riding outfits.
Choppers, café racers and other custom motorcycles all require a certain sense of style from their rider, and try as I might, I just couldn’t get this nailed. Up until now, I’ve been wearing Furygan’s Legend jacket and a pair of Draggin’ Twista jeans. Both ladies items are stylish and protective, although leave a little to be desired in the comfort stakes – the jacket is boxy and stiff, while the low-waisted jeans are too tight across the hips but gape at the midriff (not a good look). Plus, both are way too warm for summer launches.
So when I came across MotoGirl, I was intrigued. A relatively new motorcycle clothing company – started in December 2015 - run by women, for women. There was nothing like it on the market. I’d heard murmurings of the Kevlar leggings, and when Kent-based MotoGirl launched its Kevlar jacket, I decided to give the gear a go.
The first thing that jumped out at me was the sheer variety of size – the jacket is available in a UK 6 to 24, while the leggings come in a UK 4 to 28. A lot of plus size female riders struggle to get female gear and often end up in poorly fitting blokes kit, and so this vast range of sizes is a godsend!
I went for an 8 in both jacket and leggings and found them true to size, with the regular 30” length leggings long enough for my pegs. The sleeves on the jacket do come up a tiny bit short when I stretch my arms out – only noticeable on cruisers with wide bars – but aside from that the jacket fits well, and has poppers on the waist to draw it in. The jacket feature a removeable internal rain and windproof layer, although I’m yet to test this out.
The leggings are particularly flattering, with a high, wide waistband and a zip closure, with added zips on the ankles to make getting them on and off easier. This allows a tighter fit, and less movement inside the leggings if you crash. The jacket has zipped cuffs, again allowing for a more tailored fit.
There’s not much in the way of secure pockets on this outfit – just two external zip pockets on the jacket, which bunch up if you put too much in them, and two pouches on the bum, which are handy when you’re off the bike, but useless on. The jacket could really do with an internal, waterproof phone pocket.
Both items are soft and comfortable, constructed of an outer layer of polyester woven with an abrasion resistant material for added strength. The jacket features 300GSM knitted kevlar, while 275 GSM DuPont Kevlar lines the leggines, with double layers on the knees and hips, promising excellent abrasion resistance in the event of a slide. Neither is particularly heavy, either, and I’ve worn them or long days without much discomfort.
The jacket features CE2 moulded Elastopan armour in the elbows and shoulders as standard, while the leggings boast similar knee protection, which I find particularly uncomfortable against my kneecaps. Hip (£11.99) and back inserts (£19.99) can be bought separately, and while the hip armour is advisable, personally, I find jacket insert back protectors insufficient and always prefer to wear my Forcefield Pro L2K Dynamic.
I’ve worn this kit on a couple of occasions now – the Harley-Davidson FXDR launch in Greece, and Ducati’s Scrambler Icon launch in Italy. On both occasions temperatures topped 30 degrees Celsius, and despite the gear’s heavy black construction, I wasn’t too baking hot while riding, thanks to air being able to get through the fabric (this will likely be a downside once winter arrives). If you stay still for too long in the sun things soon start to heat up, and the Kevlar lining can get a little itchy once you start sweating.
While I can’t vouch for their abrasion resistance yet, I was pretty impressed when, after a car drove into me on the Harley launch and crushed my knee against the hot exhaust, only the outer layer of the leggings was melted, and my knee was bruise free. The small burn in the fabric was quickly repaired courtesy of a hotel sewing kit.
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