Don’t believe everything that you see on television or in the movies – especially when it comes to the appropriate apparel for women who ride motorcycles. The motorcycle vixen sporting a pair of Daisy Dukes and a tank top as her long hair blows in the wind is an image that is best left on the big screen. This is particularly the case when it comes to your comfort and most importantly, your safety while on the bike. Based on my experience as a motorcycle co-rider, there are seven items that fall under the category of must-have motorcycle apparel for women riders.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel Item #1: A Motorcycle Helmet
Regardless of whether the law in your state requires that you wear a motorcycle helmet, it’s advisable that you put one on prior to riding. Although you may be perfectly adorable without a helmet, you only have one head and it’s best to protect it. Research data indicates that wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by as much as 69% in the event of a crash, and it can reduce your risk of accidental death by 42% (Science Daily, 2008).
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel Item #2: A Silk or Satin Bandana Scarf
Many men who ride motorcycles elect to wear cotton bandanas underneath to help absorb moisture and keep their heads cool. Cotton can really dry a woman’s hair out, so it’s best not to go this route yourself. Instead, consider investing in a silk or satin bandana scarf to protect your hair from unnecessary breakage and keep it looking its best.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel Item #3: Protective Eyewear
Even the slightest wind blowing directly into your eyes can cause dryness and irritation and impair your vision. Not only is this exacerbated on a motorcycle, but you also run the risk of having debris get into your eyes, thereby causing additional problems. The best way to prevent such complications is by wearing protective eyewear whenever you are on a motorcycle. Protective eyewear can consist of riding glasses (with or without a prescription) or goggles and is typically more flexible and durable than your average pair of eyeglasses.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel #4: A Padded Motorcycle Jacket
Not only can a high-quality motorcycle jacket keep you warm on the bike during those cooler months of the year, but it also serves a much larger purpose, which is to offer some protection to your body in the event of a crash. According to Motorcycle USA, a quality motorcycle jacket will have the following features: 1) closures to protect your neck, wrists and waist, 2) ample padding, 3) plenty of pockets, 4) a removable liner and 5) reflective material. While you don’t want a jacket that is too large, it is important to make certain that you do have some “wiggle room” so that you’ll be comfortable for as long as you are on the bike.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel #5: Leather Riding Gloves
Most women who ride their own motorcycles have learned the importance of wearing motorcycle gloves whenever they are on their bikes. If however you are a co-rider who sits on the back of your significant other’s motorcycle, gloves are easy accessories to forget. Leather motorcycle gloves can help to prevent serious hand injury and should be worn as often as feasible when you are on the bike.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel #6: Leather Chaps
I have always thought that leather chaps looked sexy on both men and women. Needless to say, I was tickled pink when I got my own first pair. Little did I know at the time that leather chaps served a purpose much more important than stroking my ego! Like the other items on this list, leather chaps offer protection for your body when you are on the bike. Worn over a quality pair of denim jeans, they can help protect your lower body from serious injury in event that your bike goes down.
Must-Have Motorcycle Apparel #7: Leather Riding Boots
If you will be hopping on a motorcycle any time in the near future, think twice before you break out the stilettos, tennis shoes or flip flops! Novice riders in particular may miss the fact that the feet need as much protection when on the bike as the other parts of the body. When searching for a pair of riding boots, check to make certain they can be comfortably worn with a pair of thick socks (also recommended), are waterproof and have sturdy soles that will not easily come apart upon impact.
Safety over Sexy
You may be wondering, “How can I look and feel sexy on a motorcycle if every inch of my body is covered up?” It is important to remember that sexiness comes from within, and for many motorcyclists, the very act of being on a bike – even all covered up – makes them feel sexy! If this ends up not being the case for you, then at least you can feel safe, which is something that you’ll appreciate much more in the long run.
Motorcycle Helmets Keep Riders Alive, International Review Confirms. Science Daily. January 23, 2008.
Motorcycle Jackets Product Guide. Motorcycle USA. January 4, 2008.