Victoria Levitt needed a well fitting, functional textile motorcycle jacket to cope with the demands of her adventure motorcycle riding and regular road riding. She owns a Royal Enfield Himalayan, a Suzuki GS500E and a Harley Davidson Sportster 883. What did she choose? MoreBikes found out…
“Finding well-fitting, flattering women’s motorcycle gear that runs true to size is no simple task. Granted, with women making up around only 11% of full licence holders in the UK, the market isn’t huge, however more and more women are discovering the joys of motorcycling and so the market is constantly growing. Manufacturers, take note!
Having recently bought an adventure bike, I was in need of a more practical jacket than the studded, black leather jacket I’d had for the last 10 years, which offered little in the way of protection and nothing in terms of warmth or waterproofing.
Infinity Motorcycles had quite a large selection, but I did struggle to find any that fitted well. Most of the jackets seemed to be at one end of the spectrum or the other: far too big, with huge shoulders, baggy chest area, and no waist, or too small; seemingly made to fit only the mannequins. Throw into the mix the fact that I didn’t want a jacket featuring any pink or purple, and the options were rather few.
Mercifully, the the Alpinestars Stella Andes V3 Drystar jacke bucked the trend and seemed to have it all – warmth, waterproofing, breathability, plenty of pockets, a flattering fit… and not a hint of any pink or purple!
One of my bugbears with women’s motorcycle clothing is how much of it looks so masculine, but thankfully that is not the case with this jacket. The waist adjustment belt allows for seasonal weight fluctuations, meaning you won’t have to buy the next size up after Christmas, but also gives the rider a more feminine look by defining the waist. The chest area is cut well, and the combination of adjustment straps on the forearms, press studs on the upper arms and Velcro on the wrists means you can alter the jacket to fit your shape.
Of course, aesthetics are not the only important aspect of a women’s bike jacket. The waist and arm adjustments mean you can stay comfortable all year round, whatever the conditions – looser in summer, tighter in winter. For summer riding, the jacket features zipped vents on the chest and back which provide excellent airflow.
One of the selling points for me was how comfortable I felt in the jacket without even having worn it in. It feels sturdy yet supple, and manages to be cool in summer, and warm and waterproof in winter. The inner thermal liner is easy to remove and even has its own internal pockets.
In terms of pockets, the jacket boasts a handy eight in total, the inner chest one and the rear pocket being the most useful, I find – the former being ideal for your phone and the latter being great for things such as a puck when parking off road, due to its large size and easy access.
The jacket features lightweight impact protection on the shoulders and elbows which feels somewhat lacking – fortunately I haven’t experienced how much protection these offer, but when riding off road, more body armour would certainly be required.
The only other negative aspect of this jacket for me is the collar. When the jacket is fully closed, the material digs into the front of my neck which is extremely uncomfortable, meaning I have to ride with the collar open. This also means that the Velcro is exposed, which always manages to attach itself to my helmet strap and/or padding, which can be quite frustrating.
In general, however, I am very pleased with this jacket. It manages to cover the needs of summer and winter riding well, and has been thoughtfully designed with the female rider in mind. If only the matching trousers fitted as well as the jacket does!
Overall, I’d score the Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar 8/10. Improved protection and collar closure would make this jacket perfect for the on and off-road riding I do.”
#ladieswhoride #morebikes #motorcyclegearreviews
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