Motorcycle & Powersports News Apparel Column - Unredacted Interview of My Thoughts on Motorcycle Gear
Read up as Cristi Farrell, co-host of the Moterrific Podcast with Joanne Donn (aka Gearchic), shares what her gear must-haves are in terms of adventure riding: 'the one suit fits all conditions' variety. - MPN Link
The full interview is below for your reading pleasure with after-the-fact notes and links from me in [ ]. Who can blame Alisa for paring me down? She only gets a page and I always foam at the mouth during interviews. :) I think the content is well-worth the full read, especially when it comes to gear so read on and let me know what you consider your top three gear "must-haves".
1-Tell me about your Morocco Adventure. What were the dates, where did you go and how long was your trip?
Two weeks in late September and October 2015 - Morocco, circumnavigation from coast to desert to Atlas. [In case you are wondering where the article is, patience...so is the magazine.]
2-What was the climate like when you went?
Variable. From light rain in the beginning of the trip along the western coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean to warming up as I rode east through the Draa Valley deeper into the Sahara.
3-What challenges did you face in picking the right MC apparel?
Given a broad range of climates (wind, rain, variable temperature), the challenge is finding one suit that could accommodate everything...with the right fit.
4-Did you pick something from your closet or did you buy itinerary-specific protective apparel?
Closet, the out-of-production Legacy GTX (goretex) jacket/pant combo by Rev'It. [I tried on Joanne's suit before I bought one myself. Gearchic product review and my crashtastic review of the same pants.]
5-What do you look for in adventure apparel? (You could also tell me what are your top three must-have elements in your riding gear).
- Complete weatherproofing, not just water resistance.
- The right fit is key, knowing which manufacturer(s) make gear that fits your body type. If you're swimming around in loose gear, how can you be sure the armor will be where it needs to be to protect you.
- Ventilation, not all rainy days are cold ones. Cutting corners and saving money by adding fewer ventilation zips could mean losing a sale altogether.
On street and casual rides I don't mind feeling "sexy" in motorcycle gear, but from the adventure touring perspective, considering I travel alone most of the time, I do not want to draw attention to myself. Wearing feminine colors or a very flattering fit is a dead giveaway to my gender and calls more attention than I'm comfortable with. Everyone has their own specific drivers on selecting gear for their riding needs.
6-Tell me about fit. Do you have a hard time finding apparel that fits your European body type (long and lean)?
Not really. Dainese and Rev'It consistently fit me well with a few exceptions on select styles. My femur seems to be longer than average [or so I've been told], so depending upon the armor pocket placement in pants, sometimes the knee armor barely covers my patella when seated on the bike. The Dainese New Drake Airs use stretchy fabric and articulated knee/shin combo armor [my product review]. The pant can accommodate variable body types, has protection, and highlights your curves. I thought about wearing Dainese in Morocco, but in traveling alone a conservative country, I thought it best to be a bit more bulky and androgynous, than have gear that fits my curves. [It's true, Dainese makes me look good and 99% of the time that's not a bad thing!]
My monkey arms and long torso mean jackets are often too short. It's an easy fix for sleeves; I just wear a long gauntlet glove. [My options - Dainese Full Metal Men's, Racer Glove USA's Queens and my review] The shorter torso though cannot be fixed. If [the jacket] rides up when you hit the pavement, you could be left unprotected in areas sensitive to road rash.
7-What tips do you have for fellow female riders for finding the right gear for the job?
Ask Joanne (aka Gearchic). I bought the Rev'It Legacy GTX suit upon recommendation from her. Ask around; other female riders are usually more than happy to dispense some feedback, good or bad, on gear. Try it on, and most importantly sit on your bike (or one with similar seating position). A jacket that fits me seated upright on my dual sport will be different (or even inappropriate) on a forward-reaching sportbike. [What can I say? I learned from the best!]
*Please note - While Ewan and Charley started their adventure a few months before *this girl* no one publicly know about it until AFTER I was already rolling on mine in South America. WOO WOO! <End Rant>