Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women.
Today’s review is about the gear I first bought when I started riding a motorcycle. If you are new to riding and considering what to purchase, here’s a great list to use as a starting point for research. I share what it was like to shop, things I noticed while shopping, other women I met along the way, the advice and help I received, and other products I considered.
So this list covers the starter gear I personally picked. If you have landed on this page and are looking for a more comprehensive list of recommendations, visit our Motorcycle Gear for Women page.
- 1 What Motorcycle Gear To Buy
- 2 Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
- 3 Motorcycle Helmet: Arai Quantum X
- 3.1 First Helmet – Arai Quantum X
- 3.2 Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
- 3.3 Second Helmet – AGV K3 SV
- 3.4 Third Helmet – Biltwell Gringo S (Lower Price Point)
- 3.5 Fourth Helmet – Corsair X Nicky 7 (Most Expensive)
- 3.6 Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
- 4 Motorcycle Jacket: Alpinestars Stella GP Plus R v2
- 5 Motorcycle Gloves: Alpinestars Stella SP-1 v2
- 6 Motorcycle Jeans: Dainese Alba Slim Lady Jeans
- 7 Motorcycle Boots: Dainese Street Biker Lady Air
- 8 Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
- 9 Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
What Motorcycle Gear To Buy
There are 5 essential pieces that will protect you from an accidental fall or drop:
Trust me, I have had my fair share of falls and dropping my bike. And wearing the proper gear makes ALL the difference.
Side Note: I live in Southern California and took the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) Course. Afterwards, I spent countless hours racking up miles in a parking lot practicing before getting on the road. Clutch control, shifting, and most importantly braking and coming to a stop were the core fundamentals I focused on. To read more about this experience, read here. I highly recommend taking a motorcycle class in your town.
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
This list may seem long at first, however, once you start making your own list of gear to purchase, it will prove to be worthwhile.
Motorcycle Helmet: Arai Quantum X
This is my go-to choice in helmet due to the round shape. Arai is a racing helmet and focuses on having the rider start with measuring the circumference of their head first. Then, you will want to figure out the shape of your head. My head is on the larger end of size small, so I fit into the standard padding of 7mm. What I discovered was that the thinner padding of 5mm fits better.
The circumference of my head is 55cm.
While going through the whole helmet discovery process (during COVID-19 mind you), I have acquired three other helmets: Biltwell Gringo S, Arai Corsair X, and the AGV K3 SV.
Two helmets of the four helmets on this list are reasonably priced. The other two are on the higher end in helmet price.
So here is the whole story:
First Helmet – Arai Quantum X
Why did I purchase this helmet? When I went into the store, I asked for an affordable helmet with good protection. The associate asked me, what is your budget? Not knowing anything, I replied, maybe $100 or so? They responded with the cliche answer of “well, do you have a $100 head?” After thinking about it, and coincidentally watching The Courier starring Olga Kurylenko around that time (there is a scene where a goon gets flung off a motorcycle without a helmet and his brains splash out of the back of his head all over a wall out as a result)—I decided that I would rather be safe than sorry! LOL…
In addition, this helmet brand came highly recommended to me by other riders. When I put the helmet on, IT.FIT.LIKE.A.GLOVE!
As mentioned before, Arai believes that the proper fitment of a motorcycle helmet allows for a more comfortable and enjoyable ride. Most importantly, Arai believes that it allows the helmet to do its primary job: to provide optimum protection to the rider’s head.
Steps to correct fitment:
- Measure circumference of head at widest point
- Determine shape of head (long oval, intermediate oval, or round oval)
- Select helmet and size based on Steps 1 & 2
- Customize cheek and helmet padding suitable for you
Relative to most helmets, the Arai Quantum X is quiet. You will still hear the wind and external noise. However, you won’t have any whistling or sounds from buffeting.
Arai helmets are handmade in Japan, so they do not fall under the ECE (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). This standard is a certification for most of the European countries, and is recognized by well over 50 countries, as well as by most racing organizations in the world. Instead, the helmet receives a SNELL certification in addition to the minimum DOT certification.
In the U.S., Snell is held to be the superior helmet certification. Snell helmets are tested to a more rigorous standard, as the standard itself is derived from motorcycle racing, where impacts tend to be more severe.
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
Why Are Arai Helmets So Comfortable?
They are designed to fit the rider’s head by several technological features unique to Arai:
- Customizable cheek padding
- Customizable helmet padding
- Shells based on shape of rider’s head: long oval, intermediate oval, round oval
- Completely sealed full face shield
- Chin curtain
- Side Covers
- Aerodynamic outer shell and vents
Second Helmet – AGV K3 SV
My intention when purchasing this helmet was to pick up a “backup” helmet. Something at the lower end in pricing for helmets without compromising safety. While my Arai At first, this helmet felt fine! Really! I was at the Dainese Orange County store and was able to try on the helmet for almost 30 minutes with a disposable balaclava sleeve. No pain, no pressure points, no hot spots.
Wrong Fitment for My Head Shape
Never having worn a helmet before, I didn’t really know the difference between “snug” and “too tight”. After riding for an hour the pain to the side of my head would kick in. Without the helmet liner, the shell fits, so it leads me to believe I need a thinner liner. At the end of the day, this is one of the worst helmets you could buy.
This opinion isn’t due to the fact that it actually didn’t fit my head right (that part was my fault), it is actually more due to the noise.
Since there is no visor lock or seal, it is super loud in terms of wind. The AGV K3 SV helmet pretty much does nothing for wind noise, my head was blowing all over the place, the bottom would lift when going at higher speeds, and the only thing that helped make the ride more comfortable wearing this helmet was using earplugs.
The next helmet on the list isn’t actually all that much better in terms of noise, but it was a lot more comfortable for me.
Since AGV is an Italian brand, its safety rating is higher than just the American DOT requirement. The AGV K3 SV meets both the DOT and ECE requirements needed to keep your head protected. When I was at the Dainese store, the manager said to me that in terms of safety, the K1 and the K3 are no different from the higher end AGV helmets. The price difference comes in the shape, features, design, material and weight. So if you need a helmet around the $200 price point, this is a decent helmet.
Third Helmet – Biltwell Gringo S (Lower Price Point)
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women: Budget Helmet
After I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to stop by CycleGear to purchase a new helmet. At this point, I didn’t care that I already invested $600 into an Arai Quantum-X (sent away somewhere in Pennsylvania for warranty service) and put another $200 on the AGV K3. I asked if I could try any of their helmets, and they kindly walked me through their process.
So I tried SHOEI, Scorpion, Bell, and they all felt like they were “crushing” my head on the sides. It was a crazy experience. Finally, I thought, perhaps I can try the helmet I used during my safety course? I recalled that it was a Biltwell Gringo. It turns out that CycleGear exclusively retails Biltwell, so I was able to try the Biltwell Gringo S in the correct size for my head circumference, which was size small.
Fourth Helmet – Corsair X Nicky 7 (Most Expensive)
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women: High-end Helmet
So this is my favorite helmet and it is beautiful. I found a retailer that was able to special order it in size small for me. I found that with the standard 7mm padding, it isn’t a good fit for my head due to the round oval head shape. Since the Quantum-X doesn’t come in this design, I ordered the size small and changed the interior helmet padding to 5mm for size small Quantum X helmet.
I would provide a link to where you can shop around for this helmet, however, it is sold out almost everywhere and rare to find.
What I discovered was that the helmet padding is marked “round oval” for the Quantum-X and it’s shaped slightly differently than that designed for the Corsair-X. The difference is that the padding designed for the Quantum-X is thinner and tapers differently.
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women
Motorcycle Jacket: Alpinestars Stella GP Plus R v2
This is the first jacket I purchased and it saved my butt on my first day practicing riding my bike. Within the first 5 minutes of trying to practice, I turned my handle bar too far and was angled on an incline in attempt to reverse my bike. Needless to say, I lost my balance, the bike’s weight pulled in one direction, I went off the bike and onto the ground. My gloves weren’t actually very good, so I bruised my palms, arms hit the ground, and rolled over hitting the back of my head.
Even though I was at a stopped position going nowhere, these are actually some of the most common times bikes are dropped and when a new rider falls.
In a parking lot, 0 MPH, on an incline, uneven ground
- Helmet did its job.
- Gloves held up and prevented any scraping of my hands, but my palms were bruised due to the lack of palm sliders and padding.
- Jacket was unscratched, but I saw where I hit the ground had some gravel. Had I not been wearing my jacket, my elbow and arm would have been bruised and scuffed. Brushed off the gravel and my jacket was good as new.
- Jeans had hip armor and I was fine after falling on my side. The armor definitely absorbed the impact as I didn’t experience any bruising after falling on my side.
Practice on a flat parking lot, even a small grade can prove to be challenging to a novice rider. Purchase better gloves with palm sliders and padding. Which leads to my next item on this list, the motorcycle gloves.
Aside from my “crash” experiences wearing this jacket, the performance is phenomenal. I’ve taken my 2019 Kawasaki Z400 to a max speed of 120 MPH and did not feel any drag wearing this jacket. On the regular going at highway speeds, other riders have had to tuck, wear as I have been able to continue in a generally upright position at the same speed.
It keeps you warm when the temperature is in the 60s. In warmer weather, but not too hot, maybe 70s the jacket is comfortable, and not too hot because it allows airflow. When the temperatures are 80 and above, I would recommend a mesh jacket. I have worn the jacket in warmer temperatures and it’s not the worst jacket you can wear.
Motorcycle Gloves: Alpinestars Stella SP-1 v2
These are an excellent pair of gloves. Mine are size XS. My hand measurements in length and around my knuckles are as follows: both are exactly 7″ which is 17.78cm. Knowing these measurements is particularly helpful when a manufacturer has a sizing chart for reference. The best thing to do is to actually try the glove on at a store. However, due to the current times, that might not be possible.
I was able to try on gloves at the following stores in southern California: Cycle Gear, GP Motorcycles, Chaparral Motorsports, Berts Mega Mall, and Wheels In Motion.
I have fallen on my hands wearing these gloves two times. Both times were practicing in the parking lot at under 15MPH. Both times I fell, the gloves took the majority of the impact, with the palm sliders doing their job and holding up well. If you look closely, you will be able to scratches on the palm sliders indicating where I fell. Otherwise, it would be hard to tell. My hands felt a little sore for a few hours, but felt fine afterwards. In comparison to the first time I fell wearing lesser quality gloves, my palms were bruised and hurt for a week.
Motorcycle Jeans: Dainese Alba Slim Lady Jeans
These jeans are a slim fit and designed for a “thinner” body type. However, they do stretch and can be accommodating to some curves to an extent. My measurements are:
- Waist = 26″
- Hips = 35.5″
- Thighs = 21.5″
Keep in mind that we all fluctuate in weight, so these measurements are only a temporary snapshots. At times these measurements are more and sometimes less.
For women with more of a “curvy” figure, a few jeans I found that women love is Alpinestars Banshee Women’s Leggings, Alpinestars Daisy Riding Women’s Jeans, and Worse for Wear Crosstown 4.0 Curvy Riding Jeans.
Motorcycle Boots: Dainese Street Biker Lady Air
These are more of shoes/sneakers than they are boots. And they are awesome. They fit well, are comfortable, and still allow you to feel the shifter and brakes.
My feet don’t ever feel “sweaty” or too hot even after riding a whole day in 90 – 100 degree weather (which I don’t recommend).
My only complaint is that they don’t add much height if any. While I am able to reach the ground and flatfoot on my Kawasaki Z400 with them on, I realize that others may not be able to. If you are looking for a shoe with an inch or two, this is not the shoe for that.
Starter Motorcycle Gear for Women