When it comes to motorcycle riding, it’s important that each rider wears the appropriate attire to keep them safe. Sometimes that can be difficult because of prices and/or the lack of appeal some motorcycle gear may have.
Women who ride a motorcycle need to make sure they are always wearing the appropriate gear to ensure their safety. Male or female, injury prevention should always be considered among motorcyclists.
What should a woman wear on a motorcycle? Whether riding as a passenger or actually operating the motorcycle, women will need to wear a full face helmet. In addition, women (like anyone else) should also consider wearing long pants, boots that cover the ankles, and a durable jacket with protective gloves.
The items of clothing a woman should wear on a motorcycle is really no different than what a man should wear, though the type of clothing and fashion may vary. This article will explain further what women should wear when riding and what that entails.
Appropriate Motorcycle Clothing
As a female motorcyclist myself, I’ve often looked in to the appropriate attire that a woman should wear while riding. The biggest obstacle I came across was trying to find something that would keep me safe but still maintain my fashion and being able to express myself in that way.
First and foremost, every woman riding a motorcycle should always wear a helmet no matter how short of a ride it is. And it should always be a full face helmet and never a half helmet (or “brain bucket” as some like to call them).
Iihs.org stated that “because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is important. Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.” All it takes is a second to get into an accident and even a “short trip down the block” has a lot of seconds and opportunity to get hurt.
Women should also wear long pants while riding. At the very least, a good thick set of denim jeans should be considered, though leather and other synthetic materials are more preferred. Long pants not only help give you some protection in an accident, but they also help protect your legs against exhaust pipe and engine heat that could potentially burn your legs.
Along with wearing pants, ankle-covering boots should also always be worn. This may be dreaded among a lot of women, but there are actually a lot of fashionable ankle covering boots out there perfect for both style and protection. Your best place to look is online which has a slew of riding boots perfect for women. Make sure to read the description and their return policy so you can return them if they don’t fit right.
In addition, it’s always a good idea for a woman to wear a long sleeved jacket while riding. Again, the best option is either leather or other synthetic materials (be wary of faux leather). If you absolutely refuse those, at the very least wear something that will cover your arms fully. Aside from accident protection, long sleeved jackets can protect your skin from road debris such as rocks or glass that may shoot up from the vehicle in front.
Lastly, wearing gloves while riding can provide a lot of protection. This is one piece of gear that a lot of riders forget about and often go without. If you’re going to invest in motorcycle gloves, get a decent pair that will provide good protection in the case of an accident. If you value your hands, make sure they’re guarded while out for a ride.
From this list, you can assume that the right kind of protection while riding means basically covering up your whole body. Exposed skin could potentially mean greater injury if the motorcycle were to crash or tip over. These are the same rules that apply to both men and women who ride.
Clothing To Avoid
Now that we’ve discussed the type of clothing that will provide the best protection for women who ride, it’s important to note some articles of clothing that should never be worn on a motorcycle. I could list a lot of random articles of clothing, but I’ll just touch up on clothing I’ve seen other women actually wear on a motorcycle.
First, I’d like to point out that wearing a skirt on a motorcycle is extremely uncomfortable let alone dangerous. And I’ve seen many women do it. Wearing a skirt could mean that it flaps everywhere and possibly obstruct your vision. If it’s a tight skirt, it can be pretty uncomfortable and may restrict you from moving your legs the way you need to maneuver the motorcycle.
High heels are also a huge no-no. Being on a motorcycle requires flat shoes in order to maintain the correct traction you need to stay on the foot pegs and/or clutch pedal. High heels would be incredibly difficult to keep still on these pedals, especially if you’re operating the motorcycle.
While it’s not illegal to do so, wearing shorts on a motorcycle is also a bad idea. This can be hard to follow for us women, especially if it’s a hot summer day. Wearing shorts means less protection from both the motorcycle and the road you’re riding on. You’re risking getting burns from the exhaust pipes and engine as well as worse injury from the road if your skin ever comes in contact with it.
Though this isn’t necessarily considered clothing, you’ll probably want to pay attention to how you wear your hair. Women tend to have longer hair than men do so this is something men don’t generally think about.
Try to avoid putting your hair in tight braids or buns on the top of your head. These will get tugged down when you put your helmet on and create bulges and pressure points inside that are pretty uncomfortable (I learned this one the hard way). Instead, try putting your hair in a low ponytail or braid that will be out of the way of your helmet. This will also help prevent your hair from moving around underneath your helmet and possibly getting into your face.
What About Merchandise?
Since we’re on the subject discussing clothing, we should also touch up on merchandise that women commonly have and whether or not they should use them while riding a motorcycle.
Women commonly have purses to store makeup, wallets, keys, etc. and some may not want to leave the house without it. A lot of women wonder if it’s safe to wear one while on a motorcycle. Though there doesn’t seem to be any laws against it, it’s advised to not wear a purse while riding.
Depending on the style of purse, it could flap around in high speeds and potentially break off and hit another vehicle. To compensate for a purse, consider getting some sort of compartment or saddle bag for your bike. Or use a backpack which has proven to be much more reliable and safe compared to a purse.
Having a cell phone close by while on a ride is always a good idea, but finding a place to put it can be difficult. For some reason, a lot of women’s pants don’t have pockets and when they do, they’re about two inches deep. Storing a phone in there is almost impossible.
Try wearing a jacket that has a secure pocket in it large enough to carry your phone without risking it falling out. There are also several attachments you can buy that clip on to the handlebars and is perfect for holding a phone. These are especially useful if you need to use your phone for navigation.
Also try to avoid wearing headphones while riding. Anything stuffed inside your ears can inhibit your ability to be aware of vital sounds around you. Instead, try using a speaker system on the motorcycle or getting a Bluetooth helmet.
Clothing As A Passenger vs. Clothing As The Rider
Now that we’ve discussed what a woman should wear on a motorcycle (as well as what should not be worn), you may be wondering if this article pertains to women who are operating the motorcycle or to those who are simply a passenger.
The points discussed in this article apply to women passengers and riders alike. Essentially anyone who sits on a motorcycle while it’s in motion should abide by these tips. The amount of impact during a potential accident will be the same whether you’re operating the motorcycle or sitting behind as a passenger.