According to a national survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), women make up 19% of motorcycle owners. This is double what it was around a decade ago. Women riders are increasing, and so is the interest in motorcycles and motorcycle gear.
Now, this article isn’t meant to clue you in on the latest trends or one that tells you what to do or what to wear. Clothing is a personal choice, and everyone should wear what they want. But, when it comes to being a motorcycle rider, clothes are not just about aesthetics. They are also about protection and safety.
So, what should a woman wear while riding a motorcycle? Clothes and riding gear that are comfortable and also offer protection in case of an accident. This includes the classic motorcycle jacket, boots, long pants, and shirt. And, of course, more importantly, a good quality motorcycle helmet.
Top items that should be part of a woman motorcycle rider’s wardrobe
The chance of dying on a motorcycle in the United States is approximately 30 times higher than if you were in a car. So, wearing the right protective gear can help avoid becoming part of that statistic.
Now, this one is not gender-specific at all. The importance of a motorcycle helmet cannot be underestimated for a motorcycle rider. Motorcycles have a high rate of accidents, and helmets can save you.
Whether you are the one driving or the passenger, you must always wear a helmet. It will also protect you from head injuries.
A full-face helmet is the best option. But if that’s not possible, half-helmets/open-face helmets will also do. Most states require a rider to wear a DOT-approved helmet. Today, you can also get a customized paint or design on your helmet to fit your ensemble or aesthetic.
A motorcycle jacket
Motorcycle riders and motorcycle jackets are synonymous. You can’t think of one without the other.
And it’s not just about the look and fashion. Serious motorcycle riders wear them to serve as protective gear. So, you must have good quality long-sleeved jackets as part of your riding gear.
The most common type of riding jacket is made of cowhide leather. A leather jacket is durable, suitable for all kinds of weather, and long-lasting. These days there are vegan options as well.
Another option you can go for in a motorcycle jacket is one made of denim. Good quality, thick denim is well known for being long-lasting, and it’s also durable.
The third type is the textile type. You can see me wearing the textile mesh riding jacket from Dainese on my About page.
Whichever material you choose, you should pick a good jacket that is well-made and fits you well. The material should be thick and of good quality. It should be neither too loose nor too tight. Large and deep pockets on your jacket are an added bonus.
If the jacket is too tight, it will restrict movement, which can potentially endanger you when you are riding. But on the other hand, if it’s too loose, it may come loose, obstruct your vision, or get caught on something.
Wearing shorts might seem like a good idea on a warm, sunny day. But if you are riding on a motorcycle, especially on public roads, a pair of long pants is the way to go. Protective clothing that covers your body is important while going on a long ride. The long pants, especially riding pants, will protect against abrasions if you fall and slide.
Leather jackets offer the best protection and which is why MotoGP and World Superbike Championship riders wear leathers.
You can choose to wear motorcycle pants made of leather. But if that’s not your style, you can choose textile or denim. Leather pants may be uncomfortable to wear in hot weather. So, a pair of motorcycle jeans or denim jeans is also another popular option.
Choose a pair of pants made of durable materials. Thinner materials such as silk, satin, or polyester can tear easily and may not be practical. You should also choose pants you can move about freely in.
Having the necessary movement when getting on and off the bike is necessary.
This is another essential part of a biker’s wardrobe. Choose a good pair that you can wear comfortably for a long time. A pair of ankle or calf-length leather boots would be the most suitable.
Motorcycle boots are usually made of good quality animal leather. They are comfortable and never go out of style. You can also get boots made of vegan leather.
You also don’t have to wear only flat ones, if height is something you are worried about. You can also wear boots that come with short block heels. However, high-heeled ones may not be very comfortable, and I would not recommend them.
While not the conventional option, you can also opt for sneakers instead of boots. Sneakers are comfortable, and they add a youthful look to your ensemble.
However, you cannot choose just any pair of sneakers. Keep in mind that your shoes will be exposed to all weather conditions as well as heat from motorcycle exhaust pipes.
So, you have to choose one that will not melt or break down easily. It has to protect your feet if you fall off your motorcycle or in case of an accident. Choose one made of sturdy material. Here is a perfect example of what you could wear.
A long-sleeved shirt
You may want to take off your jacket sometimes. But it is still important that you are still wearing protective clothing while motorcycle riding. So, wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath.
Choose a well-fitted shirt made of natural fibers that allow your skin to breathe. This will make it more comfortable for you to wear the shirt under a jacket, even on a warm day. Synthetic materials can feel suffocating.
Another option for something to wear under your motorcycle jacket is a well-fitted t-shirt. This is an alternate option during the hot summer months when you sweat a lot.
The motorcycle t-shirt should be made of breathable fabric like cotton. And the material should not be flimsy or easy to tear.
Riding on a motorcycle can get quite cold, even for the passenger. This applies not only in cold weather but on sunny days too.
So, gloves are the way to go. They are also useful for keeping a strong grip. And if you are caught in a motorcycle accident, it can help save your skin from scraping on the asphalt.
Find a pair of gloves that is the right fit for you. A pair of leather gloves are the best option, but you can find gloves made of other materials too.
Many women tend to have long hair. And so, it’s important that you have the right hair accessories to keep your hair out of your face. A bandana comes in handy in such cases.
You can wear it under your helmet to keep your hair in place. A bandana will also prevent helmet hair and soak up your sweat too.
Instead of a bandana, you can also use a scarf. And additionally, use the scarf to keep your neck warm if you need to.
A bandana or scarf also works for those with short hair. It will keep the hair away from your face.
If you have long hair and wearing a helmet is any trouble, here’s an article I wrote that addresses exactly that.
You would want to protect your eyes while enjoying riding on the open road. It is also necessary to keep out dust, insects, stray pieces of grass, and other waste. So, make sure to have a pair of sunglasses.
They should be able to block out harmful UV rays. You also need to choose a pair that will fit properly on your face. You don’t want them to be falling off your face while riding.
If you don’t have a full-face helmet, you can also go for face shields. They offer the best protection.
Today, going out without a mobile phone on you is almost unheard of. You also need a safe place to keep other essentials such as wallets and identification papers. And as many female riders will agree, pockets on women’s clothing are scarce.
So, choose a good bag for daily use. Choose a small, lightweight bag. That way your personal items will remain safe and it will also not be an inconvenience.
Depending on your personal style, you can choose a backpack or a waist bag. Make sure to choose a bag that can be closed or locked properly.
You can also choose a side saddle bag to attach to your motorcycle. But avoid big bags that are heavy or difficult to handle.
They should be part of the right motorcycle gear for all serious riders. A face mask will protect your open face (in an open-face helmet especially), and you won’t be eating dust. It will also help keep your skin from drying out, which can happen when you ride a lot.
And guess what, if you would like the mean biker chick streak about you, a facemask with a graphic would be ideal.
What to avoid wearing while riding on a motorcycle?
Here are some things that I wouldn’t recommend for motorcycle riding. But again, it’s a personal choice. Depending on your comfort level, you can make the decision.
- Avoid wearing heavy makeup. Motorcycle riding is fun, but changing weather conditions can easily ruin makeup. So, unless you want to keep re-doing it, it would be better to stick to no or light makeup.
- Avoid accessories such as big, dangly earrings. It’s hard to wear them under helmets. You also don’t want them falling off or catching on to something during the ride.
- Avoid open shoes such as flip-flops. I also would not advise wearing high-heeled shoes. A lot of people are adequately comfortable with high heels. But high heels do not offer much support and may impede easy movement. So, for a safe ride, it is better to leave them at home. My personal opinion is that you need to protect your feet with good solid boots. The only other footwear would be riding sneakers. It is easy to hurt your feet in normal shoes, heels, or flip-flops. And honestly, it’s a bit foolish to sacrifice safety and protection for style and/or laziness.
Motorcycle wear is, first and foremost, about safety. Whether you are a male or female motorcycle rider, wearing the right gear is important. Motorcycle accidents are common, and body armor can and will protect you.
So, what should a woman wear when riding a motorcycle? A helmet, motorcycle jacket, long pants, and closed shoes. There are other clothing items as well, but these are some of the most important things to wear.
Of course, this is not only for women but for all motorcycle riders. So, don’t forgo your safety gear, and ride safe!