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Finding The Perfect Fit

Short People Got Reason to Live; Big People, Too

Does the thought of "one size fits all" cause you to burst out laughing hysterically? I always thought it was pretty funny myself, but after searching from store to store for motorcycle safety gear that fits me, and not succeeding, I realized that finding gear my size was not going to be easy.

I took all my measurements and hit the online stores and companies to check out what they had to offer. As I browsed site to site, checking size charts and measurements of various jacket and pant styles, I realized there was not a chance in the world that I would ever fit into a standard size.

The only solution was to go custom, or to buy a set of armor and add it to a jacket I already have.

My problem is that everything is too big. At 4'11", 90lbs. There aren't many alternatives. For some of us, everything is too small, or it fits right in some places and too big or small in other places. Whatever your situation is, here are some ideas that will help you get started on finding the perfect fit.

Depending on how much money you have to spend, or what your style is, I came across three companies who offer custom fitting for motorcycle clothing.

Gerbing's Heated Clothing offers custom fitting in two styles of pants and jackets, starting at just $558 for a set, including the electric heating. For $70 less, you can order the set without the electric heating feature, but I suggest spending the extra money for the extra warmth & comfort, and the versatility of the set that is offered by this line. Gerbing's jackets and pants can be worn using the electric heating in the liners, without using the electric heating; or, for warmer days, simply take out the liners. No matter how you wear their clothing, you will always be protected. They also offer custom fitted heated liners, that can be worn under any jacket or pant, but these do not offer protection alone. Note that Gerbing's does not charge extra for custom fitting . As you will soon see, others do.

The next company I found that offers custom fitting is Vanson Leathers. They offer many more styles than Gerbing's, minus the heated features, for a lot more money. Jackets and pants start around $250 each, add up to $200 for alterations in jackets, and up to $125 in alterations for pants. If I were to order a jacket and pants from Vanson, I would definitely need every alteration, so I would expect to be paying at least $825. But, if you have the money, they offer lots of colors and lots of styles in leather and textile, and even custom colors and styles in leathers. Note, also, that Vanson clothing does not come armored, but armor can be purchased separately, and added to the clothing.  

The last company that I found, Womanbiker.com, offers several styles of women's jackets and pants that can be custom fitted. However, they offer only leather jackets and pants, and no textiles. Also, their clothing is not armored, but armor can be purchased separately and added to the clothing.  

Do you already have a jacket that fits you well? Another option is just to add armor to a jacket you already have, either by Velcro, or by inserting it into pockets that may already be sewn into your jacket. Bohn Body Armor, Joe Rocket, Vanson Leathers, and Womanbiker.com all offer sets of body armor at various prices (from $30 to $100 for a set).

In addition, Bohn Body Armor makes Bodyguard Armor shirts, which are light-weight, armored shirts that can be worn alone on warm days, or under any jacket. They also offer Bodyguard Armor pants in Lycra type material for flexibility, which can be worn under pants, jeans or leathers. Bohn offers XXX sizes for an additional charge of $10. While these items are not offered for custom fitting, they would be cheaper than buying a new jacket and pant set if you don't have as much of a sizing problem.

If you are looking for women specific motorcycle gear, instead of buying gear made for men in men's sizes, and you think you would fit standard women's sizes, you should check out the women's lines by Teknic, Joe Rocket, and Femmegear.com. Teknic is a fit for my size, the others won't.

If you have small feet, and are looking for women specific boots, Ladyriderswear.com has a huge selection of riding boots in various styles and sizes.

Whatever your size, there is an option for you. The importance of motorcycle safety gear is worth the time it takes and money it costs to get the right fit.

Something to think about� Normally, when regular adult clothes don't fit me, I fit right into children's clothes. However, when I was shopping for motorcycle gear, I found that there was no one who made street bike motorcycle safety gear line for children. MSR, Fox and others offer youth sizes for dirt riders. Now how does this make sense? If the most important thing to a company is to provide superior protection for its customers, yet they don't offer protection for what most parents would say is the most important thing to them (their children), then I think those companies are overlooking something huge. I see people riding with kids on the back of their bikes all the time, while the parent is fully geared out and the kid is just wearing jeans and a sweater. The helmet on that kid's head that is required by law to be worn is not going to save everything. Does this anger you as much as it does me? Take the time to write a letter to any and all motorcycle clothing companies, and let them know how you feel. Encourage them to protect children who ride.

Gracie Mehren /Summer 02


For more information on the web visit these companies:

www.gerbing.com
www.vansonleathers.com
www.womanbiker.com
www.bohnarmor.com or visit Bohn's site for women, and tell them what you think about women's specific clothing at www.msbohnarmor.com

www.joerocket.com
www.teknicgear.com
www.femmegear.com
www.ladyriderswear.com
www.webbikeworld.com check this site out for reviews and links on tons of motorcycle companies

www.ki.org/sbl Home of the Short Bikers

 

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