Women motorcycling in women's biker clothing

Women’s Biker Clothing – The Definitive Guide to Ladies Motorcycle Gear

Learn all you need to know to look great and be safe on your bike!

Yes it’s true, women love to ride motorcycles too!  And we want to look good, be safe and be appropriately geared up for the weather.  If you’re like me, you’ve learned that finding the right women’s biker clothing can be really tough! 

I think sometimes that motorcycle gear manufacturers have forgotten that women want stylish ladies motorcycle gear that isn’t just sized-down for women but is made especially for us! We want women’s motorcycle apparel that acknowledges and accommodates our unique shapes.  We’re not just small men – we’re women and we ride too!

Lady riding a motorcycle in women's biker clothing

Whether you’re riding your own bike or on the back of your partner’s bike, great women’s biker clothing is an absolute necessity.  I want to feel safe on a rip up the Sea to Sky Highway!

As an avid motorcyclist with more than 50,000 touring kilometres behind me, I’ve tried SO MUCH ladies motorcycle gear! Through trial and error, I’ve managed to find some great online brands and retailers that I know and trust.  These items are tried-and-true and have worked in real riding conditions! 

Let’s get started!

Disclosure:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for support – it means a lot!

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Ladies Motorbike Gear – ATGATT or not?

Personally, I’m an ATGATT gal:  I use All The Gear All The Time. 

But, there’s no judgments here. If you prefer riding without gloves in the summer or with sneakers instead of boots, that’s your personal decision to make.  We all decide where our personal comfort zone is and if you feel better riding without a jacket in the heat of the summer, good for you!  You’re still riding and that is what’s important.

Women’s Biker Clothing – Fabric Choices

Ladies motorcycle gear comes in a variety of fabric choices.  The two most popular tend to be leather and textile.  Leather is known as the best to protect well against skin abrasions and is the classic choice.  Textile is widely used for all types of women’s motorcycle apparel and is flexible enough to be worn in both hot and cold weather.  Most textiles are designed with built-in armour, reflective detailing for increased visibility, and a variety of other options.

The choice you make depends on what style you prefer and the kind of flexibility you need. You will also want to consider price point, as leather women’s biker clothing can be a lot more expensive than textile gear.

Ladies Motorcycle Gear – Helmets

Using a motorcycle helmet is the law in most countries, including Canada.  Parts of the United States do not require a motorcycle helmet – 28 states still do not require it.  Some states only require riders of a certain age to wear helmets – for example, riders 20 years and younger must wear helmets in Texas. 

Given the statistics of motorcycle accidents and the odds of your head striking the pavement (or something worse!) in an accident, I strongly recommend using a motorcycle helmet.  A helmet is the most important protective gear you can use while riding a motorcycle.

The weight of the helmet is also a factor.   I really feel the weight of the helmet over time on a ride and therefore I prefer a lighter helmet.  I always make sure the helmet I choose is DOT certified.  Ensure there is a sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet indicating that it complies with the safety test from the US Department of Transportation.

Helmet Choices

When choosing a helmet, I like to match the colour of the helmet to my bike, and secondarily to my gear.  I also like my helmet to have reflective elements so I can be easily seen at night. 

I’ve used several brands of helmets over the years and have found the best success with Shoei helmets.  This helmet fits my head shape the best, they wear well and are DOT certified, of course.

My preferred helmet is the Shoei GT-Air II.  It’s lightweight, has an internal sun visor (which I LOVE), and fully adjustable ventilation.

Shoei GT Air II Motorcycle helmet - an essential part of women's biker clothing

 

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If you prefer a lower-profile helmet, this Bell helmet is a solid choice:

Women's Bell motorcycle helmet - an essential element of ladies motorcycle gear

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Women’s Motorcycle Apparel – Jackets

I’ve had quite a few jackets over the years and have tested a number of styles.  I’ve also had many conversations with my women rider friends about their jackets and what they prefer and why.

Most women prefer to have 2-3 jackets in rotation at any given time.  For some it’s about the weather and what is most comfortable at the time they’re riding. 

For others, it’s about fashion and what suits their mood that day!

How Many Jackets is Too Many?

I normally have 3 jackets in rotation and I prefer textile jackets.  I like the versatility of textile and the fact that they’re available in a wide variety of colours, sizes, and styles.  The price range for a good textile jacket can vary widely, depending on the features in the jacket.  A textile jacket can be a great choice for a long weekend getaway, as they are so versatile!

I like to get multi-purpose jackets that can be worn in 2 different seasons.  Jacket manufacturers like to advertise jackets that can be worn in 3 seasons but my experience suggests that the third season (usually late fall/winter) isn’t very comfortable! 

Look for a jacket that has a removable thermal liner and zips that can be opened for airflow when it’s warmer out in late Spring or early Summer. 

One of my favourites is the Joe Rocket Heartbreaker 3.0.  It has a great design and a matching thermal liner with excellent safety armour at the shoulders and elbows.

women's motorcycle jacket with purple trim - an essential part of ladies motorbike gear

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Something I’ve learned the hard way is that if you love riding in the summer (and who doesn’t?) you really must have a mesh summer riding jacket.  There’s nothing worse than over-heating on a long ride!

I got the Joe Rocket Cleo Elite Jacket last summer and wore it almost daily.  It was comfortable to wear, even in upwards of 90 degrees F or 30 degrees C.  It also has a rainproof inner liner in case you get caught in a summer storm!

a vented women's motorcycle jacket - essential to women's biker clothing

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Women’s Biker Clothing – Pants

A lot of women wear jeans to ride and this is a classic choice.  Old-school or boyfriend-cut Levi’s with a riding jacket scores a lot of points in the style department!

If you want a little more protection on your lower half when you ride, there are lots of choices available. 

I’ve worn a number of different types of pants when I ride, and lately I’ve been wearing riding jeans.  I really like them!  They’re comfortable to ride in and I look relatively normal walking into a restaurant or coffee shop after getting off my bike!

These are a great choice.  They have a bit of stretch and are straight cut. There’s Kevlar at the knee and seat for abrasion resistance and armour at the knees.  I like the classic jean style too.

women's motorcycle jeans - part of women's biker apparel

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In the heat of summer you’ll really appreciate some pants that breathe while you’re riding.  These pants offer  large mesh areas as well as reflective panels.  The pants are reinforced at the seat and knees and armour is included too.  These are a great choice to go with the Joe Rocket Cleo Elite jacket:

women's riding pants - part of women's biker clothing

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A relatively new option on the market for women’s biker apparel is Kevlar leggings. I’m really excited to try these!  I know that so many women love wearing leggings on a regular basis so why not when we’re riding too?

These leggings are on my wish list for this riding season.  Fully lined with Aramid and reinforced with Kevlar, they’re designed for maximum abrasion resistance while looking like just another pair of yoga pants.  They even have pockets!  The rise is really high on these, which can come in handy when you’re bent over on the bike. 

The best thing about these leggings is the wide variety of sizes.  There are 3 inseam lengths – short 28”, regular 30” and tall 32”, sizes from 2 to 18.

women's motorcycle leggings - new ladies motorcycle gear

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Ladies Motorcycle Gear – Gloves

Gloves are a really personal choice among riders.  Some like to have maximum contact with the throttle and therefore love a really smooth and thin leather glove.  Others prefer armour on the knuckles and maximum protection with gauntlet style gloves.

I prefer a mix of both but no matter what the season or style, I always choose gloves with a measure of armour built in. 

These are my favourite early spring and cool riding day gloves. They’re long enough to offer some lower arm warmth together with excellent protection on the palm and wrist.  Full-grain leather too!

ladies motorcycle gloves

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I love these gloves for summer riding!  They’re just short enough and very lightweight.  As well they’re super stretchy and have mesh inserts to keep your hands cool.  At the time same time, these great gloves offer knuckle armour to keep your hands safe.

ladies summer motorcycling gloves - part of women's biker clothing

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Women’s Biker Clothing – Boots

I love that there are so many choices out there for women’s boots these days!

There was a time when all I could find was clunky-looking ugly riding boots that I was never satisfied with.  I was so glad when the manufacturers started making more boots with women in mind.

These are a great choice if you want to have protection for your feet and ankles when you’re riding but you don’t want to look like you’re wearing riding boots!  Described as motocognito, these boots are supple, full-grain leather.  They’re waterproof, have dual ankle discs, and a reinforced toe box.  They’re full-on riding boots without the look!

cool alternative women's motorcycle boots - essential ladies motorcycle gear

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Not available at Amazon 

I like a short boot during the summer riding season and I’ve loved using these vented boots.  They’re ideal for warm weather and built specifically for women’s feet.  My feet don’t get too hot wearing these in the summer!

women's summer motorcycle boots - essential women's biker clothing

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Ladies Motorbike Gear – Hair Care

Ladies, can we talk hair?

I can’t even tell you how many things I tried to keep my long hair from getting knotted up when I rode. 

We’ve all seen those images of women riding with their long flowing hair behind them, but if you have long hair you know that that image is a load of BS!

If you’ve ever ridden any distance with your hair flying behind, you’ve gotten off the bike with your hair in knots that took hours to untangle, not to mention the bugs that had taken up residence!

The Hair Solution!

Late in my first season riding, I saw a woman riding with her hair wrapped up in one of these.  I walked right up to her and asked her what it was and where she got it.  I haven’t ridden without one since!  It’s a complete godsend for those of us with longer hair. 

It works like a charm.  I just wrap a ponytail holder around my hair at my nape, attach this ponytail wrap to the elastic and snap it closed.  It keeps my hair tidy and knot free while I’m riding!

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Or if you like a more badass look:

women's hair tie - women's biker clothing

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Where do you like to shop for women’s biker clothing?  Do you have favourite look?

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16 thoughts on “Women’s Biker Clothing – The Definitive Guide to Ladies Motorcycle Gear

    1. Thanks for your comment, Letty 🙂 I always feel more comfortable when I’m fully geared up too. Let me know what you think about the leggings!

  1. I am so glad to see someone create this list! When I started riding, it was hard enough to find any women’s gear that wasn’t just men’s gear but smaller – let alone find someone who had reviewed any of it! I tried so much gear, just like you. I’m so glad that the market for really good women’s gear is growing!
    I don’t ride at the moment – I sold my ZX10 when I was pregnant with my first, and I want to wait until my babies aren’t so little before I ride on the street again. But I still get excited to see other women writing about riding. And this is a great resource!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Dani 🙂 Finding great women’s gear can be really frustrating but through trial and error, I’ve been able to track down stuff that really works. I didn’t ride when my kids were younger either – no time! I hope you’re able to get back to riding soon 🙂

  2. Hi Lesley:

    I don’t ride, but if I did, I would be a atgatt girl! No judgment here either. Great outfits and explanations. Enjoy your rides!

    Visiting from The Midlife Blogging Community

    Melanie

  3. Great information here! I’m also an all gear all the time girl – though I don’t ride my own, I do ride on the back of my husband’s bike. We’ve toured the country on the back of the bike several times and it’s integral to be safe and comfortable. I’m totally going to look into those leggings as well – love the idea as they are way more stylish than my slider jeans!

    1. Thanks Tina! It think ATGATT is definitely the way to go 🙂 I can’t wait to try the riding leggings – so comfortable looking! Let me know how you like them!

  4. The internal sun visor in your favourite helmet is a great feature! I love that these items are both functional and allow you to express yourself a little with your fashion choices

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