Finding that perfect jacket fit for a lady rider can be daunting and frustrating… unless you have a personal gear guru.  Well, you do at J&P Cycles. We are here to show you how to fit and buy the perfect jacket for two wheels with ease and confidence.

The two key areas to review are function and fit.  We will talk about how to look for materials and protection that get you the right functionality and the best comfort and fit in your motorcycle jacket. Functionality starts with materials, construction and performance.

Generally, you want to look for materials that offer added durability and quality specifically designed for riding.  Strength and abrasion resistance are the top things to consider when deciding what jacket to buy.

The latest technological advances have put some textiles in the same bracket as leather for abrasion resistance and durability. Knowing that you don’t sacrifice this quality by choosing either material, you can lean on your personal preference for the outer shell of your jacket.  Just make sure you are looking at credible riding gear to ensure it has been designed specifically with motorcycling in mind.  Not only does the textile or hide meet higher standards for wear (think cruising down the highway with the wind whipping you and your gear vs. feeling a light breeze while leisurely walking down the street for a coffee)  - you will need some extra strength in general construction for your time on two wheels.    Motorcycle gear has higher seam bursting standards resulting in a more sturdy build quality for highway speeds.  I have seen many a casual jacket literally falling apart at the seams on riders who thought those were “just fine” for the ride…not!

J&P Cycles has excellent Textile and Leather options, plus styles that mix materials if you find you have a hard time choosing.

Armor is the next component to consider from a protective standpoint for your motorcycle jacket.  To wear or not to wear, that is the question!

If you choose to wear armor you get a great protective feature that gives you extra confidence while riding.  It is important to understand how your jacket fits with armor placed in the jacket and also removed if you ever plan to wear your jacket without it.

In either situation, you want to ensure that the jacket is fit snugly to your body, and there is no shifting or movement of any panel, lining, armor and pocketing.  It should never feel loose.  It should feel comfortable enough to do a wide range of motion with relative ease.

If you buy a jacket and plan to wear the armor “most of the time” – make sure you adjust the layers you wear if you do take it out of your jacket.  You can wear a hoodie or top that has a similar thickness to your armor to compensate for the space void where that armor was.  You want to try to replicate the snug feel of the jacket with the armor in place.  A hoodie under a jacket is no substitute for protective armor, but it will at least help make the fit snugger to allow the jacket material to hug your body for better abrasion resistance.

If you buy a jacket that was made for armor and remove the pads forever, I suggest possibly trying a size smaller to see if this feels properly snug or make the accommodation with your casual wear under your jacket

Now for fit and comfort features.  A properly fitting jacket is the first step to being comfortable.  Some features to look for in a jacket that can allow for customization of fit to your body are:

  • Adjusters will help you manage those curves.  Look for straps, snaps, buckles, Velcro, zippers and lacing to give or take room within your fit. Choose a jacket that has adjusters in the areas where you need it most.
  • Waist and hips vary the most between women so finding jackets that adjust here is key.
  • Cuffs, elbows and neck adjusters allow for even more personalized fit for sleeves and collars.
  • Gussets, pleats and stretch panels allow for better ease of motion and comfort in critical stretching areas like the shoulders, waist and elbows.
  • Elongated back waist and longer sleeves give coverage and protection while in riding position.
  • Pre-curves add comfort by articulating the material in a more pronounced riding position for the sleeves.

Other functional features that increase comfort on the ride:

  • Comfort cuffs and collars – some jackets come with Microfiber panels on the inside collar and cuffs for added comfort, and others have a rolled top edge that does not cut or scratch your neck while riding.
  • Pocket placement and shape - the best riding jackets consider what works best with a woman’s curves.  I always put my phone in the interior pocket to see how pocket placement affects the fit in the bust.  Ideally, the pocket is deep and sits below the bust line in the “hollow” above your waist.  
  • Linings – waterproof, warmth wicking and breathable liners all have different benefits for different riding conditions.  Consider what types of weather or climate you will do the majority of riding in, and buy your main jacket to fit those conditions.

The key here is to think about your jacket as something you can customize to your riding needs and body shape as you shop.

If you do that, you will ride out with the perfect combination of fit and function.

So have fun with it and get out there and ride!

Contributed by Melvina Kleverova Zilliox