Saturday, June 20, 2009

Riding Gear #3 - Pants

For my third installment regarding finding riding gear I am going to talk about finding suitable riding pants that fit. I will attempt to refrain from using all of the swear words that have burst forth during my search.

When I first started searching for riding pants it seemed that, like with my jacket search, limb length was going to be a problem. Now, I must confess that I wasn't always an ATGATT kind of girl. I used to ride with most of the gear - no riding pants. Plain old jeans for me. In hindsight it seems really stupid, but I had such a difficult time trying to find a pair that fit.

Now I don't think my size is the problem, just proportions. Is there a formula? Leg length x waist measurements - age = perfect fit. Ummmm I don't think so. According to BMI calculations I am of normal weight for my height, even if a little on the high side, I am still considered within the parameters of normal. Nice to know one can have a slight "muffin top" and be a normal weight. Hey we all have a muffin top, some are just better left hidden.

Have I mentioned that I don't like layering clothes? I think that is another problem I have when searching for gear. When you hate to layer I think all riding gear seems uncomfortable. I don't even like to layer a t-shirt under a sweatshirt.

I started searching in earnest just over a year ago. Every time we'd go to a motorcycle shop I'd try on a pair, or two, or three. I would start off all excited. Spotting a pair I hadn't tried before. Quickly becoming disappointed, then frustrated. I would overheat trying to zip, unzip, velcro, unvelcro, snap, unsnap, etc etc. Quick get a medic!

Always, always, always, the legs were too short. I'd even try bumping up a size, still too short and on top of that I would look like the "Stay Puff Marshmallow Man". I know we need hip protection but come on, can't we find something not so thick that will do the trick? Troubadour's riding pants don't have near the hip padding that my pants do, I think they were strategically designed to piss women off.

I tried mens pants, ladies pants, large sizes, smaller sizes. I even tried on some Cortech jeans. No luck.

Finally one day at Discount Motorcycle Parts in Eugene, (where else?) I spotted a pair of ladies First Gear HT Overpants 2.0. I especially liked that one zipper takes care of both the liner and exterior of the pants. Less fuss equals less frustration, which means that I would actually wear them. And lo and behold they were long enough. or... so it seemed in the store. I also liked that the velcro at the ankle was long enough I could really cinch them around my boots. (I have very small wrists and ankles so cuff size is usually a problem)

I have had the pants since last September and I must say they drive me nuts. I don't think I'd go so far as to say I hate them, but I really shutter putting them on each time we ride. One thing I did not consider in the store was maneuverability when on. I find it difficult to sling a leg over the bike as they feel so constrictive. Hard to bend at the knees because of the large padding. I have to pull up the leg before mounting the bike just to situate the knee padding. Then when on the bike riding pillion, I feel as though I can't move at all. They are confining at that point. Troubadour thought they might be a litle small but they are loose when just standing and I do kind of feel I look like the "Michelin Man" in them. We did try a larger size in the store but I swam in them.

The other gripe I have is that when on the bike they sometimes come up over the tops of my boots. Now that ticks me off. We thought clip on stirrup straps would help. Ummm no - that made things worse - couldn't move as much. Even on a short ride down to bike night they still come up over my boots and because I can't move I can't try to readjust and tug them down.

So I have decided that I shall continue my search and when I do find that elusive comfy pair that fits I shall try to sell this pair. I am sure there is someone out there that will be very happy with them, just not me. *sigh*

When I bought the pants we were in the car so I did not have my Cortech jacket with me. I have discovered that my jacket is very difficult to zipper over my pants. Maybe my hips are too wide. Maybe the jacket too small. No, the jacket can't be small it bunches in some spots. I did have someone point out to me when tugging my jacket down over my pants for the tenth time at a stop that my jacket is too short. Thanks Stacy, now I need a new jacket too. But I appreciate the advice, a new jacket may help matters. Now where did I put that money tree?

Troubadour is on the hunt for some mesh pants so we may head down to Eugene to our favorite motorcycle shop and see what we can find. You never know unless you go look. Happy Saturday to everyone.

-Au Revoir

"Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure."-Rachel Naomi Remen


  1. I wish I was more proportional b/c I try on a ton of pants and the ones that fit me around the waste are always to long form me. I think it's someone trying to tell me that I need to do some sit ups.

  2. I have seen jeans that are riding pants marketed in some motorcycle magazines. You wear them as the only layer but they are reinforced in strategic areas to provide more protection. I think they have a little padding too. You might check some of the magazines directed more towards Harley Davidson enthusiasts.

  3. Have I mentioned that I hate shopping? Troubadour managed to find a nice pair of Firstgear mesh pants on Saturday. Good for him. I on the other hand tried on two pairs of overpants and that was about all I could take before I started swearing. Oh wait, I was swearing. The second pair were Scorpions and said they were a size 12 (that is what my jeans are some 10's and some 12's) they wouldn't come up over my hips. Go figure. I have tried on one pair of Cortech jeans but they only had mens and they did not fit. The search continues. At least I know I'm not alone.

  4. I got the same issue like Rob...if they fit the waist, they are far too long or short at the legs or seam