Lara Platman went reporting for Wheels for Women at the annual Motorcycle Live show at the NEC Birmingham, where she found bargains, stunning bikes and a whole lot of bikes to try.
As a new rider I am particularly keen to ‘sit on’ bikes to see if my feet are comfortable on the floor at standstill, to establish their weight ratio, and to see if I will feel confident enough to ride it. Also, as female I would like to have gear that is suited and designed specifically for my figure rather than walking around like a protected tent.
My first stop was to take a look at some new bikes, that on arrival of each, made me realise I am attracted to the retro, classic look. I know what I like and that’s for sure. I was able to sit on them with comfort and really eager now to go and try them, which you can do at this show.
The Triumph Street Twin
The Triumph Street Cup
The Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle
The Norton Atlas Nomad and Rangers got my vote for sure.
I was lucky enough to be at the global reveal of the Norton Atlas Ranger and Nomad, where Norton CEO Stuart Garner spoke to Steve Plater (former Road Racer, British SuperSport & Superbike Champion) I sat beside the cameramen and realised although I had a ringside seat I couldn’t hear a word of the interview as only their microphones picked up their voices. You can see and listen here to the full interview with Stuart and Steve.
Off then I went to look for riding gear and in particular jeans and waterproofs. I found Moto Girl who, have a range of protected jeans and have a brand new – launched for this show – waterproof coverall set, with reflective strips on the arms that truly shine with headlights. Fitted for the woman’s body, these rainproof sets look pretty dam decent and will allow you to ride in the rain with great visibility to other drivers. Motor Girl also make a range of leggings and jeans that protect you for motorcycle wear. A company owned by women who have a team of women testing their garments so you know you are going to get that perfect fit.
Resurgence are a brand that I am falling I love with, making a range of protective motorcycle jeans, using Pekev as their protective cloth woven with the denim. CE protected of course with the D30 armour, they have an untreated denim in their range which I adore, makes me remember walking into Levis years ago and having to lay on the floor of the shop to pull on the raw denim… luckily Resurgence have a distinctive look about their ladies wear and I can’t wait to try on a pair or two. They have also just released a set of Dungarees… protected motorcycle dungarees!
Finally on my walk to find women’s motorcycle clothing I had to stop by Knox, who have a flurry of products I want to wear as every day clothes let alone on my bike. I already own the Knox Armour shirt, something I utterly adore. It allows me to wear a normal jacket on the bike and take the armoured shirt off when I get to my destination. It also makes me feel more protected as the armoured shirt hugs your arms for example, and my leather jacket with armour did not hug my elbows as much, I like the idea of closer is safer. I also own a pair of Brooke jeans. Knox Brooke jeans for women combine Cordura ® denim and reinforced with a Spectra ® lining for maximum abrasion resistance. Spectra is stronger than steel and 40% stronger than aramid fibre like Kevlar. I particularly love the fact I can get to my destination and unzip my knees to take out the armour (and pop to the ladies to take out my hip armour too). Knox make some stunning motorcycle gear specifically looking good in the city, where you want to look elegant, and their subtle jeans, under armour and minimal design is a definitely worth a visit to their stand.
Norton along with many motorbike brands make a range of clothing for ladies to enjoy – to accompany their protective gear and the walk around the show was a joy to see so many companies realising women like look good and not have a man’s outfit in an extra small!
I loved trying on helmets at the Arai stand, learning about the different shapes and inserts, their uses and the quality in their protection.
The Motorcycle Live show is on each year for a long week, so you get a chance to see bikes & find merchandise. There are test zones for adventure bikes and road bikes, children’s riding areas and interviews with celebrity riders and presenters including riders such as Maria Costello MBE, the first woman to gain a podium round the IOM TT, and has a Guinness world record, to name but a couple of her amazing achievements.
What a great selection of motorcycle gear at the show this year specifically for women. It is certainly a fact that men and women like different things in clothing styles and the motorcycle clothing manufacturers have certainly cottoned on to this. Protection is one thing and style is certainly another!