Sunday, March 24, 2013

Too Pink or not Too Pink - women's motorcycle gear

The colour PINK  in the world of female motorcyclists can be a very loaded topic of discussion and can evoke quite visceral reactions of loathing and downright disgust when it is used in women's motorcycle gear.  I have had this discussion with other female motorcyclists and they either love it or hate it.
If I am wearing pink I prefer it to be a dark vibrant or hot pink, not the bubble gum baby pink that seems to make its way into women's motorcycle gear. Early on I did have a pale pink jacket at one point and liked it at that time, until I had a mishap with someone targeting me because of the pink coat, it clearly showed that I was a woman riding alone.   I chose that coat primarily because there wasn't a lot of choices available to me in style and colour at the time I was purchasing my gear.  It is very disappointing to go into a motorcycle shop that carries gear and see a huge men's selection of jackets, pants, gloves, helmets and boots and only 2 or 3 offerings of all that gear for women.  It's  not their fault either, it's the limited choices they are presented with right from the get go.  

I have heard an opinion expressed "Serious riders don't wear pink."  I don't happen to agree with that blanket statement and think that the colour of your gear or type of motorcycle you ride or style of riding you do does not take away from the seriousness of one's riding capabilities.  We aren't all cross country riders or adventure riders, dirt or supermoto, but that doesn't diminish our skills or the road craft a motorcyclist practices.  I know some very accomplished female  motorcyclists and pink is their trade mark colour and quite honestly they could ride the pants off of anyone and these women are very involved in motorcycling as a career path, lifestyle and hobby.  If you suggested that they weren't a serious motorcyclists you better have your key in hand & get moving on your bike or pray that you could run fast!

The problem of PINK is with the motorcycle industry, specifically gear manufacturers and their myopic view of what a female motorcyclist wants.

 *KNOCK - KNOCK* pay attention gear manufacturers.  Anytime a female motorcyclist is shopping for gear she finds  the colour and style choices to be marginal at best. The industry seems to have standard colours in which they feel comfortable working with; black, white, hi viz, silver, blue, sometimes red, pink or purple.  Pull out the colour wheel and be a little more dynamic, I get tired of the same old stuff. Fit and finish aren't always there either, because it is a cut down version of male gear or they aren't taking into account the shape of a woman's body and we do not all fit into one neat little package, some are more curvaceous and others petite and others tall. I particularly have a difficult time finding pants because I am vertically challenged and even with adjustable knee armor the kneepads are still too low and pants too long, very frustrating and discouraging.  This also applies to motorcycle accessories SERIOUSLY ENOUGH WITH THE SKULLS already,  it's overdone.

Personally in my everyday clothes, I wear various shades of pink and enjoy the colour, but my wardrobe has equally as many other colours of the rainbow. (For what is worth I feel a visceral revulsion to baby blue)

Too PINK or not too PINK? That is the question, so ladies how do you all feel about PINK?

Question for the gents do you have issues with gear?


Pam said...

Great post! I have a pink stripe on my jacket and I like it. I couldn't agree more with the poor choices we women have when it comes to motorcycle gear. With baby boomer women being the largest buying group out there you'd think they'd get a clue!

SonjaM said...

I have a pink scarf, does that count? I have never been a big fan of pink, purple or other girlish colors. Hi-Viz yellow or orange does it for me, but obviously not for fashion reasons.

Martha Tenney said...

I don't mind pink. Hot pink can be annoying sometimes. Soft pink can be pretty or grandma. It depends on who and what. But when pink is all there is? Or one of two choices? Offensive and pitiful. Where are the women designers? Someone needs to start up a very lucrative business...

Brenda said...

I'm a pink hater! On motorcycle gear anyway, why do they think that if they paint the skulls in pink then the girls will love it? I wear pink sometimes but sheesh I like variety and the pink just doesn't look right with all that black. I'd prefer a bit of white hi vis.

As far as fit goes, dont get me started, I cant put anything much in the handy breast or inside pockets of my jacket or it wont do up. But then I had a male rider visit recently and he told me all about how he had his jacket custom fit by a tailor cause he couldn't find one to fit him properly either. So maybe that's a problem for both genders?

Shybiker said...

Terrific subject for discussion. When I started riding, the choices of riding gear for women were even more limited than they are now, which is sad. Of course manufacturers resort to dumb, sexist ideas about what they believe women want -- and they're wrong. What women deserve is a wide range of styles and colors to choose among since women's tastes differ so much. I'm sure many female riders hate the stereotypical pink and they should have other stylish choices to wear.

Weird as this is, I wish I could wear pink gear in public but, alas, I cannot; that would cause a scandal. I love the pink/black leather outfit worn by the T-Mobile rider in the TV ads.

Deb said...

If a person wants to wear pink, female or male, I say "go for it!".

This whole business about pink or lavender for women in the world of motorcycling (and even bicycling) is just another way of "putting us in our place" as far as I am concerned. Anybody remember why the feminist movement came about in the 1970s? Duh.

Me? I have no problem with any of it as I just buy guy's jackets, gloves, etc. in the colors that I like. (Red, black, neon yellow/lime).

Works out as none of the womens' sizes fit my "plus size" body anyway!

Yes, I do agree, we women need more decent gear selections.

Zoe at Splodz Blogz said...

I completely agree.

I have no problem with the colour pink, and I have absolutely no problem with women (or men) who choose to wear it, but it's simply not for me and I can't stand that manufacturers seem to think pink is the only colour us women-folk want to wear. It's not just a motorcycle-gear problem, it's a problem everywhere. Give us some nice greens or purples please.

Oh and don't get me started on sizing. I don't have leathers, I'm too short and the wrong shape to buy off the shelf and I can't afford a bespoke set. Even my textiles are bunched up at the bottom. Ho hum.

Trobairitz said...

Chalk me up to a pink hater when it comes to riding gear. I'd rather wear mens gear that anything pink when riding.

I just hate that manufacturers think every woman wants pink and refuse - flat out refuse to ever buy any pink riding gear or have anything pink on my bike.

I don't begrudge any woman who wears pink since I don't think there is anything wrong with the color, but for me it isn't even an option.

And while we are at it, I wish the manufacturers would realize that some of us have long arms and legs. I usually have to buy a jacket too big for me just to get the long arms and linebacker shoulders to fit into them. Then they are to large around the middle and I can't cinch them enough. I even had to buy mens Rev'it pants because I couldn't find any ladies long enough.

I am sure this goes for the ladies needing a shorter sleeve and inseam too.

Sigh - end rant.

Trobairitz said...

Oh and I think you should wear pink gear in public Shybiker - scandal be damed!!

Dar said...

Pam, I love your riding coat, I think a little pink is lovely and goes a long way. I just hate that they stereotype us. I would love to see a vibrant green or burnt orange. I get tired of the low offerings to us.

Sonja - yup your pink scarf counts! I like hi viz, but have yet to find an orange jacket here I have only ever seen yellow and I think the I would prefer the orange. There is absolutely nothing fashionable about my riding gear, its all about protection for me.

Martha - I agree, where are the women designers? I did see a leather Alpinestars coat I like and it was cream and gold its the VIKA, but alas I don't have the $500 smackers to lay out for this little beauty.

Brenda - I hate the skull thing even more than pink. I just don't get this. I hear ya about the breast pocket in the jacket - totally useless except for credit/bank/driver's license cards. I think men have gear issues too, but not to the extent that we women motorcyclists/scooterists have.

Shybiker- Ally ROCK THE PINK!!! If you looked for hi viz pink that might be something to explore. Sweetie if others have a problem with you wearing pink - its their problem!!! Cause a scandal, I do on occasion when I ride my bike to church and wear all my gear and the ole bitties start whispering and I actually get a giggle from it. Last time a few came up and started asking me all kinds of a questions which was pretty cool and they told me I was brave because I rode.

Deb - it is funny about the pink though, you would think it would be coming from a guy, but the people who were having issues with women wearing pink were other women and comments were flying back and forth from a few women about pink is not for serious riders. I say pink smink! I hear you about the sizing thing too, I find it hard to find stuff to fit through the hip area. All the sizing seems skewed too a 10 isn't a 10 its more like a 7. Ugh I hate that. I just wish we had choice!

Zoe - Here here! I would love to see a beautiful vibrant green, orange and turquoise and other lovely saturated colours. I gave up on leathers quite awhile ago because I can't afford custom. If you need textile pants I found TourMaster Flex pants worked fabulous, I am undertall and these don't drag or bunch and I didn't have to hack off a foot. I think the manufacturers need to think beyond baby pink, baby blue and purple and get rocking the gear for us because we deserve better! Thanks for stopping by!

Trobairitz - I hear you about the sizing, I have issues because I am undertall, but I can't even imagine what you go through because of being taller. My kiddo has had some difficulty finding gear because she is tall. Ugh never gets easy. I agree with you about Shybiker wearing pink! He should go for it!

bob skoot said...


I have the Hi-Viz Olympia AST flourescent Orange riding jacket. It's too bright in the sun. I really wanted the Yellow/Green one but the orange was $100. cheaper as they were getting rid of them. I have received some positive comments lately about people wanting them but none are around.

I like Pink. I nearly have the complete pink ensemble. I just can't find Pink shorts and it looks funny browsing in ladies wear.

Riding the Wet Coast

VStar Lady said...

Dar, I could really care less what colour a rider chooses to wear as long as it stands out, my colour of choice is safety green. Until a whole lot more men start sporting pink I think it would be foolish of me to wear the colour, it would be like hauling around a flashing neon sign saying, "Female rider riding alone!" (my size alone does that enough already). Then most of the pink I've seen is leather and I also no longer wear leather - the clothes I choose are for protection, such as it is, and not for pretty. I've a discrete flash of burgundy pink on the Star's gas tank decal, that's enough for me.
Trobaritiz - my Rocket pants have adjustable leg lengths - they go down a further 6 inches (for me, they have to be snapped up to the shortest but at the longest they have about a 36" inseam - check them out, though I did like the extra pockets you had on yours.)

VStar Lady said...

Oh ... my lime green jacket is also a women's jacket (but Rocket is not the only manufacturer who makes a variety of women's jackets both high viz and various other dark colours, I have a black Rocket and a dark blue ladies Teknic which I used to wear in cooler temps, before the new Rocket with heavy quilted fourth layer. I think you need to check out a larger retail outlet.

polarbear said...

My wife is a girly girl and loves the pink gear. But that is just who she is. She passed her test last summer and recently purchased a Zuma 125 scooter that she can ride.. Shhhh.. Don't tell anyone but I enjoy riding it too.. But, then I am a sucker for any thing with wheels and a motor. What she would really like is an increase in the available womens gear that is isn't sized for Barbie.

Dar said...

Bob - I love your Olympia orange coat and wish I coud find one, I would much prefer that to the yellow, I am bored with it and I think it is gathering immunity and cars aren't seeing it anymore. Go for it in pink!

Karen - I had that one bad experience with pink while on the scooter and it kinda of coloured my feelings about (sorry about the pun) there is nothing pretty about my riding gear and even if it were pink I still look like a short oompa loompa in combat gear. I am getting tired of hi viz yellow too.

Polarbear - cool that your wife has a zuma! Great that she has gear that makes her happy. I want something in red and can't seem to seem to find what I am looking for I hate gear shopping, it's either too tight, too long in the sleeve, big in the shoulder and pants forget those nothing fits. Ugh I wish gear manufacturers would get it.

Rania Madanat said...

I hate Pink sis!

WooleyBugger said...

I'm guessing that the motorcloths industry and out of touch execs are clueless that so many women ride these days. "oh, they're women so if we just put pink on it they'll buy anything." This is the 50's and 60's mentality that had commecials geared at women for better laundry detergents, vaccum cleaners and so forth. Execs thought women planned their whole lives around mundane tasks.
There is a niche market for all you ladies to start your own motorcycle clothing company. Get your heads together and go for it and sell stock in it.

I don't have many issues finding gear I like but like you I do think the skull thing has been done to death.