Do female ADV riders really need special gear names and colours?


So, we see in this video some KLIM dirt bike apparel in the making, there is supposed to be an ADV line coming out in March 2014 as well.  Cheryl and I feel like we have been waiting a long time to see KLIM’s female gear and what exactly have they come up with for the gals out there to wear.  I have said all along that I was confused as to why the R&D of this line has taken so long…

My confusion stems from just reading what grrls want online…many have simply said keep the gear as is but add female sizing.  It seems KLIM feels as though they need to develop a very specific female line with what I would call more feminine names for the gear??? Like Savanna Series?  I like the name Badlands, Overland etc.  Do we women really need our own special names to feel more feminine?  Special feminine colours? 

I agree fit is so important when it comes to gear.  In our case we wear a size too large in KLIM to fit our girly shapes.  But, we don’t feel we need for special colours.  I sort of wished KLIM released a trial run of the male version of the Overland in female sizing to see if the concept would appeal to the ADV female rider.  Probably would have sold, the gear would be out all ready with many of us doing their advertising for them. ;-)

Grrls need the same material as the guys, same protection as the guys, same waterproofness as guys and same amount of choices as the guys. 

So, we wait still until March comes around.  I don’t think I will hold my breath though and this is not meant to sound snotty.  It’s fact…perhaps the dirt bike gear will come out first and then ADV Gore Tex next?  It’s getting time for us to get into some new gear that is H20 proof outside in that fits.  My Traverse is pretty baggy but I am still not able to size down because of my shape. 

If the KLIM reveal in March is not as complete as we hope for the female riders out there we will have to look else where but I am excited to see the R&D conclusion after the surveys that went out.

Any thoughts out there from the ADV world?

10 thoughts on “Do female ADV riders really need special gear names and colours?

  1. Over the last two years, my husband and I have been diligent in asking KLIM for short lengths in men’s gear. We are both inseam-challenged, at 28 and 31 inches (me and him, respectively). When I first heard that KLIM was thinking about making a women’s line, I was ecstatic, assuming that “women’s gear” meant “will fit women”. When I actually *saw* the protoypes of KLIM’s women’s gear online, I was crestfallen. Why do I need pink reflective stripes to ride forest roads? And why, for goodness’ sake, wouldn’t they make women’s gear in lengths that fit actual women?

    My husband’s most recent inquiry re: short gear went exactly like this:

    GLEN: I’m looking for adventure motorcycle gear(pants and jacket ) in short sizes. I’m 5’8″ 215lbs 38-40 waist, 31″ inseam. What’s available ?

    KLIM: Thank you for contacting KLIM! we do not make any motorcycle gear that comes in a short size. We only have regular and tall sizes in the pants. We are so sorry. We are also unable to do any alterations to our adventure motorcycle gear because of the way it is made. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Regards,

    Derek Evans | Customer Service Professional
    ____________________________________

    Ludicrous. For two years we have inquired; for two years this is the best, most courteous answer we’ve been given.

    “We are so sorry.” No, in fact they’re not. I guess they’ll only be sorry when they launch this line and find out that ADV grrls are not all 5’9″ and 120 pounds.

    In the meantime, I hope other manufacturers are watching, and tooling up to fill the very conspicuous void KLIM is ignoring.

    Elsa (“Scout” of CajunAndScout)

    • It’s frustrating to hear reports like this about Klim. They have had so much input from the female rider world and to hear their new line still falls short? No pun intended is sad. The R&D department seems to have not listened to the women who they surveyed. BMW has the GS dry suit, still have not seen it in person yet.

      Come spring I will check it out for size and quality. Those who own the GS dry suit seem to love it. Sorry to hear Klim sent you guys a stock answer with no resolution.

  2. You are absolutely right!! I am inseam challenged in having a 34 inch inseam, and that is equally hard to find in female clothing! It might be easy enough to tailor fabric and make it shorter but there is NO way to lengthen anything really.

    I don’t care for pink stripes either, but I did notice that women’s clothes are often thinner fabric. WTH……..we are riding in the SAME weather.

  3. Klim was born into the snowmobile wear business. If you look at that line there is a good variety of product for both men and women in different styles along with colour choices. Colour really does not matter but just don’t take men’s gear and add a pink stripe and call it women’s. I think that there has been a bit of a lag due to them being taken over by Polaris last year. I take them at their word that they will have a new line out for March and will wait until then, but if they don’t deliver it is goodbye

  4. Hmm this is a difficult one and treading into potentially sensitive territory…

    Canada tends to have somewhat comparable stats for demographics as the UK and one of the insurers here has set up a website tapping into the stats of people registering motorbikes which you may find interesting – http://www.thebikeinsurer.co.uk/motorbike-insight-tool/results/?manufacturer=all&region=1&yr=2013

    Filtering the results to show stats for various adventure bikes indicates less than 10% are run by women. At the end of the day it’s a matter of economies of scale… The unfortunate reality is that the gear manufacturers are looking to make a profit and due to the differences in body shape between men and women, as you’ve found, most manufacturers seem to devote a similar proportion of development (ie 10%) into women’s gear, or they don’t offer it at all.

    I’m not surprised by the form-letter response from Klim – manufactures don’t want to be seen or come across as sexist so their PR departments craft a selection of innocuous responses for potentially sensitive issues. They’re not fooling anyone.

    Based on my own observations, the women I know who ride motorbikes fall into two camps – about half want to ensure no one in traffic could ever mistake them for anything other than female (for example, a colleague at work rides a baby-pink Vespa) and buy up the pink gear in spades… the other half, like yourselves, prefer function that actually fits properly in neutral or unisex colours. This may go some way to explain the overindulgence in what some may consider ‘feminine’ colours in the marketplace.

    BMW do well in this area – I think I’ve mentioned this at some point in the past – virtually all their motorcycling gear is either unisex, or comes in men’s and women’s sizes/cuts (same colours/fabrics for both genders)… Stephanie Rowe who did the European leg of the R1200GS launch wore the new version of the Rallye gear which is unisex but the design of the garment allows adjustment to fit the contours of both men and women despite it not having individual men’s and women’s versions. I can vouch for the Rallye gear, it is definitely fit for task. http://showroom.bmw-motorrad.com/Textile-Suits/cbkMKgMkqlxlEAAAE0tNJtTecS-UXCOM-WFS-en_US-EUR

    Icon also has a more-generous-than-most range of women’s gear because they actively encourage women to wear their gear, as evidenced by their team of riders (several of whom are female). But they tend to go the pink and purple route, and none of their adventure gear comes in women’s sizes – http://www.rideicon.com/products/?categoryId=2226

    I think the only way this will change moving forward is by getting more women on motorbikes and increasing the marketplace for women’s gear…

    • more women are on bikes but maybe not the ADV type just yet. You see more and more women every year on HD big bikes. More and more HD gear for those women who feel the need for pink and those who want the traditional HD colours. If I were in the R&D department especially at KLIM I would have not reinvented the wheel…i would have assumed we ADV riders would buy from them because we have learned to trust their gear and would buy the same exact design as the guys with better sizing. They have never trialed any of their existing gear that way.

      • It’s interesting that Klim started to do work by collecting information but nothing has come to fruition… unless there are more items in the works? I understand why you are enamoured with their gear, it is top of the range. Perhaps they require more encouragement to even simply go the route of multi-adjustable clothing (cinch lines, adjustable regions etc) to enable their gear to be reshaped out of the box for wider range of body shapes (like what BMW do for their unisex gear)… these changes wouldn’t require ground-up redesigns of their products, I wouldn’t imagine…

        Perhaps some of the heavyweights in the ADV industry need to be lobbied, Touratech and Wunderlich, for example, often feature women and couples in their ride reports and have a bit of clout…

        I do understand your dilemma, however, but from a slightly different perspective—I find it difficult to find clothes that fit me properly because the Viking blood somewhere up my family tree gives me (and most of my mum’s side of the family) annoyingly wide shoulders… something I’ve managed to accommodate by procuring clothes from shops which cater to African body shapes…

  5. Ladies, I totally agree! I do not need pink ANYthing…I too ride an adventure bike, a 1200GS, and I would love to try Klim gear, but have tired of wearing men’s gear that doesn’t fit. I am currently wearing a Firstgear Kili women’s winter jacket, which is fully waterproof (no liners, my pet peeve as well). We live in the south, thus the reference to winter/summer gear. My winter pants are Firstgear women’s also and fully waterproof. For the summer, my mesh gear is women’s specific, RevIT jacket and Firstgear pants.

    I have not gone to the BMW women’s line because so many of the pieces require those pesky liners. i have admired Klim, but want it to fit, for that kind of expense! Looking forward to see what they come out with. More and more companies are putting out new adventure gear, but missing the boat on liners and leaving out women!

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