We did a report on some amazingly priced adventure gear. The list consisted of most everything a person would need to start Adventure Riding if all they owned were boots, a helmet and a motorcycle. It was a very serious study that offers access to the whole package— riding gear, tent, sleeping gear, full soft luggage, cooking stove/ pans/ supplies, first aid, knife, etc.etc.— at a price that I assure you is HALF or less your lowest possible guess. Try me on that one if you don’t believe me....
Our list came from a long time of deep study and direct experience. On our last tour we had to outfit our whole family for full on … full time… adventure touring. 16 months on the road requires… It requires a..... it…You know what... thats actually an entire other topic and tale in and of itself—so, suffice it to say, one needs to be equipped and know one’s gear well. Facing that fact, it was quite the task to affordably outfit our little moto army adequately without breaking the bank. In that process we learned a great deal about finding diamonds in the rough. There is good gear out there. It just takes time in the trench to sort it from
garbage. Hence sharing our list. If we could spare anyone that hellish process we are all about it.
Speaking of garbage and diamonds in the rough and trenches and adequately, affordably outfitting armies… we have made an alarming discovery here of late. In our last tour’s prep we were very fortunate and didn’t even realize it. Bonnie and Josie found riding pants and jackets in a jiffy. Granted they weren’t the mega deals of the sort in our last post but they were fairly priced and served our purpose well.
In an effort to make the gear list post useful to everyone I tried to include women’s riding gear also. The main requirement for that list being affordability without sacrificing acceptable quality. At length. here was my conclusion statement:
WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL IS GOING ON WITH WOMEN’S ADVENTURE GEAR?
This clearly wasn’t a conclusion but that’s where I had to leave it and go ahead with submit the report. The posted list still has an entire near kit for ADV that is unisex of course but it doesn’t include women’s riding gear. The availability of affordable riding gear for women is limited to the higher end or at least, non-budget limited buyers. Beyond that… it’s all either trash or cutesy / sexy-intending trash. And that got me to thinking and making some broader observations…
I’ll get to that in just a sec. I want to officially state this first: I am not intending to incite riots, cause gender equality debates, crush the misogynistic mansplaining regime, nor witch hunt the feministic overlord ladies of Mordor. We all have to keep sight of the fact that we are brothers and sisters and be thankful that our views hold differences. It’s in those differences that we can learn and grow and have exciting communication that can truly have an effect in supporting one or the others opinion or belief. Beating our heads against one another screaming ‘you are wrong and evil for it’ simply crushes all hope of any of that beautiful, life-giving diversity to meet and seed into something great down the line… not to mention, the toweringly polarizing disservice to the opinions and beliefs themselves… caused by the person screaming bloody murder in ‘support’ of them.
Back on point… some broader observations…
I dug a little deeper across most all ‘uni-sex’ outdoor sports, for lack of a better term. Hunting, hiking, rock climbing etc. And while there are many examples of great products that do not fall under this category of ‘trash or cutesy / sexy-intending-trash’ …I can’t help but notice the WILD ratio disparities.
A lady said to me yesterday that women comprise 30% of the Adventure Riding community. I had thought it closer to 20% based on what I’ve read but I make no claim on that nor that she is wrong. But I will claim this: You can go on Amazon for example and type in Women Adventure Riding Gear. You’ll find the available products to be well down into the single digit percentage and nearly zero % of it falls in the ‘affordability’ column. And furthermore 0% of it falls in the ‘Affordability’ Adventure column.
Before we get all fired up though…. Who’s fault is it? It’s not mine. It’s not yours. It’s not women’s. But the stretch is this… It’s not the manufacturers fault either. Hear me out: They are not required to serve any market any more than you or I are required to do what we do for a living for someone or some task that is outside of our common procedures and wheel house. I think it sucks that they don’t mind this dynamic better but I can’t hold them accountable to the fact that there is a gap. HOWEVER… they are the ones who CAN fill it. And the way to get them to fill it is to reach out to them. Speak to them. Write a letter. Develop a group of kind well intending people who purpose to make a difference in the gap. Approach them with the understanding that of course they wouldn’t be necessarily leaning towards equal product availability in the manufacturing of goods that have been for a male dominated sport for 70 years.
About women on motorcycles and especially adventure motorcycles… the fact is this… it’s new in the bigger picture. Women have always ridden but I’m talking about from a corporate decision standpoint. If we mowed lawns for a living and a certain kind of mower were required for a certain type of lawn.. and in our neighborhood of 5 out of 100 lawns were that type… we probably wouldn’t have that mower— nor would we try to serve those 5 neighbors lawn needs otherwise. That doesn’t make us evil or inconsiderate.
It just is what it is. BUT… that’s changed now. The % is up. Way up, and I think it’s time to say something about it. And like I always say… there is no they. ‘THEY’ aren’t going to write a manufacturer a letter. They just aren’t…. Unless YOU do… because YOU are they. Communications don’t have to find there way to some golden castle way on high where a lord couriers it to a stern king or queen. Nah man, its just some person sitting in their office… just like us. They’ll listen even if we never hear back from them. Thats how a ship turns 180 degrees… a wee bit at a time.
In closing there is ONE factor that IS their fault for sure...
And albeit their fault, note that coming down on them heavy will do nothing good. Never does. The fault is this and it has to change: I get that some women love this as is the same with we men...we each have tastes and I don’t fault a single one of them… but… the manufacturers have got to consider that not all women want there gear to look like someone dragged it through a Victoria secret store and then let it simmer in a flower shop. Or in some case just let it simmer in Victoria Secrets OR the flower shop exclusively.
HEAR ME CLEARLY… If looking pink, sexy, flowery, paisley-ey, purply is what you like…AWESOME for you and I pray you rock it and feel wonderful about it and it achieves any other intention you have for it including increased visibility for safety. That is awesome and I’m certain it works for you. But for some it conflicts with THEIR style interest and many other reasons and intentions I’m sure that are all their own. Those women have to either suck it up and wear gear they don’t get to rock and feel wonderful about OR where mens gear tight where it should be loose and vice versa.
That all being said, again… no one is wrong or at fault beyond the manufacturers not identifying that some women want something they don’t offer but COULD very easily. The same machines that make the existing more flashy gear don’t care what the fabric looks like. That’s all I am saying. I’ve heard that enough times now that, also after doing my own research, I finally realize there is definitely a reasonable cause for riders to give manufacturers of modern day motorcycle gear a little heads to get with the times.
As soon as they get the memo you can bet we will have a bead on it for you to have quick, researched and thorough access to the ‘diamonds in the rough’ of them as they find their way to the marketplace.
While there is yet to be the mega deal adventure pants and jacket for women on the list be sure to check out the rest of these deals. Astounding prices on full ADV package...
STORY MOTO OUT,
Bonnie & Billy J
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