by Lori B. for webBikeWorld
In all my years of riding and pillioning (a new word
I just made up!) on motorcycles, I don't think I've ever
seen a woman wearing full leathers and race equipment.
Not that it doesn't happen, because I have seen some
photos of women at track days who are dressed
appropriately. But it is very rare indeed.
You may have also noticed how often a motorcycle
passenger, often a woman, seems to wear even less
protective gear than the rider?
And around here,
even the motorcycle riders don't wear much, I can tell
you that! Even my 8th grade niece makes comments
about motorcycle riders wearing shorts and sneakers.
A couple of things come to mind regarding this.
First, I'm very pleased that many of the motorcycle
clothing manufacturers are finally making their products
available in women-specific sizes, rather than the
"unisex" sack suits of old. Thank you
Something else that's nice is that the manufacturers
also seem to have found real, live women to design the
clothing! This creates clothes that not only fit
but also look great -- well, as great as protective
motorcycle clothing can look, I suppose.
But there's still one problem that nags at the back
of my brain. The styling of women's motorcycle
clothing seems to take preference over function.
Which brings us back to the rarity of seeing women in
all-out race style gear -- I guess it's just too
bulky-looking, and who wants to buy something that
doesn't look good when it's being worn?
So we have a problem -- good looking women's
motorcycle gear that isn't as protective as it could be
(or should be). I, for one, would like to buy
heavier, more protective clothing. Most of the
women's clothing that's for sale seems to be designed
more for a woman passenger than a woman motorcycle
rider. The passenger's clothing apparently can be
made thinner and with less protection.
These Olympia 403 "Ladies Perforated Gel" gloves are
a good example. They're very comfortable and the
leather is butter-soft. They also look great and
they fit me perfectly. I can even wear them
horseback riding and no one knows the difference (in
fact, they're of much higher quality than most of the
women's riding gloves and cheaper too!).
But they're awful thin -- I just hope they will
protect me if I end up in a slide. Rick and the
rest of the crew are very safety conscious (I won't tell
them that with age has come the loss of their "no fear"
gene) and some of that has rubbed off on me. So
I've become a critic when it comes to safety features.
The Olympia gloves have no knuckle protectors; no
extra thick leather pads on the sides or thumb; and
Olympia says that the threads are Nylon. I'm not
sure if that's a plus or a minus!
But they do look like they're worth way more than
their $39.95 list price. The stitching around the
fingers and on the palm is perfect, although it's only
one very tiny stitch thick.
The Olympia 403 gloves are perforated on the back
side and they flow lots of air through to keep my hands
cool. Olympia says that the perforations are
"micro computer generated", and I'll guess that that
means they're laid out on a computer and cut with a
laser beam or something to keep them accurate and to
help prevent them from tearing.
The palms have the Olympia gel padding that is the
type used on many different styles of both men and
women's Olympia gloves. The gel is sewn in to the
palm and it's very thin, but it does add some extra
cushioning when I'm riding instead of pillioning.
The gloves have a nice Velcro strap along the back of
the hand to keep them from coming off. I also like
that there are no metal pieces or studs anywhere.
I do have a pair of Held women's gloves that are styled
after a pair of men's racing gloves. I bought my
pair in Germany a few years ago when Held gloves were
still made in that country. But it looks like Held
no longer makes their racing gloves in women specific
sizes like mine.
Until I find a more "heavy duty" pair, the Olympia
perforated gloves at least make a nice substitute for
riding in hot weather. They are very comfortable
and the leather is some of the softest I've ever felt.
I just hope they will protect my hands if I crash!
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
Review: Olympia Gloves - 403 Perforated
Retail Price: $39.95
|Colors: Black only.
Comments: Sizes available are S, M and L.