Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to 3,000+ Reviews, Guides, & More

Getting The Right Fit In Riding Gear

Softail Standard

More than any other clothing, getting the right fit in your motorcycle gear is vital.

Over a long day in the saddle, badly fitting gear can cause irritation which could be a dangerous distraction.

Too tight in the crotch and you will be fidgeting, too loose and it will flap annoyingly at highway speed, etc.

Vear wet weather riding pants

That is why I strongly suggest buying your gear from a store where you can try it on first, rather than online.

The problem is that online gear is made for the people in the country of origin and, as we all know, people vary in shapes and sizes around the world.

Even the basic sizing systems — small, medium, large, extra large, etc — will be different.

In one example, a large jacket sent for review from a Pakistan online company was way too small for me.

Yet that same company makes a large jacket for a European motorcycle clothing company that fits me perfectly.

Motorcycle dealership sale accessories jeans helmets jackets clothing standard

That’s because the European company stipulates its sizing requirements, but when the Pakistan company makes its own designs, it uses local sizing.

I know of riders who tried on a jacket in a store and then ordered online from overseas because it is cheaper, only to find the jacket was substantially different in sizing and even features.

I’ve also run into this international sizing issue before when attending motorcycle launches overseas.

Sometimes the company likes to provide you with a jacket, helmet, gloves, etc as a “reward” for traveling to their launch. (Really, it’s payola to get you to say nice things about their product, but succumbing to such bribery is a pathway to a short career in this profession.)

Anyway, a lesson I have learnt is that European jackets are always too small, while American jackets are too big.

So I order a size up for European jackets and a size down for American.

However, that does still not mean they will fit you correctly.

Motorcycle dealership sale accessories jeans helmets jackets clothing standard warranty

You still need to try the jacket on to ensure the sleeves are long enough and that the jacket reaches your pants when you bend forward to the handlebars.

None of this is possible if you buy online, unless the online site has comprehensive measurement and sizing options and you strictly follow their guidelines on how to measure yourself.

Even if you do get the right sizing for a product online from a particular manufacturer, when you order a replacement item a few years later you are not guaranteed the correct fit.

And so far I have only mentioned the problem with sizing in jackets.

The same international sizing differences also occur with pants, helmets and gloves!

So, do the right thing by your local motorcycle dealership and try and buy locally.