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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









Protective Riding Apparel for Female Motorcyclists, Including Full-Figured Women

Raven Rova and SportBike Chic, two women-owned makers filling the void for curvy bikers

By Tricia Szulewski, Editor
6/12/2020

protective apparel for women lashundra rucker
LaShundra Rucker was frustrated at the lack of offerings for full-figured women riders who wanted good safety gear. So in 2016, she founded SportBike Chic to fill that void.

Riders come in all shapes and sizes—especially women motorcyclists! Curvy here, flat over there, high waisted, low waisted, inseam challenged, long in the torso … the list of issues that perplex the industry of makers of women’s motorcycle clothing is long. So many women don’t fit a one-size-fits-all off-the-rack mold.

But one thing applies to all ladies—they want to be protected while riding their motorcycles in gear that looks good and fits well. We received a lot of great feedback from our recent story about women-owned motorcycle apparel makers, notably about the clear void for women who need larger sizes. So we went looking and found two more women-owned apparel makers. This article highlights some of their protective clothing options for curvy women. We also took the opportunity to chat with these two vibrant entrepreneurs. Scroll down to read the highlights in a special WRN Q&A section below. Then be sure to visit each company’s website to see the other cool products they offer ... you might be surprised!


Raven Rova

Karleen Eberle started her company, Raven Rova, when she couldn’t find gear that fit her curves, looked good, and offered protection to the level she demanded. She found that many other women were saying the same things, like, "I can't find anything that fits my thighs/butt/curves," and "I don't want to look like a dude!"

protective riding apparel for women raven rova falcon adventure pants and jacket
Raven Rova’s best seller of its crowdfunding campaign is the Falcon textile and leather adventure pants, offered from sizes 6 all the way up to 22. Both the Falcon jacket and pants cost just $251 each—a bargain for the functionality these pieces offer!

The highly functional, good looking Falcon adventure pants are made from water-resistant 600 Denier Cordura, feature leather panels for extra abrasion-resistance, and come with CE-1 armor in the knees and pockets for armor in the hips.

Women want comfort and the Falcon pants have it! Designed with stretch panels in the knees, waist, and inner thigh, these pants offer flexibility which translates into comfort. Riders will keep cool with zippered vents, perforated leather panels, and air flow athletic mesh lining.

protective riding apparel for women falcon stretch panels
Whether it’s to get in a tight tuck on your motorcycle or to stretch out, the Falcon’s stretch panels allow free movement in the saddle without restriction.

 

protective apparel for women falcon cargo pocket
Each leg gets a large cargo pocket with snaps and one zippered pocket.

Other great features of the Falcon pants include adjustable waistband tabs with Velcro, YKK metal zippers, boot zippers, and lots of storage. Riders who worry about low hot pipes will appreciate the leather “anti-melt” panels on the inner shins that wrap around to the back of the leg.

protective women's apparel raven rova falcon silver textile
The Falcon Silver Textile jacket (shown here) is offered in sizes 8 to 18 and has many of the same features as the matching pants. Stretch panels, removable CE armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back, and a detachable quilted liner make this jacket a steal at just $251.

If the white Falcon adventure pants aren’t your style, perhaps Raven Rova’s stretchy black textile “Raven” pants will suit your taste. These are stylish, flattering, and comfortable with high-tech protection. Again, the material is 600 Denier Cordura with 3 percent elastane added for that comfy stretch without sacrificing durability.

Like the Falcon pants, the Raven features removable CE knee armor, pockets for hip armor, YKK metal zippers, boot zippers, zippered vents, adjustable “stretch function panel” waist tabs, heat resistant inner leg panels, and pockets. A waterproof-lined membrane keeps water out.

protective apparel for women raven rova black pants
The Raven pants are designed for maximum mobility. Accordion stretch panels above the knee, at the waist band, and lower back offer great flexibility.

protective apparel for women raven rova air vents pant
Karleen engineered these triangular high flow air vents with zippers and snaps to keep them open or shut. Plus, the knee armor is accessible from the vent for quick adjustments.

The Raven pants cost $259, and come in sizes 6 to 20. Check out Raven Rova’s website to see the Raven leather jacket, which retails for $510.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Raven Rova’s Phoenix blood red leather motorcycle jacket. Powerful and protective, if you want a stylish piece of gear that really stands out, this jacket is worth a look. Kathleen experienced a three-car length slide in this jacket during a hit and run. She stood up and simply walked away.

protective apparel for women raven rova phoenix red jacket
The beautiful leather Phoenix gets a semi-aniline finish, which is a coating that protects it from wear and staining. Keprotech DuPont Kevlar stretch panels offer comfort and the best level of protection.

protective apparel for women raven rova phoenix jacket armor
The Phoenix jacket comes with CE level 1 armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back.

Available in sizes 8 to 18, the Phoenix jacket features an athletic mesh lining, YKK metal zippers, zippered pockets, vents, and a removable quilted liner. The jacket retails for $518, while the matching leather Phoenix pants go for $403 and come in sizes 6 to 20.

Raven Rova pants and jackets all come with zippered connections and are interchangeable with each other. Not all styles are yet in production but custom orders are welcome. Please visit RavenRova.com to see more, and feel free to contact Karleen with your questions and queries.


SportBike Chic

WRN readers may recall seeing SportBike Chic products and meeting its founder, LaShundra Rucker, when we awarded her Charlotte Motorcycle Tank Purse as women’s favorite must-have tool or gadget at the 2019 AIMExpo. In addition to the unique and stylish purse that uses magnets to adhere to a metal motorcycle tank, SportBike Chic offers protective jeans, shirts, and hoodies sized to fit a variety of women’s shapes and sizes.

“When I needed protective motorcycle gear, specifically jeans, I couldn’t help but notice there were few options available in my size,” she says. “When I didn’t want to wear regular jeans that exposed too much when I leaned over, the SV version of SportBike Chic jeans was developed. These have the extra lip in the rear to prevent that unwanted exposure, but they are soft and comfortable to wear.”

LaShundra continues, “Essentially, my needs are the needs of a lot of women riders, regardless of the type of motorcycle they ride. Safety gear that fits tends to be indiscriminate of the type of bike you ride."

SportBike Chic’s protective riding jeans look and feel like regular jeans and include CE Level 1 armor. Made with thick but comfortable 11.5 ounce cotton with spandex, the mid-rise skinny jeans have a soft and durable outer shell and incorporate abrasion-resistant DuPont Kevlar lining.

protective apparel for women sportbike chic jeans
SportBike Chic’s mid-rise skinny jeans come in sizes 0-20 and retail for $117.58.

protective apparel for women sportbike chic jeans waist
An extra lip of material in the back of the jeans protects riders against unwanted exposure.

protective apparel for women sportbike chic lashundra
In addition to SportBike Chic jeans, LaShundra developed several different armored shirts, including the Armored Hoodie she is wearing here.

LaShundra adds, “Women are most concerned about the way things fit. We want to be as safe as men when we ride and don’t want to sacrifice style all the time either. While we don’t need forgiveness for our curves, we do need it for our apparel to best accentuate our curves. We can all go grab a regular pair of non-protective jeans and ride in them. Many of our female customers have told me they can only find motorcycle gear that fits by shopping in the men’s section. That, for me, is a problem that requires attention.”

SportBike Chic’s Armored Hoodies (available with and without the hood) are thick and super-soft 100 percent cotton. These hoodies also include CE Level 1 removable armor and DuPont Kevlar.

protective apparel for women sportbike chic armored hoodie
You can see how comfy-cozy the pink non-hooded sweatshirt is. LaShundra (who is modeling it here) says, “These luxurious-feeling hoodies will quickly become your favorite sweatshirt and your first choice when riding.” lt’s also available in black.

protective apparel for women sportbike chic lashundra pink sweatshirt
Sportbike Chic hoodies, sweatshirts, and armored shirts include removable CE Level 1 armor to protect your shoulders, elbows, forearms, and back.

 

protective apparel for women sportbike chic black hoodie
The Armored Hoodie comes only in black and both hooded and hoodless zip-up sweatshirts are offered in sizes small to 3XL and retail for $94.48.

 


Q&A with SportBike Chic’s LaShundra Rucker and Raven Rova’s Karleen Eberle

WRN: Please tell us a little about your women’s motorcycle apparel company.

LR: I started SportBike Chic in August 2016. While I have no direct employees, I utilize a team of remote resources to give the support provided to bring our products to life and get them where they’re needed. Our protective gear is made in Pakistan. I often use words like “we” and “ours” because I couldn’t begin to say that I do all that’s required to bring these products to life and get them in front of the people who need them. I rely heavily on a number of global assets from manufacturers’ graphic artists to social media coordinators, consultants, and designers to expand my reach and give me “extra arms.”

KE: The concept for Raven Rova began in 2013, and Raven Rova officially launched in August 2019 with a crowdfunding campaign. My husband, a motorcyclist and software engineer, is my business partner. My production team is in Pakistan and has been making motorcycle gear for more than 30 years.

WRN: What is your background?

LR: I started riding motorcycles in 2008 when I woke up one morning and went out and bought a motorcycle out of nowhere. I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training about five years prior to getting my first motorcycle, but I had to watch YouTube videos to remember how to start it. I then went from telling myself that I would only ride on backroads to taking my Yamaha R1 on long distance trips, completing an Iron Butt challenge, doing charity rides, random beach runs, and just hanging out on two wheels.

I can’t help but laugh a little at where I am now because my background has absolutely nothing to do with fashion. SportBike Chic is purely a labor of love and a desire to provide women motorcyclists with more options for gear to have a better riding experience.

KE: I graduated with a degree in fashion design from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and have been specializing in couture clothing for women of all sizes for more than 10 years. Prior to Raven Rova, I was doing freelance design work while taking business courses. I also had an eight-year career in the tech industry. Through all of this, I have been a two-wheel commuter.

Couture clothing is a very small market. I think you'd be surprised at how much a leather motorcycle jacket and a silk bridal gown have in common. The level of detail and quality translates directly. So Raven Rova felt very organic to me.

I grew up on a farm, so I have always had the "feminine" side and the "tomboy" side—the feminine side always wins!

WRN: What kind of riders are drawn to your gear?

LR: Women who ride and have things to do are drawn to our gear. The women who look for gear like ours are the women who are looking for functionality and transitional, yet protective clothing. Our transitional “SV” jeans and hoodies don’t necessarily look like they’re for riding motorcycles. That was the intent. You wouldn’t realize our jeans were protective unless someone told you or you turned them inside out to see the protective lining.

We have sportbike riders and cruiser women who want to ride, but maybe go to a biker hangout spot. Those same jeans can be worn to work where you may pair them up with a nice blazer and heels.

KE: I'm still learning about this. Currently, I've got a nice blend of gear that works with a variety of riders. Dual-sport riders really love our Falcon pants—they won our crowdfunding campaign. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of interest in the Raven pants. They are very versatile pants. The Phoenix red leathers are track ready and got a lot of attention at the last show I did. The craftsmanship and striking color is hard to miss! Everyone compliments the Phoenix jacket; men, women, all styles of riders. Personally, I love riding my supermoto (a dual-sport motorcycle with sport tires) all over while wearing and testing all the styles.

WRN: If you could sum up your business philosophy in one or two sentences, what would it be?

LR: I want to fill the need with quality products that I'd want to wear and make it as easy as possible to get the right products to the people who need them.

KE: My mission is to empower women through fashion. I refuse to compromise safety for style.

WRN: Where do you see your business headed?

LR: SportBike Chic’s development has always been based on the need and feedback of women riders. That is the direction we will continue to travel. We have new products that will be introduced soon based on that feedback and that "need." There is the desire to grow bigger and better each year. I want to see SportBike Chic become the go-to brand for women’s motorcycle gear, including plus-sized women who have been severely neglected in the fashion industry overall for many years.

KE: Honestly, at this point I just want my production team and customers to be safe and come out of quarantine. The money we raised from our late 2019 crowdfunding campaign was enough to start production, but I was in an accident three days after starting the campaign, which caused a major delay. Then, at the end of March this global pandemic threw us a curve ball and another delay. So, the first step is to fulfill the orders to my patient customers who are waiting for their gear. I am still receiving new orders, too—and floored by the support! Then I can think about what gear to design next. We'll have some merchandise like graphic T-shirts and hats coming in 2020.

WRN: Do you make any alterations or special adjustments on request?

LR: Yes. While my current focus is on flagship products like our “SV” motorcycle riding jeans and Tank Purse collection, we are able to customize jackets and hoodies to include the logos for clubs. Of course, if there are specific size requirements that we need to investigate to bring to the market or an individual, we’re open. It’s just a conversation that I am more than willing to have.

KE: Our gear has adjustable fitting devices to minimize this need and fit a wide range of bodies. Something like shortening a leg hem is something your local tailor can handle. Please support those mom and pop shops! (I was in that business for a long time.)

I do add sizes based on demand; I did this during the crowdfunding campaign to include size 20 and 22 pants. I'm always gathering data to make the fit better. So, if you are a unique size or have questions, please send me an email.

WRN: Where can women find SportBike Chic/Raven Rova gear?

LR: You can find our products at SportBikeChic.com, Cycle Max in Wilson, North Carolina, and Team Charlotte Motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina. We also have some things available on Amazon and eBay. Our return policy is 30 days full refund for unworn items with tags still attached.

KE: You can order Raven Rova gear at RavenRova.com. Returns are valid 30 days from delivery. (Currently, all orders are delayed due to global pandemic. ETA is still 6 to 8 weeks at this point.)

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Women's Favorite Riding Gear, Products, and Accessories
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