Finally, a leather suit designed for ladies

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24 million people in the US rode a motorcycle last year. Want to take bets on how many did so in full leathers? Yeah, a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of that total. But why would the vast majority of riders risk their lives and comfort by skipping protection? They either don’t like the way it looks or don’t understand its benefits. That’s where this new Vika suit by Alpinestars comes in. It seeks to sell women on wearing it not through tribal roses or pink dye, but through a cut, fit and style specifically designed to help them look good on and off the bike, while bringing a significant level of safety too.

A while back, Ashlee wrote about her textile Scorpion two-piece. Great suit, versatile performance, but she’s a pretty lady and it makes her look like Rosie O’Donnell when she puts it on. If she wasn’t exposed to such a strong safety message through Sean and I, she probably wouldn’t wear it.

Same problem with her various leather suits. She now rides in an Alpinestars/Icon/cowboy boot mix, in search of something that won’t make her look like an MMA fighter.

But the Vika? That’s somethings else entirely. It’s not a general purpose men’s suit with wider hips and shorter sleeves, it was designed from the ground up to flatter the female figure. It does that by contrasting leather panels with Kevlar stretchy bits to create not only long, vertical patterns that will elongate and flatter the human body, but help the suit cling tightly to the wearer’s curves while facilitating natural movement.

Safety comes not only from that leather and Kevlar, but also SAS-Tech, CE-Certified armor in the shoulders, elbows and knees. A back protector will need to be worn separately. SAS-Tech is neat stuff, it stiffens significantly on impact sorta like D3O, but is a little thicker and softer, think half the way to traditional armor.

In addition to the $430 pants and $430 jacket, there’s also some $90 shortie gloves specifically shaped for girl hands and a really nice, understated pair of waterproof boots with integrated ankle armor.

It’s not a race suit and it won’t offer race suit levels of protection, but it’s still a lot of protection in the kind of package people will actually want to wear.

The whole thing together appears to be a slick, flattering, understated suit that, to my eyes at least, actually manages to capture the romantic idea of riding that most people have in their heads, but which the gear we wear often fails to capture. Pair it with a black helmet and black visor and you’ll be well on your way to filling not only your own fantasies, but those of everyone you pass too.

  • Kevin

    Hawt.

  • Holden and Annette

    It might fit Ashlee and that model, but there are a lot of women with womanly busts and hips (thank god). Alpinestars doesn’t tailor to the MILF market. Too bad.

    Those gloves, though … thank you, Alpinestars, for making a serious glove for women.

    • Ben NYC

      My ex girlfriend had a similar build as this model, and you know what I found? It is almost impossible to find anything that fits an athletic woman (girl in question was a ballet dancer). Everything is made for truly fat women.

      Anyway, this is America. Land of the obese gluttons. Damn shame.

    • Mitch

      Eeeeee. *pulls at collar*

      Anyway, I was pretty curious the first time I saw this – what would the cut be? Women are shaped much more randomly than men, and I have found that for a lot of women’s gear, they err on the less fitted side and end up with something fairly boxy to allow for any size hips and bust per height/sleeve length. This leaves slight/lean women with really, very little to wear if they want something snug. Will this outfit actually end up so… specifically tailored? A 6’1″ friend girl of mine has to wear men’s gear because women’s gear for her height is sized for someone about 70 pounds heavier.

      • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

        LOL. I don’t know about that… I have seen some randomly shaped men as well… But I guess the majority of size difference in men only depends on how large or small the size of their gut is! Still, it’s hard for some guys to find stuff as well. For example if you’re into bodybuilding you’re gonna need a custom/altered suit. But I guess that’s the same sort of niche market as slight/lean women these days…

  • austin_2ride

    I’d think that “it makes her look like Rosie O’Donnell” would be fighting words for Ashlee.

  • Ax

    Armored shoulders, elbows and knees? Must’ve been removed for the fashion shoot.

    • Restless Lip Syndrome

      Exactly.

  • gjhowe

    The suit looks good, but that ad was goddamn ridiculous. Is this suit bedroom wear or motorcycle wear? How about actually showing a woman riding a motorcycle in it instead of turning her into some bullshit male fantasy.

  • Mr. Hooboro

    This would be Mrs. Hooboro hacking the mister’s account :) Did anyone from the HFL crew actually test any of this gear for this review? Because it doesn’t sound like it…. I’m sorry but lately it sounds like you folks are a little too obsessed with fashion and not enough attention is being paid to the actual function of riding gear.

    And yes the video is absurd, that poor girl looks so confused standing next to that motorcycle….yes she certainly inspired this lady rider to go buy the Vika line :::rolls eyes:::

    • David

      Not that I disagree, but what review? This was a write-up of a new product, i.e. news. There is no reviewer, review, conclusion, recommendation or criticism.
      There exists a new product. HFL wants to make its readers aware. That is all.

      • Mr. Hooboro

        Valid point David! I guess my point is I would like to see an actual rider review, since I have already seen many articles like this one simply talking about the look and supposed function of the Vika line.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          This is a news article. One of the functions of HFL is to inform you guys about new developments in motorcycle gear. Another function is to provide objective reviews, those do take a little time to produce however.

  • Glenngineer

    I dig the jacket, boots and gloves. More casual alternatives to alpinestars stella gear. My wife likes her stella boots and gloves, and wheres a triumph lady jacket that is made by alpinestars, and likes it all.

  • Tyler

    The black-gold design is really cool, but they don’t seem to sell it (at least not yet).

    I showed it to my girlfriend, she was a big fan. I will get her in some tight leather someday! =D

    • FiveG

      So far, can’t find the black/gold combo. Too bad — I’d be tempted to get my significant other the outfit if it was other than all black.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    Thought provoking design. Using stretch Kevlar to accommodate the fitted look that’s necessary to meet the objective is a good idea. There are no unusual materials, simply a redistribution of them. There is some minor sacrifice in stretch at the front of the knee and bunching at the back due to the continuous leather from ankle to hip.

    While I appreciate the feel of the video, I am curious why they chose a waif as a model. She does little to demonstrate the stretch the suit undoubtedly possesses. I’m looking forward to seeing the back of the suit. It would be good to see how they resolved the dumpy butt issues that come with making leathers comfortable while seated.

    • Ben NYC

      It’s a sad state in the world where THAT is considered a waif. Head to an art museum someday, nearly every woman looked like that at one point.

      She is of average height, with B-cup breasts. It doesn’t get anymore average than that. At least, as soon as you exclude the US with its massive gluttony problem.

      • Ax

        You apparently never make it out of the “modern” art sections and into those of Greek, Roman, and other “classic” art.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

          Oh hush. Logic isn’t welcome when someone is trying to push a point.

      • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

        But she is a waif, the fact that it has at one point in history been more the norm than in our times doesn’t change that (i hear those skinny bitches during the Blight were pretty hot).

        And america may be the bright beckon of morbid obesity, but it’s a global problem, every country gaining access to cheap richer foods is headed that way. China for instance could very well join (or even surpass) the usa in that domain. The problem also exists in more traditionnaly nutrition aware countries like France.

        Also, art doesn’t always portray reality in the most accurate fashion (see what i did there?).

        More to the point, great to have a brand trying something different, i think it looks great.

      • BMW11GS

        Are you kidding me, she is at least 6 feet tall. Look at those legs and torso.

  • JMcMahon

    When I first learned about this line from HFL comments I ran, not walked, all the way home. Like a kid after the last school bell rings or Fred Flintstone sliding down the tail of a dinosaur, I slid through my front door and grabbed laptop to show my fiance. Ashlee’s scorpion review was a relevant topic in our motorcycling conversation. No flames/butterflys/skulls/hearts/flowers/logos/EXTREME! or other bullshit. The gear looks well fit and features proper materials and construction. I waited with bated breath for my fiances reply, “Meh. It looks nice, I think I would still wear a shirt and bra with it though.”

    :1 hmm… Then I thought, who is this ad for? Women who want safe well constructed gear that looks fashionable? Or guys that want to see girls in tight leather? I think Alpinestars would do well to change their add campaign to appeal to female motorcyclists. Not guys who think a girl in tight leather is the perfect accessory for their bike.

    At least the gold panels on the suit will match the gold anodized rear sets and Ohlins suspension, right?

    • Mitch

      I sort of disagree; or rather, there are women that respond very highly to fashion direction and aesthetic as the primary ‘product’. I see what you are saying, but I’d wager that the percentage of women that would respond favorably to this product and the way it has been presented would be higher than those that do not.

      • Mr. Hooboro

        The distinction is: women in general, and women who ride (and of course women who ride passenger). Women, in general, would probably chose this gear set over others. Women who ride though….we aren’t like ‘other’ women. Now I know there’s exceptions to every generalization…but ‘generally’ speaking, women who ride are cut from a tougher cloth than the general female population. Foofi-fake shit turns us off, and when it comes to the gear we are riding in- form follows function.

  • Martin

    Looks to me as though they removed the armor, at least from the knees, for the video. I have some SAS-Tec and it is fairly low-profile and flexible, but not *that* low profile and flexible.

    My point being: I’d like to see how it fits with all the armor on. Oh, and have it modeled by someone who isn’t a model

  • Restless Lip Syndrome

    Hmmm. I will start with the good: It looks like it will fit slimmer figures nicely, which most women’s gear simply does not accomplish. The stretch panels look like they would breathe well and stay pretty cool in warmer weather as well as conform to an individual’s shape well. No flowers, butterflies, swirlies, sparkles or any other inane bullshit that blights most women’s gear. The jacket zips to the pants, so that’s cool. I am also confused as to why, even on the website, a good photograph from the rear is impossible to find???

    The bad: This seems to be good for posing around in……good for bike nights perhaps? So it only has protection in the knees — great first step, but I can say from experience that not having any padding in the hips area can lead to very painful bruising for even minor lowsides. Gold is hideous. The boots are dumb, period. Gloves look alright, I think they have a winner here, but the suit here is not at all representative of what it would look like with the armor in.

    If this suit prevents one well-to-do girl from roadrash, then great. This is not the answer to function meets form though, but maybe it will promote some thought into the subject.

    Edit: Why does the all-black pants look very different from the black and gold ones????

  • Mr. Hooboro

    Why so much praise for the gloves? It looks like a drivers glove, not a motorcycle glove. No real knuckle protection, a cuff that looks like it will be annoying (won’t fit in a sleeve, too small to fit outside the sleeve comfortably), and goatskin is a questionable material choice when it comes to abrasion resistance.

    • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

      And perforation on the underside of the fingers rather than the inside where they’d actually get airflow. Definitely designed with fashion, not safety, in mind. I can’t wait til we get our hands on the whole suit for a real review.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

      Agreed. It appears to be standard fare for women’s gloves to be more subtle in appearance at the expense of impact protection.

  • Johndo

    I think that model could make a garbage bag look sexy. Not sure those lines would make most woman look good though. That said if you’re a woman with a smokin’ body, it’s certainly worth buying one of those, you’ll be safe and look hot while doing it :)

  • Denzel

    Hey…Alpinestars is Italian…I’m surprised it’s taken them this long…

  • Michael Gore
    • kidchampion

      Emma Peel was my first impression, too!

  • RT Moto

    I may need to up the gear some if I start seeing women wearing these around here. Being distracted by a beautiful woman that rides in a suit like that will be inevitable and more than likely consequential in a bad way. :)

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Those thin, vertical colour panels to wonders to make the suit actually look slimming. Hawt.

  • FiveG

    OK, so a practical question (for those of us contemplating a purchase for the ladies in our lives for use on the road (not the bedroom)): how breathable and useable in warm weather would this suit be? My wife and I tend towards textile because in the summer, leather would be unbearable on long rides in humid New England. But, if this suit is actually semi-comfy in warm weather, well, maybe she doesn’t have to look (like I do) like the Michelin Man.

    • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

      It’s more stretch Kevlar than leather, so extremely breathable.

  • Joe

    Something says I’ve seen this before:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRV-2_Un-kk

  • Ducky

    Is there actual armour under there? From reading A-star’s website, it sounds like it’s just foam. No CE rating or any of that.

  • Tom Viscelli

    For everyone that is complaining about the rather normal looking model: don’t worry, they’ll make it in XL for your girl.

  • Scott-jay

    Is majority of women’s riding gear selected/purchased by male riders?

  • Coreyvwc

    A friend of mine just got this suit in all black. It looks GOOD in person and the leather quality blows my dainese stuff away. Very well done Alpinestars!