Fitment Through Finished Motorcycle Suit
After trying on numerous motorcycle leathers for women in many different apparel shops, including most of the latest lines, I was fraught with nothing but frustration. Although I found a few interesting jackets, nothing hit or fit me exactly right. I wanted something that fit comfortably well, provided a high standard of rider protection and with a design that I loved.
Some of the issues with an off-the-shelf suit were due to the length of my arms and legs, my slender torso and my desire for something feminine. None of the suits looked great and larger sized jackets that fit my arms did not fit my waist. The same issue occurred with the pants, so even mix and matching did not work for me. I also wanted a full zipper around the waist to connect the jacket and pants for maximum safety. No luck there either.
So I began to research the possibility of a custom-made two-piece leather suit. After quite a bit of research and based on their long-standing reputation with many well-known racers, I decided on the Southern Californian Z Customs. To my surprise, the cost of a high-quality custom suit was less than I expected with the final cost in line or even less than many off-the-shelf suits.
The fitment process with Z Customs was quite extensive. They have a comprehensive 24 point measuring guide, one for men and a different one for women. The guides even give recommendations for allowances for your own back protector, underneath clothing and for any potential weight gain or loss.
Z Customs offer two series – the Pro Racer Series and the Sport Racer Series. Both are made to measure, come in either one-piece or two-piece and offer an assortment of important features. Features include built in body armour, stretch Kevlar inseams, venting systems, knee slider attachments, nylon mesh lining, breathable spandex behind the knees and other flex panels for easy movement.
The two-piece Sport Racer Series best suited my needs for the street and occasional track day. After finalizing my measurements, I decided on my styling. This included selecting a graphic suit design, the color swatches of my choice and any supplementary logos, patches and/or lettering. Z had also recommended the gray pearlescent reflective piping material for street riding safety reasons*. From there, my order was submitted for production.
Being hand-made, it is necessary to order ahead. The lead-time can vary according to season but generally takes approximately 1 to 2 months. I did wait for about 5-weeks for my suit to be handcrafted, but it was well worth the wait.
Upon completion, it was just amazing to see all that I had envisioned come to life in the final suit. The design and colors looked better than I had even imagined. The feminine fit was perfect and the armor is well integrated–much sleeker than my old, bulky gear.
Since wearing the new suit on a few rides, it continues to break-in and become even more comfortable. The well-built zipper between the jacket and pants gives me the one-piece suit safety, yet at our regular café stops, I am able to easily remove the jacket while off the bike. As well, lots of people stop to compliment the suit.
To protect my investment, I have applied a leather treatment to ensure that my new stylish well-fit leathers stay looking good for years to come. Should I need any updates, Z Customs offers alteration and repairs to all their custom made suits. All this has turned out to be a highly effective solution in a world filled with mass-production alternatives. So whatever your motives, custom may be the right alternative for you as well.
*A study performed by a team of scientists in New Zealand investigated whether the risk of motorcycle crash related injuries was associated with the conspicuousness of the rider or vehicle. Their findings were that riders wearing any reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk than other riders. As well, wearing a white instead of black helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.