Fly Racing Women’s Lite Racewear Review | Borrowing From the Men
Long a fan of Fly Racing off-road motorcycle apparel for women, I am excited to see the brand-new offering for 2019, the Women’s Lite line. It follows the long-established men’s Lite Hydrogen line and replaces the nine-years running Women’s Kinetic line of pants, jersey, and gloves.Taking the best features from the men’s Lite Hydrogen, the Women’s Lite line is still very much all about the female form. It’s anatomically cut for women, and some of the construction elements were specifically discarded from the Light Hydrogen to make them more comfortable for women.
The latest offering feels lighter, stretchier, and softer than before. The tag on the Women’s Lite jersey says it is made from 100-percent polyester. However, this is not your mother’s polyester, the fashion stigma of yesteryear.The man-made fabric has moved beyond the cheap looking, sometimes uncomfortable textile from the 1970s. The Fly Racing Women’s Lite jersey is so silky soft I wouldn’t mind sleeping in it.Let’s start with the pants, as they are the hardest piece of moto gear to get right. The Women’s Kinetic pants were already quite good, and the Lite pants are even better. Liberal use of the silky polyester fabric, cut on the bias, gives the pants a minimalist feel, while the sleek stretch material on the inner and outer leg allows unconstrained movement. There are vented panels on the lower pants for additional cooling.An especially inspired touch was not including the various hard bits that are used in most pants closures around the waist. The Boa System waist adjustment on the Lite Hydrogen pants was eschewed in favor of a simple Velcro closure over a small-gauge exposed zipper.There is no ratchet buckle, or plastic pieces anywhere along the waist—which sits low—so there is nothing uncomfortable digging into you while sitting. It also means that should when you fall, nothing on your pants will cause an extra bruise on your hip.You can fine-tune the fit via the cleverly designed adjustable waist belt that has a hidden elastic section in the back. It allows customization via Velcro tabs on each side of the waist.The low-rise fit is a bit disconcerting at first, as low-rise pants have a tendency to drag downward in the rear when you sit—we’re all too familiar with the unfortunate peak-a-boo G-string fashion statement this style gave rise to. However, despite the fact that most of my time testing the gear was spent sitting, the Lite Pants did not ever slide down.As with the previous Kinetic line, the Women’s Lite pants were designed to accommodate real knee braces. I can slide the pants over my Pod K4 knee braces without them catching on the inner liner. There is also a decently thick pad sewn into the knees.The Women’s Lite jersey is equally a pleasure to put on. The clean and spare design accommodates protective gear, such as the Alpinestars Stella Bionic Jacket 2, without feeling too snug, or binding.The long wide mesh panels running from cuff to armpit and back down the sides of the jersey keep me cool as long as I’m moving, and the long tail stays tucked into the pants. The stretch collar is soft and free from irritating tags.As seems to be the trend these days, the Women’s Pro Lite gloves don’t seem to offer any impact protection. I was reminded of this when I thumped my hand on heavy shrubbery while riding ungroomed single track in the Los Padres National Forest.On the upside, the gloves have great feel at the levers. They are so spare and supple I can actually unbuckle my helmet without taking them off. The athletic fit takes slightly more time to put on and take off, which means they won’t accidentally get yanked off should you go tumbling.There is an adjustable Velcro tab to adjust the snugness at the wrist, though I worry about the durability of the tab as I found myself accidentally pulling against the ‘wrong’ side of the Velcro when I was trying to take the gloves off.The inner thumb is fortified with a second layer of material and that may well help prevent blisters in that high friction zone. Silicone strips on the two lever fingers increases grip.I’ve (almost) always enjoyed Fly Racing’s graphics and interesting color combinations that are broader than the pink and lavender standard ‘girl colors’. The Women’s Lite line continues this tradition, and two colorways have an over-the-boot option. I’m definitely an in-boot girl, even if they’re $35 more. It is worth nothing that the over-the-boot Women’s Lite pants use a less flexible material than the in-boot pants, and that accounts for the price difference.The brand new Fly Racing’s Women’s Lite Racewear is a worthy successor to their Women’s Kinetic line, and takes women’s moto gear to another level.
Fly Racing Women’s Lite Racewear Fast Facts
Fly Racing Women’s Lite Jersey
Sizes: Youth Small – Adult 2XL
Colors: Blue/Hi-Vis; White/Black; Neon Pink/Black
Fly Racing Women’s Lite Jersey Prices: Adult, $39; Youth $37
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.