Girls Gear Up: Dainese and AGV
Chances are you might not know the name Heather Bonomo but if you got to the movies or watch tv, you've definitely seen her. Ford vs Ferrari, Birds of Prey, Captian Marvel, Lucifer, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are just of a small portion of the projects in which she stunt doubles for some of Hollywood's biggest actresses. In her spare time, she drifts her Nissan 370, track days her GSXR, and helps me test some of the latest new machines from the Motorsports industry. For more of her adventures, you can follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bonomomoto/
Today she's spotlighting Dainese and AGV, two great brands with very functional but chic styles. I asked Heather to test out a few of their products and give you some feedback regarding the fit, feel, comfort, and why it’s so important to be properly outfitted every time you ride.
Heather: Too many times in Los Angeles or, for that matter, the rest of the country, I have seen women riding their motorcycles or on the back of their boyfriend’s bike wearing nothing but heels, jeans, and a tank top. To put it mildly, this really frustrates me. If you’re not smart enough to wear proper gear, that’s on you. But ladies, if you only ride on the back and your significant other doesn’t let you know that you might want to put on a little more protection than just your casual clothes while they zip down the freeway at 80mph, it’s probably time to seriously examine your relationship.
Aside from taking a proper Motorcycle Safety Course, having the right gear for riding is the most important thing you can do as a motorcyclist. As anyone who has had the tiniest bit of road rash will tell you, it’s tremendously debilitating and will cause you incredible pain even while trying to sleep, let alone while moving around. Without the proper gear, the chances of you walking away from a crash without being hospitalized or acquiring some serious scarring are about the same as winning the lottery. Sure it can happen — but it’s highly unlikely.
From my own experience working in Hollywood, changing your appearance with road rash or lost limbs will not benefit you financially. As a stuntwoman, doubling actresses would be a lot harder with scars [all over my body]. It’s extremely important for me to have the proper gear when I ride, and that is something I will never compromise on. With that in mind, the following are some of my points to consider when shopping for ladies riding gear.
What do you like about Dainese and AGV overall?
I’m 5’5″ with a slim athletic build and weigh around 130 lbs. Dainese gear fits me really well, better than other gear out there for women. Most of their clothing comes from a European cut, so even in the larger sizes, you’re going to get a slimmer fit. Their leather quality is fantastic both in feel and thickness, and the padding in the knees, shoulders, and back hits me in all the right places. Most of their jacket and pant styles fit me very well. As far as AGV’s helmets, their color selection is very wide, and fit does vary depending on which lid you try on. In general, they have a smaller feel/fit than, say, an ICON or HJC helmet — more on that later.
How is the fit compared to other brands?
Usually I can only wear the smallest female sizes in other brands, and sometimes they still don’t fit. I have found Dainese to be the exception for me. I’ve worn both Icon and Alpinestars before but didn’t feel as secure in them. The pads were usually not in the right place for my frame which made me feel less secure when I was out and about. It’s a great feeling to let loose and be completely confident in your gear while you’re out for a ride. So far for me, Dainese has been the only company I feel completely confident riding in.
What about the look?
I think leather, in general, has more appeal than mesh, vinyl, or textile. One thing I really like about Dainese is that they don’t make everything in light blue or pink. [TAKE NOTE ALL MOTORCYCLE APPAREL COMPANIES — CAN YOU PLEASE UPDATE YOUR COLOR PALETTES!] Very few women I know would want to wear pink on a red and white bike. GROSS! I’m not saying that I don’t like pink; I’m just saying that there is a time and place for it. And more often than not we can keep it away from serious motorcycle gear. Once again, that’s just my opinion. While I personally would like more of a selection, basic white, black, and brown can be very sexy and cool when done right.
But how does it feel?
Both the short and tall boots have a snug but comfortable fit; most importantly, my ankles felt well protected with just the right amount of side flex and mobility. The gloves are breaking in nicely and I haven’t had a problem with them yet. One thing easily noticeable while I was riding is that these particular jackets have a sport cut. It’s not that they’re uncomfortable off the bike, but they won’t ever be as relaxed as your favorite casual leathers. I don’t claim to have a huge booty, but Dainese jeans are not made for women with said booty, and that is unfortunate. I’m athletic, and the leather pants, while giving me a very secure feeling once they are on, did not zip over my calves easily. This might be just because I haven’t properly broken them in yet.
Leather needs a very particular fit, especially when riding motorcycles, but you don’t ever want it to be too loose. If you’re headed out for a track day, the racing suits seem made to fit the bottom half of your body and not the top. I had to go up a full two jacket sizes to find a properly fitting off-the-rack suit, but I feel like the top portion is a little big. However, Dainese does have a US touring event called "Custom Works" where they will customize your suit for you; if you can’t make an event you can contact your local D-Store to set up an appointment. If I ever decide to take up racing full time, I see myself spending some decent cash on that.
Is it worth the money?
Like most motorcycle apparel companies, Dainese’s men’s selection still vastly outweighs their women’s, but overall they’re a company I really like and trust. If you’re new to buying gear, their prices might seem a little high, but candidly I think their gear is worth every penny. As women we spend so much on clothes and accessories anyway, it’s just foolish not to invest in gear that will keep us safe. I can honestly say I’ll never regret buying a $600 jacket or a $160 pair of gloves that allows me to walk away from an accident with all my skin still neatly attached to my body.
What could be better?
While Dainese’s fit is better than others I’ve tried on, some adjustments still need to be made in the sizing of their generic tracksuits for women. We’re not men; we have curves. I’d also change the size of the calf openings on my leather pants. Other than that, I really don’t think I’d make any changes.
While I’d love to break down every piece of gear featured, both Dainese’s and AGV’s websites do a much better job. But I would like to include a few tips on the gear, which might help you make an informed purchasing decision.
AGV Horizon Racer Black/Carbon/Gunmetal –
This helmet is best suited for Sport or Sport Touring riding. It comes in 11 color graphics and has 2 shell sizes that range from XXS to XXL. While offering great ventilation, it also comes with an integrated sun visor. Forgot your sunglasses? No problem.
AGV Corsa Velocity Italy –
While you can use it for regular riding, this helmet is best used for track days or very high speed riding. It’s made from a superlight construction and vents extremely well. It also has a 9% larger visor aperture than other helmets. In plain terms, your field of view is increased. Thanks AGV!
Dainese Racing Pelle Jacket Black/White –
Great look of leather combined with a sporty feel. Due to the cut, it’s probably not the best jacket to take on a long ride with a Harley, but if you are headed out to the canyons on your CBR600RR it won’t disappoint. Perfect for spring and fall riding, but might get a little hot in the summer. It comes with a 360 zipper that easily attaches into a pair of Dainese leather pants.
Dainese Pelle Leather Pants –
There are a few options when it comes to leather pants from Dainese. These are the only pair that have the slider pucks on the outside. Since they aren’t well vented these pants are better suited for fall or winter riding, and as the look suggests are made more for sport-oriented riding.
Dainese D19 Denim Jeans –
While I’m not big on riding without pads, these Kevlar woven jeans with extra reinforcements in the knees are pretty cool. Fair warning, you may have to go a size or two bigger than what you’re used to as they tend to fit aggressively slim.
Dainese Carbon Cover S-ST Gloves Black/White –
These road gloves have incredible protection for the money and will last you a while. With carbon composite protection on the fingers and knuckles, this reinforced leather glove will make you think twice about wearing cheaper, less-fitted options.
Dainese Boots Avant Ladies –
This is a really nice race boot that you can take to the track and also use for everyday rides. With calf tightness adjustment and a durable jersey mesh liner, it also offers inserts for the shin and ankle. The fit leans towards a race and slim feeling rather than a relaxed wider boot.
Dainese Shoes Garde S-RS –
If you don’t want to wear a full boot but still want unmatched ankle and foot protection, then this is probably your best bet. The racing sole offers you great feel on the bike while the soft interior lining gives you all-day riding comfort.
To see more gear and the latest products from Dianese and AGV, check out the links below.