We’ve all been there. We see a jacket we love, a unique helmet, or some rad pair of jeans. But where do you buy them? How do you know if they will fit?
Brick-and-Mortar Motorcycle Gear Stores
The first place I always recommend visiting when shopping for new gear is Cycle Gear. If you live in a big city, there’s probably a Cycle Gear store near you. They carry brands such as Shoei, Arai, Alpinestars, Fox, Icon, etc. and their own house brand, Bilt. Each store is limited to what they offer, and some stores might have more inventory than others, but it doesn’t hurt to go in and try on different types of jackets, helmets, pants, or gloves. Even if you don’t find your perfect jacket here, it’s worth investing the time to try on different items to figure out your size, what fit you like and the style you like.
Depending on where you live, there could also be local motorcycle gear stores near you. For example, in Southern California, popular gear stores include Del Amo Motorsports, Chaparral Motorsports, and Beach Moto. Do a “motorcycle gear” google search near you to find local stores that might have items for you to try on.
The second place I would recommend, and this one relies more on the style I prefer and the brand that I trust, is locating a local Dainese D-store. I believe there are only 4 locations in the US (San Francisco, Chicago, Orange County, and Orlando) but if you can step foot into any of these locations, you won’t be disappointed. They have tons of inventory that range from race and street gear to vintage and casual gear. They carry boots, gloves, jackets, pants, full race suits, and even AGV helmets. The Orange County and SF stores I have visited also have a display motorcycle for you to sit on to test the gear in the position you will be riding in.
Roland Sands, although pricey, does have an actual store in Southern California too. Their inventory is pretty small, but if you want to feel what a luxury leather jacket feels like before you buy it, I would visit them in a heart beat. From what I remember, they had the Women’s Riot and Maven jacket in stock, as well as 2 other styles, and the Riot gloves. There were also a few Bell Bullitt helmets up for sale as well.
More readily available stores that have gear for you to try on are actual motorcycle dealerships. It doesn’t matter if you own a Ducati, Harley, BMW, or Indian, most dealerships will have some sort of gear and apparel section. Inventory will be limited and unique to each dealer, but it’s a great way to get yourself into some type gear. When I was looking into the REV’IT! Bellecour jacket, a local Ducati dealership in Orange County had a few sizes for me to try on. Inventory is usually posted online, but it doesn’t hurt to call and ask what brands the dealerships carry.
We’ve all heard about Revzilla, but is that the be-all end-all of shopping for motorcycle gear? While they do have a huge inventory to choose from, offer free shipping over $39.99, and no restocking fees, there are plenty of other online only shops that are starting to bring the competition (If you are in Philly though, I’d definitely visit their showroom).
A few of my favorites, that are similar to Revzilla in price, shipping, and brand availability, are as follows:
Boutique shops, that either make their own gear or brands that are only available online, are trickier to buy from and I tend to avoid on most occasions. These companies are usually smaller in size so their customer service might vary, they might have higher shipping costs, and are probably more expensive than retail brands.
Notable brands/boutique stores include:
- GoGo Gear (Women’s Kevlar Leggings)
- Grifter Company (Gloves)
- Ugly Bros (Kevlar Jeans)
- ATWYLD (Leather Jackets)
- Boda Skins (Leather Jackets)
But whether you are buying your first jacket or third, I always recommend trying on any piece of gear before buying. Make the extra effort to do research before you make a purchase, call around to make sure a shop will have your jacket, and don’t forget that most companies offer holiday deals, discounts, and sample sales. Motorcycle gear is expensive, but don’t waste your time or money either.