Big-biker friendly: Premium outerwear for larger riders

Publish Date: 
May 23, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

IF PLUS-SIZED CONSUMERS find it difficult to search for regular clothes that offer the elusive duo of comfort and style, just think about what they have to go through when it comes to riding gear.

In a recent survey of consumers attending the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows in late 2012 and 2013, 17 percent of them say they wear a size XXL or larger. Moreover:

  • Of all attendees in the multi-city tour, 30 percent of those responding to our survey say they have a hard time finding their sizes; and
  • A full 80 percent of attendees say they must try on gear to ensure proper fit.

But the technological advancements made in apparel and helmet design means that every rider, regardless of size, can be outfitted for protection, comfort — and great looks.

When it comes to properly outfitting riders who wear sizes 2XL or higher, dealers have to do a little investigative research. Dealernews did some research and found that most of the major gear companies offer product up to or around 3XL; anything bigger and the choices narrow a bit.

Sources that carry larger sizes in jackets, pants, boots, helmets or gloves include Aerostitch, Alpinestars, Belstaff, Cortech, Dealer Leather, First Mfg., Firstgear, HJC Helmets, ICON, Joe Rocket, Klim, Moose Racing, Motonation, Olympia, REV’IT!, River Road, Rukka, TCX Boots, Tour Master, Vance Leather, Vega/Richa, Weise Motorcycle Clothing and WPS’ FLY Street Gear.

Helmets, gloves, jackets and footwear are the pieces of apparel riders are going to wear every single time they’re out on their bikes, so consider stocking a broad size range of styles and fitments. It’s best to check with your vendor or distributor sales rep for the complete lowdown on size options.

Justin Knauer says ICON takes big and tall sizes very seriously.

“The majority of ICON jackets go up to 4XL, our helmets are available up to 3XL, and our footwear is available up to a size 14, but in standard widths as of right now,” says the operations manager at ICON Motorsports.

The apparel manufacturer also monitors large-sizing issues via social media, direct contact with consumers and regular contact with its dealers.

How the garment fits the body, the materials used and impact protection placement are key when designing protective gear for larger riders, Knauer says. Proper fit ensures, as in any size, that the armor is in the right place during an accident. It’s also important that the piece is comfortable and everything looks right when the garment is worn — that the logos are straight and the garment hangs correctly. (Continued)