Our buddy Ana uses "Crackers," her DR-Z 400 every single day in LA. Working as a model and actress, she rides to castings, shoots, coffee with friends and fancy parties, and needs to look good when she does so. That career is contingent on her health, too, so she's gotta be safe. Here's the riding gear that works for her. — Ed.
Photos: Scott G Toepfer
My normal day involves a ton of meetings and castings all over Los Angeles. Riding my bike means I don’t have to worry about parking because I can squeeze my bike into pretty much any space. I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic because I can split lanes. Plus, I just love riding. It makes me feel good.
But, it’s hard to find women’s gear that fits well. Usually, the legs and sleeves are too short for my legs and arms. I’m 5’ 9” and it shouldn’t be such a problem finding gear that fits right.
I haven’t tried all the gear that’s out there but, from what I’ve seen, I can say Dainese gets it right when it comes to design, style and making a woman feel feminine. The fact that you can adjust the jacket in so many ways to really fit your body well is such a big plus. And it’s not just looks, Dainese offers great protection and is very comfortable.
Because of that style and fit, I feel I can wear this gear anywhere. If I go to a casting, I wear Dainese. If I ride up to Griffith Park, I wear Dainese. I wear it if I go for a coffee.
I find textile gear more comfortable than leather. On colder days, its far warmer and, if it’s hot, I can just take out the liner and still be comfortable. I find myself wearing this every time I get on a bike now. The only time I’ve had my leathers on since is to go to the track.
I didn’t go all-black because I am a woman and I like to have a little color in there. It breaks it up a little and looks more feminine. I think Dainese did a great job with its design and colors, I love all the little details. I also choose colors because I feel it helps you be seen on the road.
I can really wear it anywhere and still feel confident and feminine. And hey, riding bikes is cool, especially for a girl. I’m sure no one minds that I’m all geared up.
Schuberth C3W ($630)
Since I am from Europe, I came across Schuberth early on. Us Europeans trust products made there. It also helps that my brother wears Schuberth, he’s the one that introduced me to it.
I find the C3W extremely quiet, I love the shape, it is comfortable and the liner is very soft. It fits very well on my head. I love the fact it’s a flip-up, I don’t have to take my helmet off when I stop for gas or to have a quick sip of water.
The lining is in light colors, so sometimes when I wear a little makeup, it wipes off on the helmet. I wear a balaclava to protect the helmet from getting dirty. And because I look like a ninja.
I wear it all the time because it’s so comfortable. It’s also very small on the outside, so I don’t look like a Martian. On hot days, you can use the vent system and you can really feel the air coming in.
It has great protection too, something I unfortunately got to experience years ago, as a passenger.
This is one of the best jackets I’ve ever tried or owned. It fits like a glove, it looks feminine and it has adjustment straps to make it even more snug and fitted.
Wearing it, I really feel like a woman. It looks good on. It has a few pockets that are useful. I still wear the liner even though it’s getting warmer in LA, it’s the most comfortable jacket I’ve ever worn.
It has protection on the elbows and shoulders and a pocket for a back protector. And there are ventilation zippers you can unzip.
I find all this jacket very functional. I wear it everywhere I go because it doesn’t look weird or bulky like other motorcycle jackets. It’s an absolutely beautiful invention, I feel very safe wearing it.
I absolutely love the fit and feel of these Dainese pants. I don’t have to be adjusting anything to get on or off the bike, they fit amazing and they are not saggy like every other pair of motorcycle pants I’ve tried on.
The protection is great, there’s little zip-open pockets for ventilation and they come with a removable liner that is very warm and very easy to take out.
They are so soft and comfortable, when you are in a sitting position on the bike, that doesn’t change. My favorite pants, very functional.
Dainese boots are wonderfully made and offer great protection, but unfortunately the shape doesn’t fit my foot very well, even though the size is correct. My heel slips upwards and I feel like the boot might come off when I’m walking. There is a Velcro area around the rear zipper to tailor them to your calf, which helps, and they’re very comfortable, but I suggest you try them on before buying.
Dainese Pro Carbon Gloves ($160)
These have a nice style to them and fit very well. You need to break them in a little so they conform to your hands, but after that, they are very comfortable. I love the colors, they complete the whole outfit.
I forgot Wes had put this in there! It’s so comfortable and slim you can’t feel it.