Kelly's Studio

Art and other sparkly things.

Protective Gear or Fabulous Fashion? ScooterGirls Delivers Both.

Posted on | October 23, 2009 | 1 Comment

If you know me, you know I love my scooter. I ride a Buddy 125. I’ve had it for a couple of years, and it makes getting around San Francisco FUN (and so much easier).

When I took my Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and got my M1 license, I cleared a huge personal hurdle. Before that, I would have never dreamed of riding around on a motorcycle or a scooter because, as my parents always said, it was “Just Too Dangerous!” It was basically the equivalent of “you’ll shoot your eye out!”

The MSF course I took was critical in helping me get out on the road and replace the “Just Too Dangerous!” mantra with “Safety First!” There are plenty of bad things that can happen to you on two wheels. You have to be smart and constantly vigilant as you ride among the cars and trucks on pot-holed and sometimes slick roads, where pedestrians can dart out or open a car door at any time.

But as a rider, you can also control for a few things by wearing protective gear. In addition to my full-face helmet (as my friend commented today, “What good is a brain without a face?”), I wear my gloves and an armored motorcycle jacket. I was reminded why I wear all of this protective gear a few weeks ago when I took an embarrassing low-speed tumble as I rode out of my driveway one morning. My scooter is still awaiting repair, but I suffered no scrapes, only a (now healed) bruise on my right calf. Other people must take tumbles too, from time to time, but you wouldn’t know it from the number of them darting around without protective gear.

Anyway, my gear looks fine with jeans, but there is no mistaking my jacket for anything other than what it is: a badass motorcycle jacket. So, when I ride to work, I face the choice of walking around downtown at lunch wearing my motorcycle jacket and looking like a mis-matched weirdo in my business clothes, being cold, or stuffing another jacket into my backpack for street wear.

If you’re me, you try to remember to stuff your street jacket in your backpack, and you soldier on. But if you’re Arlene Battishill, you create ScooterGirls and make fabulous street wear jacket styles that have all the safety features of a motorcycle jacket. You call it GoGo Gear. And you thrill me by telling me that I should prepare myself to put my jacket-stuffed-in-backpack-days behind me.

Rain, my friend who customizes helmets with amazing eye-catching designs made of Swarovski crystals, connected me with Arlene, who, with her jackets, is fresh from winning first prize at Los Angeles Fashion Week. We three and another friend had breakfast this morning. We talked about business, fashion, sparkle, and how there’s a huge need for attractive and well-fitted non-pink gear for women motorcycle and scooter riders.

I had checked-out (okay, drooled at length over) the ScooterGirls website before meeting Arlene, and I was really excited to hear about GoGo Gear and how it will keep me safe.  I was even MORE excited to see the gear in person.

After breakfast, we tried on all the jackets. They are as fabulous as they appear on the website, by the way.

All the Jackets

All the Jackets

And we got a look at how the jackets are constructed. All the jackets are abrasion resistant, some are reversible and reflective (but unarmored), and others are armored. And let me tell you, the armor is imperceptible to anyone who isn’t actually wearing the jacket. The fabric drapes beautifully, and the cut of the jacket is snug enough to keep all the armor in just the right place while also allowing you to wear layers underneath. Brilliant.


Three Layers of Fabric


The Armor

If you are in the Bay Area, SF Moto will be your local retailer for GoGo Gear. I can’t wait to place my order!