Top to toe
1 Helmet: HJC RPHA 10+ £299.99
www.oxfordproducts.com I’ve used this HJC lid since May 2016. It’s very comfortable with a plush, soft lining and it’s light too, which means long spells with the lid on aren’t a trauma, on the head at least. It vents well too so doesn’t mist up, with the help of a Pinlock visor insert. It’s pretty quiet but I do wear earplugs so it’s hard to say how quiet, though I have no issues with noise. My other, more-expensive helmets have really taken a back seat since the HJC joined the party. The RPHA 10+ has since been updated into the RPHA 11, which starts at £329.99
2 One-piece leathers: Held Ayana
www.held-uk.co.uk Not being a big fan of one-piece leathers, I was a bit reluctant to give these a try but I shouldn’t have worried: they’re the best leathers I’ve ever worn. For an off-the-peg set, they fit just right and are so soft and flexible that they’re good to wear all day. Ideally I’d like more pockets but that’s not really what a one-piece suit is designed for. The soft cuffs make getting gloves on a doddle and feel comfortably snug on my wrists. There are plenty of vented areas but I still get hot in them. This Ayana has now been replaced by the Ayana 2 (£782.99).
3 Gloves: Knox Handroid £199.99
www.planet-knox.com A really good pair of protective gloves with lots of safety features that, while not a specific ladies glove, actually fit me. I found the Boa wrist-closing system a bit fiddly at first but it soon became second nature. I like the long gauntlet style as this gives extra protection for the wrist. They slip on nicely over my leathers but I do find that the Boa closure can sometimes get stuck in the cuff when trying to tuck them into a wider-sleeved jacket. They’ve softened up nicely with wear yet still feel strong enough to save my hands and with the scaphoid protector on the palm, they won’t grip should the unthinkable happen.
4 Boots: Sidi Vertigo Lady £249.99
www.sidiselect.co.uk These microfibre sports boots have an extra bit of design work on the side which hints at them being a woman’s boot. There’s no compromise on protection with a shock-absorbing heel cup, plus sturdy plastic shin and calf reinforcement. I’ve worn these boots for about three years now and they’re really holding their shape, with minimal wear on the soles. I do find them a tad tight across the toes so my feet hurt by the end of the day, but apart from that they work well and give plenty of feel for positive gear changing. Easy to find online for a lot less than the RRP. CAROLINE BARRETT
“These really are the best leathers I have ever owned”
Caz’s off-the-peg kit fits well and is protective