Growing up on a racetrack that was dominated by the opposite sex, I was constantly challenged to “be like the boys,” which included racing faster, jumping higher and proving that my gender was not an excuse for a loss. Competing was the easy part; finding clothing that fit my body comfortably was difficult.
Today, not only on the racetrack, but in all facets of powersports, women are increasingly taking an influential role and becoming proponents of the industry as riders, dealers, designers, enthusiasts and leaders.
Growing stronger over recent years, the clothing industry has met the demand for women riders and they’ve certainly bypassed the days of coloring men’s clothing pink.
Each new apparel line continues to improve on fitting the female form with expansion into all types of riding including street, off-road, racing and adventure touring using different materials that are both lightweight and durable.
Strong demand and sales in 2018 has brought many new women’s styles for 2019, and with all of these, it is important to keep a range of sizes in stock. There is nothing more disappointing for a consumer to find what they are looking for but not find the size, and we know this is just as disappointing for the dealer to lose the sale. Of course, it isn’t always practical to keep a mass of inventory in stock at all times. Try to have at least one piece in every size, that way, you can order different colors as your customers need them.
When selling to women, it is always a good idea to ask the rider to test the apparel by sitting on a motorcycle or powersports vehicle that is similar to what they ride. Chances are, a jacket may look perfect zipped up when the person is standing up straight, but the fit is wrong in the riding position. For example, if they are a street rider on a low-profile bike, they might want to size up to give their bust more freedom, based on their body angle when riding.
It always helps to survey your customers. Ask what they ride and follow up with your distributor to see what they recommend. Distributors can always give you an indication of what styles are trending on the market, what other dealers are selling a lot of and how you can better serve your customers.
Don’t forget about gloves, boots and accessories. Along with jackets and pants, always make sure you offer the entire outfit to your customers so your dealership becomes a one-stop shop.