You can extend the riding season by dressing appropriately and accessorizing your motorcycle with a few gadgets that improve your ability to stay warm. Whether you’re intending to ride in cold weather or not, you’ll want to be prepared. Even if you don’t intentionally ride in inclement or cold temperatures, you could easily be caught unexpectedly and it’s better to be prepared for such situations. You might get caught on the road after the sun goes down, and have no choice but to ride on to your destination. You might be riding in sunny areas and suddenly the cool weather moves in on you, or you might be traveling from a warm destination to a cool, mountainous area. Whatever the reason, there’s many things you can do to keep comfortable and alert. If you’re cold, your mind is concentrating on getting warm, and you’re likely to be less attentive to road hazards. This can have serious, even fatal consequences. Heated grips, leather gloves, heated gloves, a heated jacket liner and properly layering your clothing are some things that can assist you in keeping warm while riding in cool weather.
Leather is a good material to help break the wind and assist you in keeping warm during the winter riding season. A good motorcycle jacket is one item you are likely to spend a lot of money on, but it will be worth it when you need it. There are several models; leather or synthetics, with or without padding. Technological advances have brought affordable materials to the marketplace. When purchasing a motorcycle jacket, consider stitching, padding, weight, and durability along with fashion. A zip out liner and vented underarms as well as straps and buckles or snaps at the wrists and waist are expected features in a quality jacket.
A good jacket is only a small part of staying warm. Before putting on the jacket, you should have layered your clothing. Start with light weight, thin under garments. Add a layer of thermal underwear, shirt and pants, that have synthetic fibers to wick away moisture. They are available in most department stores and on our web site, and come in various thicknesses. Choose the thickness tolerance for the weather conditions you anticipate encountering.
The next layer should be a middle, wind breaking layer to keep the insulated underwear working properly. For an outer layer on bottom, you might add thermal lined jeans available at most sporting goods stores and on line, and/or a pair of leather chaps and your motorcycle jacket. Additionally, if conditions are severe, you can add your rain gear over your motorcycle jacket to further break the wind and shield you from the cold.
Finally, pay attention to your feet and hands, as these are often the first to feel the effects of the cold. For your hands, a thin silk or micro fiber liner under your leather gloves are a good option, or you might consider heated gloves with a rheostat to control the temperature. Long, gauntlet style gloves that cover your wrist and jacket sleeves can help break the wind as well as keep your hands protected. They should have a fastener at the wrist to secure them over your sleeve, keeping cold air and wind out.
Wear motorcycle boots that are not too tight and provide room to wear a heavy pair of socks. Boot height is important in cold weather, and they should be well above your ankles to provide a barrier from the cold and wind. Some riders insert disposable hand and feet warmers in their gloves and boots to further increase their warmth.
Lastly, wear a neck gator or scarf around your neck. A full face helmet with a face shield is the best for warmth, and a hat underneath the helmet can help keep your warm. For those of you who are uncomfortable in full face helmets, face shields are available in various materials to aid in keeping your face shielded from the wind and cold. A windshield will also assist you in your endeavor to stay warm and attentive while riding in cold, frosty temperatures.
Paying attention to proper dress and attire for cold weather riding can enhance your experience and aid in keeping you attentive and safe on the ride.