As winter gets ready to rip through large portions of our country, motorcyclists have to decide what they are going to do with their bike until the spring thaw.
For some, winter means it’s time to buy some fuel stabilizer, dust off the trickle charger, and resting their motorcycle into a warm corner of the garage. For the rest of us, winter means no change to our motorcycle riding habits except the addition of quite a bit of extra clothing!
There’s no denying that riding during the winter can test even the most rugged rider. But with a little forethought and some shopping for cold-weather gear, anyone can extend their riding season with a few smart purchases.
Don’t just buy any pair of winter gloves. Make sure your gloves are the gauntlet type, meaning they fit over your jacket sleeve. This keeps the cold air from sneaking in via the opening. Look for gloves with Gore-Tex or Thinsulate for extra protection.
If that’s not enough protection for your hands, there are some companies that offer heated grips and heated gloves.
Another, less expensive alternative is using chemical hand warmer packs. They’re fairly cheap and last up to 8 hours.
You probably won’t be moving your feet much while you are riding your motorcycle, so they will tend to get cold quickly. That’s why it’s very important that you wear rainproof, insulated boots and ski socks. You can even wear a couple pairs of socks if you need extra layers of protection.
There are several things you can do to protect your head from the elements. First of all is to wear a balaclava, preferably one that goes up to your nose. This will help absorb your breath and keep your helmet visor from fogging, as well as keep your face warm. In addition, you should consider getting a proper neck warmer that will cover your neck, chest and shoulders. On top of all that, chose a full face helmet, complete with a visor.
The best way to keep your torso warm is to wear several layers of clothing. Start with a layer that will help trap the body’s natural heat. You want a layer that will wick away any moisture away from your skin. A microfiber layer is the best first defense layer against the cold. If you don’t have microfiber, wool or other natural fibers are OK. Next, you can put on layers of woolen sweaters or cotton shirts. The top layer should be windproof and waterproof. Ideally, you will have a full-body, one-piece suit. That way less heat will escape. If you don’t have a one-piece suit, try to find a jacket that can be zipped between the pants and jacket.
However, if that is not enough protection for you, there also are companies that make electric vests that will keep your body warm. They hook up to your motorcycle’s battery or electrical system for power, but make sure your motorcycle is equipped to do this before making the investment.
We at MotorEagles want you to be safe and warm this winter if you choose to take your bike out for a ride. Following these tips can help, but always remember to be aware of any signs of exposure.