Essential Motorcycle Gear For Cold Weather Riding
The most common things to do as soon as fall rolls in is to winterize your motorcycle. Check this article out if you're interested in that. This always means that the season is officially over and your bike is put to rest for several months. For those looking to not let the riding season end and are willing brave the cold though, it's definitely do-able but you need the right gear to protect you from those cold temps. Let's get right to a quick list of essential motorcycle gear for cold weather riding because frost bite is a real thing that can happen if we don't protect our selves.
THERMAL BASE LAYERS
These can be found almost anywhere and don't really have to be motorcycle specific. Thermal base layers work to trap warm air close to your body. Throwing another piece of clothing over these will trap even more warm air. The most common base layer includes a top and a pant. For even more protection - you should throw in a balaclava which keeps your neck and chin area warm while riding.
If you've ever tried to ride above 40 miles per hour when the temperatures are low, you'll know just how painful that cold wind is. I went on so many winters without heated gear and I know just how painful very cold air can be on the body - especially the hands! Heated gear is truly an essential if you plan on surviving several miles in the saddle. From heated jacket and pant liners to gloves and insoles, heated gear is truly a life saver in my eyes. You can get the style that hooks up to your 12V battery as an accessory, keeping you warm for long trips. The other option is the 7V type which requires you to charge a removable battery after a few hours of use. This is great for short trips or commutes.
WINTER JACKET AND PANTS
All of the above items are great to keep you warm! In order to trap all of that warmth though, you need a proper winter riding jacket. Having all of the things mentioned above is the start, but if you put all of those under let's say a summer mesh jacket, things really won't go well. There are so many jackets out there made for the cold weather. These are usually categorized under "4 Season Riding Gear". This type of gear offers great protection against wind and includes removable thermal liners. This type of gear is usually waterproof which also keeps things closed off from the elements.
Windchill is one of the main things to keep an eye on when riding in cold weather. If the temperature outside is 55 degrees - you better get ready for it to feel like it's about 30 degrees once you start picking up speed on your bike. This is something a lot of riders don't consider before heading out and this could be dangerous. There are plenty windchill charts out there that can give you an estimate on temps based on the speed you might be going to help you better prepare. Stay safe and warm out there always!