How to be cozy & warm riding your motorcycle in Winter

Vikki, my trusty 1991 Honda ST1100

Whenever I get my motorcycle gear out in November-through-March, especially at work, I generally face a common question/statement – “Oh Gosh! It must be terrible riding in the cold! Do you feel cold?”

Its not easy to answer that question with a one liner reply, and I shall explain why it is so; What does the question ‘do you feel cold’ mean? If I consider the overall state of my body, the answer is a straightforward NO 🙂 However, I will admit with an honest grin, that my neck and occasionally my nose do get cold.

Despite the ‘localized’ cold sensation, the riding experience is pretty much still a wonderfully pleasurable one. I spent a whole season in the great mid-west winter of 2014/2015  trying to figure out the best way to make motorcycling work during the cold times. When it snows hard (> 4 inches makes it dangerous enough for a 2-wheeler) and the streets are not cleared, there’s very little a puny one-wheel drive machine can do! 🙁 sigh. Submit to the powers of nature! (and rant at the City municipality for not pre-salting the streets enough…) But if there is no snow on the roads, then motorcycling is very very doable and enjoyable! (pardon my runny nose, dear friends)

These are some of the more important and useful tips I’ve come across through trial & error :-

1) ELECTRIC HEATED GLOVES (BIGGEST DIFFERENCE MAKER FOR SUB-40S TEMPERATURE)

Heated Gloves are the simplest & easiest upgrade, one that makes a great difference. You need to get a ‘Heat Controller’ that wires into the battery, and you get to control the heat setting using the heat-troller.

Gerbing Heated Gloves
Gerbing Heated Gloves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve personally been hugely impressed with Gerbing gear; However, all the big name companies make excellent heated gear. Pick your favorite ones!

Optional : Heated Vest and pants liner, Heated Grips, Heated Seats

2) SOLID WINTER WEATHER/3 SEASON JACKET & PANTS

One absolutely needs proper Winter Jackets & Pants if one is riding in a cold area (cold = Temps below 50 F /10 C) – The wind cuts through summer mesh jackets real easy.

Winter Motorcycle Jackets
Winter Motorcycle Jackets

You need Cordura based outer gear (my favorites are Olympia Gear) but good winter gear made from leather also exists. Either way, make sure your gear is meant for the cold!

Optional : Layering up with additional base layers & sweaters can extend the duration of that winter ride

3) SNOWMOBILE HANDLEBAR MITTS (YEAH!!)

These are amazing ways to save those cold hands from getting too cold; even with the heated gloves, there is a chance that you are perhaps a little more cold-sensitive or that perhaps the wind chill is too great a factor that gloves themselves are not enough.

Handlebar Muffs !
Handlebar Muffs !

4) WINTER/WATER-PROOF MOTORCYCLING BOOTS

A proper pair of Winter Boots are again key to stay warm. You know the old addage – keep your ears, hands and feet warm!

Alpinestars Ridge WP Boots
Alpinestars Ridge WP Boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) BALACLAVA / FACE & NECK WARMER

A face & neck warmer is again super useful especially under a pin-lock inserted full face helmet. The extra warmth helps a ton on long rides, when the cold can creep in through the thickest of helmets…. 🙁

Head & Neck Warmer
Head & Neck Warmer

 

Optional : A Good old woolen scarf around the neck

Thanks for reading the article! What other techniques do you use? please share your wisdom in the comments below! 🙂

– Vishnu

Author: thepaleobiker

Primal/Paleo certified, motorcycle & Latin dancing enthusiast, climber, outdoor lover, LGBTQ rights, spiritual, humanist - spreading love & compassion www.paleogyan.com

4 thoughts on “How to be cozy & warm riding your motorcycle in Winter”

  1. WOW….. i MEAN SIMPLY WOW…WHAT A PIECE OF INFORMation. i SWEAR I GOT CONFUSED TOO WHEN YOu CONFESSED THAT YOU RIDE A “””””bike””” TO YOUR WORKSTATION!!!!! i was like…..what?????? HOw on earth….????? COuld he……….that too In this weather…….??????????? hahahaha i never knew there could be amazing ways so beat the chill and still be able to ride your wonder-vehical come what may!!!! Love reading your ideas and blogs…..keep up the great work buddy!
    Cheers
    Pal 🙂

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