While riding a motorcycle during winter has its perks, there are a few downsides too.
If you’re unprepared, your journey can be pretty miserable. Too much cold can lead to frostbite and that’s why you should keep the body warm.
When cold weather hits unexpectedly, your body may start to shiver as it tries to create internal heat. The shivering further creates tension which may affect the rider’s concentration.
But this doesn’t mean that you cancel the adventure trip you’ve planned for months. To keep the cold out, you should get insulated, wind-proofed, and most importantly stay dry.
While having a good winter kit is a good starting point, you must arm yourself with the correct gear. Don’t go for fabrics with inferior waterproof membranes as they will do more harm than good.
Just buy premium stuff and you’ll be thankful you paid more for the gear. Read on and learn more!
How to keep warm whilst riding a motorbike
- Gear up your head and neck
The best way to keep warm when riding in winter is to protect your body. You should wear a full-face helmet that fits tightly to ensure the cold air doesn’t get in. Avoid those brands that allow for ventilation- the last thing you want is an icy wind blowing against your head.
Sometimes, the strong wind can cause a headache making it hard to concentrate on the road. And to ensure you have additional wind protection, you can wear a scarf or neck warmer.
A helmet may not be enough if the temperatures drop into the freezing range. Therefore, you should use a ski mask to cover the face.
Be sure to keep it in a place where you can easily access it when you feel the chill. Keep in mind that the best ski mask is made of breathable, moisture-wicking material.
Your neck also needs full protection from the cold. Even if your jacket is fully zippered, the cold air can still get in through the cracks. That being said, the best way to keep the temperature up is by wearing a neck tube or a neck warmer.
It keeps the wind off your exposed skin. Be sure to look for a waterproof material as it will provide extra warmth.
- Correct layering
Let’s be honest, just a thick bike jacket is not enough to keep the body warm. Don’t throw your jacket on top of your shirt thinking that you’ll get warm. Ask any professional biker and they will tell you there’re materials that are specifically designed to keep the body warm during winter.
To start with, the jacket should be thick enough to trap the heat.
Secondly, you should wear thermal underwear as it helps to maintain the core temperature. While you may be tempted to go for a synthetic material like cotton, it can get wet when you sweat.
If you want to keep the moisture from the skin at bay, you should use synthetic materials like spandex, polyester, or nylon. When they absorb the skin moisture, it evaporates quickly.
To ensure the upper body remains warm, you should wear a heated vest. It should fit easily under your jacket and must be small enough to be packed away. If you plan to take a trip to a place where temperatures are lower than the average, don’t be afraid to pay extra for electrical gear.
- Wear winter gloves
If your body is exposed to wind, the first thing you’ll notice is wet hands. When temperatures drop to the freezing point, your summer gloves aren’t going to cut it. That’s why you should wear winter gloves as they offer great insulation from cold.
They may be bulky but this is what you need to keep warm on the highway.
Quality winter gloves come with a waterproof membrane that features an insulating fill to keep the hands warm. Sometimes, it can be tricky to operate the bike controls if the gloves have an ample amount of insulation.
If you plan to spend most of the time in the cold, you may want to invest in heated gloves. They are waterproof and require less insulating fill.
Before you start your ride, you should heat them up to ensure you get all-around warmth. Some of the high-end models come with a temperature controller.
But if you don’t want to deal with wired gloves, you can still find winter gloves that offer an exceptional level of warmth.
- Stay dry
While you may be swayed by the styles of motorcycle celebrities like three-quarter helmets, cushion-cooled weather boots, or skintight leather coats, this is not what you need to keep warm.
If you want to ride across the country during winter, you should be after warmth. Keeping yourself warm is all about what you wear.
First, you should ensure your bike has a decent screen to direct the wet air from you while riding. Deflecting the incoming air is a strategy you should put in place if you want to stay dry when riding for long-distance.
Of course, the screen will reduce the noise levels inside the helmet.
Multiple bags will also work wonders when warmth is on the light. Today, most waterproof bags come with waterproof liners that separate anything that might get wet. Be sure to use heavy-duty vinyl bags that are fully sealed to avoid wet gear.
Finally, you should take frequent brakes after an hour of riding. Taking a few stops at restaurants and shops will help you warm up.
- Wear rain boot covers, socks, and waterproof overall
Riding your bike with freezing legs is not only uncomfortable but also poses a danger to your health. If your legs are cold, you can easily lose balance. Additionally, cold legs cold mean poor circulation and increases the chance of frostbite.
To ensure your feet remain warm, you should wear winter boots. Those with heated insoles will even do a better job. Also, you should wear motorcycle socks with variable padding and thickness for optimal comfort.
You may want to pay close attention to the material as sweat buildup can quickly get cold in the boot.
To ensure your trousers don’t get wet, you can wear a waterproof overall. It will do a great job of absorbing the moisture as it cools. An overall works as a windproof barrier and keeps you warm inside.
When you keep your body warm and maintain a positive mindset, your motorbike ride will be fun and enjoyable. Because safety comes first, you should research how much your body can endure.
Be sure to follow the above tips the next time you head out for a ride in the cold.