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Best tips for winter motorcycle riding

Tutorials and technology 24 February, 2020

We talk about…

Discover our best tips for winter motorcycle riding.

One of our special videos on the channel because we’re going to talk about motorcycling in winter. In fact, we’re going to go over some tips and advice for fighting the cold when riding your motorcycle. Because we know that there are many of you that get on your bike in winter, come rain or come snow or even if a hurricane is on the way.

Gear up well, on the outside

I know some of you go through life with your ski jacket and sweatshirt or whatever under your motorcycle jacket. I’ve seen it in real life and also in advice from biker youtubers. But it’s not ideal: apart from not protecting you against impacts, you’re going to lose a lot of mobility, stuffed like a sausage and also, the breathability is not optimum.

Forget about experiments. What insulates you best against the cold is good outer gear with a waterproof membrane and a thermal lining. This can be removable or not. That is, you need an outer layer that insulates against the cold and wet but that allows sweat to evaporate, to breathe.

To this end there are loads of motorcycle jackets with waterproof membranes. Gore-Tex is well known and the best. But then there are many other manufacturers that have their own. In this way, we have a wide range at different prices.

And I mean a motorcycle jacket: prepared for it. Not just to combat the cold or the wet, but because they come with reliable protections. Something you’ll appreciate in the event of a fall.

This refers to all the specific motorcycle gear: jacket, pants, boots and gloves. Being well equipped, even though first you have to pay for it, will make you be safer and more comfortable. Spending money on motorcycle gear is always a good investment. That’s how it is. Your safety is in play.

Gear up well on the inside

If on the outside we should be well equipped, on the inside also. Generally, winter jackets already come with a thermal lining, be it removable or not. Also, it’s advisable to wear a jumper or a fleece. And finally, to add a third layer, which goes closest to the body.

There are thermal T-shirts, pants and socks. Thermal garments devised for fighting against cold temperatures.

Hardly worth saying don’t opt for a newspaper as insulation; you’re not a 1950’s cyclist, those that climbed the Tourmalet smoking. Forget about household tips and brothers in law.

And a basic area where you especially have to fight the cold is on the neck. A neck warmer (fleece or not) is a winter must.

Gloves, the tip that can’t fail

Buy some specific, long shaft winter gloves. As we said before: gloves with a Gore-Tex membrane are the ones that insulate the best and with a thermal lining/insulation. But there are other waterproof membranes.

A tip to bear in mind is that, once on, there’s a little bit of glove left over in the fingertips. But, use common sense: that our feel with the motorcycle controls is not affected.

In this way we’ll avoid something more than just our fingertips freezing. For other cases, an inner glove can also be a solution: they take up little space in our luggage and will help us ride with warm hands.

Another solution in the glove department could be some heated gloves. We’ve spoken about them many times on the channel. For example, the Garibaldi TCS or the Seventy Degrees have a removable, rechargeable battery that provides 3 heat intensities and have an autonomy of just over a couple of hours. Apart from that, they are common, waterproof and practical motorcycle touring gloves.

Attention: back to household tricks. We don’t recommend wearing a plastic petrol pump glove under your gloves nor plastic bags inside your shoes, on your feet.

Although at first we feel that they help combat the cold, in the long term they make us sweat much more as a plastic bag will never be breathable, as well as losing feel with the motorcycle controls.

Definitively we’d be imprecise with the motorcycle controls and would compromise our safety.

Choose the most suitable size

We always say at Motocard: try to buy the motorcycle gear (jacket, pants and gloves), in the right size. If it’s too tight it won’t help the blood to circulate around our body and also, we’ll be uncomfortable.

On the other hand, a size too big could insulate you less and the cold can get in through some slit, albeit in the sleeves or the neck.

Don’t let the cold get in

Speaking of the latter, it’s basic that, once you’ve chosen your winter motorcycle gear, you fit it well to your body precisely so that the cold can’t get in. Gloves on the outside of the jacket, do the zips up properly, the jacket collar, etc.

The helmet

Another basic, although that doesn’t make it any less true; remember to close all the vents on your helmet and the screen. Often we forget and when riding around in cold temperatures we can feel it (and how!). If it’s really cold, maybe you should evaluate the option of an under helmet. There are some for around 10€.

Accessories

For extreme cases, there are also very interesting complements for riding your motorcycle in winter.

For example, heat patches. As the name indicates, these are patches that give us extra heat. They are of one use and last around 8 to 12 hours and there are some to place inside your boots or inside the gloves. Very practical and easy to carry.

Another interesting accessory are heated hand grips. They require installation, but if you use the motorcycle in winter, maybe you could bear them in mind.

 

What do you think about these tips? Do you apply them? Tell us about it in the comments section. Enjoy your motorcycle, in summer as well as winter.

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  1. Patrick

    I wish I could remember to close the helmet vents when it rains O:)))!
    For the hands I have been using handlebar muffs for the last 40+years on all types of bikes. I know I know they look ugly but do they work! Then, I always have a handy pair of silk liners that I also use while skiing. I solved the entire cold problem 2 years ago by moving to Valencia, Spain! No more layers, 3 seasons this, 4 seasons that. Jet helmet for city diving, then Moto Cross one when we go off road. This summer I will get an Trial helmet, light, safe for the city. Ride safe all. Cheers

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