Essential Motorcycle Gear for Cold Weather Rides

Even though this is not what many riders want to hear or see, it’s that time of the year when they have to get ready for riding in cold weather, which is one of the biggest enemies of motorcycle riders (particularly those who own the racing motorcycle). Essentially, this means preparing the bike and yourself with the adequate gear made specifically for riding during the cold months. But sometimes, this can be overwhelming and many riders aren’t certain on how to switch to “cold weather” mode. I’ve come up with the most fundamental motorcycle gear for cold weather rides. Let’s have a look.

Begin With Base Layer

The base layer is a foundation of cold-weather gear for motorcycles. Whether it’s thermal clothes or full-coverage underwear, the idea behind the layer is to preserve the body heat. However, make sure to choose the material of the base layer attentively, since you need to avoid those materials that incite sweating. Believe us, one of the last things you’d want when riding your bike during the cold weather is to sweat a lot. I’m a huge fan of Dainese base layers for their awesome warmth.d

Keep Layering

Now that you got the first layer, keep combining more layers for varying temperatures and conditions. Ideally, you should focus on overlapping layers to stop skin exposure and seal in warmth close to your body. Furthermore, your layers should also be windproof and waterproof materials, since you’ll be dealing with terrible weather a lot. Always build your layers beginning from your skin to outwards. These layers should consist of:

  • Foundation layer
  • Street clothes
  • Heated Clothing (EHC) [I wear the Keis heated kit]
  • Fleeces or Sweatshirts
  • Jacket or riding suit
  • Helmet and gloves
  • Hi-Vis Vest

For quality, weather protection and comfort I always seem to sway towards Dainese kit. It’s designed so well, lasts and offers amazing comfort.

Keep The Head Warm

Everyone probably knows this, but most of the body heat is lost through the head and limbs. No matter how many layers of clothes you have, it’s all pointless if your head isn’t kept warm. We strongly recommend beginning with a thin ski mask or neck warmer, before putting your helmet on. In regards to helmets, always choose the full-face helmet with neck seal which is ideal for cold winter rides. 

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Winter riding

Keep The Extremities Warm

When our bodies are exposed to cold, the body responds by decreasing the blood flow to extremities to converge on warming the vital organs and core. Cold hands and feet will certainly diminish the level of control of your motorcycle, and can even lead to frostbite which can be a serious issue. Start by adding the well-insulated thermal gloves, which shouldn’t be too tight, or they can reduce blood circulation and limit your hand movement. As for the motorcycle boots, always pick waterproof boots that are a bit larger than your ordinary boots, so you can add thick socks without issues. When selecting the socks, stick with the winter sport or hunting socks, as they are excellent at keeping your feet warm. 

Transform Your Motorcycle To “Cold Weather Mode”

Okay, you have protected your body from cold weather and you’re ready to ride. But you forgot one thing – you can also upgrade your motorcycle and make the ride even more warm and pleasant. This can be done by attaching specialized accessories for cold-weather rides and even electrically heated accessories for extra warmth. Some of the ideas are:

  • Windshield
  • Heated seat warmers
  • Heated grips
  • Handguards
  • Fairing lowers
the girl on a bike enduro dreamland ukraine ktm excf 500 7 scaled
Ukraine snow riding with Enduro Dreamland

Conclusion

Switching yourself and your motorcycle to winter mode probably won’t be cheap, but it’s definitely worth it because you’ll be able to enjoy riding even during the most depressive seasons. We hope we gave you ideas on what you should focus on when it comes to winter rides, so you won’t have to bother about whether you’re missing something. Ride safely and follow our tips, and you’ll certainly have a great time even during the cold weather.

If you’re looking for some seriously extreme riding then I’d check out Iceland and here’s my full tips on how to keep warm and try in Iceland:

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