The Proper Winter Riding Gear keeps your Motorcycle on the Road

Those lacking in ambition, don't get the proper winter riding gear... and only ride in the summer! Winter is way too long for me to go without riding my motorcycle.

But that don't change the fact... that Winter Motorcycle Riding is ... surprise!... COLD!

Now, I've heard tell that exposed skin can get frostbite when it's as warm as 55 degrees! I can't say that I doubt it any.

People have asked me, when I climb off my bike; "It's a nice day! How come you're dressed so heavy? It's only November! You aren't winter motorcycle riding yet!"

I can't help but reply; " It may be nice, standing here in the sun... but at 65 mph, on highway one, it gets chilly!"

"... and I don't have all my winter riding gear on yet either!" and that's the truth.

Whistlin' through the wind kind of -changes the weather- for a fella... or fellerette... that's straddling a motorcycle at highway speed.

But you can deal with it. All you got to do is gear up with the right winter riding gear.

First thing you've got to do is put that macho, shirt sleeve in the snow, tough guy baloney aside so you can gear up proper... and keep your wheels rollin', no matter what the weather is... or... almost.

Even I don't do any winter motorcycle riding when there's ice on the road... they haven't perfected snow tires or tire chains for motorcycles yet... leastways not that I've heard of! I do know of quite a few folks that do ride...no matter what.

They say you have to "Ride with precision"... and keep your tires in that narrow 'clean' bit of pavement where the tires of passing cars have cleaned off the snow and ice in a thin track!

Well... those folks have left me behind... I'm not ashamed to say! They're at a different level... or at least a different 'place' then I am! Me, I'll wait for clear pavement to do my winter motorcycle riding... thank you very much!

Now... as for picking out the proper winter riding gear...

Just like in a lot of other places, the key in preparing for winter motorcycle riding is to think in terms of layers. Several thinner layers are going to beat one heavy layer, every time.

Then think Windproof and waterproof/water resistant, shell.

Suiting up in preparation for a cold winter ride takes me the better part of five or ten minutes!

When putting on your Winter Riding Gear, Just remember the 7 P's... P-roper P-rior P-reparation P-revents P-iss P-oor P-erformance! :-) ... and in this case... a frozen butt.

When it's twenty degrees out, I start with a good weight wool sweater... and of course, waterproof hiking boots...

Which also have some 'Thinsulate' insulation in them... My feet may not stay absolutely, toasty warm... but they're dry... and ready for a hike to warm up!

winter motorcycle riding gear

Next comes, currently, my 'Key' Insulated coveralls... followed by a 'Carhartt' Insulated vest.

winter motorcycle riding gear

winter motorcycle riding gear

That gets topped with a polyester Fleece hood from a company called 'Schampa'.

***update***Check out the new insulated overalls/coveralls I replaced the 'Key' coveralls with.

winter motorcycle riding gear



The hood goes on first, because it's 'skirt' fits down under that new Carhart Jacket I found... and this Carhartt Nylon jacket is windproof! So far it seems to turn it at better than 65 mph! ... Beat the old Canvas variety all to hell.

winter motorcycle riding gear

This is key... the outer shell of the winter riding gear needs to be windproof... The Nylon shell of this Carhartt has proven to be that in excess of 65 mph for me. If the wind leaks through... the insulation can't do it's job... and you end up with blue lips!

These coveralls on the other hand (and my old heavy canvas Carhartt Arctic coat) start leaking somewhere above 50 or so... I'll soon be replacing them with a nylon shelled variety... as soon as I can fit that into the budget!

Now comes getting my helmet on... a tight fit over that hood... and usually takes a little coercion here and there, but in a minute or so... it's where it needs to be.

Full Face Helmet for winter riding

Last comes the gauntlets. Well Insulated with skirts that pull up over my coat sleeves to tightly seal out the wind.

winter motorcycle riding gear

I'm now armored against the cold and ready to ride! 18 degrees be damned! My winter riding gear takes me the nearly twenty miles to my 'day job' in pretty tough weather and I arrive in fine shape! My finger tips and toes might be just on the chilly side of warm, and the tops of my legs are a little cool from the canvas coveralls leaking... but otherwise I'm as comfortable as I could be.

Winter Motorcycle Riding



Everything is pretty water proof/resistant... again... except for the coveralls... and they are getting changed out... as soon as that $120 or so fits into the budget!

All this gear can be worn for other activities as well, like hiking in bitter cold weather. You do that a lot don't you? :-) ... Working on the place, hunting, whatever.

But wait!... There's more!... I forgot!... This is only what I've been wearing down to about 18 degrees... but there's still one more layer I can add!

winter motorcycle riding gear

I forgot the fancy fleece insulated underwear I have, that's just waiting to get tested... on some day that it gets 'really' cold... and I'm feeling ambitious enough to do the testing! :-)

Like I've said before... I lean toward the same kind of gear I wore in the winter, cowboyin'. There's some high tech, electric, heated clothing out there that will keep you warmed up like a sauna!... if you have the battery/alternator power to run it! I just gravitate toward the simpler side... That and the price of the heated clothing overloads my wallet!

Each to his own...

Bottom line? If you take the time to lay out some proper winter riding gear you can keep your motorcycle rolling right on through the winter motorcycle riding season, with a minimum of discomfort!

... and if you're at all like me... the startled stares you get from the drivers you pass... inside their toasty warm cars... as you go rumbling by at 18 degrees, as you Ride to Live! ...in your winter riding gear... will keep you chuckling most of the rest of the day!



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