Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, you must keep yourself warm when riding in cold weather. While the cool breeze has a way of making you feel invigorated, prolonged exposure will lead to drowsiness, exhaustion, shivering and sore joints, all of which can make for a very uncomfortable and hazardous ride. Always stay warm, energised and alert as you drive through icy roads.
Last year, we put together a winterriding guide with tips that are still useful today. Now we’ve decided to add more tips to help bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts.
Layer your clothes properly
First things first – don’t wear cotton.
Cotton absorbs moisture, but can’t be trusted to wick it. If you’re clad in cotton, moisture will just stay on your skin and drain your body heat. That said, it’s best to wear synthetic, wool or silk undergarments. Everything from your underwear to your knee warmers and glove liners should not be made of cotton.
Consider headgear such as a balaclava to keep your head and neck warm. Avoid wearing excessive layers on the interior. Too many layers means less air, and less air means poor heat retention.
Wearing a jacket with full coverage seems like a wise choice, but the leather jacket and jeans tandem is not always the best idea if you are in area wheretemperature can get lose to zero. In these temperatures leather can easily get cold & stiff and as such It may be better to opt for textile jackets with inner lining.
For your hands and feet, look for warm gauntlet gloves and socks. Keep in mind that thicker gloves and socks are not necessarily warmer. Choose any fabric that’s not cotton, and your fingers and toes will never go numb. As for your footwear, go for full coverage boots that are not too tight for better air and heat retention.
Modify your motorcycle
If you can spend money on bike modifications, go for it. Attach heated grips to help insulate your farthest extremities and stave off numbing. Install a heated seat to keep your core warm by helping your blood flow through your legs, feet and toes. Aside from the cost, the only drawback is that all these modifications will draw power from the battery.
Don’t forget to eat
It’s not wise to ride on an empty stomach, especially when the weather is cold and your metabolism is slower than usual. Remember that eating is one of the best ways to keep your body warm. Before hitting the icy and snowy highway, consume foods thatwill increase your temperature. Your body will create heat as it burns calories and stave off cold-related aches and pains.
Stop as often as you need
Always pace yourself when riding in cold weather.
If your extremities start to feel numb and it’s becoming more difficult to concentrate on the road ahead, rest for a bit. Eat a snack or meal, and have a warm drink to get your body temperature to normal. Just don’t drink too much coffee. It will make you feel warmer by increasing the blood flow to your skin, but you’ll lose body heat faster that way.
If you’re not keen on keeping your motorcycle parked throughout the colder months, keep these tips in mind. Rhino Leather (www.RhinoLeather.com.au) has a range of items to help you stay warm, comfortable and focused.