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Which Motorcycle Clothing for the Winter?

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If your motorcycle is your main means of transportation, you cannot always decide to leave it at home when the weather gets uncomfortable. The risk of riding a motorcycle makes it especially important to use the right gear in these moments. It helps us stay comfortable and concentrated in order to avoid mistakes and accidents. Which motorcycle clothing is the best choice for the winter?

The Importance of Comfort for Motorcycle Riders

The motorcycle notoriously brings a higher risk of accidents and injuries than a car.

  • Without the protective cabin, the rider is exposed to weather conditions and any objects they would hit in a crash.
  • Additionally, there are no seat belts or airbags on the bike, that would protect us in these moments.
  • On top of it all, the agile two-wheeler is harder to control and easier to overlook by other traffic participants.

We chose the right set of protective motorcycle clothing to alleviate these risk factors.

Naturally, the armor and padding of motorcycle gear help us limit injuries once we are in a crash. The purpose of the protective clothing, however, starts long before we get into this situation.

  • A good set of motorcycle clothing keeps us comfortable, concentrated, and has features that help us control the bike, like the grip of a motorcycle glove.

Uncomfortable surroundings are a constant distractor when we are sitting on a bike. Additionally, they can actively affect the maneuverability of our body parts. Fingers that are subjected to the chilling air flow without protection will go numb and are much harder to move. In a dicey moment, the reaction speed of a motorcycle rider can decide between live and death.

The longer the ride takes, the more will uncomfortable outside influences drain our energy. That’s why it’s the best decision to be proactive and chose motorcycle clothing that is suited for the current season and weather.

Motorcycle Gear for the Winter

Like ski clothing, motorcycle gear for use in winter has a high focus on insulation. While most motorcycle jackets – due to their robust textiles and padding – already offer protection from wind, rain, and cold, depending on the day this might not be sufficient.

For this reason, manufacturers of motorcycle gear have developed specialized clothing that can withstand a ride through freezing temperatures and snow fall.

This way, we don’t have to try to combine regular winter clothing and normal motorcycle gear for the appropriate thermal management. Instead, a set of winter gear is the most practical and safe solution.

Important factors to keep in mind are:

  • Insulation
  • Lining
  • Ventilation
  • Shell
  • Additional Gear
  • Specific Weather Conditions

Insulation

The insulation of a piece of clothing traps the body heat and keeps colder outside temperatures from entering. There are several materials that are used for this purpose. Often, we can choose between fleece (synthetic) and wool (natural). Either have pros and cons that are suitable for different people and circumstances.

  • Wool is more expensive, can be itchy, high maintenance, and dries slower than a synthetic material.
  • However, in comparison, fleece is less long-lived, does not provide as much insulation when it is wet, and creates static electricity.

Which insulation lining is the right choice, depends on the rider and their preferences, as well as other characteristics of the motorcycle clothing. A jacket that is waterproof will not lead to the loss in efficiency of wet fleece, for example.

Lining

To get the best piece of motorcycle clothing, it typically combines various layers. One lining might be purely reserved for insulation, while another adds other important features.

An essential type of lining that makes winter clothing more comfortable is made from a breathable fabric, like Gore-Tex. The synthetic fiber allows your skin to breathe and fluids to travel to the outside of the jacket. This way, you won’t sit in your sweat for the entire ride.

Ventilation

The breathable layer also benefits from additional ventilation. For the wintertime, these should be positioned in a way where the air flow or rain cannot enter them, while they still allow your body to breathe under the clothing.

Variable gear that can be used under different circumstances will allow you to open and close vents if you need to.

Shell

The shell is the outer layer of motorcycle clothing. Its most critical features are its armor plates and the abrasion resistance of the material.

When you are in a crash, the tough fabric and armor will keep you from getting

  • road rash,
  • cuts, or
  • penetrations of sharp objects,

and

  • will redistribute impact force to protect your bones from breaking.

Traditionally, this abrasion-resistant material is leather. More modern options include synthetic fibers with a high level of protection, like Kevlar. The shell and its treatment decide over other factors, like how airtight the material is and whether it is waterproof. Both are good features for winter gear.

Additional Gear

For rides through especially cold areas, you can invest into special gadgets, like electric heating elements. Heated gear uses battery power to keep you warm.

The Right Gear for Specific Weather Conditions

Not all winter gear is necessary for every ride during the season. Some levels of cold protection are over-the-top for milder regions or days.

The best practice is to always chose the appropriate motorcycle clothing and gear for the individual ride you are planning. This way, you won’t be melting after picking the highest winter protection when it really wasn’t necessary.

Conclusion

Thermal management is an important factor in motorcycle safety. It is one tool of many that help keep the rider comfortable, agile, and concentrated.

When we are riding in the winter, we should invest in a good set of winter motorcycle clothing. The additional insulation with features that still allow your body to breathe is priceless for rides in the cold, wind, and snow. For extreme weather and long rides, gadgets like electric heating elements can help us stay warm and nimble.

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