The Gear Helps Motorcycle Commuting In Chicago: Rain or Shine

Commuting by motorcycle in ChicagoI’ve never been afraid of a motorcycle ride. Well, I was a little when I went to Duluth and it was seriously windy, and it was a little stressful during this huge storm last year in Chicagoland. But, I persevere! Motorcycle commuting is my favorite way to keep from hating the drive from Chicago to Naperville.

As of right now, my standard motorcycle commuting gear is either my Aerostich Roadcrafter jacket with jeans and Tourmaster gloves, or I subtract the jeans, add shorts and add the Aerostich Roadcrafter riding pants.

The ride from Chicago to Naperville is full of smog and smells, and things falling off of large trucks. I feel small items of debris smack my shins and arms daily. It’s an hour commute, which is absolutely unbearable in a car, but it’s a lot of fun on a motorcycle.

First, the Cold Weather, Since That’s What Everyone Always Asks About

26 degree weather on the honda nighthawk with decent motorcycle commuting gearHaving the right gear for commuting is really important, though, too. The motorcycle gear that I wore last winter while commuting on motorcycle was a snowmobile suit with leggings, long johns, Widder Electrics – chaps and vest – and my regular motorcycle jacket over top of that. It might seem like too many layers, but I was definitely warm enough in the chilly weather I encountered.

For road conditions, as long as it wasn’t just salted or the roads don’t have a layer of snow on them, then they’re usually ice-free. Some snow is okay, it doesn’t ruin the day. A lot of snow, on the other hand, will make the commute pure Hell. I’ve slipped on ice, on wet roads, and on snowy patches. I still haven’t had an accident.

The sexiest biker of Naperville - my winter riding gear for the motorcycle.

The sexiest biker of Naperville – my winter riding gear for the motorcycle. It was about 15° when I took this picture, right before leaving my digital marketing job.

My “New” Aerostich Two-Piece Riding Suit: Commuter Gear for Hot and Cold Weather, Wet or Dry

New motorcycle gear Aerostich suit and reflective vest for motorcycle commutingI recently purchased an Aerostich two piece riding suit, very well worn, off of eBay. It was a little bit of a risky purchase, since there was limited information (and the bottom half is a couple sizes smaller than mentioned in the post) but for $200, I couldn’t really turn it down. The day I rode from work my old place to get it turned very stormy, very fast. It went from extremely hot and humid to basically tornado weather, and still rode home on the motorcycle.

I’ll write up a good review of the Aerostich riding suit once I feel like it fits better and I’ve got more miles on it. It’s been going good so far, though, and even in 90°F weather, I’ve been able to stay cool by opening up all the vents and on the legs. So far it’s been a commuter’s dream, and I’ve stayed bone dry in it, even though I haven’t done any sort of waterproofing treatment to it. I’ll need to at some point, since it’s such an old piece of equipment, but for now I’m happy.

Man, that’s a bad picture of me. Still, it’s the only one of me in the Aerostich suit so far. I’ll have a real review of it once I hit 1,000 miles in it.

Leave a Reply