I’ve been doing winter motorcycle riding for a few winters now, and while my tolerance for the extremes will wax and wane with my mood and the amount of snow on the ground, I think I have a pretty good handle on things.
Having good winter motorcycle gear is of utmost importance. Here’s a brief overview of what works for me.
- A full-face or modular helmet. I think I’m favoring the full face helmet at this point. I did two winters with a regular full face helmet and I noticed a lot less air/cold leakage. However, it’s a great deal easier to deal with glasses if you’re using a modular helmet. Expect to spend $50 to $200 or more for a decent one.
- Snowmobile suit. Hindsight is 20/20. All those days and nights of wearing 5 or 6 pairs of pants, layered with jeans, sweatpants, leggings, and longjohns were wasted. I could have spent less time getting in and out of those by using a snowmobile suit. My current one is an off-the-rack cheapie (it cost less than any others at the shop) but it still ran me $80. I should have gotten a smaller one made for short people. I have to use bungee cords around my feet to keep the pants there.
- Great gloves. I layered gloves like I layered my sweatpants before. Now that I have my Olympia Weatherking gloves I’m confident that I should have invested in them sooner. Mine ran around $50 (with a 50% off discount for signing up to review them).
- Insulated boots. Doc Martens are great and classy, but when that cold air hits for a long time, you’ll want some steel-toed, waterproof insulated boots. You can go cheap with the $20 ones at WalMart or you can get really nice ones. Regardless, it’ll be better than regular boots.
- Women’s stretch leggings. The ones that say Danskin and stuff. You want these. They’re cheap versions of the athletic gear you’ll find for like $50 a pop everywhere else. Choose to spend $15 instead. Get the ones that are full length and stay close to the body. Go for a size smaller than you think you need.
- Reflective Vest. Nobody is anticipating that they’ll see a motorcycle rider out today. Do yourself a favor and get more visible. Maybe $10? Cheaper at a thrift shop.
Still have cash?
If you saved some money then go ahead and spend some on heated winter motorcycle gear.
Heated gear is absolutely amazing. I used to think it was just for the weaker of the bikers out there, but I was wrong. I can now travel further and for longer than I imagined. Opt for used gear you can find on eBay, Craigslist, local Facebook markets, and garage sales. I got my set from a friend for $50.