Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear

Just because it gets cold doesn’t mean you have to stop riding your motorcycle. It just means you have to stay warm and dry. To do this, you need to have the right kind of riding gear.

Bottom Layers

To keep warm on your motorcycle, you need to dress in layers. Your bottom layers are the most important since they will actually keep you warm. These layers should be made of some kind of snug-fitting thermal or fleece shirt. It can be something specifically designed for motorcyclists, but it doesn’t have to be. The main thing to remember is that it needs to be warm. Wear a few different layers so that you can remove some if you overdress.

Top Layer

Your winter riding jacket isn’t going to be the same jacket that you wear in the spring, summer, and fall. Those jackets often have vents and mesh that allow air into the jacket. This keeps you cool when it’s hot out but does nothing for you in the winter. Some jackets are designed to be all-weather, and some of these work well, but they’re usually not your best option for cold weather. If you want to be really warm, you can buy a heated jacket, which heats you enough that you could shed a few bottom layers.

The main thing you need to look for in a winter riding jacket, other than rider protection, is that it will break the wind. Wind chill on a motorcycle is usually what’s going to make you cold. When you get up to speed, the air that felt fine when you were just sitting on your bike will feel ten times colder.

Boots and Socks

There are two things that you need for your feet: wool socks and waterproof boots. Make sure to buy some boots that have insulation, but having insulated boots is worthless if they get wet. There are a number of products on the market designed for motorcyclists. When it comes to boots, it’s best to buy a product specifically designed for riding motorcycles. That way you’ll not only keep your toes warm, but your feet will also be properly protected in case of an accident.


Get some good winter gloves. Your hands are some of the most important things when riding a motorcycle, and if they’re too cold to maneuver the bike, you have a big problem. To be extra safe, consider heated gloves. You may also want to invest in some heated handgrips if you plan to put in several miles when it’s cold.


When it comes to your legs, you need to find something that will protect you in case of an accident, break the wind, and keep you warm. There are hundreds of pants out there to choose from. Reading the product reviews on different retailers’ websites will give you a good idea of what is best.


A full-faced helmet is the way to go in cold weather. Any full-faced helmet will do; they are all reasonably warm. Make sure any vents are closed while you’re riding and wear a neck warmer that will pull up over your nose and chin. Wind whipping at your neck can make you cold very fast.

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