Motorcycle riding in winter can be tough, especially for those in the eastern and southern part of Australia, but you don’t have to lock up your motorbike and hide it for the entire season.
You can still enjoy the road despite the cold weather by arming yourself with the correct gear and learning a few tricks.
Here are our 5 best tips and tricks to keep warm during those beautiful, early morning cruises during the cold season.
1. Gear up from head to toe
Keeping your body covered and protected is probably the best way to keep warm when riding in winter. It’s like going into battle with the freezing weather. You must put on your complete battle armour to survive the entire motorcycle tour. So, make sure to gear up with winter clothing from head to toe. Here is some gear that you must put on:
- Full-face helmet –The key is to pick a helmet that fits tightly so no cold air can get in. Forget ventilation because the faster you ride; the stronger icy wind will blow against your head. The last thing you need when driving is not being able to think right because of a headache. You can also wear a balaclava and neck-warmer or scarf to give you additional wind protection.
- Layers of clothing – A thick bike jacket won’t be enough to keep your body warm. Get yourself a thermal shirt and thermal underwear to keep some warm air next to your skin. Add additional layers of the garment to help block the cold air and provide insulation underneath the jacket. Speaking of jackets, make sure to get a wind resistant and waterproof jacket. This thick layer of clothing will trap in heat and keep your blood flowing, as well as keeping the other important internal organs warm.
- Waterproof gloves, thick socks, and winter boots – During a cold weather, your extremities will get to feel the chill first. You need to protect your hands and feet to be able to handle the gas control, clutch lever, brakes, and gear shift. Wearing winter gloves that both insulate heat and prevents water and cold air from entering will work wonders. Long thick socks and winter boots should also do the trick to keep your feet from freezing.
2. Accessorise the motorcycle
You can also equip the motorcycle with useful accessories to aid your body in staying warm when riding. An accessory that will give your hands instant controllable heat is a heated handlebar grip. It can be easily connected to the battery and it is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry in wet conditions. Another motorcycle accessory that you need to get is a windscreen. It will help prevent strong cold wind from going directly to your body. Get a bigger and wider windscreen if you can.
3. Bring protection for sudden rain
Aside from the icy winter wind, unexpected rain is another thing that can give you the chills. Check the weather forecast for the day before leaving your home. If there is a good chance of riding in heavy showers, you must prevent your body from getting wet or you’ll still freeze despite thick clothing. Waterproof jacket, pants, and gloves will help but wear a proper motorcycle rain suit will protect you and your clothes. You can also wear rubber over boots and waterproof shoe covers or overshoes to protect your feet.
Sometimes, the downpour can be too much so there will be a good chance that you will still get wet at some point. It will be very advisable to carry an extra set of clothing and packing them safely in zip-lock or a dry bag.
4. Take small breaks to warm up
Having frequent small breaks is another way to keep warm during winter rides.
After a good hour of riding continuously or whenever you feel that your temperature is going down, have a small break. Take stops at cafes or restaurants to get snacks and coffee to help you warm up. Perhaps even do some small stretches to keep the blood flowing and prevent your muscles from going stiff.
5. Prepare your mind and body
Your riding gear and motorcycle accessories will only take you as far as your body can handle the cold weather both physically and mentally. If your mind and body are not prepared, then you’ll only end up going back home not even half-way through your planned tour. Get your body physically ready for winter ride by eating before going out. Having a full stomach will increase your metabolism, thus, ensuring normal blood circulation and keeping the core body temperature warm. Drinking lukewarm water will also help keep your body temperature from going down.
Determination and strong will can also help you get through the whole motorcycle ride. Motivating yourself and having a positive mind will go a long way despite the tough situation you are in.
Follow these five ways to keep warm during winter rides and you will think twice about just staying at home this season. However, you should not forget that the human body can only take so much coldness before it reaches hypothermia. You must consider your body’s limitation and avoid being reckless, especially in a freezing weather. Safety is always first, so do your proper research and make sure that your body can endure the weather first before going out for a motorcycle winter ride.