10 must-have accessories for winter riding
A motorcycle is arguably the best vehicle to have. The freedom it provides you is unmatched. You can ride your motorcycle to practically any destination, park it in the tightest of spaces with no hassle, and even use it in all seasons, including winter. Yes, including winter. Even though it is generally difficult to transport oneself during winter, with all the necessary accessories riding can still be fun. We have carefully compiled a list of ten must-have accessories for a safe and enjoyable winter riding. Read on to learn more.
1. Base Layer/gear
Your best layer is the first thing to think about when considering winter riding. This is because your base layer is the closest thing to your skin, giving you protection against the cold and harsh winds. Your base layer should be something that keeps you warm while feeling very good on your skin. It is important that it is good on your skin, as discomfort and irritations can bring about an unpleasant ride. You need something that fits snugly as this will give you all the freedom you need while riding. You can also stay warm since a close-fitting base layer helps to retain your body heat for a longer period of time.
One of the biggest challenges you are likely to encounter during winter riding is the wind. It is important that you get protection against wind through a windshield. A windshield literally works as a shield in battle blocking off all the cold air from the harsh wind, keeping you as warm as possible. You are sure to avoid being hit straight on by cold air, when you have a windshield.
Your helmet is simply a must-have when you go winter riding. Unlike, the summertime when you ride through heat waves, and the feel of air on your face is refreshing, winter riding requires all the warmth you can get. The face screen of your biker helmet protects you from the cold air and harsh winds; while the full face helmet helps to retain the heat from your head thereby providing more warmth while you ride.
4. Balaclava or Scarf
Keeping the wind out is the most important thing to do while preparing for winter riding. That being said, it is important to close all the gaps which your clothing may not reach. The neck is one of the gaps which exist within your clothing, and this is where scarf and balaclava comes in handy. Wrap your scarf or balaclava; whichever you choose, around your neck and you can be sure to stay warm. Ensure it goes around your head and neck, in order for you to enjoy maximum protection. This covers the gap in your clothing, as well as provides another layer of warmth in your helmet.
5. Boots and Socks
The way extreme cold works, it sends your body into survival mode. This means your blood for the most part will be going only to the major internal organs, in order to keep you alive. This switch in your body conditioning reduces the blood flow to areas like your feet, thereby giving it less warmth. This implies that your feet is one of the most affected by cold, which is why it needs maximum attention when winter riding. You therefore need comfortable socks and a pair of boots for your feet. Get a boot that is wind and waterproof, while ensuring they are the perfect size to avoid discomfort.
Just like your feet, your hands are among the body parts that receive limited supply of blood during extreme cold. This is why your hands must be protected by gloves during winter riding. Get a pair of gloves that are windproof, as keeping the cold air out is the most important thing. Also look out for the closure of your gloves; go for something with elastic as this keeps the gloves tight around your hands. The gloves should also provide insulation as this keeps you warm all through your ride.
7. Weatherproof Jackets and Pants
After you must have sorted out the layering, and other accessories that you need, getting weatherproof jacket and pants is the next thing to sort. A weatherproof jacket will keep you warm all through your and also keep the moisture out. The best choice of jacket and pants for winter riding is leather, as it gives you all the warmth you need. It is tough on the outside keeping the cold air out, while being easy on your skin. Choose something that fits snugly without being too tight, in order to allow freedom of movement while you ride.
This helps your vision when you are not wearing a full helmet. A pair of clear motorcycle goggles helps to protect your eyes while keeping your vision clear as you ride. You should have a lens cloth at hand to keep your lenses clean at all times.
9. Jacket and Pant Liner
A liner is the perfect complement for your pants and jackets when you are winter riding. It adds an extra layer of protection thereby providing you with more warmth. Liners made from fleece and other thermal materials are perfect for the upper body, while flannel or fleece lining is great for your pants.
This is one of the most overlooked requirements for a great ride during winter. The body needs all the heat it can get while winter riding, which is why accessories like helmet, leather jackets, gloves and boots are worn by riders. What about generating heat from food? You can achieve this with food. Whenever you eat, your body has to process heat, thereby emitting all the extra heat you need while you eat and ride. Take food breaks, pack a handful of snacks and ensure to have a big breakfast or lunch, when going winter riding.
Other accessories which you can get include lights for your motorcycles, fenders and of course a good motorcycle. Ensure that your motorcycle is in good shape before winter riding and has enough fuel to ride on. With all of these things in place, you can be sure to have a great experience riding in the winter.