Riding in the Cold
As cold weather starts to roll in this season and the last red leaves fall off the trees, it's time to start thinking about what you're going to do with your motorcycle this winter.  For some, winter means buying fuel stabilizer, dusting off the trickle charger, and gently snuggling their motorcycle into a warm corner of the garage.  For the rest of us, winter means no change to our motorcycle riding habits except the addition of some extra clothing!
Featured Motorcycle Ride
Riding a motorcycle in cold weather comes down to one simple concept: INSULATION.   Since most people aren't very active on a motorcycle, their body isn't doing much to produce heat on its own to counteract the cold.  That means we have to do everything we can to insulate the body in order to keep what precious heat that we do produce actually on our body, and not floating off in the cold winter air. Insulation boils down to two things: layers (to slow the rate at which our body loses heat), and wind proofing (to keep the wind from stealing our heat).   Let's talk about layers first.  Layers are critical for riding a motorcycle in the cold weather of winter.  The number of layers you'll need to wear is based both on personal preference (some people naturally run a little hotter than others) and the temperature outside.  I've worn up to four layers in really cold weather.  The key is to have enough layers on that you feel comfortable (maybe even slightly warm) when you step outside and just stand in place (before you ride your motorcycle). Remember two things  •   Your bottom layer should always be some type of snug fitting thermal or fleece     underwear.  This will create a warm layer of air     between your body and this material     (Don't worry about buying the expensive wicking materials like Dri-Fit, etc. - you won't     be sweating much so it won't do you much good).   •   Don't wear so many layers that you lose mobility.  If you can't hold your arms at your side because of all your clothing, than      it's probably time to invest in either some warmer, or even heated, clothing.
Wind Proofing Now, let's talk about wind proofing.  The biggest issue that you will have when riding a motorcycle in the winter is keeping the wind out.  Wind, specifically wind chill, is your worst enemy on a motorcycle in cold weather.  Doing everything you can to stop this enemy is going to go a long way to helping you ride your motorcycle comfortably in the cold.   Wind-proofing also takes the most trial and error to perfect.  It can take quite a while before you finally plug all of those air leaks!  The main thing to do for wind-proofing is to
make sure your outer layer is some type of wind-proof material. Leather is by far the most popular choice for this.  Ideally, you should look for something that is both wind-proof and water-proof.  There are many man-made materials that meet that criteria. (I personally prefer leather and if I do run into weather, I just throw my rain gear on for protection and a little added warmth!)
Hands and Feet I've found that I can insulate my body and legs adequately, but when the temperature really drops, I have the most problems with my hands and feet.  Many people have a similar problem.  The reason is that as you get cold your body focuses circulation on your internal organs to keep them warm, while your feet and hands get the shaft. The only way that I've found to keep my hands and feet comfortable in really cold weather is to 1) add additional heat sources, and 2) invest in quality boots and gloves.  For me, I invested in heated gloves, socks and jacket liners from Gerbing.
Heated Liners I've found that I can insulate my body and legs adequately, but when the temperature really drops, I have the most problems with my hands and feet.  Many people have a similar problem.  The reason is that as you get cold your body focuses circulation on your internal organs to keep them warm, while your feet and hands get the shaft.  Sometimes no matter how well you dress, if you're on the road long enough, you'll lose more heat than your body can generate.  Long riders resort to electrical assistance. Heated clothing, which uses your bike's electrical system to power heating elements, makes a huge difference by not just insulating you, but adding heat to the whole equation.  Gloves start around $100. Vests, depending on the style, run around $200. Socks can range from simple D-cell powered items that sell for around $25, to $90 systems that hook into the rest of your electric riding gear.  Make sure your charging system can handle the load.  Find out the output of your charging system, add up the draw from all your electrical gear, and make sure you're not draining your battery.  Also, leave a margin of error, because your bike's output may be measured at cruising rpms and it may produce considerably less electrical power at idle. For many riders, a vest alone is enough.  If you keep your torso warm, your body will focus on pumping warm blood to your extremities.  If you torso gets cold, your body will abandon the extremities to try to keep the vital organs warm, and that's when you can suffer from dangerously numb hands or, possibly, frostbitten toes.  
Chemical options Another option is a lightweight, disposable heat pack, which offers a different kind of protection.  Imagine you're out for a ride on a nice fall day. You're so consumed with the changing leaves that you don't notice how far you've ridden. It's getting dark and cold — fast. A bit of quick heat can make all the difference.  An outdoor gear store, or even one of the big-box retailers that sell recreational goods, will have chemical packs of the type hunters use.  Be careful, because some can produce up to 150 degrees, so don't put them next to bare skin. Keep hydrated One last thing to think about — that you might not think about: Drink lots of liquids.  Dehydration may be foremost in your mind in the hot months, but you still lose moisture in winter.  Cold, dry winter air can suck moisture out of you and you may not notice that you're perspiring.
Heartland Honda Link
Copyright © 2017 - Ozark Rides, All Rights Reserved
Share with Us
Riding in the Cold
As cold weather starts to roll in this season and the last red leaves fall off the trees, it's time to start thinking about what you're going to do with your motorcycle this winter.  For some, winter means buying fuel stabilizer, dusting off the trickle charger, and gently snuggling their motorcycle into a warm corner of the garage.  For the rest of us, winter means no change to our motorcycle riding habits except the addition of some extra clothing!
Riding a motorcycle in cold weather comes down to one simple concept: INSULATION.   Since most people aren't very active on a motorcycle, their body isn't doing much to produce heat on its own to counteract the cold.  That means we have to do everything we can to insulate the body in order to keep what precious heat that we do produce actually on our body, and not floating off in the cold winter air. Insulation boils down to two things: layers (to slow the rate at which our body loses heat), and wind proofing (to keep the wind from stealing our heat).   Let's talk about layers first.  Layers are critical for riding a motorcycle in the cold weather of winter.  The number of layers you'll need to wear is based both on personal preference (some people naturally run a little hotter than others) and the temperature outside.  I've worn up to four layers in really cold weather.  The key is to have enough layers on that you feel comfortable (maybe even slightly warm) when you step outside and just stand in place (before you ride your motorcycle). Remember two things  •   Your bottom layer should always be some type of snug fitting thermal or fleece underwear.  This will create a warm layer of air between your body and this material (Don't worry about buying the expensive wicking materials like Dri-Fit, etc. - you won't be sweating much so it won't do you much good).   •   Don't wear so many layers that you lose mobility.  If you can't hold your arms at your side because of all your clothing, than it's probably time to invest in either some warmer, or even heated, clothing.
Wind Proofing Now, let's talk about wind proofing.  The biggest issue that you will have when riding a motorcycle in the winter is keeping the wind out.  Wind, specifically wind chill, is your worst enemy on a motorcycle in cold weather.  Doing everything you can to stop this enemy is going to go a long way to helping you ride your motorcycle comfortably in the cold.   Wind-proofing also takes the most trial and error to perfect.  It can take quite a while before you finally plug all of those air leaks!   The main thing to do for wind-proofing is to make sure your outer layer is some type of wind-proof material. Leather is by far the most popular choice for this.  Ideally, you  should look for something that is both wind-proof and water-proof.  There are many man-made materials that meet that criteria.  (I personally prefer leather and if I do run into weather, I just throw my rain gear on for protection and a little added warmth!) Hands and Feet I've found that I can insulate my body and legs adequately, but when the temperature really drops, I have the most problems with my hands and feet.  Many people have a similar problem. The reason is that as you get cold your body focuses circulation on your internal organs to keep them warm, while your feet and hands get the shaft. The only way that I've found to keep my hands and feet comfortable in really cold weather is to 1) add additional heat sources, and 2) invest in quality boots and gloves.  For me, I invested in heated gloves, socks and jacket liners from Gerbing. Heated Liners I've found that I can insulate my body and legs adequately, but when the temperature really drops, I have the most problems with my hands and feet.  Many people have a similar problem. The reason is that as you get cold your body focuses circulation on your internal organs to keep them warm, while your feet and hands get the shaft.  Sometimes no matter how well you dress, if you're on the road long enough, you'll lose more heat than your body can generate.  Long riders resort to electrical assistance. Heated clothing, which uses your bike's electrical system to power heating elements, makes a huge difference by not just insulating you, but adding heat to the whole equation.  Gloves start around $100. Vests, depending on the style, run around $200.  Socks can range from simple D-cell powered items that sell for around $25, to $90 systems that hook into the rest of your electric riding gear.  Make sure your charging system can handle the load.  Find out the output of your charging system, add up the draw from all your electrical gear, and make sure you're not draining your battery.  Also, leave a margin of error, because your bike's output may be measured at cruising rpms and it may produce considerably less electrical power at idle. For many riders, a vest alone is enough.  If you keep your torso warm, your body will focus on pumping warm blood to your extremities.  If you torso gets cold, your body will abandon the extremities to try to keep the vital organs warm, and that's when you can suffer from dangerously numb hands or, possibly, frostbitten toes. Chemical options Another option is a lightweight, disposable heat pack, which offers a different kind of protection.  Imagine you're out for a ride on a nice fall day. You're so consumed with the changing leaves that you don't notice how far you've ridden. It's getting dark and cold — fast. A bit of quick heat can make all the difference.  An outdoor gear store, or even one of the big-box retailers that sell recreational goods, will have chemical packs of the type hunters use.  Be careful, because some can produce up to 150 degrees, so don't put them next to bare skin. Keep hydrated One last thing to think about — that you might not think about: Drink lots of liquids.  Dehydration may be foremost in your mind in the hot months, but you still lose moisture in winter.  Cold, dry winter air can suck moisture out of you and you may not notice that you're perspiring.
Heartland Honda Link
Copyright © 2017 - Ozark Rides, All Rights Reserved
Share with Us
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