How to keep warm in winter on a motorbike
Find out what you can do to better deal with cold weather conditions on your motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle in winter is seriously challenging if you don’t make great efforts to keep warm. The harsh winds will cut right through the gaps in your clothes and low temperatures will numb your fingers in minutes.
However, with the right gear and preparations in place, you can continue riding even when there’s frost in the air. In this article, we’ll highlight the several ways in which you can ready yourself for riding in the cold winter weather.
Top tips for keeping warm while riding your motorbike
1. Wear cold-weather riding gear
The most important thing you can do to stay warm while riding in winter is to invest in dedicated cold-weather riding gear. Look for jackets, trousers, boots and gloves that are all fully insulated and windproof. They may involve a slight cost, but as your outermost layer of protection, they’ll help prevent the cold air and wind from cutting through your clothing, making them a must-have for all motorcyclists.
2. Wear a full-face helmet
Full-face helmets are an absolute no-brainer in cold weather. Not only do they offer additional crash protection, but they provide far more warmth than open-face headgear since they cover your entire head, as well as your chin and neck. Make sure your full-face helmet fits properly as it will prevent the cold air from seeping in around your neck and face.
3. Layer up on clothing
On those bitter winter days, that insulated riding jacket alone won’t be enough to keep you warm. Layering up on clothing will help massively in retaining your much-needed body heat.
Start with a long-sleeved base layer and build upon it with insulating layers such as fleece or wool. On your bottom, wearing long underwear beneath your riding trousers will help you to stay warm. And don’t forget to wear an extra layer of socks on your feet and something around your neck — such as a balaclava or snood!
4. Install a windshield
If you thought the temperature reported by your weather app seemed cold, think again. When you ride at high speeds, a significant wind chill effect can make the temperature outside feel even colder than it actually is.
A windshield is a great way to avoid this, by blocking the wind from hitting your torso and preventing the cold air from penetrating beneath your layers of clothing.
5. Explore motorbike add-ons
To go above and beyond, installing add-ons to your bike for the winter months will always improve your ride comfort in cold conditions.
For instance, bar muffs — which attach to your handlebars — protect your hands from the cold by providing a permanent shield cover. Additionally, heated grips powered by your battery will gently warm the palms of your hands as you grip the handlebars.
6. Plan ahead
Not only should planning ahead involve routing the shortest distance to your destination to minimise your time outside in the cold, but you should also check the weather forecast before setting off. By knowing exactly what to expect, you can adjust your route or the time of day at which you ride for the most comfortable journey.
7. Warm up before riding
Don’t just hop on your frozen motorbike and speed off into the cold. Riding in low temperatures can be physically taxing, so warm up your muscles by doing some light cardio or moving around.
Whilst you do this, you can start your motorbike engine and let it idle for a few minutes to bring it up to its operating temperature.
8. Prepare yourself mentally
Cold-weather riding requires as much mental stamina as physical, so be aware of the risks you’re taking and try to keep your mindset positive and focused. If conditions get too tough, don’t be afraid to cut the ride short — even if it's just for a brief break to warm up.
Extended motorbike warranty from Warranty First
It's not just you who feels the effects of the cold weather, but your motorbike does too. Extreme temperatures can put a strain on your bike’s components, so it is important to protect yourself from any unwanted faults. At Warranty First, we offer warranty plans for your motorbike, so that you can maintain peace of mind throughout the year.