Riding a motorcycle on a winter day with a temperature of 40 degrees may feel warm when you’re stopped. As soon as you hit highway speeds, it gets cold, fast. At 65 mph, the wind chill turns 40 degrees into a cold 24 degrees. When that cold hits your hands, the blood vessels constrict, rapidly decreasing your hand temperature and causing:
- Impaired tactile sensitivity
- Reduced manual dexterity
- Decreased motor function
- Degraded ability to operate equipment
- Increasing pain
- Onset of frostbite
Layers: It’s not how many layers you have, but with what you layer. Skip the cotton, it absorbs moisture but doesn’t wick it away. Stick with synthetic, silk or wool. Ditto on the socks.
Chaps and leather jackets aren’t just to make you look like a biker. Same with full coverage motorcycle boots. They help block the wind and retain heat. Don’t forget the neck muffler to pull on after your jacket. You’ll notice the difference right away in how long you can maintain body heat using one. A full-face helmet is the best insulation for your head.
It’s important to note that you don’t want to add too many layers on the interior. When layers are bunching up, they hold less air. Air is what stores heat. Too many layers, less air, less heat. Not good.
Heated Gear: Many models have heated grips and seats, but if your bike isn’t equipped, try some heated gear. Since heated jackets heat from the sides, the previously mentioned seat is a more surefire way of warming the core. Heated glove will protect your fingers from the wind and cold.
Heated Inserts: If you only ride a few times during the colder months, you could simply use warming inserts to add some heat to your body. They come in a variety of sizes that will fit your hands, feel and even larger to insert into the jacket liner to warm your core.
EAT! One of the best ways to warm up is to eat some food. Your body burns calories to digest food and doing so creates heat. And of course, a warm drink will help raise your body temp.
Stay Dry: Water steals heat from the body fast. By staying dry at your skin, you’ll be able to hang on to more of that precious body heat longer. Add on the rain gear: It may not be raining, but rain gear comes in handy for adding an additional exterior layer and breaking the wind.