Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear: 10 Products to Keep Riding This Winter

Do you pour fuel stabilizer into your tank and lock your bike in the shed for the season? Expect! With this gear, you can keep riding in the cold, wet and dark months ahead.

Getting cold while riding a motorbike is total misery. But there is a whole other problem; even if you are (wo)man enough to brave the cold, do you really feel safe? Are you in top shape for quick maneuvers if needed? Is your brain working properly?

Our top 10 list for the best cold weather motorcycle gear can help extend the riding season safely and comfortably.. We’ll assume you already have the basic essentials, like a riding jacket and pants with crash, cold and rain protection, and build your winter riding system from there.

Dave Sears woke up to his F800GS covered in snow along the Utah BDR; (photo/Dave Sears)

10 Best: Cold Weather Motorcycle Riding Gear

REI Co-op Half-Zip Midweight Baselayer

cold weather motorcycle clothing half zip REI

Get comfortable with quality base layers. Layering is the cornerstone to keeping you warm all day long. During the colder months, always keep cotton wool away from your skin. If cotton gets wet from sweat or the elements, it can chill you to the bone and put you on the path to hypothermia. The best solution is a synthetic or wool base layer.

One of my favourites, which has lasted for many years, is the REI Co-op Half-Zip Midweight Baselayer ($60). I like these half-zip designs because if I’m riding aggressively off-road or hiking to a point where I’m warming up, the zippered portion near my neck allows for ventilation. If I sweat, the moisture is wicked away from my skin to keep me dry and comfortable.

Get the match REI Co-op Midweight Basecoat ($55) to keep your butt and legs warm.

Check price at REI

Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest

Aerostitch Cold Weather Heated VestA heated vest (or jacket) is an essential addition to cold weather motorcycle gear to keep your core warm. A proven and popular heated vest for decades is the Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest ($197).

One of the reasons your fingers and toes get cold is that your body is trying to keep your core at a survival temperature. When your heart stays warm, your blood continues to circulate and your circulatory system operates in normal mode rather than survival mode. Simply put: a warm core means more heat (through blood flow) to your extremities.

Check the price at Aerostich

Hippo Hands Motorcycle Hand Covers

HippoHands Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear

Want a low-tech solution to keep your hands warm and dry? Hippo Hands motorcycle hand covers are just that. With Hippo Hands, your hands are protected from the elements while giving you access to your controls.

I tested the Backcountry model ($129) and was very impressed with how effective they were even standing on the stakes. They also have other models for street bikes that provide even more coverage.

Check the price at Hippo Hands

Patagonia Micro Puff

Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Quilted Jacket

If your riding jacket does not come with a zipped insulated liner, you will need to find a mid layer to help retain core heat or opt for the heated vest above. By far my favorite is the Patagonia Micro Puff ($280).

This jacket is my go-to for all my outdoor activities. It stays warm when wet, is extremely light and packable when stored, and is comparable to down in terms of keeping warm.

Remember this rule of winter riding: you can always take the layers off and put them in a satchel or backpack if you’re too hot, but if you don’t have it with you when it’s cold, well , you will be cold .

Check price at BackcountryCheck price at Patagonia

Koso Apollo Heated Grips

Heated grips for cold weather motorcycle gear

If you’ve ridden in cold weather, you know that the very first thing that gets freezing cold are your fingers. Several times I had to pull over and warm up my hands near the muffler to regain enough feel to use my brake and clutch. This is real desperation.

The Koso Apollo Heated Grips ($145) offer a solution to this problem. These heated grips are a nice piece of equipment for motorcycle rides in cold weather. They have an integrated switch built into the handle. This means your hands stay put while you turn on the handles or adjust the heat to one of five different temperature settings.

Check the price on ProCycle

Hydro Flask 24oz Standard Mouth

hydroflask cold weather motorcycle gear
(Photo/Mathew Sturtevant)

Why not stay warm from the inside out in cold weather? There’s something really comforting about remembering that a hot drink is waiting for you at your next rest stop, wherever you are. The 24 oz standard mouth Hydro Flask’s insulated bottle ($40) will keep your hot chocolate hot and ready to serve for up to 6 hours. These bottles are made of durable stainless steel and will last for years.

Check price on REI Check price on Backcountry

Merino wool neck warmer by Buff

Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Neck Buff

The space above your jacket collar and under your helmet is a vulnerable area where the cold can seep in. Wrap it in a Merino wool neck warmer by Buff ($42). These neck warmers are great cold weather motorcycle gear due to their versatility.

You can even pull it up over your nose if your face is cold. Or, wear it as a hat when your helmet is off or you’re in a sleeping bag. Merino wool doesn’t itch and is actually quite soft to the touch, not to mention warm.

Check the price on Amazon

Klim Badlands GTX Long

Klim Cold Weather Motorcycle Gloves

I cannot stress the importance of keeping your hands warm and dry. After trying several gloves that ended up soaking or weren’t very durable, I was pleased to find a solution that really stood out among other options.

The Klim Badlands GTX Long ($250) gloves offer durability in a gauntlet-style glove that extends over the sleeves of your jacket. Because they feature GORE-TEX, you can be sure they’re waterproof. These gloves aren’t cheap but worth every penny on those wet and miserable days.

Check the price at Klim

Smartwool Classic Extra Cushion Socks

Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Smart Wool SocksAfter cold hands, another problem can be cold feet. Smartwool Classic Extra Cushion Socks ($24) can help keep those little piggies toasty warm.

Wool has been used for decades due to its warm properties in winter. It has durable fibers that stay cool and insulated in miserable conditions, and thick socks create an air space in your boots that your body warms through circulation.

As well as keeping you warm, if they get wet, the absorbent natural fibers have the added benefit of keeping odors to a minimum, which is nice when sharing a tent or hotel room after a long day of riding.

Check price on BackcountryCheck price on Smartwool

Grabber Excursion Pack

Clamp for cold weather motorcycle gear

Sometimes simplicity is a beautiful thing. Let’s say your bike broke down or you had some electrical issues that rendered your heated grips or heated vest useless. Grabber’s Chemical Hand/Toe/Body Warmers are a good idea to keep as a backup plan in your tank bag in case you need them.

The Grabber Excursion Pack ($25) gives you eight each of their peel and stick hand warmers, toe warmers, and body warmers. Heats typically last up to 12 hours, according to the company’s website.

Check price on AmazonCheck price on Backcountry

Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear: It’s Not Just About Warmth

motorcycling in cold weather
(Photo/Mathew Sturtevant)

Warmth is not only a matter of comfort while driving, it is also a matter of safety. When you’re cold, you tend to stiffen your muscles, especially your arms and shoulders. This can be problematic when trying to control your bike in more delicate sections or emergency situations. It can also lead to fatigue, another dangerous driving condition.

Staying warm means riding safer and more comfortable, whatever the temperature. Purchasing cold weather specific motorcycle gear can be a boon.

To note: With all this plug-and-play gear, you’ll need to be careful not to overcharge your bike’s battery. Be sure to turn everything off and unplug items from outlets when your motorcycle is not running.

Now get out there and ride warm!

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About Frances R. Smith

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