Just about everyone I know who owns heated motorcycle gear says that they cannot believe they waited so long to buy it. My favorite part about riding with my Gerbing jacket liner is tipping my head slightly back and feeling the radiating heat on the back of my neck. Ahhhh, mmm…. [clears throat] Where was I? But what about the non-electric items that you use to keep warm?

Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth I had nothing that would have constituted good cold weather riding gear. I used to wear my Northface Gore-Tex shell over top of my leather Vanson jacket. Back in those days it was better than not riding at all. I rode around this way for a long time.

Now, I try to approach my cold weather riding attire like dressing for winter sports like snowboarding – layers. A thin thermal/wicking layer, a mid layer like Gerbing/fleece and then the outer layer of my textile jacket/pants. I try to minimize the bulk and keep the blood moving through the body. Though they provide the most room for layering, I hate wearing textile pants. I wear my leather pants with running tights underneath until it’s just too cold for me to do it anymore.

Harriman - 1997

Harriman - 1997

My 2 favorite non-electric items on the bike:

  • Smartwool Socks
    I really don’t know how they work. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter. I love ’em!
  • Northface Windstopper Neck Gaiter
    I bought this on a freezing day in Bar Harbor, Maine back in 2003. I didn’t want to spend the money but it was just so cold out. It has paid for itself over time as I’ve loved this thing. Sadly I seem to have misplaced it since last winter.

How about you? What are you favorite non-electric items for keeping warm on the ride?