Though yesterday’s 60 degree temperatures here on Long Island would have you fooled, winter is on the way. What are you doing to keep yourself warm out on the road?
Thanks to my mom completing the circuit last Christmas with a pair of Gerbing T5 Microwire gloves (see what I did there?), I now have a full suite of electric gear from Gerbing. I have a jacket liner, pants liner and gloves. I could ride through the tundra!
I sound like a broken record but, once you finally get heated gear you will ask yourself why you waited so long.
Before the gloves came along, I was using heated grips and a pair of Parts Unlimited Snow Paws handlebar muffs – most commonly referred to as Hippo Hands though that is a particular brand. If you’re on a tight budget, a pair of muffs just might be the ticket. Like anything else, prices vary but for less than $40 you can add a layer to keep the elements at bay.
Here are some past posts about cold weather gloves and muffs:
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.
My 2 favorite non-electric items on the bike:
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?
My first introduction to using handlebar muffs was back when I did the Crotona Midnight Run in 2007. My dear friend Bill lent me his muffs to use that night. He has again imparted them on me for this winter.
Because I don’t have heated gloves, I’m left to monkey around with winter gloves and heated grips on the Speed Triple. When I wear my winter gloves, I can’t feel the heated grips very well. I also find that my feel on the bars and levers is a bit more vague. Using the muffs allows me to use my heated grips and wear my regular leather riding gloves.
The Parts Unlimited muffs I am using do a good job of providing an extra layer of wind protection even at highway speeds. And they remind me of giant ovenmitts which ups the silly factor 🙂
Depending on the material used to construct your muffs, while moving – the wind can collapse the body of the muff. This can make it difficult to get your hand back into the opening if you took it out.
I have brushguards on the triple that help to keep the muff a little more rigid upfront. In my previous go-round with the muffs, I used them with the brushguards on the outside. I think the guards make it easier to get my hands back in while in motion. Your mileage may vary depending on how rigid your muffs happens to be.
So, until I spring for some Gerbing gloves, muffs it is.