Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Guide

Stay warm this winter.

Shorter days, barer trees and a few white flakes in the air tell the tale: winter's here. For some, it's a sign to prep for a long hibernation indoors while others embrace the chance to cruise in cooler weather. If you're looking to ride through the winter, it's a great idea to invest in cold weather motorcycle gear that will last you more than one winter.

But unless you're a fan of hypothermia, dressing appropriately for a cold weather ride can mean the difference between an enjoyable scoot and a miserable one. When you're cold, your reaction time slows, upping the danger factor. Stay warmer (and thus safer) on the road by layering.

Begin with the right foundation. Build on a base layer made of comfy synthetics—natural fibers trap sweat—that also wicks away perspiration. Additional insulation—we recommend two layers—should have easy-open zippers and closures. It's best for the final, outer layer to be windproof and waterproof. Don't forget the often-neglected head and feet.

Remember: all those layers should still allow you to move about freely.

In keeping with the theme, this guide is also divvied up into layers. First is the stuff worn next to your skin; next up are the liners and mid-layers; and last but not least is the outer layer—in this case, an entire suit. Miscellaneous items, like boots and balaclavas—important elements in any cold-weather motorcycle gear arsenal are also included.

Now there's no reason to let the forecast postpone your ride.

When riding a motorcycle in the winter, your base layers trap your body heat and wick away any moisture, keeping you dry and warm.
Stay warm and dry with moisture-wicking synthetic motorcycle base layers.Motorcycle Cruiser

Motorcycle Base Layers To Wear In The Winter

The days of waffle-knit, sweat-soaked cotton long johns are long gone. The latest thermal underwear insulates by trapping air next to the skin more efficiently and sucking moisture away. Add warmth by blocking airflow overexposed blood vessels-like on your head and neck.

Bodz Winter Silver 1/4 Zip

The Bodz's heavyweight polyamide and polypropylene construction offer moisture management (i.e.wicking) as well as good insulation against the cold. The soft, stretchy material and unisex design is flexible, yet skin-tight under your riding gear (and works well with Gore-Tex). An integrated silver filament combats bacteria too-and the funky stench riders generate after long rides. We like the tall, zippered collar to seal out drafts.

Bodz Winter Silver Moto-Johns

The Moto-Johns are made from the same winter-weight Skinlife material as the Winter Zip, which means it wicks away moisture, and has a silver filament to fight the funk. The long-john-style fits close without binding at the waist or knees and, because no seams or labels poke out along the sides, waist or seat, your ride stays chafe-free.

Forma Sonic Winter Boots

Stout leather uppers, a gear shift pad, adjustable closures, and ankle protection are standard issue for the Forma boots, but what elevates them to winter riding gear is the insulation. Forma calls it Win Therm, and it's said to reflect your body heat back to the source, for better thermal performance without the bulk. Additional Dry-Tex lining provides a waterproof-and-breathable membrane to aid in moisture transfer, and the replaceable footbed even offers an Air Pump system.

Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield Logo Essentials Balaclava

We like to add a layer under our helmet for extra insulation. Harley's lightweight, stretchable balaclava features Windpro fleece that's 80% resistant to wind and soft to the skin. 55/45-percent acrylic/cotton, with two reflective stripes and embroidered graphics.

Sokz Ceramic Socks

These socks sport ceramic fibers-for a high level of insulation against the cold and Lenpur, a wood derivative that's said offer superior humidity transfer—compatible with waterproof and breathable membrane boots. Each sock is anatomically designed there is a left and right sock with built-in arch support and padding at the toe and heel. An above-the-calf design offers additional warmth and comfort.

Motorcycle mid-layers are meant to block out the harsh wind, and can be heated to aid with extreme climates and motorcycle wind chill.
Heated or unheated? It’s all your choice.Motorcycle Cruiser

Motorcycle Mid Layers To Wear

Firstgear Heated Jacket Liner

Firstgear's lightweight nylon liner is made to be worn over a base layer or other lightweight garment and built to be temperature neutral, so you can wear your liner all day without having to change it out. Pads on the front, back, sleeves, and collar get heat where you need it most. It's available in 90-watt and 65-watt versions and is designed to be plugged into a DC power source or a battery pack. Firstgear's proprietary control box, the Heat-troller, offers multiple heat dishing options. The liner is rated at 110 watts at 12.8 Volts.

Firstgear Heated Rider Glove

Waterproof, gauntlet-type gloves that extend over jacket sleeves are the best weapon against icy winds. Firstgear's top-grain, drum-dyed cowhide mitt features a breathable, waterproof membrane with a Thinsulate layer to minimize chill. A rubber faceshield wiper gets you through the wet stuff, an elastic wrist closure and adjustable hook-and-loop gauntlet seals the deal. The best part? The palm is DC-heated, producing 15 Watts of heat at 12.8 Volts—in each glove.

Firstgear Warm & Safe Dual Portable Heat-Troller

Firstgear's proprietary controller allows one person to manipulate heat to multiple garments such as a jacket liner and gloves. It's portable, so you can use it on more than one 12-Volt DC motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson Dual-Source Heated Vest

Sometimes you want heat on and off the bike. This battery-operated nylon vest is designed to be worn under your main jacket and can connect to either the bike's 12V electrical system or a 12V rechargeable lithium battery for a more portable option. Battery sold separately.

Motorcycle outer layers help keep the wind, rain, and snow from penetrating you and draining your body heat. They also keep your hands and feet warm, and able to operate your motorcycle.
Stay in control of your bike by blocking out the harsh wind, rain, and snow.Motorcycle Cruiser

Outer Layer Motorcycle Gear

Your outermost layer—a waterproof, breathable shell—doesn't always require heavy-duty insulation, but a winter jacket should extend below your waist and ideally pack a hood. Pants should be loose-fitting and rise above your waist to banish drafts. Look for sealed seams and elastic or velcro at cuffs, zippers, and hems.

Gerbings Extreme Element Jacket And Pants

If you want to keep it simple but still not compromise on cold weather control, Gerbing's XE Jacket and Pants might seal the deal. The new XE garments combine the durability of Cordura with the benefits of Microwire Heat Technology—a microscopic stainless steel wiring developed for the US military.

The 330 denier Cordura and polyurethane coating on the jacket and pants feel like the business and we like the fact that you can't feel the wires. Heat-sealed seams and waterproof pockets further speak to the jacket's Mother Nature-mocking aspirations, and reflective piping, as well as removable CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows, make it a good choice in any weather. A generous allotment of pockets gives you plenty of options for storage, too. The XE pants are cut full, so they're best used as overpants. Both garments feature connecting zippers at the waist.

Gerbings G3 Heated Gloves

These bestsellers feature premium drum-dyed leather, with a gel-palm for vibration isolation. Lightweight Thinsulate enhances the Microwire Heat technology within, and an AquaTex Waterproof membrane seals out the wet. A long gauntlet cuff adds weather protection.

Gerbings 12v products are designed to be powered by a 12-Volt DC electrical system. Use with Gerbing's Temp Controller and PDU. All Gerbings garments can be interconnected with each other.