back to articles | December 01, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Lifestyle Motorcycle

How to Stay Warm on Your Two-Wheeler: 7 Winter Riding Tips

Every year, people plan an adventure during the winter, not knowing what the weather will offer. They set a date a few months ahead so all their riding buddies can organize their schedules.


Every year, people plan an adventure during the winter, not knowing what the weather will offer. They set a date a few months ahead so all their riding buddies can organize their schedules. You and your friends pick a location in the desert that is likely to be dry, warm, and snow-free, and then cross your fingers and wait.

While there is nothing much you can do to control the climate, you can make your winter ride more exciting and comfortable when you know how to stay warm on a two-wheeler. No one wants to cancel a trip that has long been planned, but you don't have to endure hardship if you have prepared for cold weather riding. You can focus on enjoying the scenery and terrain rather than how cold you are if you are able to keep warm. Here are a few tips to stay warm during the early morning cruises of this cold season.

Gear up from head to toe

The best way to stay warm while riding in winter is to keep your entire body covered and protected. It's like going into war with the chilly weather; you must put on your entire batter armor to survive the whole motorcycle road trip.

Therefore, ensure you gear up with winter garments from head to toe. Here are a few gears that you should wear:

  1. Full-face helmet: Choose a helmet that tightly fits you to ensure no cold air can get in. Don't consider ventilation since the faster you ride, the stronger the cold wind will blow against your head. You can also wear a scarf or a balaclava and neck warmer for additional wind protection.
  2. Layers of clothing: A skinny motorcycle jacket won't warm your body enough. Therefore, consider wearing a thermal shirt and underwear to maintain warm air next to your skin. Add extra layers of clothing to help block the cold air and offer insulation under the jacket.
  3. Winter boots, waterproof groves, and thick socks: During a cold winter morning, your extremities are the first things to feel the chill. You want to protect your hands and feet so that you can handle the gas control, brakes, clutch lever, and gear shift. Putting on winter gloves that insulate heat and prevent cold air and water from getting in can work wonders. Winter boots and thick socks can also help prevent your feet from freezing. 

Close your vents

It might look obvious, but you would be surprised how often riders wish they had had a vent closed hours into their ride. However, adventure gear has a lot of vents, so it's pretty easy to forget them. Most of the vents are found on your jacket's back and armpits or in the thigh area of your pants. You might also find vents in your helmet's front, back, or top.

It's always important to pull over and look carefully at all of your vent locations and ensure they are fully closed. Otherwise, you could unknowingly lose your valuable body temperature, which can affect your ability to breathe normally or cause loss of other body functions.

Accessorize your motorcycle

You can equip your motorcycle with valuable accessories to help keep your body warm while riding. For instance, adding a set of heated handlebar grips on your two-wheeler can give your hands instant controllable heat. A heated handlebar grip can also be easily connected to your bike battery, and it's waterproof, meaning you don't have to worry about wet climates.

Another two-wheeler accessory that you should get is a windscreen. A quality motorcycle windshield can make a world difference during the winter.

One of the most significant factors in making you cold in the saddle is wind chill, and a good windshield can help to direct cold air away from you when riding. If you don't have enough cash to invest in a whole screen replacement, consider installing an aftermarket windscreen, which should do a great job at a smaller and more reasonable price.

A good motorcycle windshield isn't only useful during winter. Diverting incoming air around the rider can boost comfort over a long distance and help reduce noise levels inside your helmet.

Prepare mentally and physically for staying warm and possibly being cold

Your motorcycle accessories and riding gear will just take you as far as your body can handle the cold weather mentally and physically. However, if your body and mind are not prepared, you might end up going back home without traveling, even halfway through your planned trip. Therefore, be mentally prepared for the cold and physically to withstand it.

Small tasks can become hard to achieve when you feel cold, especially your extremities. However, knowing there is something warm awaiting you can create a semi-euphoric feeling, easing you of the temporary pain associated with frozen fingers.

Having a full stomach will boost your metabolism. This will ensure proper blood circulation and keep the fundamental body temperature warm. Taking enough lukewarm water can also keep your body temperature in control.

Prepare for unexpected rain

Another thing that can give you chills during winter is sudden rain. Therefore, check the weather forecast for the day before leaving home. 

Checking the weather forecast will only take a few minutes, but it lets you know what to expect throughout the day. Another essential reason to check the weather is to calculate the riding temperatures you will be exposed to while speeding. If there is a higher chance of rain, prepare your body against getting wet. Otherwise, you will still freeze despite thick clothing.

Although a waterproof jacket, pants, and gloves can help keep you dry, wearing the right motorcycle rain gear will help protect you and your clothes. You can also wear rubber over your boots or waterproof shoe covers to protect your feet.

The downpour can sometimes be too much, so there is a higher chance that you will still get wet at some point. It's a good idea to carry an additional set of clothing and pack them safely in a dry or zip-lock bag.

Know when it's too cold for you to ride

Riding a motorcycle in freezing temperatures can be very dangerous and even the most skilled riders can find it difficult to ride in cold weather, wind, or rain. Therefore, it's important sometimes to know your limits and decide not to ride in poor conditions.

When your body temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit, your body will begin to shiver to generate heat, and you will likely be unable to do much of anything. If the temperature drops beyond that, you will experience muscle stiffness, involuntary contractions and confusion. Know when to call it a quit, as this could save your health.

Take short breaks to warm up

Another simple way to stay warm during winter rides is to take frequent short breaks. Have a small break after an hour of continuous riding or whenever you feel that your body temperature is going down.

Make stops at cafes or restaurants to get a cup of coffee and snacks to help you warm up. You can also do some small stretches to keep the blood flowing and prevent your muscles from experiencing stiffness.

Wrapping it up

Motorcycle riding in winter can be challenging, especially for people in the eastern and southern parts of the United States. However, you don't have to lock up your two-wheeler and hide it for the whole season. You can enjoy your trip despite the chilly weather by arming yourself with the right gear and learning a few tricks. Follow these simple tips to keep warm during winter rides, and you will be glad you didn't remain in your home this winter season.

That said, riding in winter road conditions requires extra attention, skill, the right bike, and enough of the appropriate gear. Therefore, consider getting a low-interest rate motorcycle loan to get properly geared up for your winter road trip.