Dress Right for Your Next Motorcycle Road Trip
The clothing you wear when you’re riding is a matter of personal preference. For many riders it depends on the weather, what’s most comfortable and the level of protection they want while on their motorcycle.
The majority of frequent riders aren’t deterred by weather, which is why there are a lot of gear options for motorcyclists facing all types of temperature extremes.
Winter Riding Clothes
One good thing about the cold weather during late fall and winter is you have an excuse to wear a lot of protective clothing. Leather jackets, riding gloves and jeans are standard clothing for many riders at all times of year, but that gear can be especially comfortable when the temperature is on the brisk side.
There’s an incentive to wear warm clothes that aren’t too thick or bulky when you’re riding, as bundling up too much can potentially restrict your range of motion. Puffy jackets or too many layers can make it difficult to make quick, precise motions at a moment’s notice to avoid a potential collision.
Modern science and specially designed thermal textiles have been a real boon for riders. These advanced materials trap body heat and wick away moisture. There are a variety of clothing types, like thermal socks and base layers, that you can wear underneath your normal riding gear.
Some common cold-weather motorcycle gear tips include:
- Wearing your rain suit if you have one
- Getting a solid pair of GORE-TEX boots or boots made of a similar waterproof, breathable material
- Using waterproof rain gloves
- Wearing a warm balaclava, neck gaiter or ski mask
- Carrying chap stick or lip balm if the cold, dry air causes your lips to crack
Is Heated Gear Worth It?
A lot of riders who like going on road trips (and those who commute on their motorcycles daily) during the fall and winter, especially those who live up north or in high elevations, swear by heated gloves, vests and jackets.
Heated gear isn’t as expensive as you may assume. There are heated jackets and gloves available for as little as about $150 to $250. You can also purchase relatively affordable heated jacket liners that can fit into your existing gear.
Much higher priced heated clothing options are available if you’re ready to drop $600 or more on a jacket, but if you’re looking for something utilitarian that will get the job done you can find heated gloves, jackets or liners that won’t break the bank.
Summer Motorcycle Riding Clothes
If you do want additional motorcycle accident injury protection and comfort in triple-digit temperatures there are an array of mesh, perforated and airflow-optimized jackets and riding pants that provide both armor and breathability.
These jackets and gloves are available at an array of of price points. Higher end stuff will undoubtedly set you back a few hundred dollars, but there are some mesh jacket options available for around $100.
Moisture-wicking shirts and underwear, ventilated gloves and boots and mesh or vented jackets can still provide better protection than a t-shirt even though they are made of lighter weight and more breathable materials than heavier armors or leather.
Some riders prefer full-length gloves and long-sleeve shirts or jackets for added sun protection. Light-colored clothing is usually a plus for reflecting heat rather than absorbing it.
Base layers that are both stretchy and snug fitting also provide a bit of compression, which promotes better circulation. You might be surprised how much the light compression can help you feel more alert and stave off fatigue. If what you’re wearing helps you stay more alert, you may also feel less inclined to consume a lot of caffeine, which will help prevent caffeine-induced dehydration.
Another piece of gear that will help stave off dehydration are the hydration packs popular with hikers and runners. If you want to minimize stops on your ride, these little backpacks can be a lifesaver.
Some riders also like racing gear, like motorsports one-piece mesh suits, for their simplicity, strength and breathability. These suits cover your whole body, so you don’t have to worry about wearing a bunch of extra layers or other protective clothing if you don’t want to. The mesh versions of these one-piece suits also provide great ventilation and protection from sunburns.
What you wear when you ride is up to your personal preference. There aren’t really laws requiring you to wear leather jackets or jeans, so wear what makes you comfortable from both a temperature and safety standpoint.
Road Trip Gear
Riders embarking on long road trips, especially cross-country trips that will include a lot of environment and elevation changes, may need to be prepared for both hot and cold temperatures. Packing light and dressing in layers is always a plus. A lot of your riding clothes can function in both hot and cold weather scenarios – just peel off layers as things get hotter and put some back on when the temperatures drop.
The more clothes you have on you the less room they’ll take up in your saddlebags, just don’t wear so many layers that your movements are restricted.
It’s also a good idea to keep some kind of waterproof nylon or polyethene bag in your saddlebags so you can separate wet top layers you remove from your dry clothes.
No Amount of Protection Will Prevent All Motorcycle Injuries
Protective gear may be able to reduce the severity of motorcycle accident injuries in some circumstances, but there’s only so much clothing can do. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident while riding in Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia or Georgia, the motorcycle accident lawyers at the Motorcycle Law Group will fight for the compensation you deserve.