If you are among the few, the proud and the hearty who continue riding their motorbikes through the winter season, let’s toast to you, the adventurer. But every adventurer needs to keep warm while biking in order to remain focused while on the road. Here are the top ten ways to keep your fingers and toes toasty on your next winter ride.
1. Heat Your Grips
Get heat grip add-ons for your bike. It can be amazing what a difference a heated bike grip can be for helping your body hold onto warmth. Keep your fingers warm and functional.
2. Heated Gear
While a heated seat and grips are by far the best way to keep warm on a bike, heated gloves and a jacket come a close second. But since they are limited in how much heat they provide and the placement of heat, they will not do nearly as good of a job of keeping your core temp at a safe level. But they do make a nice addition, especially if you tend to get chilled easily or when you need to stop to refuel.
3. Hot Packs
Single-use heating pads are perfect in a pinch, or when temps get too blistery and your other heating devices just aren’t kicking in. Warming inserts come in a variety of sizes from hands to feet, and even jackets. Typically, these warming packs cannot keep up with the wind-chill caused by riding, but they can add a nice and toasty addition to other heating devices and provide heat right where it’s needed.
4. Invest in Riding Gear
Invest in a full coverage jacket or riding suit, that can buffer wind and any snow or rain nature throws at you. Polish it off with a full-face helmet to prevent heat loss from your face, and riding boots with extra toe space to hold onto warm heat by your toes.
5. Layer Clothing
Layering doesn’t just mean more layers, it means the right layers. First, eliminate cotton (jeans and jerseys), which can absorb and hold moisture, which will make you colder. Instead, invest in a set of long underwear made of silk or synthetic moisture-wicking materials. The same goes for socks, underwear, and under-gloves too. Also, focus on layers which hold air. It is those dry air pockets which will hold in the heat as you ride.
6. Rain Gear
Rain and snow gear is essential. Remember to have riding gear for resisting snow and rain while riding and to add an additional layer as protection from the wind. Even if it isn’t raining, rain and snow gear can help keep your body temp at a degree or two higher than without.
7. Remember to Eat
The best way to keep warm is by heating from the inside. By burning calories through digestion, you can increase your core temperature. And if you love spicy food, remember to indulge before a ride. Cayenne, especially, can help increase body temperature by a degree or two, which can make all the difference in how you feel when you arrive.
8. Seat Heating
Install a heated seat to channel heat to your core and heat the blood going into and coming out of your legs and feet. Your extremities will do a great job of losing heat right away; reduce heat loss by warming your body from your seat.
9. Stay Dry
Any moisture on your skin will pull heat from your body. That’s why we sweat when warm; it’s the body’s most efficient method of cooling down. So keep your skin dry and avoid cotton clothing that holds onto moisture.
10. Take a Break
If you start to feel chilled, remember to take a break. Find the nearest café or coffee shop and hit them up for a cup of something hot or a snack until your body warms back up. Don’t let a cold or hungry body steal away your joy of riding. Also, remember to take a walk and get that blood pumping again.
Remember that all of these heating devices need power. To make up for this, be sure to get a better battery and alternator for your bike and back up your power with something like the JunoJumper, which can help restart your motorbike or power up your devices. Kick up the heat and the battery power before you ride. If you wait until you get cold to address heat loss, it will be too late to enjoy the remainder of your ride.