How to Stay Warm on a Motorbike for Cheap

I’ve had my bike insured and running since January, and damn if today wasn’t the first decent weather we’ve had in all that time.

Step 1:

Gloves. If you’re a responsible adult, get some that have nice, plush lining, carbon knuckles, leather shells with no perforations. Gauntlets that go all the way up to your elbow. Velcro fasteners. Spend $200.

If you’re an irresponsible adult, like me, who can’t keep track of a pair of gloves for more than one year, get whatever you can for 40 bucks and hope for the best. When you start to feel pain in your fingertips, turn back. When the pain goes away, pull over at once and thaw out.

Step 2:

Jacket… and another jacket underneath.

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That’s a textile jacket with a lining, and a leather jacket underneath.

And a hoodie under that, and a thermal tee under that, and a tshirt as well. And just to be safe, stuff some newspapers down the front to block the zipper draft. And wear a tshirt around your neck, scarf style. Or even just a scarf. But tshirts seem to be easier to wrap around your face, bandit style, to keep your chin nice and warm.

Step 3:

Long johns. I got a super fancy pair of merino ones long ago. Best thing in the world. Wear them under your usual pants, then wear Carhartts over that. Take the Carhartts off before you go into a place of business, those things are disgraceful.

Step 4:

Boots. The higher top the better. I dunno, I’ve just been wearing these, and they seem to work ok. At least, my feet aren’t any colder than the rest of me.

Air Force BootsYou can get them by joining Air Cadets, then keeping your issued uniform after you quit. Or, the army surplus store.

Step 5:

Just stay inside for god’s sake, this is ridiculous.


3 thoughts on “How to Stay Warm on a Motorbike for Cheap

  1. Wear a (cheap, nylon, MA-1 variety) bomber jacket underneath. For the thickness, they keep you extremely warm, stop any wind to pass through. I wear a fleece, the bomber jacket and a textile bike jacket with no padding and can ride at -3/-5C for hours w/o feeling the chill. It’s usually the fingers that give up first.

  2. Handle bar warmers – gloves for your bars. MEC sometimes sells a pair in the cycle section that is a bit flimsy. I have a hand-made version that’s heavy-duty waterproof nylon on the outside, fleece on the inside. Wear gloves inside of that and you’ll never numb your digits again.

    These days when I commute in the rain and my feet get soaked, I smile. Riding in Cow Town for 8 hours with ice-water ponds in my shoes changed me. So bring an extra pair of socks along with your tools and first aid kit.

    1. I admire your spirit, Nick 🙂 I find that I can deal with everything else being wet, so long as my feet are dry. And handlebar warmers are AWESOME.

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