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Riding in the coldGet prepared for winter riding.
The cold season is here and that will not stop many of us having fun riding our motorcycles. And yes, it can still be fun in the winter if you feel yourself comfortable enough on the bike - mainly warm and dry. Your personal comfort requires using a proper equipment to help you maintain your body temperature and not letting the cold wind steal your warmth.
Proper thermal insulation can be achieved using thermal underwear, then one or several layers of warm clothes and finally wind proofed motorcycle jacket and pants. It's good to be mentioned that different people will have different preferences for the number of cloth layers based on their personal needs as we all have different body parameters, blood circulations and different abilities to keep constant body temperature.
The proper wind-proofing is an essential point for the comfort of the winter motorcycle riding. The cold air entering our clothing is stealing our heat so we should try to keep it off as much as we can. Even the wind-proof jackets and pants are not stopping 100% of the wind flow and some amount of cold air still gets to you through the zips, sleeves and neck openings and even through the fabric itself. Having a windshield mounted on your motorcycle is a big plus in your fight with the wind. And the bigger windshield is a bigger plus.
Keeping your feet and hands dry and warm is essential and some investment in good gloves and boots is really needed. The motorcycle boots doesn't really have to be of the most expensive ones to do the job. However they need to be comfortable, windproof, waterproof and of course quality made to serve you long enough. Avoid tight boots - they reduce blood circulation in your feet and make them cold. Get the right size boots, get them waterproof and definitely above the ankle. The lack of sufficient thermal insulation on them is not of big importance as you can always compensate it with an extra pair of warm socks on your feet.
The gloves - I personally changed 3 or 4 pairs till I find the right ones and I still use them. It's really hard to tell the gloves only looking at them. You can really evaluate them after the first ride in the cold and sadly in the common case that is after you have already paid for them. However there are some features to look for when choosing your motorcycle gloves in the store. Look for highly efficient insulation placed all over the inning, not just on part of the gloves. The gloves need to be wind-proof, no compromising with that. Then get the right size - never tight gloves. And finally if you intend to use them (ride your motorcycle in the cold with them) and not only to wear them then get the ones with the pre-curved fingers design. Remember that when riding a bike you need to be able to easily move your fingers.
Safety is not to be undervalued even with more clothes on you. Never forget your helmet, knee guards and spine protector especially on long-distance rides. Wet roads are more common in the winter but even when the road is dry the grip of the tires with the cold asphalt is still not that good as it is in the summer. The full-size motorcycle helmet is a must along with any clothing to cover your neck and head. The most convenient head thermal insulation gear for me is the balaclava or the ski mask that covers the whole heat only exposing the eyes and the nose. Despite of the good equipment you may start to feel cold somewhere in the middle of your motorcycle journey in the winter. Take your time, get some hot drinks in a warm cafeteria near the road and once you feel comfortable again get back on the bike and enjoy the rest of your journey.

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