Warm to winter riding with suitable layers of clothing

Nights are drawing in, temperatures are starting to drop and winter is on its way but many brave souls will continue riding motorbikes.

With the right clothing, you can warm to winter and be home and dry rather than dressed to chill.

Daniel Williams, our parts, clothing and accessories manager, said beating the cold was all about wearing layers of clothing, made of the right materials, that keep you warm and dry and wick moisture, in the form of sweat, away from your body.

There is a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. It’s been attributed to many sources but, regardless of who actually said it, it’s certainly true for motorbike riders!

“It just about trapping layers of air against your skin,” explained Daniel.

So thermal management starts with base layers – tops and bottoms from £25 and £20.

Then add proper mid layers, such as specially-designed shirts, zipped tops and leg coverings, before a top layer which is your waterproof, breathable jacket and over-trousers.

Some jackets have quilted mid layers which can removed in warmer weather.

“They are more compact, less bulky and more effective than wearing a jumper and can be zipped into the jacket.”

Particularly popular with all-season riders are the new laminated, breathable textile jackets and trousers with a waterproof membrane bonded to the outer shell. The result is water runs off, rather than being absorbed by the fabric, so they do not become heavy and dry quicker.

They can be more expensive but a good investment for all-year bikers.

If your gloves are large enough you might opt to wear undergloves, or you can fit heated grips, but heated gloves will keep your hands toasty.

We now stock five different heated gloves from Gerbing, Alpinestars, Merlin and Ixon with the last two brands also available to fit women.

The Gerbing ones are powered by a plug-in lead from the motorbike battery but the others come with built-in batteries and a charger. They are priced £169.99 to £294.99.

We now also stock Oxford Polar Mittens which cost £49.99.

We can also supply heated jackets.

You can also choose from our range of balaclavas, in various materials including lycra, silk, merino, cotton and micro fleece, and neck warmers.

If your helmet is snug, make sure it still fits with a balaclava under it.

“And if you can get a woolly hat under your helmet then it is too big to start with!” he warned.

Full-face helmets help keep you warm. Most helmets, priced over £100, come with a Pinlock interior visor insert to stop it misting up when you breathe and air vents that can be closed.

Wearing the right clothing will help keep you warm this winter and, if you invest wisely, future winters.

“If you have an expensive jacket you need good base layers to avoid getting sweaty. They’re made for that reason,” said Daniel.

“If you’re on a winter ride it’s more important to wear suitable clothing. It makes such a difference, keeping you comfortable and safe and not shivering with your hands frozen stiff on the handlebars.”

Check out our full range of clothing at orwell.co.uk/shop