Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear for Beginners

If you are planning to do some activities this winter, you need the proper motor gear. Before winter, it’s best that you prepare a list of equipment that is necessary for your winter ride.

We’ll discuss everything you need to know about cold weather motorcycle gear to help you prepare.

Why You Need Cold Weather Riding Gear

Of course, the main reason as to why you need cold weather riding gear is to simply keep you warm in the harshly cold weather.

However, there are a lot of other reasons why the right riding gear is imperative during winter days.

Here are a few other reasons to take note of:

It Keeps You Safe On the Road

When you’re on a fast moving vehicle like a motorbike, you need to be as comfortable as possible so that you can concentrate on the road and your riding.

Let’s say that you don’t have the proper riding gear.

You will feel extremely cold from head to toe and your body will start to shiver.

When that happens, your body will make a lot of involuntary movements that might get you off-balanced when you ride.

When you start to lose your balance on your bike, you can get into a fatal accident.

It Allows You to Avoid Any Wounds from Cold Air

Because of sharp cold air, you may experience blisters that seem to come out from nowhere.

This is known as an ice burn and is caused by direct contact of snow with your skin.

If you don’t have the proper gear, you might experience these wounds while you ride, which can distract you from the road.

It Allows You to Hold the Bike Properly

Holding on to your bike’s handle while you ride in the snow can be very difficult if you don’t have the right gloves.

If your hands aren’t protected well, you won’t be able to tightly hold on to your bike’s handle.

It Can Keep You from Getting Frostbite

Prolonged riding can get you frostbites since you’ll be out in the snow for long hours.

However, if you’re bundled up and heated properly, you can lessen the chances of getting frostbitten.

It Can Protect You During a Storm

During a snowstorm, the snow fall will become harder and stronger, which means that you’ll be experiencing colder air and sharper winds.

If you’re covered by proper gear, you can at least protect yourself from possible harm.

Also Read: 4 best motorcycle GPS on the market

What Gear You’ll Need for Winter Riding

When you’re looking for your bike gear, you need to cover your body, your head, your feet, your hands, and your legs. For this, you’ll need the following items to be a part of your list:

Outer Layer Clothing

One of the most important things that you’ll need when you ride in the snow is your outer layer clothing.

This type of clothing is usually windproof and can protect you from the chilly wind of winter. These pieces of clothing can also cover your neck area.

When you’re looking for a good outer layer clothing, you need to get the right size so it can completely protect you from winter’s cold wind.

Mid Layer Clothing

You’ll also need mid layer clothing to keep yourself warm. It is actually the mid layer that gives off warmth because this layer is usually made of thick thermal materials that trap heat such as fleece.

They are often used during cold days such as winter seasons.

For riders, they are usually combined with outer layer and base layer clothing to provide total protection and warmth.

Base Layer Clothing

The last of the torso layers is the base layer clothing. This layer of clothing is the tight-fit long sleeved suit layer that traps in your natural body heat so you can feel extra warm.

Since riding in the snow is very cold, two sources of warmth are necessary for you.

The material from base layer clothing traps your natural heat while the mid layer further keeps it in.


Now that you’ve covered your body, the next thing that you have to think about is your head.

couple riding motorcycle

You’ll need a crash helmet that covers your entire head and has a durable built-in visor to protect your eyes.

The purpose of the helmet is two-fold. The first purpose is to keep the air away from your whole head so that no part gets affected by the chilly wind. 

The second purpose is to make sure that your vision is intact while you ride. This is why a built-in visor is present. 

It also prevents the chilly wind from entering and harming your eyes.


Next, you have to think about protecting your hands. As mentioned earlier, proper gear can help you hold on to the bike without your hands getting frostbitten or too cold.

Take note that keeping your hands comfortable is very crucial when you ride because one mistake can cost you your life.

For this purpose, you’ll need a good pair of gloves.

For extremely cold days, it is recommended that you use a pair of thick hand guards. Otherwise, some grip warmers will do.

Heated pants

You need to make sure your legs are kept warm so that you can move them freely even in the cold.

For your legs, a pair of heated winter pants is the best choice.

These pants are able to generate heat through your own body heat to keep your legs warm.


Lastly, you need a really good pair of boots to cover your feet. Other than your hands, you need to keep your feet comfortable because your feet control the speed and acceleration of your bike.

You need to make sure that cold air doesn’t have the chance to get on your feet. This is why a good pair of leather boots is necessary for a rider during winter.

See also: 4 Best motorcycle goggles

What to Look for When Buying Your Gear

Now that you know what you need for winter riding, the next thing to do is determine how the buy the right gear for you.

With all the different brands and types of gear you can find, the big question you may be asking yourself is which one is the right one to buy.

To narrow down your choices, here is a guide to help you.

Layer Clothing

When you’re looking for layer clothing, your main objective is warmth. The first thing that you want to look out for is a waterproof and windproof layer clothing.

To keep you entirely warm, your layer clothing can’t take in water or wind otherwise you’ll feel cold from the inside.

You might also want to consider buying specially designed base layers for cold weather.


For your jacket, you also need to get one that’s waterproof and windproof. The most widely preferred material is leather although there are others that you may choose from such as textile material jackets.

Other features that you might want to check out are impact protectors and heat lining.

The impact protectors can be found in the elbow, shoulders, and chest part of the jacket and can keep you from injury if you fall down.

man on a scooter

The heat liner is used for extra heating to warm you up during the cold.


When you buy gloves, you also need to find waterproof ones. Good materials include Thinsulate, leather, or textile.

There are even gloves that are made out of two materials such as leather or textile to form a hybrid.

The hybrid types are good choices if you don’t mind spending a bit more.


Winter boots are rather easy to pick because they pretty much have all the same features.

You may want to check out the most water resistant ones though so your feet don’t get wet. You might also want to get the ones with a stout non-slip soles.


There are a lot of helmets on the market that are created specifically for cold weather.

These are the kinds of motorcycle helmets that you have to look for. You must buy the one that has a helmet liner so that your neck can be totally covered.

Other Accessories to Add to Your Riding Gear

The equipment mentioned above are the main things that you’ll need in order to survive riding your motorcycle during the winter.

Aside from these, you can also add a few more accessories to make your ride even more comfortable. Here are a few more that you can put on your list.

A Pair of Thick Wool Socks

Aside from boots, it’s also important for you to wear one more layer on your feet.

A pair of thick wool socks is good for a first layer since wool is thick enough to trap in your body’s natural heat. You may also buy heated socks for extra warmth.

Proper Underwear

One of the things that most riders would buy before winter comes is thermal underwear.

With thermal underwear, you can reduce some layers you have on you. This lessens the bulk that you’ll have to carry when you ride.

Riding Pants

Although you can wear any pair of thick leather pants to keep you warm, riding pants may be a better choice.

Riding pants are also made out of leather or other heat-trapping materials.

They also come with built-in impact protectors for the knees and the hips. This helps lessen the impact if ever you fall off your bike.

Don't miss out: 7 Best motorcycle backpacks - Ultimate Guide

Some Tips for Riding in the Winter

black motorcycle in tunnel

After you’ve geared up and have learned everything you need to know about cold weather motorcycle gear, you’re now ready for a bike ride in the snow.

To help you have a much safer ride, here are a few tips to take note of:

Stay Dry at All Times

It was already mentioned a number of times in the article how important staying dry is (which is why it was suggested that the gear you buy are all waterproof).

Take note that even small wet spot (even from a mist) can heighten the effects of chilly wind.

Aside from buying waterproof gear, you may also spray them with water repellant.

Stay Hydrated

When you feel cold, you are less likely to feel thirsty. However, even if you don’t feel thirsty, you still need to drink water regularly so that you don’t get dehydrated.

When you’re riding your bike, you still do sweat so you still need to rehydrate yourself from time to time.

Avoid Coffee and Alcohol

During the winter, you might feel tempted to drink a hot cup of coffee or a shot of vodka to keep warm.

However, doing this may be dangerous because these two drinks may cause hastened blood flow.

This lets you release and lose more body heat. Also, drinking alcohol before or during your bike ride can affect your judgment.

Eat Substantially

Lastly, you have to eat a lot of nutritional food. The human body tends to slow down its metabolism during cold days.

When this happens, the body automatically tries to create more internal heat. By eating more, your body will have an easier time creating heat to keep it warm.

During the winter, it’s important that you eat foods that contain a lot of nutrients and antioxidants.

Food with a lot of carbs, fiber, and protein are recommended for riders during the winter.

Some of the foods that riders are encouraged to eat are spicy foods, hot soups, and fruits.


When you ride your motorcycle during the winter, you have to be prepared because it won’t be easy. The weather will try to keep you from riding properly by making you cold and slowing you down.

The only way to beat it is to equip yourself from it with the right gear.

This is why it is very important to learn everything you need to know about cold weather motorcycle gear before you bring your bike out of your home and into the snow.

With the right gear, you will be kept safe and warm from the harsh weather conditions.

Click here to check out the best motorcycle helmets on the market!