It's officially a La Niña summer for the second year in a row for Australia which means things are going to get wet, wet, wet! With that in mind, now is the perfect time to get your wet weather gear checklist ticked off to avoid getting caught in the rain without protection.
There are many types of wet weather motorcycle gear, and sorting through the options can be an overwhelming experience. This guide will explain the options available, and the situations in which each is most suitable.
Waterproof Motorcycle Gear versus Motorcycle Rain Gear
Firstly, let's break down wet weather gear into two categories; Waterproof Motorcycle Gear & Motorcycle Rain Gear. These two categories might sound the same to you, however there are distinct differences.
Waterproof motorcycle gear is your normal motorcycle protective gear like jacket, pants, boots & gloves that has an element of waterproofing and is designed to shield you from the weather as well as offering all of the protective features of good motorcycle gear. This type of gear can be worn in various conditions for the duration of your ride.
Motorcycle rain gear is what you throw on over your normal riding gear when you get caught in the rain. It does not having any body armour, nor is it abrasion resistant to protect you from an accident. Its sole purpose is wet weather protection.
Your choice of rain protection will depend on your riding style, how you use your bike and the conditions in which you anticipate you will be riding.
Let's take a look at each of these types of gear in greater depth, covering;
- Materials & Construction
- Fitment & Convenience
Motorcycle Rain Gear
Materials & Construction
Most motorcycle rain gear will have a PVC backing or PU coating as a waterproof layer. This prevents water from getting in, but also means sweat and condensation can build up inside if worn for long periods of time. Look for an elasticised waist in the pants to be able to easily pull them on in a hurry.
All joins should be sealed and taped, and closures covered to prevent water seeping in. Look for storm flaps and velcro closures.
For more seamless coverage, consider a one piece rain suit like the Dri Rider Hurricane 2 Suit.
Wet weather can dramatically reduce visibility on the roads, and for a motorcycle rider this can be very dangerous. Wet weather gear with hi vis and/or reflective material will improve your chances of being seen in the pouring rain.
As mentioned, rain gear does not incorporate many of the safety features of your normal motorcycle gear, however there are some features to look out for.
Heat resistant panels on the inside of the pant legs prevent the waterproof material from melting if you bump the exhaust.
PVC & PU material can be slippery - ensure that your rain gear is not causing you to slide on your seat. The external material should be nylon or a coarse material that will not slip - this is one reason why a normal rain coat or poncho is unsuitable for riding.
Fitment & Convenience
A second reason why normal rain coats and ponchos are unsuitable when riding a motorcycle is the fitment. As soon as you pick up the slightest speed, your gear will be flapping around rendering it useless and also distracting and dangerous.
Gear that fits well is most effective - ask for advice when trying on rain gear, and try it on over your normal jacket and pants. Adjustment tabs around the waist, wrists and neck will prevent water seeping in and allow for a closer fit.
Basically you want your motorcycle rain gear to be simple to store & carry as a precaution, easy to get on and to keep you dry for as long as required.
The Dainese Storm 2 Unisex Jacket and Pants offer superior rain protection for tough weather conditions due to the ultrasonic welded, no-seams construction. Note the high neck, and adjustable closure systems as well.
Waterproof Motorcycle Gear
Materials & Construction
This is waterproof gear designed to be breathable, and will incorporate innovations like Gore-Tex which prevents water coming in while still allowing sweat and vapours to escape thus keeping you dry even on a long ride.
Wet weather motorcycle gear extends to jacket, pants, boots and gloves. Motorcycle helmets are not seasonal, and must be worn regardless of weather conditions. See our Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide for more information.
A good waterproof jacket can make all the difference to your comfort on a wet weather ride. Look for high quality waterproof lining like Gore-Tex, waterproof pockets to keep your personal items dry, adjustable straps around the waist and wrists for a perfect fit and storm flaps over the zip to prevent leaking. A removable thermal liner gives extra warmth in the cold. Ensure that your motorcycle jacket is also providing protection like removable armour and abrasion resistance in case of an accident.
Some motorcycle jackets and pants can zip together to create a 2 piece suit which is great added protection against the elements. Look for synthetic materials with waterproof lining, jeans are not ideal for wet weather as the absorb water and take a long time to dry. Look for materials and lining that is moisture wicking.
Besides keeping your feet warm and dry, good motorcycle boots for wet weather need to have non slip soles to prevent you from slipping on an uneven or slippery road surface. When buying boots for riding in wet weather, look for non-perforated materials. There are a lot of options for riding boots, check out our Motorcycle Road Boots Buying Guide for more information.
Often when it's raining, it is also cold and windy and our hands are very exposed on a motorcycle. A good pair of motorcycle gloves for wet weather will protect you from the elements without hindering your hands ability to grip the bike. Leather, whilst having excellent abrasion resistance, can absorb water & takes a long time to dry out. Look for Gore-Tex or similar waterproofing, synthetic materials, secure wrist closures to stop water getting in. Another great feature is a visor swipe to assist with wiping water from your visor without scratching. See our comprehensive Motorcycle Glove Buying Guide for more information.
As mentioned earlier, being as visible as possible while riding in the rain is extremely important. Other motorists can become distracted, and reaction times are slower. If you know you will be riding in this kind of weather, choose brightly coloured gear like hi vis or white. You can also find suitable options with reflective stripes.
Whilst this buying guide is focussing on motorcycle gear suitable for wet weather riding, it is important to remember that your gear on any ride needs to protect you sufficiently. Consider your style of riding, and whether the gear offers enough protection for example body armour in jackets and pants, palm sliders and knuckle protectors on gloves, anti torsion technology and abrasion resistance in boots.
Fitment & Convenience
As this is your only protection from the weather, and also in case of an accident, it is vital that your motorcycle gear fit you properly. Protective components like armour are designed to sit in a specific positions to be effective. If you are unsure of sizing and correct fitment of your gear, we strongly recommend heading into an AMX store to discuss your needs with our sales team.
Dri Rider Vortex Adventure 2 Pants are an adventure riding pant suitable for riding all day long in any weather conditions.
The SIDI Dry Road Rain Boots are specifically designed to keep your feet dry, they even have a reflective insert on the back for greater visibility.
Waterproof, comfortable, and protective, the Dainese Scout 2 Unisex Gloves also features a visor wiper and touch screen capability so you don't need to remove your gloves to use your phone.
Tips for Wet Weather Riding
- For really rainy days, consider rain gators to stop water getting in the top of your boots if they aren't already covered by your riding pants.
- Look for a jacket with a velcro storm flap that will prevent water seeping through zips.
- Why not keep your personal items dry too - invest in a waterproof backpack!
- Anti-fog pinlocks which absorb moisture are available for most visors. Ask the AMX team for advice on which pinlock is right for your helmet.
You know why having the right wet weather motorcycle gear is so important, now you just need to know how to get it! Head into one of our 17 stores in Australia, or shop online at amxsuperstores.com.au ! Our sales team in store are available to answer all of your questions, and to provide advice on size and fitment. If you can't get into a store, you can speak to a friendly Online Customer Service team member on 1300 113 257.