AMX Blog

Winter Motorcycle Gear Buying Guide

By Darya AMX

Thu Nov 25 2021

Increased wind speed results in increased heat loss - this is called the 'wind chill factor', and it affects 10 out of 10 motorcycle riders. If you can't bear to keep the bike locked away for the winter months, despite the cold air & the wet conditions, then donning the correct cold weather riding gear is paramount to your enjoyment of winter riding.

In this guide, we will explain the factors you should consider when choosing what to wear on a winter ride. We will cover;

  • Materials
  • Fitment & Adjustability
  • Winter Motorcycle Gear Options
    • Motorcycle Jackets
    • Riding Pants & Jeans
    • Motorcycle Gloves
    • Motorcycle Helmets & Boots
    • Winter MX Gear
    • Wet Weather Gear
  • Winter Riding Safety Tips

Materials


The materials & construction of your riding gear is key to their effectiveness. Here are the main factors to look for:

Waterproof

Gore-Tex® and similar innovations allow sweat and vapor to escape, while preventing any water from penetrating keeping you dry and warm. It has the added benefits of reducing odour due to it's breathability, and wind resistance.

Synthetic materials

Synthetic Material are generally better for winter riding as leather and denim are not fully waterproof and will hold water if they get wet.

Moisture wicking base layers

Moisture wicking material pulls moisture away from the skin and is quick drying.

Thermal lining

A removable thermal liner provides an added layer of insulation against the cold.

Armour

Impact protection and abrasion resistance is still vitally important in cold weather especially with wet, slippery roads.


Fitment & Adjustability


It is important that you accept advice on the size and fit of your cold weather motorcycle gear. There are big differences between summer & winter gear & ideally you should have proper gear for each season. Correct fitment for cold weather riding prevents exposed skin, and stops the cold wind from penetrating through.


Proper fit is important because the armour and protection are located in strategic places and is designed to protect those specific parts of you in case of an accident. Consider and allow for armour when trying on any motorcycle gear.


Good, well fitting gear is comfortable and makes riding more enjoyable. Stretch panels aid in comfort by allowing for flexibility and movement. Adjustment straps are another feature of good winter riding gear which allows you to (you guessed it) adjust the fitment so that armour is sitting in the right place, and the gear is fitting close to your body.


Winter Motorcycle Gear Options


Motorcycle Jackets


For winter riding opt for a textile jacket made of synthetic material manufactured to be waterproof, abrasion resistant and breathable. A leather jacket will provide some warmth, and wind resistance however in wet weather it will hold water and takes a long time to dry.


Adjustable straps around the wrists, arms and waist will allow you to adjust the jacket to fit closer to your body which prevents cold air from penetrating.
A good winter motorcycle jacket will have waterproof pockets to keep your personal items dry in case of an unexpected downpour, and a high collar to keep water from dripping down the back of your neck.
A detachable, insulated thermal liner will allow you to retain heat inside the jacket keeping your core warm in cool weather.
Winter jackets are available in different styles depending on the type of riding you are doing, for example touring jackets for long distance riding, race jackets for high speeds or commuting.


Let's look at some examples of winter jackets that meet all of the above criteria:

DRIRIDER NORDIC 4 JACKET BLACK GREY

DAINESE CARVE MASTER 2 GORE-TEX JACKET BLACK GREY RED

DAINESE CARVE MASTER 2 LADY GORE-TEX JACKET BLACK GREY RED

DRIRIDER VORTEX ADVENTURE 2 JACKET

DRIRIDER NORDIC 4 JACKET

Dri Rider Nordic 4 Jacket Black

Riding Pants & Jeans


Winter motorcycle jackets will often have matching pants that zip together with the jacket creating a weatherproof two piece suit. For example, the DRIRIDER NORDIC 4 JACKET BLACK & the DRIRIDER VORTEX ADVENTURE 2 PANT.

Let's use these Dri Rider Vortex Adventure 2 Pants as an example to highlight the characteristics of proper pants for winter weather conditions.

  • These pants have three layers - an outer layer made of polyester and PU coated for water resistance, a removable waterproof/breathable liner to prevent water coming in while allowing sweat to escape and lastly a removeable thermal liner to keep you warm.
  • Large air vents allow these pants to adapt to different weather conditions.
  • CE approved armour in the knees provides impact protection.
  • Stretch panels in waist, thigh and crotch ensure comfort and good movement while wearing these pants ensuring proper fit.

Dri Rider Vortex Adventure 2 Pant Black

Dri Rider Vortex Adventure 2 Pant Black

Motorcycle Gloves


Cold weather tends to affect the extremities more than other body parts, and having nice warm gloves can make all the difference to the enjoyment of a ride, as well as your safety as a rider. Numb fingers won't grip the clutch or front brake effectively.

Thinsulate & Waterproofing

It is important to invest in gloves that will insulate your hands while still allowing for dexterity and good grip - enter Thinsulate insulation. Thinsulate insulation is warm yet lightweight, powerful yet thin which is perfect for motorcycle gloves. Gloves which offer a Thinsulate lining as well as waterproofing will keep your hands warm, and protect again rain and wind. Different brands may use alternative versions of insulation, for example Dainese uses Primaloft®.

Closures

While waterproof & insulated gloves are excellent, if they don't fasten correctly around your wrist you will find that the cold air and rain makes it's way into your glove. Look for gloves with Velcro wrist closures, and ensure your gloves sit well with your jacket so as to now allow exposure to the cold wind.

Visor Wipe

Another very handy (haha, get it?!) innovation in motorcycle gloves is a suede or TPR panel on the index finger or thumb to wipe moisture from visor.

Gloves that incorporate all of the above features include:

Dri Rider Adventure 2 Glove

DAINESE SCOUT 2 UNISEX GORE-TEX GLOVES

Heated Gloves

The solution for long distance winter riding is heated gloves. Like the FIVE HG-1 Waterproof Glove which combines the supple qualities of goat leather, with a synthetic waterproof lining and the battery-and resistor-powered heating system. There are three levels of heat which can be easily adjusted with an external button on the cuff.

Dri Rider Adventure 2 Glove

Dri Rider Adneture 2 Glove Black Red

Motorcycle Helmets & Boots


Helmets


In cold weather it makes sense that the more you are covered the warmer you will be, therefore a full face helmet is going to offer the most protection from the elements. For extra warmth you can wear a balaclava under your helmet.

The fog build-up in a visor can get even thicker and blurrier during cold and rainy weather conditions. To solve this issue, the Pinlock visor insert was created. The Pinlock visor insert is made out of a material that contains moisture absorbing properties, which reacts like a sponge and absorbs moisture effectively. Ask your local AMX store for information about which pinlock is right for your helmet.

Pinlock

Shoei Pinlock


Boots


Your choice of footwear has a huge impact on staying warm on a long ride. Your road boots have many jobs including providing impact protection, abrasion resistance, anti-torsion control & slip prevention. Now add to that list waterproofing and insulation without obstructing breathability. Pretty tall order! This is why we recommend investing in the best pair of boots to suit your needs as a rider.

See our comprehensive Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide here.

For cold weather riding, look for boots with:

  • A waterproof membrane lining
  • Velcro and zip closures to prevent leaking
  • A breathable liner
  • Non-perforated on the upper


Check out the SIDI Gavia Gore-Tex and the SIDI Armada Gore-Tex as examples of boots with these features.

A quick tip for avoiding wet socks - do not tuck your pants into your boots when it is raining - the rain will roll down the pants into your boot.

Winter MX Gear


To keep warm off road in the winter, you can invest in some base layers like the Dri Rider Thermal Merino Wool Shirt and Pants.

While there aren't winter specific jersey & pants sets, you can opt for a set with no venting and perforation to minimise airflow. Ensure you have moisture wicking material though as you want to be able to allow sweat and odour to escape and to dry off quickly if you do get caught in the rain.

See our comprehensive Motocross Gear Buying Guide for more information.

Wet Weather Gear


Wet weather gear like the Dri Rider Thunderwear 2 Jacket and Pants are a compact and easy item to carry in case of an unexpected downpour. A more breathable option for riding longer distances in the rain is the Dainese Storm 2 Unisex Jacket and Pants. As an added benefit, the fluro colour will make you more visible to other road users in the rain.

It is very important that you fit and wear wet weather gear like this correctly for it to be effective. It is designed to fit over your protective gear which is a factor to consider when choosing size.

DRIRIDER HURRICANE 2 SUIT

Dri Rider Hurricane 2 Suit Fluro

Check out our Wet Weather Motorcycle Gear Buying Guide for more information. 

Winter Riding Safety Tips

  • Invest in thermal base layers to keep you warm and dry. Ensure that the material is moisture wicking (for example bamboo). Base layers include under shirts, neck gaiters & socks.
  • Hand guards for off road bikes and heated grips for road bikes can make a huge difference to your comfort on a cold day.
  • Correct fitment of gear is key for it to perform effectively, seek advice from an AMX staff member if possible.
  • Reflective strips on your gear increase your visibility in cold, dark & rainy conditions.
  • Stay hydrated! This is just as important in winter as it is in summer especially as you are less likely to feel thirsty in cold weather. Dehydration can effect your cognition and decision making ability so make sure you drink up.

Happy Shopping!


Now that you are armed with a practical guide to shopping for cold weather motorcycle gear, 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.

Sign up for emails to get the latest offers