Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get at least a few weeks of winter each year. Which, for riders, means colder-than-normal temperatures and a slightly higher chance of rain.
On the off chance you want to go for a ride on a day where the weather conditions are less than ideal, we’ve got you covered. Whether you only use these items once or twice or a year, or you bust them out religiously to travel cross-country in the colder months, you’ll be glad you have these on hand when you need them. They can literally save your ride.
Here are the most important gear and accessories every motorcycle rider needs for riding in cold weather:
- A good pair of thick, warm gloves
You need to keep your hands warm at all costs. Riding with cold hands isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s dangerous. If you lose enough feeling in your fingers, you won’t be able to handle the throttle, clutch, or front brake with the same finesse you’re used to. It can slow your reaction times and affect your riding ability more than you might think. So do yourself a favor and invest in a pair of high-quality, cold weather gloves.
Like these from Harley-Davidson.
- A helmet liner
Also called balaclavas, a quality fleece helmet liner goes a long way to keeping your ears, neck, and cheeks warm. As long as you’ve got it tucked into your jacket and zipped tight, you won’t even be able to feel the wind. Especially if you plan on going for a long ride in colder temperatures, this piece of gear is a must-have.
Harley-Davidson sells one of the best balaclavas on the market.
- A quality cold-weather jacket
It should go without saying, but if you’re planning on riding in the rain or cold, you need the right jacket. While you should always be wearing a leather jacket – preferably with padding – when riding your bike, when looking for a winter specific jacket, you’ll want to go for one that is made from extra thick, quality leather and that already has a base layer added into the design.
We recommend Harley-Davidson’s Swingarm 3-in-1 leather jacket.
- Base layer pants
Being lucky enough to live and ride in Florida, we can get away with buying just one or two pairs of a high quality base layers to wear under our usual riding jeans or pants during the wintertime. While you absolutely can go out and buy cold-weather riding pants, we recommend saving yourself the cash and just getting a few pairs of these instead.
This is the one we personally recommend.
- Hot hands packets
If you’ve never heard of these, you’re in for a treat! These tiny packets of warmth come in handy when the weather starts to turn cold. Even on days you’re not riding, you’ll find yourself brining one with you wherever you go. You can put them in your pockets, your gloves, even your socks to keep every part of your body toasty warm. And the best part, they’re dirt cheap!
You can buy them directly from Amazon here.
- Cold weather bike accessories If you’re just one of those people who gets cold easily, you might want to also consider getting some accessories for your bike that’ll help keep you warm during the few weeks of winter we get here in Florida.
Elephant ears look silly but they work better than almost anything else when it comes to keeping your hands warm. You can also just install hand guards to keep the biting cold wind away from your fingers.
You can also try heated grips. The installation requires a little more effort than hand guards, but they do the job without drawing the same ridicule as elephant ears.
If your motorcycle doesn’t already have a built-in seat warmer, you can buy one and install it yourself. Its effectiveness varies from bike to bike (and specifically, seat to seat), but if you’ve got a thinner seat with less padding it may be worth the investment.