As an avid motorcyclist with numerous miles under my belt, I know just how vital staying warm can be when you’re out on the open road. One part of the body often overlooked when considering warmth is the legs. It’s easy to forget just how exposed your legs are when you’re cruising down a highway at 70 mph, but let me tell you from experience, a chill can set in fast, especially on long rides in cool weather. So, how do you keep your legs warm while riding a motorcycle? Here’s my guide based on years of experience.
6 Best Ways Keeping Your Legs Warm: A Motorcyclist’s Guide
1. Quality Motorcycle Pants:
The first step, without a doubt, is investing in high-quality motorcycle pants. These pants are designed with the needs of motorcyclists in mind. They offer a snug fit that doesn’t inhibit movement, with padding in critical areas for safety, and most importantly, they provide excellent insulation against the cold.
I prefer pants with thermal lining, as they’re perfect for providing an extra layer of warmth. Materials like Kevlar or leather, for instance, are excellent for protection and heat retention. They are specifically designed to keep the wind out and your body heat in, making them a staple in any motorcyclist’s wardrobe.
2. Wind Protection:
Speaking of the wind, it’s often not the ambient temperature that makes your legs cold, but the wind chill. Reducing the wind hitting your legs can do wonders for your comfort levels. Several motorcycles come with built-in lower fairings or leg shields that divert air around your legs. If your motorcycle doesn’t come with these, aftermarket options are available and often easy to install.
If it’s particularly cold out, layering can be a lifesaver. Underneath your motorcycle pants, consider wearing thermal leggings or long johns. These are designed to trap heat close to your body and can significantly increase your comfort levels on cold rides. Merino wool or synthetic blends are popular choices because of their excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and their ability to wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry and warm.
4. Heated Gear:
For those colder months or longer trips, I strongly recommend investing in heated gear. Modern heated gear can be a game-changer and goes beyond your old-school heated vests. You can find battery-powered or bike-powered heated pants liners and even heated socks. They typically come with adjustable heat settings, allowing you to dial in the perfect amount of warmth for your ride. Remember, though, if your gear is bike-powered, you’ll want to ensure your motorcycle’s electrical system can handle the extra load.
5. Regular Breaks and Warm Drinks:
If you’re on a long journey, don’t underestimate the power of taking regular breaks. Stopping off at a roadside café, stretching your legs, and sipping a hot drink can work wonders. These breaks not only allow your body to generate some heat but also give you a mental refresh.
6. Maintain Your Bike:
Lastly, don’t forget to maintain your bike. A well-maintained bike will run smoother, generate less wind turbulence, and, as a result, less wind chill. Regular servicing and checks ensure that your bike is always in the best possible condition, reducing the risk of breakdowns that could leave you stranded in the cold.
So, there you have it, my strategies for keeping your legs warm while out on the road. Remember, staying warm isn’t just about comfort – it’s about safety. When your body starts to lose heat, your reaction times can slow, and your focus can waver. By following these steps, you can stay warm, alert, and safe on your motorcycle, no matter the weather. Happy riding!