Freezing your butt off on a motorcycle ride can be downright painful. If you have been riding for any length of time, you have probably been there. Regardless of if you were caught off guard by the weather, weren't prepared with the right gear, or some combination of the above, I'm sure you remember just how uncomfortable it was. For those of you who are new to riding, who maybe haven't yet experienced the burn of freezing wind against your neck, chattering teeth, or the death grip that you can't get undone from your bars, I hope this winter motorcycle jacket guide will help point you in the right direction before the weather turns against us.
In this video comparison, we take a look at 8 different motorcycle jackets that are great options for cold weather riding. These 8 jackets are by no means the only winter jackets that we carry here at Competition Accessories, rather, they are each a good example of different styles of jackets that work well in winter, which you can then choose from depending on the type of riding you plan on doing.
There are two key elements to good cold weather motorcycle gear. One is its ability to block the wind. Let's face it, 60mph windchill is no joke. In fact, a rather mild 40 degrees actually feels like 25 degrees when you factor in that kind of wind. Check out the wind chill chart below (and I know some of you out there tend to ride a lot faster than 60mph)
The second key element to staying warm during the winter is insulation. If the jacket is effective at keeping the wind at bay and the cold out, then the second part of its job is keeping your body heat in. This is typically accomplished with the use of an insulated liner. Not all liners are created equal, however. If you really need warmth during the winter, you want to look for jackets that offer a fully sleeved, quilted thermal liner. Some jackets have just a vest style liner (no sleeves), or a fleece liner. These can be comfortable in cool weather - but if you need serious cold weather protection, look for the fully sleeved liner.
The last thing to consider is protection from the wet stuff - that's right: rain. The "r" word... In many parts of the country, fall, winter, and spring rides are often accompanied by precipitation. If your rides tend to be longer in nature, or you commute daily, sometimes it is impossible to avoid rain. This is why most of the winter jackets we highlighted in the video above are waterproof motorcycle jackets. Not only does the waterproof liner do a great job keeping you dry in wet weather, it also serves as yet another barrier to the wind that we talked about above. Not all waterproof jackets are created equal, however. Some of them utilize an inner membrane that will do a good job keeping you dry, but can leave the outer shell of the jacket wet and also hinders the performance of the vents. The more expensive, and generally preferred option, is having the outer shell of the jacket do the rain blocking. This style of construction is more expensive, and it also has more potential for leaking through at seems and zippers, but it will also mean that the motorcycle jacket is a bit more comfortable in warmer weather.
If you are braving seriously cold conditions (see pic below), then you might consider stepping up your game with an electric heated jacket liner, or a one piece thermal motorcycle suit.
If you have any questions about winter motorcycle gear, whether it's motorcycle jackets, riding gloves, electric heated gear, or thermal suits - give us a call here at Competition Accessories - we are here to help!