UK winters mean outside temperatures of between 10°C and freezing… Hold on, that doesn’t sound too bad..
BUT WAIT!: When you factor in wind-chill generated at standard riding speeds, your riding actually exposes you to temperatures of -5°C to -25°C!
The best way to stay warm on your motorcycle is by making sure you have the right layers. Ideally, you want 3 layers to stay warm. The outer layer, your motorcycle jacket, should protect you against the elements such as wind and rain. The middle layer should retain heat, and the base layer should maintain body temperature and wick away moisture.
Base layers are an essential first step for staying warm, dry, and comfortable! They are designed to sit next to your skin, maintain body temperature, and wick away moisture. Base layers should fit like a second skin but not restrict your movement.
Base layers are made using synthetic fibres or Merion Wool. They effortlessly wick moisture and disperse it over a large surface area. This accelerates evaporation which keeps you dry, regulates your temperature, and keeps your skin comfortable. They are also anti-bacterial and can be machine washed ensuring everyday freshness.
Using a cotton t-shirt is no substitute to a good base layer, as it lacks the same ability to wick away moisture from the skin.
Mid layers have the job of keeping you warm. Think of them as your insulation.
There are several different types of mid layers, but they all aim to trap your body heat. Down is a great insulator with a high warmth to weight ratio. Fleece is quick drying and offers warmth, and Merino Wool works well and is a great option for the cold.
Mid layers are meant to trap air, so you should be able to move around inside them a little. In other words, you don’t want them to be skin tight like your base layers, but they still need to sit close to your body.
As with base layers, it’s best to avoid cotton, as it traps moisture which can make you colder.
What products are available?
For base layers, we recommend:
The Forcefield Tornado shirt and trousers:
For mid layers, we recommend:
Rev’it! Solar mid-layer jacket – No Longer Available (try this!)
Knox mid layer buddy jacket