Electrify: You can stack on other electric accessories, such as grips, gloves, seat cushions or chaps, but remember that your alternator may not be able to handle multiple electrical accessories at once. Install a voltmeter to monitor your system and make sure it's not overdrawn.
Balaclava or Bandana: Use a balaclava (available from most apparel manufacturers and any ski shop) or other cloth or fleece neck wrap for added insulation and to help seal air passages around the neck and head.
Glove Liners: Glove liners made of insulating material such as DuPont Thermostat are available from most outdoor outfitting stores. They are lightweight, fit underneath most properly fitting gloves and add an extra layer of insulating heat around the hands.
Warmers: Perhaps the best cheap tip, warmers offer a one-shot disposable air-activated heat source. They can be found at any outdoor supply shop (even Wal-Mart), cost less than a dollar each and are lightweight enough to be slipped in just about anywhere you'd like. Just don't place them against bare skin, as the heat output can be erratic.
Remember: Stop The Wind
If your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, hypothermia will eventually set in. And not just in extreme temperatures. Hypothermia can occur above 40 F if a person becomes chilled from rain or sweat. At that point, your brain and body will be affected with symptoms that include shivering, exhaustion, slurred speech and slowed reaction times-none of which mix well with riding a motorcycle. The key to staying warm in cold conditions is to keep the wind from touching your skin and to keep your core body temperature up-which means protecting the head and torso. Cover all exposed skin and don't hesitate to put on a rainsuit even in cold, dry conditions, as it will help stop the wind. Layer your clothing, which effectively adds more air-and thus insulation -between you and the elements.
We're all more tempted to ride unprotected when the mercury hits the triple digits, especially for short hops around town, when donning a smothering helmet, boots, gloves and jacket takes nearly as long as the trip itself. But whether you're making a quick local trip or heading out for your summer sport tour, dressing for the ride in hot weather is not only important, but more comfortable as well.
Beyond the Basics: What Else to WearVented Helmet: Make sure the helmet you purchase has plenty of vents-when you perspire inside a helmet, proper venting allows air in to cool your noggin and hot air trapped inside to escape. Avoid dark-colored helmets in hot weather and wear a tinted visor.
Jacket: Most apparel manufacturers offer a multitude of vented leather or textile jackets. We're not entirely sold on the new fabric mesh jackets on the market, but we agree that wearing one is better than riding in a T-shirt. If possible, buy a more versatile jacket with zippered vents. If you have the budget for a warm-weather-only jacket, we recommend a light-colored, vented leather model.
Pants: Wear jeans before you wear shorts. Jeans are by no means considered fully protective, but most riders wear them more often than not. You can augment the protection of jeans by using pads underneath, but your best bet is to wear leather or textile protective riding pants, even though it's not always convenient.
Gloves: While it's possible to find very lightweight, vented gloves on the market, we believe the trade-off in protection is not worth the minimal comfort advantage. Wear light-colored, standard riding gloves (light colors won't stain your hands and are cooler) with a long gauntlet and wrist strap.
Tips And Tricks:
Cover Up: Believe it or not, during long trips in the heat it is better to cover up than be exposed. Control airflow so the skin remains moist but does not dry out. If skin becomes dry, you absorb heat from the air. Cover any exposed skin; sun and windburn only make you more uncomfortable.