motorcycle tips

Winter Motorcycle Riding: How to Keep Your Hands Warm

Winter Motorcycle Riding: How to Keep Your Hands Warm

Riding a motorcycle in winter can be so much fun. However, it is not always a treat for those who find riding in cold weather uncomfortable. There's one enemy every motorcycle rider faces while riding in winter, and that is ‘ cold hands .’ No one would like numb hands and fingers when holding the handlebars.

Having cold hands while riding may not sound severe or bearable. However, it can cause your hands and fingers to numb, resulting in a lack of movement. First, having a cold hand while riding in winter is very painful; you may not be able to ride at all. Secondly, it can also result in motorcycle accidents.

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your hands warm during winter rides. Continue reading this article to learn about keeping your hands warm while riding your motorcycle in winter.

Winter Motorcycle Riding: How to Keep Your Hands Warm

1. Gear Up: Gloves are Key

What is the best thing to help avoid having cold hands during winter rides? Winter motorcycle gloves. They may not be enough, depending on how cold the weather is, but they can still keep your hands cozy during winter riding. Here are a few things that you should look for in winter motorcycle gloves while buying:

1.1 Thicker Insulation

Just like your riding gear needs to be thick to stay warm while riding a motorcycle in winter, your gloves must be thicker, too. Thinsulate or Primaloft are thicker glove materials that can effectively fight the cold. Leather gloves also provide good protection against cold weather.

If your glove has thicker insulation, it will keep your hands warm. It doesn’t allow the outside temperature to interfere with the inner temperature.

1.2 Waterproof & Windproof

Water and cool breezes are riders’ enemies when riding in winter. Talking about gloves, both water and wind can cause your hands and fingers to freeze.

Ensure your gloves are of appropriate material to prevent elements such as water and wind from reaching your fingers. Wet hands freeze more quickly than dry hands, so make sure you have a good pair of waterproof gloves for riding in winter.

1.3 Bike Control Must Not Be Compromised

Though the winter motorcycle gloves should be thick and warm, they must not make you lose the handlebars’ grip. To safely ride a motorcycle, the rider must have good control and access to the handlebars, brake lever, and clutch lever.

If you wear thick and bulky gloves, your control will be compromised, which can result in unfortunate events. Choose gloves that permit you to move your hands and fingers with ease so you can ride the motorcycle safely.

1.4 Gauntlets for Extra Defense

Gauntlets for Extra Defense
Photo Credit: Revzilla

Gauntlets are gloves with wrist protection. It is recommended to choose gloves with an extended wrist area to cover your wrists. In addition to wrist protection, such gloves help to keep your wrist and forearm warm. They block the incoming wind from entering your sleeves and hence help to keep your body warm.

1.5 Bonus Tip

You may not be required to wear winter motorcycle gloves throughout the year. You may also need a pair of gloves for summer. Also, it is wise to keep a lighter and thinner pair of motorcycle riding gloves for cold weather because it is not constantly freezing during winter. Remember, sweaty hands can also cause you to lose the handlebars’ grip, resulting in losing control of your bike.

2. Glove Liners: Adding an Extra Layer

It is always suitable even for the best gloves to have backup. This is what makes glove liners useful for winter rides. These are thin gloves you wear underneath your main winter gloves. They help in keeping your hands warm during winter. It feels like there is an additional layer of insulation. However, glove liners do more than just add heat:

2.1 Absorbs Moisture

Imagine having sweaty hands and wearing gloves at the same time. It is very unpleasant. Glove liners help remove moisture, making your hands dry and comfortable.

2.2 Types of Liners for Different Weather

Depending on the specific weather conditions, there are various kinds of glove liners:

Types of Liners for Different Weather

Choosing the Right Liners

Before choosing what to wear to protect your hands and fingers from cold while riding a motorcycle, consider the temperature and how extreme the weather can get. If it stays moderate and your rides are short, then wearing silk liners will be enough. One can go for fleece or even heated ones to ride in icy weather conditions for longer.

3. Beyond Gloves: How to Keep Your Hands Warm

Gloves are an essential riding gear to keep your hands warm during winter. However, the rest of your body must stay warm too. When your body stays warm, your hands are warmed too. Here are some other tricks to keep your hands and fingers cozy while riding your motorcycle in winter:

3.1 Handguards

Photo Credit: Cycle News

It is good to have these shields installed on the handlebars for riding in winter. Handguards keep their hands protected from wind and rain, which eventually prevents them from freezing due to cold.

Besides keeping your hands warm, handguards are also one of the most essential equipment in dirt bikes. They keep your hands safe from scratching while riding through challenging, narrow dirt tracks.

3.2 Heated Grips

Some modern-day motorcycles come standard with heated grips. These regular handlebar grips are attached to the bars, and an electronic heating system is installed. You can also maintain and adjust the temperature of these grips to keep your hands cozy and comfortable during winter rides.

You can also find aftermarket heated grips to install on your bike if it doesn’t come with pre-installed ones. They are considered a premium motorcycle accessory for riding in areas that stay cold most of the year.

3.3 Hippo Hands

Hippo Hands
Photo Credit: Hippo Hands

Hippo hands are not very common on motorcycles. However, they tend to provide the best solution for riding in freezing weather. They are large-sized handlebar muffs attached to both ends of the bars. They are like giant, warm pockets covering most of your forearms. 

3.4 Lever Wraps

Lever Wraps
Photo Credit: MCD Leathers

Lever wraps can also be termed finger protectors. They are wrapped around the front brake and clutch levers so that when the rider has to engage either lever, their fingers will not freeze.

Lever wraps are heat-shielding accessories. The brake and clutch levers are made of metal, which makes them extremely cold during winter. When riders touch them directly, their fingers can go numb. For this reason, it is important to have lever wraps, particularly for riding in winter. They also improve the aesthetics of your bike.

3.5 Layering Up

If you are a winter motorcycle rider, you should wear many layers of clothing. These traps heat around your body, including your hands, keeping your overall temperature moderate. Therefore, you must wear thermals, sweaters, and jackets to warm up your whole body while winter riding.

4. Best Tips for Motorcycle Riding in Winters

One has to be wise on the road during winter, even with all the gear, to ensure that he or she does not freeze up on their bikes. Here are some tips to keep your body, hands, and fingers happy:

4.1 Warm Up Before You Go for a Ride

Just as you need to rev up and idle the motorbike to energize and warm up the engine, your body must also be warmed up. Before getting on your motorcycle, do some jumping jacks or light exercises. This will circulate your blood and get your body and hands a bit warmer.

You must also rub your hands with each other or with your thighs before you go for a ride in winter. This will help your hands stay warmer, and putting on insulated gloves will keep them warm for a longer period.

4.2 Shorter Rides in Cold Weather

If the weather is freezing outside, it is recommended that you take shorter journeys. This way, your hands will not be as exposed to cold for as long as they become numb.

4.3 Use Hand Warmers

Chemical hand warmers are always handy and can be carried in your pockets. They are also termed as the pocket-sized heaters. Small packets are inserted in the gloves, providing heat for a few hours. They are ideal for use during winter if you want an additional heat source.

4.4 Take a Stop and Warm Up

This tip is the most important one. If your hands begin to freeze and your fingers feel numb, you should stop the motorcycle during the ride and warm your hands up. Don’t let your hand go completely numb during the ride, as it can be hazardous.

After you take a stop, put both your hands in your underarms and press them while keeping them covered. Keep closing and opening your fist until the numbness disappears and blood starts circulating effectively.

Keep your hands covered and repeat these exercises until you start feeling your hands again. It helps avoid frostnip” which can later become frostbite” , a condition that gets worse in cold weather.

If you have this condition, the affected area of your skin and tissues get injured. They start to swell and change color. If you ride frequently during the winter, you are more likely to suffer from this skin condition due to exposure to cold temperatures.

5. Takeaway

Motorcycle riding during winter is quite fun, especially if you are well-prepared. However, one must make sure not to compromise on the safety. Keep your whole body covered while riding in winter. Wear extra layers of clothing like thermals, jackets, and sweaters.

Pay special attention to your hands as they are the most exposed to cold as you write in cold weather. As mentioned in this article, having warm and comfortable hands is possible even in the wintertime.

Therefore, wear your jacket and helmet, start your bike, and ride on. If you are a true biker, the cold temperature will not stop you from enjoying the ride. However, always remember that your safety comes first. However, never wear extra thicker gloves, making it hard to grip the handlebars and control the bike properly.

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