How Do I Gear Up to Ride My Motorcycle in Changing Climates on a Budget?

New woman rider seeks advice for cost-effective protective riding apparel

budget motorcycle gear for changing climates

Hello. I would like to ask for advice about motorcycle gear for a “cold wimp” gal … myself!

I live in southern Oregon and would love to ride my motorcycle to work more often, but it’s so dang cold in the mornings that my face and fingers go numb while riding. Then, when I leave work to ride home it’s a totally different temperature.
I wear a full face helmet, men’s jeans, and a protective Joe Rocket jacket. Would waterproof padded pants and jacket be warmer for the mornings?
I’ve only been riding for a couple years and feel safest with armored gear. The only advice I’ve gotten from friends is to “wear layers.” A whole new set of pants/jacket/helmet will be quite spendy, so I’m looking some guidance to hopefully make a sound money decision. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have.
Lisa Leonard,
Keno, Oregon
Please share your advice in the comments section below.

Send us your questions atinfo@womenridersnow.comand well post it here for WRN readers to answer.

10 thoughts on How Do I Gear Up to Ride My Motorcycle in Changing Climates on a Budget?

  1. Check out our family business, California Heat. Our StreetRider Pants are all-weather, four season and designed to be worn over your regular pants. You can ride, rain or shine, wearing the thinnest and lightest heated pants available anywhere.• Side zippers and Velcro run ¾ up the length of each leg for easy wear and removal• Durable &and abrasive-resistant Cordura shell with removable level 1 armor in the kneesCalifornia Heat was voted “best cold-weather gear” by WRN at AIMExpo.Hope you have a wonderful 50th birthday!!

  2. When I’m traveling on a trip that could include multiple weather changes here is what I usually bring along: I bring my Klim jacket which has zippers for venting on warmer days. When it’s cold I add a heated liner underneath or a windstopper fleece. When it’s super hot I have a cooling vest you soak in water and I will put that under the jacket, leaving the zippered vents open. I also carry a head wrap made by LD Comfort that I will wet and put under my helmet, open the vents in my helmet, and that will cool me down as well. A couple pairs of gloves, a set of neoprene for rain and elk skin, one lined and one unlined. Having heated grips also helps. For pants I also wear Klim. Depending on where I’m going I make a decision as to which pair to wear. I have vented mesh pants or Gore-Tex with vents. The Gore-Tex jacket and pants can be worn in all weather, unzip the vents to cool down close the vents to stay dry and warm. Base layers are leggings or shorts by LD Comfort. A cooling neck wrap helps in extreme heat.

  3. Thank you all for your suggestions! My 50th birthday is coming soon and my man bought me heated gloves, so I’m good there! I failed to enter the word “armored” when I stated that I wear men’s jeans (could’t find women’s where I live). But, I am hoping to invest in a women’s pair of armored side leg zip 3-season pants. My Joe Rocket mesh jacket does have a liner but it still gets cold so I layer a fleece jacket beneath it. Just makes it a tighter fit. Does anyone have suggestions on a reasonable brand of 3- or 4-season pants with a side leg zipper?

  4. Heated motorcycle clothing! Keeps you warm in the mornings and extends your riding season. You can turn the gear off when it’s warm and it’ll keep you safe while riding.Check out California Heat’s StreetRider Outer Jacket, StreetRider Outer Pants, and SportFlexx Gloves.

  5. I have this same issue, but my commute is short enough I don’t have to get too crazy. Lately I’ve been wearing my heated jacket under a perforated or mesh summer jacket and it works ok for getting to work and then I can just ditch the heated jacket for the ride home in the heat. Also wearing warm gloves (or using heated grips) on the way and summer gloves for the ride home. Wearing a rainsuit (even an inexpensive one) over your gear will help block wind and help the cold a lot.You should definitely spend the money to get some protective pants (armor and abrasion resistant), and again you can wear rain pants over (or even under) and warm leggings underneath to help with the cold.Just remember you need to be able to schlep the warm stuff home afterwork so leave some space in your bags or bring a bag/bungee cord with you. (Also, Schuberth helmets are great at sealing up really well and insulating against the cold (and also venting well when you want that) but they are spendy—worth it though.)

  6. Lisa, here are a few suggestions that might help and work with your budget. There are a few manufacturers that offer women-specific overpants. Easy on and off, worn over your jeans. A few styles offer knee and hip armor. Outside leg zippers so no hassle on and off. Price-wise you’re looking at $75 and up. Now is a good time to look for sales on this item.Glove liners are a great help on cold mornings. These fit under your gloves—easy fit in a tank bag or pocket. They are offered in different fabrics, from silk to heated liners. Prices range from $20 to $40. Heated styles $75 and up. This is another item to shop for this time of year.I would invest in a balaclava for flexible head warmth. They easily fit under your helmet and are offered in a number of fabrics like Windstopper and Coolmax. Some styles are long enough to tuck into your jacket for extra warmth. Pricing runs from $15 to $30 for a good quality balaclava. You can find most if not all these items online or check with your local dealer. Ride safe…and warm!

  7. My Joe Rocket mesh jacket has a rain insert and a removable liner, all that with an extra jacket under it is pretty warm. Then I can take all that off when it’s hot. I did that last time we drove to the mountains—when we left it was hot and humid but the mountains were so much cooler, especially by nightfall when we got there! If you’re not looking for new gear I’d find the warmest jackets you have and layer up. Rain proof stuff will help block out some wind. But if your hands are going numb you may need to buy some heated gloves or grips.

  8. You need layers. I have a pair of leather chaps with Thinsulate liners that snap in. I have a vented jacket with liner also, and glove liners. The glove liners are nice in the rain under your gloves as well (if you didn’t know this, your rain gear is quite warm as an underlayer in a pinch!). Depending on the temperature, you put on/take off what you need.

  9. Layers is the way to go if getting heated gear is not an option. When I first started riding I would wear latex (or similar non latex gloves) under my riding gloves and that would cut down on the wind bite on my hands. I did buy one of those thinner heated jackets that are used for snowboarding and it worked well under my mesh riding jacket until I could afford motorcycle heated gear.

  10. Layers are the way to go. On cool/cold days I wear a hoodie or extra long sleeve work shirt under my bike jacket, a neck warmer, long underwear, and liners in my gloves. I have added electric grips, which help a lot, and have used electric glove liners, which helped a little.

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