Move over, pumpkin spice…The Autumn Accessories Contest is complete! Our readers (that means you) helped us create a “must-have” list for fall. Without further ado, we’re sharing your favorite gear and accessory secrets to combat cold weather.
Covered bridges, foliage rides
Triumphs, Hondas, Harley Glides
Apple picking and bonfires
Leather jacket, cycle riders
Pumpkin picking, crisp cool air
Leather gloves I love to wear
Cider donuts, huge leaf piles
Fall is my favorite time of year
Wearing all my Autumn gear!
-Jacqueline Jobes, Cream Ridge, New Jersey
Outfitting the Bike
Judge: Genevieve Schmitt, Founder of Women Riders Now, has test ridden and owned more motorcycles and tried more accessories than anyone can count. This makes her the perfect judge for the motorcycle accessory contest.
As temperatures drop, it’s all about making your motorcycle work for you. Here are several ways to upgrade your ride for warmth where you need it most.
1. HEATED GRIPS
“My favorite fall accessory is my Oxford Heaterz heated grips. I bought my bike in chilly January and these were installed six days later. Best upgrade ever! Toasty warm hands make riding in the cooler temps enjoyable and allow me to wear my favorite gloves (Alpinestars Stella SP-8) year round.” – Jen Miller, Oregon
“No matter what kind of gloves I have on, even my $200 cold weather ones, my fingers freeze when I ride in late fall or early spring. My favorite addition to my 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider are my heated hand grips. Crank them up to 5 and my fingers are toasty warm!” – Barb Olson, Farmington, Minnesota
2. ENGUARD CHAPS/SOFT LOWERS
“I love my soft lowers and my Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Elvira, loves them too! I dont always want to wear chaps, but the knees breeze is a bit cool, so these are the best alternative. Installation is easy on and off, just slip them right over the engine guards. I fold and store them in the saddlebag during the cooler seasons. They even have reflective piping and zippered pockets.They’re great for deflecting those little shin-smacking stones, bugs, rain, and wetness from the road.” – Barbara Davila, Akron, Ohio
3. ADJUSTABLE WINDSCREEN
“My FACO twin screen keeps me comfortable while the weather has mood swings in the fall. It adjusts in seconds with just two knobs so I can block the chill in mornings and evenings, then lower it down to enjoy the last of the summer breezes during lunch runs. Its a great windscreen year-round but really shines when the weather is unpredictable.” – Rebekah Cowin, St. Louis, Missouri
Judge: Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor of Women Riders Now, is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach and knows from first-hand experience the importance of safety first.
Fighting the cold is only half the battle. Good safety apparel can do double-duty to keep you comfortable and protected in any season. Here are a few ways to get the most protection from all the elements (yes, even asphalt) during fall riding.
1. HIGH-QUALITY LEATHER
“My favorite autumn motorcycle accessory is my one-piece Dainese leathers because autumn is the start of racing season at Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association and I cant wait to gear up and hit the track. I get to race with the lovely ladies of Femmewalla. They are an amazing group of women ranging from high school students to professionals who come from all over the country to pursue their passion. Starting up the new race season in my leathers is the best part of fall.” – Bonnie Chiurazzi, California
“My favorite fall accessory is my leather jacket. It has lots of vents in case it warms up. It looks good, feels good, and makes me smile when the weather is right for wearing it.” – Chris Foster, Arkansas
“Yes, riding in autumn can be super cold. What makes the cold bearable for me are my amazing chaps. I am in love with how warm they are and they truly block so much wind. You can put them on as easy as you can take them off. Once you learn how to pack them you will never want to leave the house without them. Side note: My significant other has a hard time taking his hands off me when I wear them out (which is always a plus!).” – Mackenzie Easley, Kansas City, Missouri
“We all have heard the saying, ‘Get your knees in the breeze.’ That is all well and good in the summer, but when fall comes creeping in and the temperatures start to dip, that term should be changed to ‘knees in the freeze.’ There is nothing better than a good pair of chaps to keep those knees from feeling the cold. Living in the Midwest, my chaps keep me on two wheels until the salt trucks hit the road.” – Noelle Viola, Shorewood, Illinois
“My Pinlock faceshield has made cold morning rides into work safer and more enjoyable. There is no more fogging when its cold outside–even down to 26 degrees!” – Alice McCardell
“My Milwaukee boots keep my feet warm and dry at all times. Ive been known to wear them with just about anything, even in summertime! They are comfortable and very safe for the road.” – Lisa Schutt, Port Huron, Michigan
“My Harley-Davidson Kirkley waterproof boot is a higher-heeled boot for us shorter peeps who need extra height. They are leather with a waterproof coating. Even the sole is made differently, with almost a ‘tire’ feel to them. The fit is very true-to-size and the heel height is awesome.” – M. Nelson, North Illinois
“My boots are my favorite. As long as my feet are warm I can ride with the best of them. I do the layers and all but if my feet get cold, I’m done. So finding the right boots is a must for me. My Harley boots are comfortable and provide what I need on a cold night.” – Diane Divet, Pennsylvania
Function and Form for Fall Fashionistas
Judge: Katie McKay, publisher of Modern Moto magazine, reviews and analyzes women’s motorcycle gear.
We love features like extra storage and protection from the elements, especially when they make us look like a million bucks. Here are a few choices for riding in style even when the weather outside is frightful.
1. CUTE AND CLEVER STORAGE
“My must-have fall riding accessory is my UKoala bag. I’m a retired US Navy Veteran and a mentor with the Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia. When riding and doing missions we are on and off of our bikes several times. When you don’t have saddlebags that lock, it’s never comfortable leaving a purse or valuable personal belongings on your bike. The UKoala bag literally hugs you like a koala bear. It wraps around your waist and leg. It stays put even in high winds while riding, has a gun pocket, and alleviates the need to go in and out of your saddlebags. I actually have three now!” – Robin Wheeler, Kennesaw, Georgia
2. ALL-IN-ONE TUBE SCARF
“One of my favorite things to wear when riding in the fall would be my tube scarf. It can be a headband, a scrunchy, or even a face mask. I usually use it to cover my face. It keeps the cold brisk air off my cheeks for early morning riding in colder weather.” – Mackenzie Easley, Kansas City, Missouri
3. FACE MASK/BALACLAVA
“One of my favorite autumn accessories has to be my FREEZE-OUT balaclava!” – Karlie Beaver, Hudson, North Carolina
“Fall is here, and I love to ride, but I also like to be warm. A great accessory is a face mask. Besides keeping my nose and cheeks warm, I love to see people’s reactions when this chick rumbles up next to a 4-wheeler full of women, kids, or dudes. After they do their double-take, they realize I am a girl and they smile and give me a thumbs-up. This old broad keeps on rolling down the road, smiling back under her warm mask.” – Noelle Viola, Shorewood, Illinois
Cold Weather Body Basics
Judge: Brittany Morrow survived a life threatening motorcycle accident and has dedicated her life to the promotion of motorcycle safety apparel and the education of riders regarding this important aspect of the sport.
There’s nothing more important than the skin you’re in, and keeping it in top shape when the temps drop, wind blows, and rain falls is a challenge. Just like the foundation of a house, a comfortable ride in the cold starts with the perfect base layer. These body basics will keep any rider warm, dry, smooth, and happy throughout the season.
1. LIP BALM
“As women, there is a need to talk about accessories in a different way than men. After only a few years on my motorcycle, I realize the most important accessory to me is protection from the wind. I’m never without lip balm in the fall months when riding to keep chapped lips from coming on fast. I remember the first day I went riding in the fall without lip balm—I was in pain for several days afterward due to horribly chapped lips. Sounds silly, but women have sensitive skin. As a layer of protection, it makes sense to use under my helmet throughout the day to prevent damage. We as women want to feel like a lady when the riding day is done. My most important fall accessory is lip balm.” – Karen McGee, Forney, Texas
2. ELECTRONIC WARMING LAYERS
“My waterproof heated jacket liner from Warm & Safe is perfect for extending the riding season. Its waterproof outer makes it look nice enough to wear on its own, but the slim cut makes it perfect for layering under my armored jackets, making my favorite mesh textile jacket usable a lot longer. It’s pre-equipped with extra plugs to add gloves and pants (if I want) when it gets really cold. But for the autumn, the jacket liner alone is just perfect.” – Rebekah Cowin, St. Louis, Missouri
“Autumn can bring cold nights and hot afternoons. When I first started riding, I’d wear multiple layers for my morning commute that I didn’t need for my ride home. I’d struggle to stuff extra clothing into the bags on my motorcycle and strap excess items anywhere I could for my return. As I gassed up near my house one day, a man eyed the loaded bike and asked where I was from. Now, my heated jacket liner is a must-have autumn accessory when the air turns cooler. I simply plug it in! With my heated liner I can dress lighter, enjoy unrestricted mobility, and ride in toasty comfort!’ – Stevie Lynn, Maryland
3. WARM BASE LAYERS
“My favorite autumn accessory for riding is wool socks. The wool wicks the moisture out and keeps your feet warm. They are great with motorcycle boots!” – Debra Richard, Denham Springs, Louisiana
“My favorite autumn motorcycling accessory is a stocking cap. I purchased it just recently at the new Indian Motorcycle dealership in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It has been a proven must-have accessory for me. The day I rode back to Montana with my friend we experienced temperatures from 27 to 65 degrees with winds up to 40 mph. The stocking hat protected my head from the cold and stayed on in the high winds.” – Julie Jones, Fromberg, Montana
“I find it vital to take care of my feet, especially when riding long distances for days on end. I put serious thought into selecting socks to protect my feet inside riding boots. For winter, the socks need to be warm on their own and not block my heated socks during those blizzard rides I manage to find myself in. I took time researching socks and found a compression-type with ceramic threads important for heat. You can air them out for a few days of wearing.” – Patricia Thurston, Denver, Colorado
“I ride year round and was finding my hands and fingers were getting so cold and wet because my gloves were not doing their job. So I designed my own ‘muvs’ (mitten-glove combination). They are insulated and waterproof and I’m able to slip my fingers out to pump gas without having to take them off. Now my hands stay warm and dry in the autumn weather.” – Debra Roberts, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
“My favorite accessories for the winter: layers under my leather. I ride year-round, and as soon as winter in Vegas approaches I pack on the layers. My favorite base layer is Cuddl Duds arctic gear because it’s inexpensive and very warm.” – Brandi Hoel
“When the weather starts to change, and the road still calls, the best accessory for me is an oversized hoodie. Layers, layers, layers! Living near Chicago, the Windy City, you can never be too warm. As the saying goes, you can always take some off if you get too warm, but it is hard to lose the chill once your bones are frozen. I prefer pink. No one can ever say my bike or me are not unique!” – Noelle Viola, Shorewood Illinois
Women Riders Now would like to thank everyone for entering our Autumn Accessories Contest!
Mackenzie Easley of Kansas City, Missouri. She won a GoPro, courtesy of Edwards Motorcycle Law. Congratulations, Mackenzie!
We chose Mackenzie for her three entries:
- The best of Autumn as new rider
- Harley chaps (how warm they are and they truly block so much wind)
- Harley headband (gets her through the cold brisk mornings either as a headband or full face scarf).
We especially liked her entry about her love of autumn riding and how she selected the right bikes for her skill level:
“Autumn—my favorite season in the history of ever! It’s not just because I am a fall baby, either. Autumn teaches us an extremely important life lesson: change can be beautiful. Two years ago I took a leap of faith by purchasing my own motorcycle. I rode as a passenger for three years before getting my own. My honey told me I needed to start on something less powerful. So, I started on a Honda Rebel 250 named “Hank.” I had Hank for two months and I rode the crap out of him. Once I gained the confidence (after International Female Ride Day) I hopped on a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Athena. I became forever addicted. I then purchased my 2017 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S named “The General.” Best purchase I have ever made, and cruise control has changed my life! My Harley has taught me, “Adventure is out there.” I haven’t stopped exploring since. Becoming a rider has been the best decision of my life.
I hope to inspire others to ride during the fall. I highly encourage it. What a blessing it is to see life start all over again after it starts to get brittle/crisp in the fall.”
Jen Miller of Medford, Oregon. She won a gift certificate, courtesy of MotoChic! Congratulations, Jen!
“My favorite fall accessory is my Oxford Heaterz heated grips. I bought my bike in chilly January and these were installed six days later. Best upgrade ever! Toasty warm hands make riding in the cooler temps enjoyable and allow me to wear my favorite gloves (Alpinestars Stella SP-8) year round.”
Outfitting a Bike. Barbara Davila, Akron, Ohio. Enguard Chaps/Soft Lowers. She won a Raci Babi Neck it! Motorcycle Neck Warmer.
Safety First. Bonnie Chiurazzi, California. One-piece Dainese leathers.She won a Raci Babi Wiickit! Helmet liner.
Function and Form for Fall Fashionistas Robin Wheeler, Kennesaw, Georgia. UKoala Bag. She won a Raci Babi Diva-Do Rag/Helmet Liner.
Cold Weather Body Basics. Rebekah Cowin, St. Louis, Missouri. Heated Jacket Liner. She won a Raci Babi Diva-Do Rag/Helmet Liner
Karen McGee of Forney, Texas
“As women, there is a need to talk about accessories in a different way than men. After only a few years on my motorcycle, I realize the most important accessory to me is protection from the wind. I’m never without lip balm in the fall months when riding to keep chapped lips from coming on fast. I remember the first day I went riding in the fall without lip balm—I was in pain for several days afterward due to horribly chapped lips. Sounds silly, but women have sensitive skin. As a layer of protection, it makes sense to use under my helmet throughout the day to prevent damage. We as women want to feel like a lady when the riding day is done. My most important fall accessory is lip balm!”
Litas of Kansas City, Missouri
“The Litas of Kansas City love riding in the fall! Especially in our chaps. They not only make us warm and block the wind, but they sure make us look good! There is nothing more captivating than sharing what you love with your soul sisters!”
Here’s a cute video the Litas put together.