How you dress on a ride has a huge bearing on how comfortable it is and how much fun you have. You need to remember that the weather can change on longer rides, because you are not only out for a long time, you can cover enough ground to head into territory that experiences different weather from where you started. The time of year you ride and the trajectory have a huge bearing on what it takes to be comfortable and what clothes are appropriate, too. Let’s discuss three different scenarios that should give you more insight into how you need to dress for each ride.
1. Multi-Day, Multi-Biome Trips
One of the most common vacations for motorcycle riders is a cross-country trip that lets you take in a variety of natural landscapes. The Blue Ridge Parkway and the classic Route 66 are both famous for this, as is the pilgrimage to Sturgis each year. A lot of riders also make the trip for local events, like those who flock north to Baldwin, Michigan in the late summer for the Blessing of the Bikes. If you’re traveling through a few different weather zones, you need to dress in layers you can easily remove or add to, and you might need a pack or saddlebags to store the gear you don’t have on.
- Padded motorcycle sweatshirts for warmth and protection
- Light jackets that can provide limb protection with less insulation
- Motorcycle jeans built for both protection and comfort
- Well-fitted boots with ankle support
- Modular helmet with face coverage options
The last two items are as important to your success as anything else you could do. Being able to change up your level of protection by adding or removing a face shield and sun shield also means being able to go warmer or cooler by insulating your face as temperatures drop. Similarly, even if your boots seem like they could be a bit warm on the long trip, the joint support will give you more extra comfort and riding stamina than a little bit of extra warmth could take away. Never underestimate the importance of ankle support on a long ride, especially if you are riding hours a day for several days.
2. Single-Day, Full-Day Trips
Chances are, if you’re going there and back in one day you probably won’t go far enough to get outside of local weather patterns. There are some exceptions to this rule of thumb in areas where the winds can change unpredictably, but most of the time you can count on a temperature prediction to be close to accurate. What might cause you trouble here is the possibility of rain. That’s where a modular helmet and the ability to change between a sweatshirt for warmth and a jacket to keep the moisture off are good options, so pack both. You can order accessories and gear like this from your go-to source for Honda Magna OEM parts online.
3. High Heat, High Sun, All Day Trips
If it will be hot the whole time and you don’t expect a break from the sun, you have unique challenges. The ride will be cooler than you think, but even without overheating you, the sun can cause issues. Protect your arms with a light jacket or long sleeve shirt that breathes, and make sure you have eye and face protection. As tempting as shorts might be, they invite sunburn and they open you up to injury in the case of a spill, so resist the temptation to wear them on the ride. If you need them, bring a pair to change into at your destination. The best part? You can find all this gear at the same place you go for cheap motorcycle aftermarket parts.