Gear Up: Tips for Motorcycle Commuting
It can save you time, and it'll almost certainly save you money. When gas prices creep up to around $3 per gallon and beyond, commuting to work by motorcycle starts looking better and better.
Getting to work by motorcycle presents its own special challenges. Changing seasons, cold temperatures, and precipitation can change the whole experience, and make you question whether it's worth it to save the gas money. Having the right gear and a little bit of foresight makes things much easier, so here are some tips for making motorcycle commuting better.
Have the Right Motorcycle Commuting Gear
When you're on your motorcycle, just a little dip in temperature can really change the way it feels out on the road. What you wear and how you kit out your motorcycle can make a big difference. Before you get your motorcycle in gear, put yourself in gear first to prepare for your commute.
Winter Motorcycle Apparel
Layering is the key to staying comfortable. It gives you flexibility to shed some of your gear when things get toasty, and it also provides spaces between the layers to trap heat when you need it. A good base layer made of wool or a warm technical fabric is a great way to start.
Once you get to an outer layer, you'll want something that can keep out wind and rain on the worst days, but also offers some breathability when things are a little better. Heated motorcycle jackets draw from the motorcycle's electrical system to keep you warm. A neck warmer is also a good idea, as cold air can find all sorts of ways to find your skin when you're on your bike.
Cold Weather Motorcycle Gloves
Your hands can be particularly vulnerable on the motorcycle. Unfortunately, the wrong gloves can actually make things worse by pulling heat from your hands and radiating it away from the skin. Good cold weather riding gloves will keep your hands warm, and just like with jackets, you can get heated motorcycle gloves to give you warmth through your bike's electrical system on the coldest days.
Heated Motorcycle Grips
For the same reason you might consider heavy or heated gloves, heated motorcycle grips would also be a good idea.They're easy to install on most machines, and they offer another way to keep your extremities warm while you ride.
If you have a computer or other things you need to transfer from home to work and back again, saddlebags for your motorcycle might offer a solution. They come in a number of configurations to fit on a wide range of machines, and they'll offer a great option for when you can't just throw everything in the in back seat like you would in your car.
More riding means more miles, and more wear on your motorcycle. Know how to check tire wear on your motorcycle. You'll also want to keep tabs on the health of your motorcycle's battery, especially if you're running heated accessories like grips, jackets, or gloves, as they place additional wear on your electrical system.
What to Keep at Work
Keep an extra pair of shoes and gloves at work, just in case. And you know what else you're keeping at work for several hours a day? Your motorcycle! So make sure there's a safe, secure place to park it.