Gear Up: Tips for Motorcycle Commuting
When gas prices creep up to around $3 per gallon and beyond, commuting to work by motorcycle starts looking better and better! And of course who doesn't want more bike rides outside of the weekends?
Getting to work by motorcycle presents its own special challenges. Changing seasons, cold temperatures, and precipitation can change the whole experience, making you question whether it's worth it to save the gas money. Having the right gear and a little foresight makes things much easier. With that in mind, 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 change the way it feels out on the road. What you wear and how you kit out your bike 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, giving you the flexibility to shed some of your gear when things get toasty. 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 a 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 are also a good idea. They're easy to install on most machines, and offer another way to keep your extremities warm while you ride.
If you have a laptop or other items you need to transfer from home to work and back again, saddlebags might offer a solution. They come in a number of configurations to fit on a wide range of machines, and offer a great option for when you can't just throw everything in the in back seat like you would in your car.
Keep Up with Motorcycle Maintenance
More riding means more wear, so it's important to know how to check tire wear on your motorcycle. 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.
Some basic apparel and a little extra gear and maintenance make commuting on your motorcycle better. 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.