Cool Weather, Rainy Weather – We Ride Motorcycles, Right?

RainFor some of us the riding season is winding down. That bit of a chill you feel in the morning ride isn’t a fluke, it’s more of a hint that cooler weather will be the norm. So are you a fair weather rider? Do you close the garage door at the first sign of cloudy and cool? Fear not my friends we ride motorcycles, remember? Sure, there are all sorts of cold-weather riding gear out there for those who want to hang on to the warm temps of summer. But for me I’ll stick to the more traditional gear of bikers past: a good pair of insulated gauntlet gloves, heavy lined leather jacket and chaps. It’s always a transition this time of year as it’s cooler in the morning and by the time I get off work I’m loaded down with everything I was wearing in the morning. It’s okay, I’d rather ride.

I know it’s not for everyone to get out on their bike this time of year. Depending on where you live, you may already be making plans on where you’re going to park your bike in the garage. For others, the riding season may becoming bearable as the summer heat fades away. For me, its typical fall weather and it feels good to know the seasons actually do change once in a while. Although I don’t remember my leather jacket fitting this tight. It is important to note that cold/wet weather can be difficult and it’s not for everyone. Confidence in your motorcycle, your own abilities and a tolerance for ever-changing weather and road conditions can be a daunting task. But we ride motorcycles, remember?

glovesJust as we need to take precautions anytime we ride, fall and winter ratchet things up a notch. Only you can determine if you’re up to it. I ride all year-long except for when road conditions are bad or will be dangerous. I commute approximately 25 miles one way and there are a few times when it felt like the ride to work was never going to end. Fun? Not so much. But I’m not sure I would have it any other way. I’m passionate like many of you about riding motorcycles, and I’m fortunate enough to ride a bike to work. For some of you “The Man” is holding you back making you wear khakis and shiny shoes and stuff.

If you have ever ridden in a warm rain somewhere on a back road south of Sturgis and you actually enjoyed it, you probably will ride this fall and winter. If you found yourself tucked under an overpass waiting the storm out, that’s okay too. But try it sometime; you might find it isn’t so bad after all. Even if you extend your riding season one more day, it will have been a good season.

By |2015-04-14T14:57:58+00:00September 10th, 2014|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles|14 Comments

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14 Comments

  1. Rob September 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I live in southern Florida, it don’t get cold enough Not to ride

  2. Denis Belokostolsky October 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

    We live in Upstate New York and it gets pretty cold up here after November/December. As long as the road conditions permit, temperature is never a problem if youre suited up for it. My sons Eric and Elliot ride with me no matter how cold. Leathers ,pants, gauntlets and a full face helmet do the trick. Stay safe out there!!

  3. Brian Warrener September 30, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Sitting inside on Sunday beside the fire because I had convinced myself and my darling it was too cold and wet to mow the lawn on the ride-on mower.
    I read this story and you guessed it it wasn’t too cold to dig out the wet weather gear and fire up the sporter and head out.
    It was cold but hey I ride don’t I?
    It was still too cold when I got home to do the lawn though.
    Down here in south west Australia we are just coming into spring/summer so the next 9 or 10 months are looking good

  4. dave September 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I remember in my younger years commuting to work in the snow I would tuck a spare pair of gloves behind the engine and have to change them every 3mile or when the ice would build up on my hands so they wouldn’t work.I road an old BSA Bantam that was light and didn’t matter to much. If I threw it down the road. I think the worst. Part would be the ride. Home. In the. Evening with the ice ruts that would build up you could ride along a rut until it didn’t go the way you. Wanted. To go then you would have to lift the bike out of the rut and find another one.Great. Fun ! I now live in Florida and miss the winter rebuild time keeping your project a secret until end of march showing it at the meet of the year.

  5. Alan McCoy September 26, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I know exactly what your talking about. I grew up in a small town in Iowa called Casey. I loved the changing of the seasons. I love riding it didn’t matter if it was raining the hail was a little ruff at times, where I lived their weren’t any bridges around to hide under so I always was looking flat ditches and trees to get under. But I kept riding. The first time I rode I fell in love with it I was 18 then and still ride today at 55 the only difference now is I live in Florida and my work comp. injuries keep me mostly in the south where I can ride all year long rain or shine.

  6. H. D. King September 26, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I can’t say I have any snow experiences because I live in south Georgia but I have seen some cold temps on occasion. My neighbor and I traveled 230 miles to Daytona Bike Week in 1997. A busy time at work so we only had 2 days, Sat and Sun. We left at 2:30am, 23 degrees with all the leather we had. Half way we stopped for some grub. Bank clock across the street read 26 degrees. Daytona was just great, 55 degrees, until Sunday. It rained all the way home.

    • Mike September 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Sounds miserable! Riding cold is almost as bad as riding wet. I have some of those heated gloves. Really keep my hands warm but the gloves are thick and stiff. I keep them in my saddle bags in the winter. Every once in a while I have to dig them out. I am a glove fanatic. I have 4 different pairs at all times, for changing conditions. If my hands get too cold I’d rather not be out.

      • dave September 27, 2014 at 9:28 am

        Have you tried an over mit to keep the hands dry and warm Ihave a pair made by Belstalf waxed gotten. Ican agree with you about getting wet I think. The. Worst is rain down the back of the neck where it rubs down the. Crack of your a**.

  7. Mike September 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I’m the kind of winter rider that will brave the ride home being wet if the ride to work is dry. But if it’s raining in when I put up the garage door in the morning, the bike sits. There is a cut off however. Most winters December and January are too messed up to ride. It’s OK, I like my truck too.

  8. Kevin Goude September 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Living in WY if you want to ride it’s wind,snow,sleet,hail,or rain take your pick. Last winter the longest stretch of no riding was 22 days, we rode on Thanksgiving,Christmas, and New Years it was cold but I’d still rather ride. Buy good gear and us it often.

  9. John Roberts September 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

    My X wife and I took our honeymoon 35 years ago on a 9 1/2 foot ridged chopper. The first night we camped out we awoke in the mourning to snow everywhere. We spent the next 4 or 5 days pushing that long sled thru up to 6 inches of snow. We had thermal underware on under jeans that were under chaps and T shirts under thermal shirts under hoodie sweatshirts under leather jackets and gauntlet gloves and bandanas for head gear and were still a bit cold but we had the best time of our lives that week. The only real worry we had was when I took a side road to a little hick outpost restaurant in search of something hot to eat and a little warmth and going down a one lane road we came face to face with cattle and several bulls laying in the road. I didn’t want to risk turning around as that would put the bike sideways so as to make us vulnerable to the bulls if they got up and were aggressive so I told my new wife to hold my gun and I would approach the cattle and I’d get real close and then just rap the hell out of my motor at which point she was to fire straight up several shots. It worked, That bikes motor echoed all thru that valley and the shots were just awesome on top of that and the cattle went everywhere fast and all I had to drive thru was cattle dung and snow…

  10. Dom September 25, 2014 at 9:06 am

    As a New Yorker my riding season takes different phases of enjoyment. A warm sunny day is a given, fall has its merits, my EVO appreciates running cooler . As for winter riding , as long as the roads are dry I’m twisting the wick. Artic wear comprises insulated bibs , coat, guantlets and dare I include a full face helmet. Retired, single and able to ride year round the best of all worlds awaits.

  11. Denis Pelletier September 25, 2014 at 8:42 am

    The only limitation I’ve ever felt is ice and the ever present danger of “the other guy”.

  12. Don Carlo September 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Taking my VTX1300 to Crossville, Tennessee on Oct 18th from Annapolis MD. Should be fun, change of seasons to wear everything on the trip.
    Great article! Recapping the effect of seasonal change in the weather and conditions. Be safe out there on the roads….DC

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