Being cold on the road is no fun. Additionally, as you go hypothermic, your judgement – and hence your ability to be aware of your judgment – becomes impaired. Many textile jackets and suits are available in multi-season configurations, but if those are too costly for you, a windproof shell can do wonders for your warm weather riding gear. If you’ve got the money, quality electric gear is worth every penny when the temperature dips into the 40s on your hour-long commute home. As long as you keep your core warm, your extremities will be much happier. Investing in some insulated gloves is also a good idea if cold-weather riding becomes part of your regimen.

  • Jon Jones

    Great stuff, Evans! Ride for years and years rather than be a flash-in-the-pan.

  • Old MOron

    Hey Evans, I recognize the jacket on the left. It’s a Marsee, right?
    Gee, I don’t think they’ve made jackets for about 10 or 15 years.
    Too bad, I like mine.×388.jpg

  • it is important to look like a motorcyclist. why? so others pay attention while you ride. remember reducing the likelihood of an accident is as important as protecting yourself.
    Also, hearing loss is a big issue we as motorcyclists tend to ignore.

    • Jon Jones

      Indeed, needed hearing aids far too early.

    • John A. Stockman

      My grandfather wore ear plugs before I came along and continued to do so. He told me I didn’t want to end up his age and not be able to enjoy music or participate in conversations. I got my first dirt bike at the age of 9 in 1968 and he gave me a set of foam ear plugs, showing me how to put them in. Back then, I didn’t know anyone else that used them. When I was able to ride again in 1983, the availability and variety of ear protection was much better. I had these soft rubber ones that had a little tab on them, making it easier to pull them out. Didn’t pack down or wear out like the old foam ones and I could clean them after a day’s ride. Looking at the data on the frequency of road/wind noise and the decibel level, it’s quite important to wear some form of protection. I’m glad I had that influence from my grandpa, as being a designer and constructor of custom speakers means it is VERY important to have and maintain good hearing when evaluating loudspeakers and comparing them to name brands.

      • very inspiring story from your grandfather. he was ahead of his times. since a couple of years now i recommend ear plugs in every ride.

  • Starmag

    While the mature side of me agrees with you wholeheartedly, my immature side says gear like this sure strips some of the “bad boy” image away, which like it or not, plays a role in motorcycle culture. If skull and bones do-rags and tattoos are one end, this is surely the other. I’m in the middle with a Neotech and black armored leather.

    • Barry_Allen

      When I see a guy dressed like this, who, when he takes off his helmet has a smile on his face almost as wide as his handlebars, and who I then realize is in his seventies (or eighties) and I compare him to the other end of the spectrum, most of whom aren’t that old, (they just look it), I know which style of gear is truly cool.

      • Starmag

        “Born to Ride JMDGT • 15 hours ago

        Nothing says white hot sex like the cool but dry pragmatism of aerostitch. Get some.”

        Since at 70 or 80 you’re probably done with that anyway, you might as well wear that stuff. I saw a guy who said he was 75 and looked it in full black leather at a bike night who claimed he was doing 170mph over the bayside bridge on the way there on his custom B-King, and he didn’t seem like an exaggerator. He seemed pretty cool to me. To each their own.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          He knew there would be no CHP on the bridge as there is nowhere to hide and the bridge is 4.5 miles long so he could open up the throttle.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Very nice!!!

  • Matt O

    if you wear ear plugs consider Plugfones, 23db rated earbuds. i’ve gone though two pair in three seasons of riding and i’ll never go back to just plain plugs.

  • Volker

    Eh. It’s risk and rewards.

    T-Shirt-and-shorts riding (helmets are mandatory here) in a warm summer night with a full moon on a nice winding road, going at a very relaxed pace, is way up on my list of pleasurable things to do. I’d say in the top 5.

    Of course I know that it’s safer to ride fully equipped. Which is what I do when I commute 60km to the office. Or when I head out to the Alps with the intention of going fast.

    Also, image is overrated. I’m riding a dentist bike anyway 😉

    • Starmag

      Dentist bike? Is that because taking it to the dealer is like having a root canal?

      • DickRuble

        Because he’s a dentist.

        • spiff

          So totally true story. Back home a guy, who was a dentist, was out for an evening ride. Hit a cow, somersaulted and his chin was the first thing to hit the road. DOA. My mother worked in the county, and talked to someone on the scene. If he were wearing a full face helmet they think he would have walked away.

          20 years ago I went over the bars. Bumps, bruises, and stiches. While my face sheild was toast my face is fine. I was just riding home after class, two whole miles.

          • spiff

            So this came up in conversation with my dad. The wasn’t a dentist, he was an ophthalmologist. I know it is irrelevant, but if I say something I have to own it.

          • 12er

            I spent 8 hours in the ER sewing my face back on after a bmx crash, no way Im trying that again on the street…


    When I wear my motorcycle gear it attracts chicks. I am a married man and constantly have to remind the ladies that I am taken. Doubly so when I have my gear on. It is a small price to pay.

    • Born to Ride

      Nothing says white hot sex like the cool but dry pragmatism of aerostitch. Get some.

      • Starmag

        LOL. Thanks.

      • 12er

        Faded pink of course, or is that just me?

        • therr850

          I have a well faded red Roadcrafter two piece. Does that count?

    • Mahatma

      Wear cheap textile gear and that “problem” soon dissapears 😉

    • Gabriel Owens

      I had a blueberry muffin today.

    • its small price to attract chicks

  • DL Nielsen

    One of the best investments I’ve ever made was to have custom earplugs made during a rally several years ago. They’re easier to get in than those foam plugs, clean easily and they’re comfortable to wear. I love ’em.

    • 12er

      Lick’n stick, gross but works.

  • sportour

    I had a nasty crash thirteen years ago that probably would have vegetated me were it not for the full range protective gear I wore that day. Wadded a lovely bike and wound up in Intensive Care for two weeks and still carry a steel spike in my leg but my brain is intact. I sent the helmet to Shoei for inspection and they sent it back with their stamp of approval. What a testament to modern equipment.

    • BDan75

      Sorry to question your account, but I have a hard time believing Shoei would send back a helmet that had been crashed in (with approval to use it), unless your head literally never touched anything. For liability reasons if nothing else…

      • sportour

        I can guarantee that my helmet hit asphalt though it was at an angle taking the hit along the left side so the helmet was scratched and the faceshield scratched beyond usefulness. I broke seven ribs and suffered a punctured lung on my left side as well as fracturing the greater trochanter on my left femur so it was no minor get off.. I did indeed send the helmet to Shoei for inspection, they returned it with a report pronouncing it crashworthy and I agree with you they would not have done that if it was no longer a safe helmet.

  • allworld

    These are 10 good reasons to wear proper gear when riding, I can easily think of 10 more and then some. What I can’t seem to do is come up with even 1 good reason not to wear proper gear when riding.

  • johnbutnotforgotten

    Info added to my class presentation.
    I totalled a Chevrolet Citation (with my motorcycle) back in my self righteous biker days (pre 81) partially due to lack of peripheral vision (no eye protection) and a friend of my fathers in the early 50’s ended up in the Brig for not wearing proper gear.
    he road his Vincent black lightning from Vancouver BC to the air base in Boise Idaho mid summer in a T-shirt and jeans (boots and gloves, no helmet).
    spent 3 weeks in the infirmary with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
    then spent three weeks in the brig for self inflicted wounds.

  • Ozzy Mick

    HELMET? Check. Quality? DOT approved but lower price range. How well will it protect my face and head? Hopefully well enough. How well will it protect my brain from squishing around inside my skull? Probably not much.
    EYE PROTECTION? Ordinary glasses prevent wearing of goggles. Can’t wear contacts. So keep fingers crossed. Nearly always ride with visor down. Clear visor at all times with internal shades that can be moved up and down easily, with gloves on.
    EAR PLUGS? Check. Just foam ones. Cheap enough to replace regularly. Suck on them before insertion as lubricant to enhance ease of entry.
    JACKET? Check. Own 2 armoured fabric jackets, one perforated but triple stitched for summer, the other no perfs. Both brightly coloured, but no guarantee of being seen by idiots texting or whatever while driving.
    PROTECTIVE PANTS? Check, mine have kevlar panels. But I’ve just read elsewhere that Kevlar can burn your skin under friction. Damn! Has pockets for armour in knees. Only wear those on long trips. Got sucked into buying a strap-on bum protector at a bike shop Discount day. Haven’t worn it yet.
    BOOTS? Check, especially on longer rides. Provide protection to ankles and feet which can be horribly broken, smashed, twisted in a crash.
    WET GEAR? Carry rainproof jacket and pants in the trunk of my scoot. Also a pair or plastic “over boots” that strap over my boots, and have a non slip sole.
    GLOVES? Check. Summer and winter. Well padded and armoured.
    So I’m well protected while sliding along the road after a crash.
    But here’s the rub. What if l smash into a large object? Bones will still break, including the neck. Brain trauma may occur.
    Should we wear air jackets that inflate when the rider leaves the bike and absorbs hard knocks as we bounce down the road? How about neck braces? And helmets that absorb shock?
    My point is, the best protection is our attitude when riding, our alertness, and practised roadcraft.
    Safe riding.

    PS, A set of airhorns and crash bars were the best investments I’ve ever made.

    • No way

      DOT/Snell helmets are too hard, they now transfer too much to the head and don’t absorb/cushion anymore. I crashed in the early 2000’s at 150 mph on a racetrack, helmet took all the abuse, walked away with no concussion. Fast forward to 2010, new snell standard, high sided, landed on my noggin, loudest crack I ever heard, stood up and fell right back down, concussion. Wear a Euro spec, they are designed like the older Snell helmets, your brain will thank you.

  • Bladeknight

    Seriously, the slide is so annoying.

    • Sayyed Bashir


  • vintage_biker

    I was run through at 60+mph, went ass over tin cups as my bike took off riderless down the highway, and the perp who hit me from behind doing 90 mph never braked and kept going (he and the car were ultimately found by the Wa. St. Patrol). I was wearing a Shark Vision r Series 2 helmet, klim jacket, highvelocitygear gloves, Scorpian pants, and wore Forcefield’s EX-K harness with elbows, their Pro Shorts and CE level 2 knee padding, and TCX high-top sneaker style shoes, CE rated. I wound up with both legs broken below the armor from impact with the pavement and a dislocated shoulder. Nothing above the knees up broken, no road rash, after bouncing and rolling over violently 6-7 times and finally sliding to a stop on my back. You be the judge. Nothing would have kept my legs from being broken.

  • Jon Nelson

    Let me add one more reason why you should wear a helmet, a lot of insurance companies, and the US Military medical coverage will not cover your expense if you do not have a helmet on, be it required by law or not. Check with your insurance agent.