As I’m sitting here drinking my candy cane tea and watching National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, it reminds me that my next gear review should be on winter riding gear. Ok, so it’s winter in California. We are one of the lucky states that can say riding and winter in the same sentence. Still, it’s Northern California and it does get chilly.
Heated Grips: I’ve had them on almost every bike I’ve owned. I prefer them over bulky gloves that you have to plug in.
Heated Jacket: The second requirement for me is a heated vest or jacket. Unless it’s 75 or above, I’m always cold so I opted for the jacket over the vest.
I tried different brands and sent most of them back, either because they didn’t fit right or they just weren’t hot enough. I finally found one I’m in love with–the Tour Master Synergy 2.0. Their sizing chart is pretty accurate so just be sure you check your measurements if you’re ordering online. They are supposed to fit snug so you can feel the heat. They call it a liner but it’s actually pretty thick. The jacket comes with everything you need, so there is nothing else you need to buy, it’s ready to go out of the box which is a plus over some other jackets. There’s a connecter that attaches directly to the battery. If you don’t like that there are optional attachments you can buy such as a 12V socket or BMW connector.
Be sure to check how much electrical power output your bike has before buying one though. The jacket takes 76 watts or 6.7 amps. You’ll want to consider all the other electrical farkle you have too. Poweret website has a guide to figure out how much power your bike has and how many watts certain gadgets use.
Winter Gloves: So far, the gloves that really work well for me are made by REV’IT!. These are the women’s Element 2 H2O gloves. I like them because they are toasty warm without too much bulk. The ladies fit is even better and the patches on the finger tips give you a good grip. They do tend to run small though. I ordered one size up of what I normally wear they fit well.
As far as winter pants go, I don’t wear any. I mean, I wear pants but….they are my regular leather/mesh REV’IT pants. I just wear UA Cold Gear pants under them and I stay pretty warm. I know there are better winter pants out there, but I don’t like feeling like the Michelin Man. I wear my Dianese Gore-Tex boots in the winter, they don’t have any vents and keep my feet pretty toasty.
That’s about it for gear. Of course if you live where it’s colder than Northern California, this may not be sufficient for you. But I’m pretty sure the heated jacket would be great anywhere no matter what your temps are.
That’s all for now, tomorrow I’ll be stringing the moto up with battery-powered Christmas lights, plugging my jacket in and heading out for a spin around the Bay. Stay tuned for the next featured winter ride soon!