Contributed by: Greg Boudreau (Apparel Manager- High Road Vancouver)
The winter weather of the Northwest of North America can be a challenging environment to deal with at the best of times let alone riding a motorcycle in it. But, as the saying goes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather… as long you have the right equipment”. This is especially critical when it comes to your hands and feet, so this blog post is about, you guessed it: Gloves and boots for cold weather riding.
Not many parts of your body are more susceptible to wet and cold than your extremities. Having the right amount of insulation and waterproofing on your hands and feet can make a dark commute in late November tolerable. Heated grips and clothing wouldn’t hurt either.
When it comes to gloves, you want to familiarize your self with membranes. A waterproof membrane is under is sewn into the glove between the outermost layer and your hand. It has properties that will allow the sweat and heat vapour from your hands to be absorbed and ventilated but will still keep the rain and wind out as demonstrated by the below diagram.
Let’s take for example the Held Cold Champ: It employs a high-tech Gore-Tex membrane and Gore Grip technology combined with a 3M Thinsulate liner. It also features lever 1 knuckle protection wrapped in Taslan leather with a goatskin palm. All of this combines to make a versatile cold weather glove that still gives you optimum grip and direct control of the bike.
If this is too much glove for you or you want something a little on the sportier side of things then you can’t go wrong with the Carbon GTX from Dainese. Based on their best-selling Carbon D1 glove, they have the added benefit of a gore-tex membrane being added to keep the rain and cold out.
Now we turn our attention to footwear: The quintessential all-weather boot that will last you at least a decade has to be the Adventure 2 Gore-Tex from SIDI. The ultimate combination of comfort, durability and protection this boot has become famous for its abilities both off road and on. While the price tag ($619.00) might be a deterrent to some, it can be easily rationalized if you divide the cost by years that you can expect to own these boots. The synthetic upper provides a water resistance than leather while being lighter weight. All components of the boot are replaceable including the sole, so the odds of this boot being in your closet for a long, long time are good.
Jumping back over to the sportier side of the subject of footwear; there are some great choices for cold/wet weather: notably the Sport Dry from BMW. Again, these feature a gore-tex membrane in addition to all the features you would look for in a full fledged sport boot. You might not take these to the track, but in reality; you totally could.
In closing; the gear options available to riders today are so much better than they ever have been. We live in a tough climate to ride in year round, however with modern technology and design advancements you can take what once was a miserable endeavor and make it an enjoyable one.