What percentage of bikes do you think get stored for four, five, or maybe six months of the year?
Are there ways to prolong that storage, or maybe even keep you riding through the whole year?
#1 Taping your levers, it’s an oldie but goodie, I was reminded of this trick by Brake magazine, I did this when I was a kid in England just so I could get out there a little longer.
Levers are made of aluminum which of course will retain the cold and your fingers will be on them the majority of the timekeeping your hands cold.
You probably have tape laying around somewhere, electrical tape will work but medical cloth tape or hockey tape that’s about $4 a roll is much better and actually adds grip…you might leave it on there permanently!
#2 Giant Loop Bushwacker Guards, MUCH BIGGER than your standard handguards, they will deflect a greater amount of cold air away from your hands. Easy to mount and again something you might want to leave on all year if you ride tighter trails on a regular basis…and only $36
They mount using GL’s pronghorn straps which will come in handy for other uses when the guards are not on the bike.
#3 Hippo Hands – These have been around for years and are very effective, originally for road bikes they now make then for adventure bikes too.
Enclosing your hand a little more to resist the wind you might look and want the full coverage of the Alcan version.
…but for the dual-sport rider the ‘Backcountry Version‘ would be a better choice, it has a wider opening and makes riding standing up using these a wiser investment
#4 Nitrile Gloves, should be a thing you ALWAYS have with you just in case, good for lots of different emergencies, including the cold.
They are small enough you can put a few under your helmet lining if you are riding without luggage or a backpack.
Normal hand size to go under your riding gloves or oversized to go over your riding gloves. If rain, sleet, or snow starts its just a simple way to keep your hands dry and hold in a little heat
#5 Split Finger Gloves, Klim makes some, get them to fit over your standard gloves to double insulate but not loose finger control. The split-finger design allows a little more heat to be retained in the hand over standard insulated gloves.
An added bonus is they generally pack a little smaller than standard insulated gloves, are much easier to put on cold or wet hands.
If you find normal motorcycle insulated gloves too bulky and you feel like you lose too much dexterity this might be a good alternative.
#6 Heated grips, of course, are probably the simplest easiest way to keep your hands warm, search for the Symtec handwarmer kit shown below, sold by just about every motorcycle outlet from around $35 and up depending on sales and time of year.
There is a wiring diagram included with the kit, but I would advise to not use it as shown for prolonged use.
Something that draws heat/ power like heated grips is better to run through a relay for safety and having a voltmeter is also handy to see how they are affecting your battery over time is also a good backup.
This is a safer way to wire these grips
#7 Heated gloves, personal preference I would go with ones that aren’t connected to the bike for dual-sport riding just in case of a fall and not being tethered to the bike.
Yes, that means you need to charge them or carry battery packs but to me, they seem a little safer and of course, aren’t drawing from your bike’s stater especially if you are running a lot of other farkles.
in one minute of searching, I found some for $35, even if they only lasted half a dozen rides it might be worth it?
#8 Heated socks, cold feet really suck, and to me are the one thing that wants me to stop riding and get somewhere warm.
With all the new technology the price of these has come down dramatically, $25 or less and your toes could be toasty!
#9 Goretex socks, I’ve had these in my pack for years, I wear full MX boots for the best protection, but the only downside to that is the lack of waterproofing.
They pack tiny, about the size of a pack of playing cards. They aren’t cheap at $130 but they do work and keep your feet 100% dry, or if they are cold add an additional insulating layer without adding too much volume over your riding socks.
Of course, there is the virtually free option that’s similar, using plastic shopping bags over your feet inside your boots, but for a longer duration you might find your feet get just as wet because the moisture has nowhere to go as you sweat
#10 Heated jacket or vest, again an expensive item, and could layering up do the same thing?
Technology works again in our favor, an ad popped up on my Instagram feed a few weeks back for a heated vest with three settings for $29.
I got it and it heats up quicker than a name brand heated jacket I owned so I sold that and could afford six of these!
it works from a battery pack, that you have to supply but I had one so no issue there, and again not being tethered to the bike is a good thing. It has three heat settings and will last 6-8 hours.
Also will be good in a tent on cold nights to wrap around your feet if you have that problem.
#11…optional – Move to Arizona, a few days before Christmas I was riding in 74f/ 23c in the early afternoon with a clear blue sky. The next week is looking pretty sketchy with a 5% chance of rain on three days, yikes…
What can you add to this list that has helped get you out riding longer than your buddies, add them in the comments below?