Motorcycle riding gear to protect you from the rain and wind

When you buy a motorcycle, you want to be out on it as often as you can. Daylong rides, cross-country trips, or even just a quick run to the store are all perfect excuses to enjoy some time on your bike.

That means riding in all sorts of weather. But you don’t have to look like a drenched rat or a frozen Popsicle when you arrive at your destination. That’s what heated or rainproof motorcycle riding gear is for.

Here are some options for keeping your body warmer and drier as you head out to explore the country on the back of your bike:

* No matter what the weather, wearing a helmet can protect your head from sun, wind, rain and cold – in addition to potential injury from a crash. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends all drivers and riders wear Department of Transportation-certified helmets. If you prefer the open face helmets, make sure you also invest in riding glasses or goggles that don’t fog up.

* Wear layers on your body to keep warm. Start with a base layer of moisture-wicking material (not cotton), and then add extra, looser layers on top, depending on how cold it is. For an outer layer, there are heated suits you can plug into a battery to recharge, or you can find textile gear to help keep the wind and cold out.

* Waterproof clothing is a must to help you stay dry in case a sudden rainstorm catches you by surprise. Having a waterproof suit tucked away under your motorcycle seat is a good idea; you can pull it on over your jeans. A leather motorcycle jacket will also protect you from wet raindrops pelting against your body.

* Durable, non-slip gloves are recommended for riding year around, and when the temperatures drop, you can invest in glove liners and heated grips for your bike to help keep your hands warm. The colder the temperatures, though, the faster your hands will get cold. Consider scheduling frequent stops during longer rides in cold temperatures to prevent your fingers from getting too cold.

With a motorcycle, don’t let a little rain or cold keep your bike parked in the garage. Get started planning some motorcycle tours now, and have all the gear you need handy in case the weather changes suddenly during your ride.