Part 4: More gear details: boots to apron
This is part four in a series that addresses cold weather riding and the gear both on the rider and on the scoot that makes it enjoyable. In this fourth part, we’ll detail the rest of the gear that I’ll be using this winter.
Boots: After I saw the result of a motorcycle vs. car accident once, I’ve been a fan of huge, dorky boots, with steel or composite toe protection. In winter, these monstrosities really come into their own, and combined with a quality sock, can really shield your feet from wind and cold.
Hardware: Hardware is my category for everything else you do to your ride for cold weather enjoyment.
Handlebar grip covers: Grip covers must be thick enough to provide protection from the wind, but flexible enough to fit over the grips/brakes/clutch levers and allow you room to operate them. The only ones I found that possess these qualities are the ones that a friend brought back from China. They are “no name” brand, and I’ve not seen anything like them in the U.S. but I’ll keep looking. Stay tuned for more news.
Heated grips/heated gloves: I had a set of stick-on grip heaters on my Kymco and they worked extremely well, except they did not heat my thumbs! I have another, even cheaper set to put on the Blur when I get it back from Scoot Around Town (fixing my accident damage) and I’ll update you then. I also have a pair of inexpensive heated glove liners. The first time I used them, I found that they didn’t work well at all, and were difficult to wear. I tried them again and it was better, but they still didn’t get very warm. That’s when I read the directions and found that you can’t use rechargeable batteries in them. Once I put the correct batteries in, the gloves warmed up well. Sadly, they really “eat” the batteries up pretty well too — they only last perhaps three round trips of my 10 – 12 mile commutes. I use these when I’m on a scoot that doesn’t have heated grips and as a backup for when it’s really cold.
Apron: I have a scooter lap apron and it’s been effective in keeping my legs and waist warm and dry. I never have gotten totally used to wearing it, and I have to see how it goes over the distinctive high center tank of the Blur, and I’ll report back when I find out.
So that’s it. It sounds like I have a lot of gear, and when it’s in a pile it looks like it too. Although it might seem like quite an investment, I try not to pay retail for anything. For instance, my favorite jacket (the Moto GP touring jacket) was picked up for under $50 when a local shop was going out of business. It listed for over $300, so that was a pretty good buy right there. I also shop at places like New Enough and Motorcycle Super Store, and frequent their sale pages when I have a specific need. I was price checking the Firstgear one-piece suit all summer and timed it just right (and added a coupon) for my big splurge of the year. It was about $120 at JC Whitney and looks to be a good buy.
Take care of your gear and it will last you years, and hopefully keep you safe, dry and warm.
What’s next: Getting ready for the winter riding season – take care of your gear