Cold Weather Riding Tips

No one in Minnesota likes to call it quits and wish their Harley® a farewell-til-spring this time of year (or ever!), but there are ways to prolong the inevitable goodbye and make the fall riding season last just a little longer. Here are some tips to make rolling the throttle more enjoyable this time of year by staying insulated and protected from the elements.

Dress in Layers

Each layer can be relatively thin (and the first layer snug), and between each layer is captured body heat. The amount of layers is up to you. Don't wear so many you lose mobility, but do wear enough to be warm standing still outside.

Make Yourself Windproof

  • Make sure your outer layer is of windproof material. Ideally, wind and waterproof. Leather is an excellent choice here. Rain gear can be another good one. (or use both if it's raining).
  • Use a windshield on your bike. If it didn't come with one, most can be fitted for one. (VLHD has the parts you will need)
  • Wear a full-face motorcycle helmet- with a hat, balaclava, or other means of keeping both your head and neck covered and warm. Remember, for safety reasons, never wear a long scarf that flows behind you as you ride!
  • A strange tip, but well worth trying... put a few sheets of newspaper between your outside layer and the one under. It's both lightweight and wind-blocking. Also nice to have something to read while you're on your next stop, or if you have to use the bathroom on the side of the road, or ...

Keep Your Extremities Warm

There are a lot of heated things at VLHD to keep you warm. Heated grips, heated gloves, heated socks... Or you can go the old fashioned way of using wool socks, a good sturdy over the ankle cold weather, waterproof boot, long gloves with wind & water-resistant padding and outer layer. Again, just be sure to retain mobility in your hands and feet, as well as circulation. Too many socks make a too-tight boot, cutting off the blood supply. This will make you feel colder, and potentially, temporarily, make you lose feeling. Air activated hand/foot warmers can also be used and found in any hunting department.


Remember these things:

  • Don't wear too loose of clothing/gear that can get caught anywhere on your motorcycle
  • Don't wear anything too cumbersome or tight to inhibit mobility and circulation in your body
  • Cover exposed skin! You can get frostbite on anything exposed while riding, even at 55 degrees!
  • Keep all of your running and indicator lights working properly (always), especially as daylight hours shorten.
  • Do remember, VLHD has all the riding gear you need, for any type of riding. Stop in and our ladies in MotorClothes® can help find the style, fit, and function you need! Our Parts & Accessories associates are capable of getting you the right lighting, windshield or faring accessory for your bike.


Wind Chill Chart