How To Keep Your Bad Ass Warm & Dry
Bob Spanburgh-Lead Vocals, Harmonica Snakebite Band in his Made in the USA Fox Creek Leathers
I am baffled by how many riders I meet who canít keep warm while riding. Not that Iím a know it all, but Iíve been fortunate to pick up a few tricks over the years.
First thing you need to do is to stay dry. Not just from the outside but also from the inside out. As much as you might love to wear cotton, it can be one of the worst things to wear next to your skin. This is because it will absorb sweat, and wet cotton transfers heat away from your body. There are plenty of high dollar high tech perspiration wicking underwear, personally I prefer 100% silk. OK, are you done laughing.... 100% silk is cheaper, lighter in bulk and weight, and does not melt to your skin if you are exposed to fire. (Iíll explain fire later.) It creates a comfortable dry air space between you and the other insulating layers. Silk packs small and it is easy to wash and dry. This comes in handy on long trips through many different weather conditions. There are silk tops, long johns, beanies, glove and sock liners also. You can get it in black, so you can wear it all by itself.
Your next layer should be wool. Not all wool itches, and the silk underwear will keep you comfortable. 100% wool is also fire safe, and can insulate you when wet. If you donít believe me ask a fireman. Other than Dupontís Nomex, silk, wool and leather are your best bet. The problem with man made fabrics is they are highly flammable, and will melt to your skin. If you donít think fire is an issue, consider whatís between your legs at highway speeds, or the campfire your trying to warm up by.
Now for your outside layer. Thatís right, leather. Not all leather is made the same. What you should be looking for is well made, quality tanned heavy weight 1.4-1.6mm (3.25-4.5oz) Naked Cowhide. Why, because itís the only thing between you and the cold, or the asphalt. Cheap leather will not keep you safe or warm. When you buy good leather measure yourself wearing a couple of layers of clothes. Also look for versatility like zippered vents for summer riding, and a collar that zips up to keep the cold wind out. Any riding below 40 degrees will require a jacket, chaps, gloves, and a face mask. If you dress correctly, you can ride comfortably well below freezing.
I can hear some of you now... dude, I spent all my coin on my ride. How much is this gunna cost? Ask anyone who tried to skimp, you will end up throwing away the junk and eventually buy the good stuff. But there is no reason you have to spend too much. Try Fox Creek for Made in the USA Leathers with a lifetime guarantee. You can spend more, but your are not going to find any better.
*** Here is an e-mail I received concerning this article.***
I once read a study that compared what the Vikings wore to what today's high tech Coast Guard Rescue is wearing. The Viking's oil skins over wool did better. When you're raiding and pillaging coastlines from the Arctic Circle to the North Sea you better have something that works.
Now as to that "silk underwear": What you say is true, but finding silk underwear for my three-hundred and fifty pound hulking hairy ass ain't easy (yeah, I lost a little weight). An Internet search for silk underwear took me to Victoria's Secret and I got distracted.
PS Fox Creek Leathers are top notch and can fit even the biggest monsters. The leather is really thick and heavy duty. I've been very satisfied with their products for many years. No, I don't know them or get a dime. I just like to see credit given where due.
**Here is what Bob Spanburgh thinks about his Fox Creek Leathers*
Sometimes you can teach old dog new tricks. After 25 years of riding Iíve been turned on to something that has enhanced the comfort and enjoyment of my motorcycling experience. As someone who does most of his riding on interstate road trips, I found wearing a leather jacket is a virtual necessity. Protection from unexpected rain storms, wind, and sun in the summer time, cold temperatures in the fall and winter is essential. Unfortunately leather can get rather hot and uncomfortable in the summer heat. Thatís why it was so nice to find out about Fox Creek Leathers. With my new Classic Motorcycle Jacket the summer heat is no longer a problem. The jacket is designed with a removable zip out liner and four zipper vents that keep you cool and comfortable.
Iíve taken several rides in sub freezing temperatures and with the lining re-installed, itís the warmest jacket Iíve ever owned. Fox Creek Leathers are good looking, hand crafted, and American made. As an added bonus they make a first class pillow when I unroll the sleeping bag at night. I wonít leave home without mine.
Thanks Fox Creek,
PS. Fox Creek Leather has a lot of items on sale right now! Check it out, and tell them Q-Ball sent you.
Long May You Ride,
Also read Q-Ball Rides Naked to Harrisburg
New Fox Creek Leather Review.
Fox Creek leather motorcycle jacket chaps
Saddlebags Fox Creek Leather
A Tale Of Two Boots
Packing for the long hall