If you have been riding motorcycles for a while, you probably have purchased apparel and gear that has made the two-wheel experience more pleasurable, even in poor weather conditions. If you are relatively new to motorcycling, here are a few items that should be on your short list.
A good rain suit: You are riding on the interstate and, off in the distance, you see an approaching storm. What do you do? Ride on and hope to miss the storm? Try to find an underpass to sit out the rain? Look for an off-ramp and the safety of a motel? Or, do you find a safe place to stop and pull on a one- or two-piece rain suit?
Waterproof gloves and boots: Gone are the days when you shoved your stocking feet in plastic trash bags before pulling on your boots in an attempt to keep your feet dry (or slipping a garbage bag over your jacket, for that matter). Waterproof gloves and boots make riding in the rain a lot more pleasant.
Cordura jackets and pants: Tough, weather-resistant fabric riding gear was impressive when it was introduced years ago. With advancements in technology, it is even more impressive today. Most motorcycle-specific jackets and pants have armor in all the right places and pockets in a variety of sizes, plus a removable liner to adjust for different temperatures.
A big fairing: Not only does a big fairing with a windshield help keep rain drops from pelting you, but it also helps when riding at night along country roads. Your headlight illuminates all the insects that would be smashing into the face shield of your helmet and the arms and shoulders of your jacket if you did not have a fairing.
Helmet-mounted speakers: Music makes miles roll by quickly. You may have discovered this by plugging helmet-mounted speakers into a cassette player, which was good for a dozen or so songs. Later MP3 players held hundreds of tunes. Now, with the latest smart phones, you are ready for a cross-country trip.
Helmet intercom system: For years, traveling long distances with good friends or a spouse meant using hand signals to communicate messages like when it was time for a pit stop or, “Look at that!” Helmet intercom systems have made rider-to-rider communication much easier, and most of the products on the market today are compact and intuitively designed.
There are many more technological advances that have made motorcycling better over the years: halogen headlights, heated clothing, hydration systems, waterproof luggage, GPS receivers and more. This is a good time to be a motorcyclist.