Staying warm whilst on your bike is essential - being cold can be tiring and distracting, two things you don't want to have to battle while trying to concentrate on riding in tricky conditions.
Keeping warm is a case of layering. A winterproof jacket and trousers may be perfect for blocking out wind and rain, but it's essential to build a strong foundation by starting with a thermal base layer.
We recommend buying thermals that offer a close, snug fit as this will help trap warm air against the skin – keeping you warm in the wintery months.
In addition, look for thermal and base layers that are breathable and wick away moisture easily. There's no point putting on a waterproof shell if you're going to get wet from the inside out due to sweat.
Best winter thermals
X99 Electric Heated Vest
Five heated areas to keep you warm and the ability to plug into a USB power-bank or even USB socket on the bike. Quoted as pumping out 43°C to 65°C in three steps and it is machine washable. Editor's Pick - We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it.
Forcefield Tornado Advance Pants
Tested by Dan Sutherland for one month, 700 miles. Quality 5/5 Value 4/5
"As someone who rides all year round as a commuter and for fun, quality base layers are incredibly important. Not only to keep me warm when the temperature dips into single digits, but also to keep me comfortable and focussed on the task at hand. Having tackled the bitter English winter on two wheels for the past 11 years on various machines, I’ve sampled my fair share of layers and although I’ve only been using these Tornado 2 pants for around a month, they are fast becoming my go-to favourites."
"In my time with these under trousers, the weather has ranged from beautiful 20-degree sunshine, to biting cold winds and heavy snow. Deciding what to wear has been a biker’s nightmare, but I have always made sure to have my trusty Tornado 2s underneath. Forcefield claim this product enjoys windproof, thermal, anti-bacterial, and fast drying properties. They also say they are lightweight and have a water-resistant rating of 8000mm. Although I’m yet to test their water-resistance, having only worn them under textile trousers on wet days, I’m inclined to believe all of the brand’s claims."
"Once on I don’t notice they’re there and they’ve provided an instant warming hug on the chilly morning commutes to the office. Once there, I’ve also left them on under my normal trousers and they’ve been totally fine – only getting slightly warm if I venture out for a brisk lunchtime walk. It might sound odd, but I also really like the colours and it’s nice to see underlayers that aren’t a single, dark block colour. They also tuck nicely in the legs of my leathers and under armoured jeans – meaning I can hop out of bulky textiles on cool days without having chilly pins. How they will fare as the temperature climbs remains to be seen."
Gerbing MicroWirePRO Heated Premium Jacket Liner
Gerbing have recently given their flagship product a complete redesign, offering a better fit and increased heat distribution. In addition to the front and back, there are heating elements in the collar and sleeves to ensure it's not just your torso that stays toasty. There are plugs to attach heated gloves and trousers (or socks), plus it's water repellent and windproof, giving you an extra layer of protection from the elements.
Rrtizan Heated Vest
Thick and quilted with three levels of heat (40°C, 50°C and 60°C) and can be powered by any USB source, including power-banks and a bike's socket.
EDZ Men's Undersuit
This lightweight undersuit is perfect for wintery conditions, when its excellent thermal properties will keep you snug whilst riding. It's quick drying capabilities means that it can be washed the night before and will be dry by morning so you're ready to take to the road again. In addition, the undersuit has a number of other great qualities, including moisture wicking, chafing protection and it also stops skin sticking to the outerlayers. An ideal baselayer for cold conditions.
Keis Heated Inner Gloves
These heated inner gloves sit nicely beneath your favourite bike gloves. They can be powered using your motorcycle's battery or via an optional rechargeable Li-ion battery pack. Alternatively, they can also be connected easily to the Keis X10 heated body warmer easily via its additional power sockets. Perfect accessories for keeping your hands toasty this winter.
Oxford Advanced Base Layers
These base layers from British kit giant Oxford Products seemed to sneak onto the market like a pair of ninja pyjamas which, by strange coincidence, is exactly what they look like. These are all-year round base layers that will work for any ride and under any clothing
Read our full review of the Oxford Advanced base layers here.
Perfect for winter motorcycling, the MotoGP balaclava is a snug, super-comfort fit that will help keep your head and face warm whilst on the road in cold conditions. This thermal balaclava is made from 100% cotton and in terms of quality is unbeatable value for the price. Great for affordable winter riding.
Be the first to know what's coming in the latest issue of MCN, plus the latest road tests, recommendations, and competitions. Sign up to the MCN newsletter.