Cold weather gear (esp gloves)? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cold weather gear (esp gloves)?

Hey, all!

Seattle is turning cold (had a gorgeous ride to work this AM, but mornings are suddenly in the low- to mid-40s). It almost seems like you can buy four sets (or more) of gear for climates with four seasons: mild/warm weather, waterproof (but not warm), waterproof + cold weather, and offroad variations as needed (like knee-high boots for ADV riding).

This morning, I jury-rigged an outfit together to test the cold commute: Columbia gore-tex waterproof boots, long johns, north face waterproof pants, my new high-viz tourmaster advanced jacket, snow gloves (with fingers) and the buff for neck coverage under my helmet. Surprisingly solid and warm in the mid-40s at 70 MPH! The only clear cold spot was the neck area: Buff is great for normal weather temps, but for cold I'll need to get a balaclava with the soaring neck to cover more of my face and especially my neck and upper chest with the low neckline of the otherwise great tourmaster jacket. Of course, the gloves were bulkier than my Olympia non-waterproof moto gloves, but all the reviews seem to say even cold weather waterproof moto gloves are freezing cold in the 40s and below- because you trade grip for warmth. Similarly, the Columbia boots were a bit clunkier than my Bilt pit boots but worth it for warmth + waterproof and still functional (but ugly).

Sorry for the long setup, but to the question at hand: Being that I'd like the benefits of motorcycle gloves vs. snow gloves and motorcycle boots vs. cold-weather hiking boots etc, what is good cold-weather gear (boots, gloves, pants, and Balaklava especially) that doesn't break the bank? Again, the research on Amazon, Revzilla, etc seems to be all over the map, that any waterproof glove sucks at 40 degrees or below for extended periods given the wind chill, and that heated gloves are a must, but also not that effective. I find the more I research, the more I'm going in circles. In the waterproof boot area- I'm looking at some Bilt waterproof boots but don't know how they do in the cold, and again- ideally wanting to not have 70 pairs of everything (not enough storage space or $ for that). The goal is to buy affordable and smart so that I have multi-purpose gear that does the job in rain + cold.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:38 PM
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I ran Alpinestar Drystar gloves last winter. Worked pretty well until he temp dropped into the low 30s. Glove liners were my favorite gear those days.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 52Degrees View Post
I ran Alpinestar Drystar gloves last winter. Worked pretty well until he temp dropped into the low 30s. Glove liners were my favorite gear those days.
I was wondering about glove liners- which ones are you using? Thanks for the alpinestar recommendation!

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 11:10 PM
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I used the cold out or whatever they're called from Cycle Gear.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 09:13 AM
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Red face Electric Gear is your friend

Hi!
I've ridden for years with layers, etc. during cold weather refusing to purchase electric gear because of costs, etc.


About 7 years ago, I broke down and purchased heated electric gloves along with a long sleeved heated electric vest. I only have one regret. I should have done this WAY earlier than I did.


I can now comfortably ride (3 digits kph) at temperatures around 5 Celsius.


Along with the electric gear, I always wear long johns, plus different balaclavas, the original liner in my jackets, winter/fall lined riding pants + my riding boots.


Note: At this period of the season, pin-locks are a must in my full-face helmets.


I may have forgotten something, but that's about it. At temperatures lower than 5 degrees Celsius, I stop riding for security reasons (black ice, harder tires ie less grip, etc.).


Good luck in your search for warm riding gear!

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 09:23 AM
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I commute on the Versys most of the year (Kansas City), unless it's snowing or the temps drop below freezing (too much risk of black ice). With a 40 mile highway commute it's COLD in the winter.

While I can keep most of my body warm, I've never succeeded in keeping my hands warm, but I've added enough gear to make it tolerable on freezing days:
- Barkbusters made a huge difference, keeping the wind off my hands! (Barkbusters (BB.S1.BK) Black Storm Handguard for 7/8" Handlebars)
- Heavy, waterproof textile gear - jacket and pants, both with liners. Firstgear, Fieldsheer.
- Layers of clothes underneath. Frequently a sweater. Sometimes long johns
- Two pair of socks and heavy, waterproof motorcycle boots
- Heavy winter gloves - Generally OK down to 45 or so
- Added liners - helped, but not enough to make up for feeling less flexible
- Heated gloves - Cycle Gear "Hot Wired". Good, but not great. I'd recommend exploring other options:
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/hotwi...-heated-gloves
- Heated grips - Koso AM111030 7/8" + 1" Apollo Heated Grips - about $105 on Amazon last year

Put it all together and I do OK on my commute, but my hands wouldn't tolerate a longer trip at freezing temps.

In retrospect I would:
Add Barkbusters and heated grips first, skip the heated gloves (too much fiddling with the wires), and maybe ride less under 40 degrees :P
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 09:32 AM
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OK... Maybe I'm just weird, but I was riding on temps down to 24f with the gloves I described above. My commute is about 40 minutes each way. No electric gear, stock versys hand guards. I wouldn't say my hands were cozy and warm at that low an ambient temperature, but they weren't dangerously cold, either.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 52Degrees View Post
OK... Maybe I'm just weird, but I was riding on temps down to 24f with the gloves I described above. ....
No, more likely I'm the weird one. Just can't keep my hands warm without a lot of help. The rest of me is fine (aided, no doubt, but significant "natural insulation" :P)

Everyone is different! This is just me.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 11:57 AM
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The only issue i have in the cold is my hands so for me i got heated grips (Koso Apollo) and ATV Mitts. So with the heated grips and mitts i can wear summer gloves and while riding the bike its like having my hands in a warm toasty oven and with the mitts i don't worry about if it rains because the hand don't get wet....

P1010702 by weljo2001, on Flickr

P1010713 by weljo2001, on Flickr

P1010696 by weljo2001, on Flickr
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:20 PM
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I think I need those ATV mitts!

Weljo, If you pull a hand out when riding, can you easily put it back in? i.e., does the mitt stay open?

Thanks!
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
The only issue i have in the cold is my hands so for me i got heated grips (Koso Apollo) and ATV Mitts. So with the heated grips and mitts i can wear summer gloves and while riding the bike its like having my hands in a warm toasty oven and with the mitts i don't worry about if it rains because the hand don't get wet....



P1010702 by weljo2001, on Flickr



P1010713 by weljo2001, on Flickr



P1010696 by weljo2001, on Flickr
This is the way to go. The most expensive mitts I saw on Amazon were about $35.

This winter is going to be especially harsh. I think I'll pick some mitts up, too.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldandslow View Post
I think I need those ATV mitts!

Weljo, If you pull a hand out when riding, can you easily put it back in? i.e., does the mitt stay open?

Thanks!
No issue getting the hands in and out. (The opening is gapped like an old hooker...So easy access)To give my hands a little extra room i cut just a small section of thread on both mitts. Circled in photo...


P1010696 by weljo2001, on Flickr
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 52Degrees View Post
This is the way to go. The most expensive mitts I saw on Amazon were about $35.

This winter is going to be especially harsh. I think I'll pick some mitts up, too.


I've used this same set of Mitts since 2010 on 3 different bikes now. Got them on Amazon for around 25 bucks back then. One nice thing is they take no time to put on and take off...
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
No issue getting the hands in and out. (The opening is gapped like an old hooker...So easy access)To give my hands a little extra room i cut just a small section of thread on both mitts. Circled in photo...





P1010696 by weljo2001, on Flickr
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 04:08 PM
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I went for a ride of about 1.5 hours this morning, MOST at highway (or BETTER...) speeds, the temp at 4C (39F) when I left home.

I have the same heated KOSO grips as weljo2001 has, and they work just FINE, heating my hands in a pair of FIELDSHEER hi-vis gloves behind my OEM handguards, while I had my TOURMASTER heated jacket-liner set at its LOWEST heat-setting under a JOE ROCKET "DRY TECH" hi-vis jacket (ALL liners IN!), plus wearing jeans under my TOURMASTER Venture pants, finished off w/ my ALPINSTARS waterproof boots, and UNDER my BELL REVOLVER helmet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
The only issue i have in the cold is my hands so for me i got heated grips (Koso Apollo)...

P1010702 by weljo2001, on Flickr...
I was toasty warm!
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 04:11 PM
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I went for a ride of about 1.5 hours this morning, MOST at highway (or BETTER...) speeds, the temp at 4C (39F) when I left home.

I have the same heated KOSO grips as weljo2001 has, and they work just FINE, heating my hands in a pair of FIELDSHEER hi-vis gloves behind my OEM handguards, while I had my TOURMASTER heated jacket-liner set at its LOWEST heat-setting under a JOE ROCKET "DRY TECH" hi-vis jacket (ALL liners IN!), plus wearing jeans under my TOURMASTER Venture pants, finished off w/ my ALPINSTARS waterproof boots, and BELOW my BELL REVOLVER helmet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
The only issue i have in the cold is my hands so for me i got heated grips (Koso Apollo)...

P1010702 by weljo2001, on Flickr
I was toasty warm!
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I went for a ride of about 1.5 hours this morning, MOST at highway (or BETTER...) speeds, the temp at 4C (39F) when I left home.

I have the same heated KOSO grips as weljo2001 has, and they work just FINE, heating my hands in a pair of FIELDSHEER hi-vis gloves behind my OEM handguards, while I had my TOURMASTER heated jacket-liner set at its LOWEST heat-setting under a JOE ROCKET "DRY TECH" hi-vis jacket (ALL liners IN!), plus wearing jeans under my TOURMASTER Venture pants, finished off w/ my ALPINSTARS waterproof boots, and BELOW my BELL REVOLVER helmet.

I was toasty warm!
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 09:36 PM
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For a long time my rule has been "If it will be 20F or lower on the ride, I will drive." Lately, with my commute becoming longer and going over 10,000 feet routinely, I have backed off a bit.

However, I have used Gerbings heated gear in situations when it was below 40F out. If I was ever fiddling with the controls it was only because I needed to turn it down so that I was not too warm. I believe that Revzilla is now associated with the old Gerbings gear. I cannot recommend it enough. I have ridden through hours of cold rain and it kept me warm.

I routinely ride when others do not. Around here the temperature change can be extreme. A couple of mornings ago I left my house with a temperature of 46F and it was 28F seven miles away near the Valle Caldera.

If you want to ride when it is cold and keep some amount of dexterity, then I think that heated gear is a great idea.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldandslow View Post
I commute on the Versys most of the year (Kansas City), unless it's snowing or the temps drop below freezing (too much risk of black ice). With a 40 mile highway commute it's COLD in the winter.

While I can keep most of my body warm, I've never succeeded in keeping my hands warm, but I've added enough gear to make it tolerable on freezing days:
- Barkbusters made a huge difference, keeping the wind off my hands! (Barkbusters (BB.S1.BK) Black Storm Handguard for 7/8" Handlebars)
- Heavy, waterproof textile gear - jacket and pants, both with liners. Firstgear, Fieldsheer.
- Layers of clothes underneath. Frequently a sweater. Sometimes long johns
- Two pair of socks and heavy, waterproof motorcycle boots
- Heavy winter gloves - Generally OK down to 45 or so
- Added liners - helped, but not enough to make up for feeling less flexible
- Heated gloves - Cycle Gear "Hot Wired". Good, but not great. I'd recommend exploring other options:
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/hotwi...-heated-gloves
- Heated grips - Koso AM111030 7/8" + 1" Apollo Heated Grips - about $105 on Amazon last year

Put it all together and I do OK on my commute, but my hands wouldn't tolerate a longer trip at freezing temps.

In retrospect I would:
Add Barkbusters and heated grips first, skip the heated gloves (too much fiddling with the wires), and maybe ride less under 40 degrees :P
Definitely adding Barkbusters asap and I think the heated grips are a great idea, too. Thanks much for this! Wondering, can you go with the Koso heated grips in a thicker size for the Versys 300? Even in regular/mesh moto gloves, they're a little too insubstantial for my hands and could use a thicker grip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
The only issue i have in the cold is my hands so for me i got heated grips (Koso Apollo) and ATV Mitts. So with the heated grips and mitts i can wear summer gloves and while riding the bike its like having my hands in a warm toasty oven and with the mitts i don't worry about if it rains because the hand don't get wet....

P1010702 by weljo2001, on Flickr

P1010713 by weljo2001, on Flickr

P1010696 by weljo2001, on Flickr
Would've never thought of mitts in 1,000 years- great idea! Any suggestions for some that fit the Versys 300 well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mursili View Post
For a long time my rule has been "If it will be 20F or lower on the ride, I will drive." Lately, with my commute becoming longer and going over 10,000 feet routinely, I have backed off a bit.

However, I have used Gerbings heated gear in situations when it was below 40F out. If I was ever fiddling with the controls it was only because I needed to turn it down so that I was not too warm. I believe that Revzilla is now associated with the old Gerbings gear. I cannot recommend it enough. I have ridden through hours of cold rain and it kept me warm.

I routinely ride when others do not. Around here the temperature change can be extreme. A couple of mornings ago I left my house with a temperature of 46F and it was 28F seven miles away near the Valle Caldera.

If you want to ride when it is cold and keep some amount of dexterity, then I think that heated gear is a great idea.
Super helpful, thank you!

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 06:22 AM
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Definitely adding Barkbusters asap and I think the heated grips are a great idea, too. Thanks much for this! Wondering, can you go with the Koso heated grips in a thicker size for the Versys 300? Even in regular/mesh moto gloves, they're a little too insubstantial for my hands and could use a thicker grip.
I think that's the only size they offer for "metric" bikes with 7/8" handlebars. Their larger diameter version fits Harleys with 1" bars.
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