FOLLOWING last Thursday’s flurry of snow and sub-zero temperatures, it’s fair to say that winter is most definitely here.
And while winter brings all kinds of lovely things, like Christmas, wood fires and chestnuts, it also makes riding a motorcycle at best painful, and the rest of the time, downright unbearable.
There are of course a number of ways to banish the winter freeze – the most effective method being to become a fair weather rider. But where’s the fun in that?
The second option is heated clothing. Expensive and fiddly, you either need to remember to keep the batteries charged, or plug yourself into the bike every time you ride.
So that leaves us with the good old fashioned method of layering up, and I’m not talking about stuffing newspaper down your leathers.
There’s plenty of affordable thermal options on the market, with different constructions, temperature limits and styles.
As I’m permanently cold, I went for Dainese’s D-Core Thermo Tee and Pants – both in a women’s XS/S – which are rated for temperatures from –20 to +10 degrees.
They’re made of 10 per cent Polyamide, 5 per cent Elastane and 85 per cent Dryarn – low weight yarn which promises excellent thermoregulation in all weather conditions. With slightly thicker ‘armoured’ patches on contact areas (elbows, knees), a seamless build and a press structure to optimise muscle compression, these thermals are very technical in design.
Perhaps the cleverest part is the 3D frame armour across the chest and thighs. This honeycomb-like structure adds warmth to core areas and contributes to the sporty design.
I have actually been wearing these thermals since September (thank you British summer) and they have performed well over a variety of temperatures. Most recently I wore them on an early morning ride down south, where wind chill ensued sub-zero temperatures. I was perfectly warm with just these thermals, a soft shell and my Richa textiles on. I haven’t yet tested them to their limits, but I am confident that they will see me through the winter in comfort.
At £59.95 for the top and £49.95 for the trousers, they’re not the cheapest on the market, but their superior quality and effective warmth mean they’re very good value for money. They also look pretty smart too.
I have worn them more than a dozen times and they show no sign of wear, thanks to their abrasion and tear resistant and anti-pilling qualities.
Dainese say they have ‘active moisture management’ and on the few occasions where it has been warm enough to sweat, I haven’t felt any lingering dampness as you may find in cheaper thermals. And thanks to their anti-odor qualities, they don’t smell.
I don’t like:
When I first unboxed these thermals, I thought I had mistakenly chosen a child’s size as they were absolutely tiny. While they soon expanded to the promised size, I still find the leg, arm and torso length to be lacking – something I have also noticed on other Dainese female gear.
While Dainese claim them to be ‘resistant and anti-pilling bacteriostatic and hypoallergenic’, the skin below my collarbone once came out in a rash after I had worn the thermals for a whole day.
These are a great pair of thermals, which look good and are effective at keeping the cold at bay.
As I said, I haven’t tested them to their limits, but I have confidence that should the need arise, they would perform to their rated temperatures.
While they are not the cheapest motorcycling thermals on the market, they are good value for money, and actually cost less than similarly performing thermals offered on the adventure sport market.
These would make a great Christmas present for any motorcyclist, and they come in a wide range of both male and female sizes.