Advice on thermal insulation in winter

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Advice on thermal insulation in winter

Advice on thermal insulation in winter
Cold start

Anyone planning longer motorcycle rides in freezing temperatures needs particularly good insulating and, above all, waterproof clothing. MOTORRAD shows how to keep body and feet warm and dry in winter.

Uli Holzwarth


How good that there is the onion. Not only because it gives many dishes that certain something, but is always an excellent demonstration object for the right choice of clothing for shivering bikers. Because only the onion principle with several layers of clothing arranged sensibly on top of each other enables a cozy climate EVEN in sub-zero temperatures. The air cushions between the individual layers are responsible for this. As a poor conductor of heat, air is ideally suited for insulation. The further the temperature scale drops into the frosty area, the more layers are needed.
For the first one, which is worn directly on the skin, it is best to choose functional underwear. Their high-tech synthetic fibers transport sweat particularly well, while classic cotton underwear only absorbs moisture and the surface of the skin is then cooled by evaporation. Functional underwear is ?? partly combined with fluffy natural fibers such as angora or cotton ?? Available in outdoor or sports stores as well as in motorcycle accessory shops.
Depending on the outside temperature, a warm sweater, kidney belt, leather suit or textile suit form the next layers. However, these must not be cut too tight so that there is still space underneath for the warming air cushion.
When it gets really icy, there is ultimately no way around waterproof, coated thermal suits. These overcoats, specially designed for cold days, with their thick, non-removable lining, are clearly superior to the two-piece textile suits with functional membrane in terms of thermal insulation. In addition, the one-piece design prevents the formation of unpleasant cold bridges, which can form between jacket and trousers in many two-piece suits. However, the range currently only includes two models (see page 153). The same applies to the hot plates: what warms is the insulated air. Accordingly, the space required for the items of clothing worn underneath should be taken into account when trying on.

Two piece

If you do without a thermal suit and want to wear your two-piece textile suit with functional membrane in winter, you should generally opt for a combination with dungarees. In this way, cold bridges between jacket and pants are avoided. It goes without saying that a thickly padded thermal lining should also be part of the specifications for year-round drivers. More and more often, temperature-compensating material called ComforTemp or Outlast is used for this. These high-tech fabrics can absorb heat when it is very hot and thus ensure a pleasantly cool climate. While Held relies on an Outlast lining in the jacket for the combination (left) of Cortona jacket (315 euros) and Vermont trousers (245 euros), Stadler can equip jackets and trousers with a ComforTemp lining for an extra charge . The illustrated Gore-Tex jacket “Motion” with ComforTemp lining costs 518 euros, while the “Stormrider GTX” trousers with a very high bib with Gore-Tex membrane and normal quilted lining cost 319 euros (right).


Buse, phone 02471/12690; Daytona, phone 08721/96440; Difi, phone 04451/9150; Hein Gericke, phone 0211/98989; Held, phone 08321/66460; Frank Holzschuh, phone 07381/938071; JF Motorsport, phone 06002/91030; Louis, phone 040/73419360; Stadler, phone 08543/96200; Uvex, phone 0911/97740


Functional underwear with Gore windstopper (Held, 204 euros), warm up from polo (71.90 euros), Polartec undersuit (Held, 89.90 euros; from top to bottom)

Dungarees: Hein Gericke

Voyager 3 dungarees (159.95 euros) made of abrasion-resistant Cordura with waterproof and breathable Sheltex membrane and CE protectors on the knees and hips

Dungarees: polo

Model Snake made of Taslan with reinforcements made of Cordura as well as removable thermal lining, CE knee protectors and Polo-Tex climate membrane for 129.95 euros

Dungarees: Buse

Overcoat for cold, wet days: lined thermal dungarees (from 69.90 euros) with faux fur inserts on the knees, stretch waist and waterproof pocket

Tips for warm feet

The bad news first: Pure winter boots are no longer available. Comparatively thin Gore-Tex boots have replaced the once tough footwear with a high shaft and thick lambskin lining. Ideally, these keep out wind and water, but only offer poor protection against the cold. As a result, when choosing boots for the cold season, bikers have to ensure good thermal insulation themselves. The most important point is the right size. In contrast to well-fitting sports boots, the winter-proof models should be one or two sizes larger. On the one hand, to create space for warm insoles (1), which are available from specialist retailers either as an Alu-Therm version or with sheepskin. On the other hand, to avoid wearing special functional socks such as the waterproof, three-layer Seal Skinz Midlight (39.95 euros), the Gore-Tex liner (41.95 euros) (2) (both by Louis) or the Gore Windstopper Inner shoes (29.95 euros at JF Motorsport) (3). Important: Even with these covers, there must still be enough space in the boots for an air cushion so that they can show their insulating properties. If this is not the case, you will freeze after a short drive despite the thick knitwear. For use in winter, you should also choose kicks with a higher shaft such as the Gore-Tex boots Daytona Big Travel GTX (265.95 euros) (4) or Ultimate from Polo (5) for 179.95 euros. The Rondane (6) by Hein Gericke are also suitable for winter and come with a Sheltex membrane and a woven fur lining at a price of 95.95 euros. Even under the moderate enduro boots, year-round bikers will find suitable footwear for the cold season. For extreme temperatures below zero, waterproof neoprene overshoes (7) such as the Uvex Warm Up (39.95 euros), which have already proven themselves at the Kristall rally in icy Norway, are highly recommended.

Thermal suits: Hein Gericke Rondane

Price: 209.95 EuroSizes: S to XXLColors: NavyMaterial: Upper material PU-coated polyamide with Cordura reinforcement; Inner lining polyamide; Insulation polyester Equipment: two thigh pockets, two inside pockets; Cuffs with neoprene cuffs and Velcro straps, leg ends with inner cuff, zip and Velcro straps; padded collar with width adjustment with Velcro fastener; detachable thermal collar; Faux fur inserts on shoulders, knees and buttocks; CE protectors on shoulders, elbows and knees; Protector pocket with foam element on the back; Waist belt with quick release buckle, elastic in the back; all-round reflective piping at chest height

Thermal suits: Difi Husky

Price: 149.95 EuroSizes: XS to XXXLColors: black / grayMaterial: Upper material PVC-coated Taslan with double material made of Oxford nylon; Lining nylon taffeta; Insulation DuPont Thermolite Plus (180 grams) Features: two thigh pockets, one breast pocket, each with a labyrinth lock; Cuffs with knitted cuffs and Velcro straps, leg ends with zip and Velcro straps; padded collar with width adjustment with Velcro fastener; Protector pockets on the back, shoulders, elbows and knees; circumferential, adjustable waist belt; thickly lined chest bib; Reflective piping on the back and thighs

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