Riding can be a very soulful experience for anyone who enjoys moving on two wheels. However, cold weather, pinching winds, and unfavorable climatic conditions can obstruct a rider’s ability to cover distance efficiently and with full energy.
Don’t worry, I have curated a list of things that come into play when struggling with a cold face on a long motorcycle ride.
So, how to keep your face warm on a motorcycle? The best way to keep your face warm on a motorcycle is to use a taller windscreen that will deflect the cold air above your helmet, and wear an insulated or heated balaclava to keep the optimum temperature inside your helmet. And make sure all the air vents of the helmet are closed.
Read on more to know in detail about the advantages of using these tools, and how it helps to overcome cold while riding your motorcycle.
Use a Motorcycle Windscreen to deflect the cold air
But, how does a motorcycle windscreen help to deflect cold air? You can travel without a windscreen and find no issue with it. Moreover, you might have used your motorcycle without a windscreen on short city rides and for traveling short distances.
But, when it comes to long-distance travel with considerably high cruising speeds, using a windscreen can be very advantageous for you! Whether you are riding a cruiser, adventure, or a sports motorcycle, having a windscreen will always help at high speeds and on highways.
— Also read: Is it Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in the Winter?
You might already have a windscreen installed on your motorcycle from the company, but if you ever feel that it is not adequate, then you can always go for a custom-built bigger windscreen.
Before getting one, it is very important for you to know its advantages and disadvantages. And here’s why:
- Deflecting air: Motorcycle windscreens are designed in such a way that it helps deflect the air coming directly at the rider. This pressure might not be very significant up until a certain speed, say around 80-100 km/hr, but when you cross the 100 km/hr mark, you can feel immense pressure on your helmet and chest while riding and it only gets worse with cold weather.
- Helps in high cruising speeds: Since the motorcycle windscreens help to deflect the air, you can push your motorcycle at higher speeds on highways with greater control, which would not be possible without a windscreen.
For your reference, if you ride above 100 km/hr on the highway without a windscreen, it will cause the air to hit your head and shoulder directly without any resistance and increase the amount of fatigue after the ride.
So, if you plan on traveling for long distances in relatively cold weather, it is advisable to invest in a good windscreen for your motorcycle.
- Protection against mud and dust: The most irritating thing that you experience in long-distance cruising is when a vehicle crosses you at high speeds and you get drenched in the dust. In this case, your windscreen can prove to be a savior for you and provide a good amount of protection in such cases.
Additionally, on straight roads, the windscreen on your motorcycle saves you from small rocks and gravels that fly away by the centrifugal force from the wheels of the vehicle in front of you. Additionally, it saves your helmet from scratches in such a situation.
- Low on maintenance: Considering all the advantages of having a windscreen installed on your motorcycle, you will most probably question the cost of owning and maintaining one.
— Also read: How to Maintain a Motorcycle During Winter
Well, it is not much compared to the value that it offers, and you only need to check the bolts and prevent them from getting loose from the high-speed run. Other than that, the chances of breaking a windscreen are very feeble if you get a branded windscreen for your motorcycle, most preferably from the company itself.
Now, it is not that a motorcycle windscreen will always be beneficial for you. Here comes the reason for putting ‘long rides’ in the title. You might live in a cold city and want to keep yourself warm during short rides.
Well, in this case, a motorcycle windscreen might not be very beneficial for you, since you are riding below 80 km/hr and in that zone, the air pressure is not very evident for you to worry about. However, you might consider getting an insulated or a heated balaclava for those short city rides.
Use an Insulated or Heated Balaclava
Balaclava is a piece of cloth headgear that is generally used to expose only a part of your face, mostly your eyes. However, they can be worn in different types of ways, like a hood, or a collar wrapped around the neck, or just like a face mask depending on the type of exposure you want.
There are many types of balaclavas out there, go with those which are made for motorcycle riders, those are not so thick and you can wear them inside the motorcycle helmets without any discomfort.
I am using this REV’IT! Maximus WSP Balaclava and is comfortable to wear inside helmets. (Click here to read more about this product from RevZilla)
And if the temperature is too low, then you can go with the heated balaclava, which helps to maintain the temperature of the body at an optimum level. Heated balaclavas are designed in such a way that they provide ventilation at the mouth and nose meanwhile keeping the head warm.
There are three types of balaclavas out there, one is the normal one, which is just a piece of cloth, and another one is insulated balaclava, and the third one is heated balaclava, read one to know what are the differences, and which one is perfect for you.
Now that you know the perks of wearing a balaclava during long motorcycle rides, here comes a need of knowing which type of balaclava matches your liking and which one to choose.
You might get confused by the list of choices available in the market today, but let us segmentize it roughly into a category of insulated and battery-powered heated balaclavas, and know its pros and cons:
Getting an insulated balaclava can help you to keep your face warm during a cold motorcycle ride. Other than keeping your face warm, wearing an insulated balaclava can provide you with many advantages compared to just covering your head with a helmet. Here’s why:
- Water resistance: There might be situations in which you may get drenched and the most important part of your body that needs to be kept warm is your face.
Insulated balaclavas come with a water locking feature that prevents the water from seeping into your face, meanwhile providing you with good insulation to save yourself from the cold.
- Wind resistance: Another advantage of using an insulated balaclava is that it provides a good amount of wind resistance and saves your ears from the excessive wind noise seeping in from the helmet.
Additionally, insulated balaclavas help you to retain the heat of the body and save you from the cold and breezy winds in cold situations.
- Snug fit for long rides: Wearing helmets for long durations on highways can leave you with a headache from the sharp fit. However, wearing a balaclava inside the helmet makes you feel comfortable since it is made up of polyamide and polyester, both of which are beneficial in retaining moisture and sweat.
Balaclavas also have proper ventilation for the nose and mouth, which does not inhibit the air coming in for the respiration process. Here is the product that I recommend you to all, the name of the product is Byke’it! Insulate Balaclava, you can read more about it from their official website.
Battery-powered Heated Balaclavas
If the weather in which you are going to ride is tormenting, then wearing just an insulated balaclava might not save you from the cold and keep your face warm.
What to do in such a scenario? Here comes the need for a battery-powered heated balaclava which will serve all the purpose of an insulated balaclava, and along with it, it will heat up and keep your face warm in very cold conditions.
Other than that, there are many benefits of using a battery-powered heated balaclava. And here’s why:
- Variable temperature control: You might be skeptical about the fact that the heated balaclava might get too hot during motorcycle rides, or might be too low to tackle the cold weather.
But, the heated balaclavas come with a three-way adjustable temperature control, denoted by different colors, ranging from temperatures from 90~130 F, and you can set it as per your preferences. It just takes 30 seconds for the battery to heat up the balaclava.
- Lightweight and easy to use: Apart from being fully functional, the heated balaclavas also come with a lightweight design, and you will hardly feel the presence of having a battery pack inside the balaclava while wearing.
This helps you to get a snug fit under the helmet, and meanwhile keep your face warm during long motorcycle rides.
- Multipurpose: You can use the heated balaclavas in different ways depending on the type of usage you want out of it. If you feel that your neck region catches a cold fast, then you can wear it as a collar around your neck.
Also, you can use it as a hood to keep your head warm or use it as a scarf to cover a part of your face. Last but not the least, you can use it as a carry bag by tying both the ends of the balaclava and keeping your things inside it.
It will help you to keep those things warm in case of severe cold or emergency. Here are the two products that I recommend, I am using the ActionHeat for my self.
- Product 1: Sun Will Battery Balaclava (Click here to find the features from Amazon)
- Product 2: ActionHeat 5V Battery Heated Fleece Balaclava (Click here to find the features from Amazon)
Wear Full-face Helmet & Close all air vents
Wear a full-face helmet and close all the vents so air didn’t pass by during riding. It will give you additional protection from dust and dirt and also save you from any kind of mishap or accident. Other than that, using a full-face helmet has many other advantages:
It doesn’t let the air hit directly at your face, whereas in the case of a half-face helmet, the air pressure can disturb the rider with noise.
— Also read: 10 Best Motorcycle Helmets Under $300
- It protects the rider from the cold breeze and helps the balaclava to function properly. Whether you use an insulated or a heated balaclava, a full-face helmet will protect your face from the sharp and cold winds.
- Also remember that, while riding, close the air vents of your helmet in a cold region to prevent the cold air from going in. Doing this will help the insulated or the heated balaclava to function properly, and keep your face warm in cold terrain.
Eat full meals and keep body temperature in check
The most important thing to take care of before starting a long motorcycle ride is being properly hydrated and eating at regular intervals to keep your energy levels in check.
There are a few points that you can consider checking before starting your journey. It will help you to keep the body temperatures right.
And before going for a long ride in winter, keep check of all the following points:
- Check your blood pressure level and pulse rate before going on a long motorcycle ride to be assured of any kind of health issues during or after the ride.
- Keep a first aid kit ready with yourself, and include some medicines in case you catch a cold. Also, when riding in very cold regions, always carry a thermos filled with hot water. It will relax your throat and prevent you from catching a cold.
- Keep a protein bar or snickers in your bag, just in case if you feel hungry in the middle of the ride. It will help you to maintain your energy levels during the ride.
Whenever you plan on going for a motorcycle ride in a cold region, try to follow these steps and use the tools mentioned to keep your face warm during the journey.
How cold air can affect your brain?
Riding a motorcycle in winter is a tough task, and no one wants to interrupt their enjoyment, but, if you forgot to take your balaclava with you, then how bad the things can go?
The most important part of our body is our brain, and it is inside your helmet, so you have to keep it at an optimum temperature so that it can function properly. Our body requires a certain amount of temperature to work efficiently and this is the same with your head as well.
If you are riding on a motorcycle and cold air is coming inside your helmet then it can cause headaches, and that can lead to the functioning of your brain, it can affect the ability to make decisions.
And this can even lead to a serious cold, which then makes you very sick when you reach home, so it is better to have a balaclava with your always.
It is proven in various studies that cold can impact our decision-making ability which can even lead to serious injuries because riding a motorcycle needs your full attention and you have to continuously take decisions while on the road.
What to do when your head is cold?
You have started your ride, and now you are facing cold air leaking inside your helmet, what will you do? I’ll suggest you to first cover your ports and leaks so that no cold air can get inside, and if possible stop over and do if properly.
In high speeds, the wind blast can pull out all the clothes that you wear to protect your head from cold air. And if possible head over to some warm place to take some rest, or head over straight to your home.
The first thing you should do is to take some rest, the more you get it will be better for your body to push all the warm blood to your head so that your brain can work effectively. Drink something warm that can help in increasing the body temperature.
And if you have hot packs then use them to increase the temperature of your head, and drink as many liquids as you can. It will improve the temperature of your body and head.
And after doing all of that you still get cold or fever then we will suggest you to consult some professional help, they can help you further.