Motorcycle rain gear is one of the ‘must have’ things that you take when sport touring. Sometimes things aren’t going the way you want. You planned for a trip of your life and it starts pouring down. Not nice but the hell, as long as it doesn’t feel on your skin that’s manageable.
The problem with weather is that it tends to change. Now the problem with you motorcycle clothing is that it will absorb water sooner or later.
Unfortunately it will. If you wear leather suit and come across some showers, say for 5 minutes you’ll be fine. Before you know it you’ll dry out in the next 10 minutes. The trouble starts when you in a persistent rain for more than 20 minutes and you never know when is it going to stop raining. Ok, you’ve made one hour in the rain, you’re soaking wet. You have enough of the ride. Where are you going to dry your clothing? Even if you give up the day and stayed in a hotel, tomorrow you’re going to wear the wet leather. It won’t feel good!
So if you only had your rain gear you can really ride in the wet every day, unless you’re fed up with the weather after the third day and you’re going back home.
Motorcycle rain gear should not be expensive. The budget options are the motorcycle rain suits made from polyester from outside plus the polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) coating. This combination makes the material air tight so you'd feel quickly any temperature changes outside and sometimes it may make you sweat.
Good thing about this rain suit in particular is that you can use it in dry weather if the day is on the colder side. It protects from the wet and from the wind equally keeping you worm and pleasant. As on the photograph below the typical Scottish weather didn't take the smile off the guy's face.
Most of them will have reflective trims on chest and back areas as well as on sleeves and legs for the visibility in these miserable weather conditions.
A little more expensive alternative to those above are the motorcycle rain suits free from PVC. For example the ones offered by Rev'It or Dainese are breathable. Most importantly though they are much more compact when not in use giving you more space for other items in your luggage.
Other essentials from motorcycle rain gear include rain gloves and rain boots all of which you put on top of your gloves or boots for extra rain protection. If your gloves or boots aren't waterproof these offer a budget option. The only downside of those is that you need to stop to put them on as well as you need to carry them as additional items.
I think they’re worth having as they don’t take that much space especially if you haven’t got waterproof gloves and boots.
Forgot to mention that you may be wondering about textiles instead of leather? Yes they will surely absorb the rain. Fact is that it will take a bit longer than for the leather.
Another alternative here is to get the touring Gore-Tex Pro Shell that some motorcycle clothing are made from but it’ll be rather expensive. I’m not saying they’re rubbish, in fact they’re brilliant but I use them when mountaineering, so they keep the sweat out and provide exceptional waterproofness. On the bike though you’re not likely to sweat much when it’s raining unless you've made your tour partly off road on your dual sport motorcycle. Well, if you do the Gore-Tex or other breathable textiles is the best and the most expensive way forward.
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