MOTORCYCLE BASE LAYERS BUYERS’ GUIDE
As well as wearing motorcycle clothing that is appropriate to the season it is essential that you have effective layering to manage your body temperature. Thermal base layers will keep you warm in the winter months. Summer base layers will keep you cool and dry in hot weather. Base layers are essential for many outdoor activities because they provide warmth whilst also pulling sweat away from your skin – a process known as wicking. Base layers that wick effectively provide comfort because they help keep you dry and free from chills. But as biker you need to know the best kind of base layer to wear under your motorcycle clothing. To help you decide we have written this buyers guide in which we highlight the pros and cons of both winter and summer base layers.
The best base layers have air pockets that are designed to keep you warm in the cold by trapping a thin layer of air against your body. Although cotton can feel comfortable under your motorcycle clothing it tends to soak up your sweat and retains that moisture close to your skin. Cotton prevents quick evaporation and when it’s wet it quickly draws heat away from your body.
In cold weather, without an appropriat e winter base layer, your ride can start to feel cold and uncomfortable very quickly. Many base layers that provide thermal protection contain a mix of materials. Polyester and polypropylene are synthetic fibres that are commonly used but Merino wool base layers can also be effective. Merino wool provides warmth and also helps to regulate your body temperature because it’s efficient in drawing heat away from your skin where the moisture evaporates.
But these days many bikers choose to use base layers made from highly technical materials that provide superior thermal and wicking properties.
Summer base layers are designed to keep you dry and cool and dry in hot weather and can really make a difference. They are designed to prevent the build-up of perspiration on the skin that can become uncomfortable. As with highly specialised thermal base layers that have been specifically created with bikers in mind, the best summer base layers have become much more technically advanced – using materials and construction methods that are more suited to hot weather.
These days some technically advanced motorcycle base layer products provide year-round usage. Advanced ribbing provides a layer of insulating air that has thermal properties to help keep you warm in the winter but cool in the summer
Merino wool is a natural fibre that comes from the Merino sheep. Base layers that contain Merino wool keep you warm because any excess heat is easily drawn away from the skin.
Wool is a great natural insulator because it traps air in tiny pockets between the fibres. Because the fibres of Merino wool are much finer than standard wool it is not abrasive. Consequently Merino wool base layers are comfortable to wear and can be beneficial to those with sensitive skin. Merino wool base layers are naturally resistant to odours. Odours are caused by bacteria mixing with your sweat but Merino wool has natural antibacterial properties and so can fend off most bacteria.
Merino wool base layers have a very low weight to warmth ratio – so they are very light while still keeping you warm. Merino wool is also breathable as it absorbs excess moisture when you sweat. Up to 30% of its own weight in moisture can be absorbed before that moisture reaches your skin. But Merino wool is less effective at wicking than many hi-tech materials – some of which are state of the art and have been specifically designed to wear under motorcycle clothing.
Dainese D-Core base layer products are available for both men and women. Short pants. long pants, sleeveless tops and long-sleeve tops are included. Suit base layers that can be be worn under a motorcycle racing suit are also available for both men and women. Socks, balaclavas and caps also appear in the Dainese D-Core rang
Dainese is well known for producing some of the best motorcycle clothing on the market. And alongside a range of motorcycle jackets, trousers and suits it has produced a range of highly technical, breathable base layers that have been created with bikers in mind.
Some base layers provide year round usage while others have been designed for specific seasons. Winter base layers provide you with the warmth you expect, while summer base layers help to keep you cool. It is called the Dainese D-Core range – a range of base layer products that help to maintain your optimal body temperature while also wicking away moisture from your body. All Dainese D-Core base layers are built without seams so are close fitting and provide superior riding comfort. Additional comfort is provided by having a high level of breathability.
Many base layers come with padded armour on potential areas of contact, providing additional comfort and protection. They are also highly durable because they are resistant to tears and abrasion and won’t pill. The full range of Dainese D-Core base layers wick away moisture in varying weather conditions. But none of the base layer products in the range has been designed specifically as windproof or waterproof base layers. They have been designed for you to wear under appropriate motorcycle clothing that protects you against the rain and wind.
Like Merino wool base layers all products in the Dainese D-Core range have anti-bacterial properties that help protect against the build-up of odours. They are made from hypo-allergenic materials as well as being environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable.