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My Underwear when Riding a Motorcycle

females underwear for motorcycling

A females underwear for motorcycling

When I started riding and kitted myself out with what I thought I needed. I gave no thought at all about what I would wear underneath the outer protective clothing. 

I had a textile jacket and trousers when I first started riding in the winter. So under my trousers I wore some leggings that I already owned and under the jacket I wore a T-shirt and a jumper. 

Layering up in winter

As the weather got colder in December and January I increased what I was wearing to include my walking socks and another t-shirt and jumper.  

So I had up to four layers underneath my jacket. Whilst I was fairly warm when moving I did sometimes overheat when doing slow control riding in traffic.  

In the 6 months following my test, I don’t think I changed this much, other than removing layers as the weather got warmer. The downside with just wearing ordinary clothes is that they tend to be too bulky so when you have a few layers on you turn into the Michelin man.  

Knowledge is power

It’s not really that funny when you feel restricted and can’t move. It really restricts your mobility on the bike and causes some balance issues if you can’t move quickly enough.

The following winter I tried out a few different things and after a couple of tours made some adaptations to my undies.

There is lots to read up on about this subject, from layering systems, compression base layers, windproof layers, etc. But you have to do some research and buy what you think you need and test it out.

What I want from my base layers?

There are many types and makes of base layers. Some wick away the sweat and keep you cool, while others are designed for winter, just to keep you warm.


Even in the summer it can be cool in the UK. Especially if you are riding first thing in the morning with summer gear on.

Also if it isn’t sunny and once you are travelling at speed, it can feel pretty cold after a long period of time.

Staying Dry 

Assuming your outerwear keeps the rain out, you still want to avoid any sweating. So you need something that can cope with layering up for the rain and sweating and to wick away the sweat if it’s muggy and hot too. 

Thin layers

I don’t want to repeat the initial mistakes and want to restrict my movement on the bike. So thin base layers are a must, they also trap the air between the layers if its cool, which keeps you warm.

When packing for tours, the thin layers mean you can pack more stuff. A must for keeping things light and less bulky.

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And what have I tried?

It’s all about trial and error, you will make mistakes when starting out until you find what works for you. Look around and see what’s on the market and then think about what you need and why.

Merino base layers

I tried some cheaper base layers first and actually found that they were a bit itchy. I have since used another brand and really like them.  

The ones I use are so warm and really thin. Great for a day out or for touring. I currently only have a long sleeved top but I would like to get some leggings and maybe a vest top too.  

Compression tops and leggings 

I really like these when riding for long periods, so that’s for long day trips and tours.  

Compression is supposed to improve the blood flow, body temperature control, improve endurance and recovery. I have certainly felt less fatigued when I have worn them on long trips.

Windproof inner shell (silk top)

I found this at a stand at the bike show one year ago. It is ultra-thin and folds into a small pouch the size of my fist. 

It fits immediately under my jacket and is very useful either under my leather or if I just need a bit more under the textile jacket. 

Often something I will wear on the way out in the morning but later in the day will take off. These are derived from the old fashioned silk tops that bikers used to wear.

T-Shirts and vests

Most of the t-shirts I wear have wicking technology so that I stay dry next to my skin. This adds to the comfort. 

There is nothing good about getting off the bike after a day’s riding and being all hot and sweaty.

Last but not least – socks

And last but not least, socks. These may be one of my best purchases – motorcycle socks that have compression and odour control. I don’t normally have smelly feet anyway (in case you were wondering) but these are so comfortable and keep my feet dry and warm (unless it is really cold).  

They are knee-length so it stops the top of my boots rubbing against my legs when I’m not wearing long leggings. Not cheap but it was good value for money.  The only thing I’d add is some winter socks for really cold days where I’m riding more than one hour.

Buy the best you can afford

As with most bike gear, a lot of it can be expensive. So it’s worth doing some homework, research and talking to other bikers first before you buy. Try out some of the cheaper makes, buy what you can afford and find what suits you best for your riding needs.  

You may use different clothing for different activities. I don’t wear the same things commuting that I do touring. Once you know what you are looking for you can look out for bargains – always a good excuse to buy something.

Written by Moira Day (female rider)

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