Just because there’s a little nip in the air doesn’t mean it’s time to put the bike up. On the contrary, fall motorcycle rides are some of my favorite (be sure to check out our Best Fall Motorcycle Rides article).  There’s nothing like taking in the changing of the seasons from the saddle of a motorcycle, from fall leaves splashed in vivid colors to the fresh, cool air on your face.

One of the things I’ve learned from past fall rides, it’s all about the layers. A 50-degree day at 75 mph will quickly let you know what areas you didn’t cover. Your neck is a particularly easy target. It took me a long time to warm up to the idea (pun intended) of covering my neck, so I wanted to share this tidbit of advice to newer riders. Keep your neck nice and toasty. It’ll make cool fall rides that much more enjoyable. There are several ways to do it. Lots of riders like neck gaiters because you can zip the top into your jacket and pull them all the way up to just below your ears. They’re also super comfortable. The Schampa Double Layer Neck Gaiter (SKU 115-016) is a solid choice because it has two layers of material repelling rain and blocking air. It’s made of double-walled fleece, so you know it’s gonna feel good against your skin. Other riders prefer balaclavas because they cover the head and face. The Zan Convertible Balaclava (SKU 305-3624) is ideal for fall motorcycle rides because it’s made of a stretchy, moisture-wicking elastane fabric that’s thin but warm. It’s versatile and can be worn around the head, as a neck gaiter, or turtle neck. Neoprene masks are a popular choice, too, because they cover the neck and face. They’re also an avenue of self-expression. Case in point, the Zan Sugar Skull Neoprene Half Mask (SKU 742-200) has that Dia de la Muerta vibe to it. If you’re not feeling it that day, it’s reversible, and the other side is a subtler solid purple. The Neoprene is soft and water-resistant and one size fits most women.

Keeping your core warm is paramount, too. This is where base layers come in handy. You can never go wrong by wrapping up in a toasty flannel. We’re super proud of our 40th Anniversary Dixxon Flannel. Forty years in business is hard in any industry, so we celebrated the milestone by hooking up with Dixxon to make us some J&P Cycles Exclusive 40th Anniversary Dixxon Flannels (SKU 280-3126). Have you ever worn a Dixxon? Feels so good against the skin, especially after a handful of washings. Their flannels are styling, too. I’m a fan of hoodies as well because I like that I can pull them up over my head if I’m off the bike and it’s raining. Combine two of my favorites, a flannel and a hoody, and you’ve got the Z1R Timber Flannel Shirt (SKU 400-0442). The shirt is made of 100% thermal cotton, has a full-length thermal liner and comes with a drawstring hood. One of the unique features of the Z1R thermal is it’s set up with concealed carry pockets, one-snap closure in front and two interior pockets. Overshirts are a popular way to layer up, too. The Rev’It! Worker Overshirt (SKU 220-1926) takes the concept up a level as it’s on the border of being a light jacket that could be worn by itself under moderate conditions. Collared and button-downed, it sure looks the work jacket part. The Rev-It! Worker Overshirt is made up abrasion-resistant Cordura Canvas and comes standard with light armor in the elbows and shoulders. Whichever route you go – flannel, hoody, thermals, overshirt, keep that core warm.

You won’t want cold air rushing up your arms to that core you’re trying to protect, so gauntlet gloves are the way to go. They go up past the wrist and can be cinched tight to block out the flow. When fall is in the air, the fewer perfs the better as you’d be amazed at how much cold air can filter through such tiny holes. The Olympia Black Cold Throttle Gloves (SKU 114-693) cover all the bases. Extra thickness on the backs of the hands and palms, knuckle protection, a breathable insert that’s water and windproof, the nylon gauntlets cinch tight thanks to a Velcro strap. Women riders might like the Highway 21 Rose Black Gloves (SKU 100-2020). They have a black denim outer shell and leather palm, knuckle protection, and a Hipora liner that’s both water- and windproof. The Highway 21 Rose Gloves have a little extra padding in the palm and are heavy duty enough to get keep you riding into the early winter months if so desired. Despite having Rose in its name, the design isn’t frilly as they look like practical, heavy duty gauntlets.

I live in Oregon so rains are a part of the transition to fall. Most riders are likely to experience autumnal rains at some point, too, no matter where you live. You can’t go wrong buying some rain gear because it comes in handy no matter what season you’re riding in. We like to think our two-piece rain suit is pretty darn good. Both the nylon tops and bottoms of the J&P Cycles Rain Suit (SKU 1500473) are waterproof. The jacket has sealed seams to keep water from running up your arm and the pants have boot straps to keep them down. The big orange stripe on the chest is high-viz and the gray stripes above and below it are reflective. Cool thing with our suit is it rolls up into a small fold-out storage pouch which can be worn around a rider’s waist so they’ve got quick and easy access to it, which is a good thing if you’re like me and wait until the very last second to put rain gear on. Nelson Riggs also makes a pretty good rain suit as well. It’s got three large waterproof outer pockets and an additional waterproof zippered mesh pocket that can be used as a vent in case it stops raining and warms up.  The Nelson Riggs AS3000 Rain Suit (SKU 713-469) has reflective piping so you can see the black polyester suit at night. It also has heat resistant material in the legs so they hopefully won’t melt immediately if you accidentally brush them against the pipes, something I’ve been guilty of on more than one occasion.

A good motorcycle jacket is a given, and like motorcycle gloves, fewer perfs and wind- and water-resistance are in order for fall rides. Speed and Strength’s got a really sharp-looking ladies’ jacket. The Speed and Strength Women’s Street Savvy Black Jacket (SKU 220-0853) has leather outer arms and shoulders, stretchy material on the insides, and a waxed cotton canvas chest and back. Removable CE-approved elbow, shoulder and back are part of the package. It also has a removable hoody vest liner and a concealed carry pocket. The Rev’It! Women’s Voltiac 2 Textile Jacket (SKU 220-1736) is fashionable as well, albeit with a more straightforward, sport-touring look to it. A combination of polyesters and Lorica artificial leather, it sports a short button-collar, comes down well past the adjustable waist, and has a mesh Hydratex liner. While it has elbow and shoulder armor, it doesn’t come standard with a back protector but does have a sleeve to accommodate one.

While there’s lots of fancy materials out there to keep you dry, I’ve always been partial to good ol’ leather, which may be one of the reasons I’m digging the Joe Rocket Vintage Black Leather Jacket (SKU 754-582). It’s exactly as described, a rugged-looking, durable, traditional black leather motorcycle jacket. Quilted in the shoulders, zippered at the chest, and buttoned at the collar and waist, the 1.0 – 1.2mm cowhide should be good for plenty of riding seasons and being leather, it’s only going to get better looking with age. Z1R makes a pretty mean leather jacket, too, at a price point that will leave a little change in the pocket, enough for maybe a tank or two of gas. The Z1R Bastion Black Leather Jacket (SKU 350-2570) is similarly styled to the Joe Rocket Vintage as it’s all black leather with zippered chest pockets and sleeves. It has a moisture-wicking thermal liner and a convenient concealed carry pocket. If it’s not too cold and you’d like to feel a little of that refreshing fall air on your body, it has large vents in the chest and back. Klim is known for making solid all-weather gear, and the Klim Men’s Carlsbad Gray Jacket (SKU 400-1395) is a prime example. Between its Gore-Tex shell and Karbonite Ripstop fabric in the shoulders and high abrasion areas, the Klim Carlsbad Jacket is made to last. It comes with a full complement of D30 armor and plenty of strategically placed vents and pockets. It’s so well-made, Klim guarantees it for five years. As far as fall motorcycle jackets go, it is on the spendy side, but Klim’s spared no detail with this jacket, from the quality materials it’s made of to its venting system, adjustability, armor, and little features like its headphone routing port.

While it might not be time yet to put on your full-blown winter riding pants, many riders opt for a good set of overpants in the fall that easily slip over a pair of jeans. They’re usually fairly lightweight and flexible. One of the most affordable pairs out there are the Icon Men’s Overlord Black Overpants (SKU 166-8938). The Overlords are textile pants with D30 knee protectors and leg zippers so they slide on and off easily. On the flipside, Fly Racing makes a quality overpants for women. The Fly Racing Street Butane Black Overpants (SKU 400-1215) have a polyester shell and a waterproof, windproof, yet breathable HYDRAGuard membrane. These are designed for maximum comfort in the riding position. Fly Racing’s Butane Black Overpants zippered waterproof pockets and adjustable leg cuffs round out the package.

As far as helmets go, as much as you might love rockin’ your half-shell, a modular helmet gives riders a lot of flexibility when the going gets cold because you can flip them up if it’s not super cold or batten it down if your teeth are chattering. The Shoei Neotec II Modular Helmet (SKU 181-1514) is a really fine motorcycle helmet. It meets DOT and ECE standards, has a dual-layer EPS liner inside its fiberglass shell, and flips up at the push of a button. Complete with an anti-bacterial liner, anti-scratch shield, and drop-down internal visor, the Shoei Neotec II is aptly suited for fine fall rides but easily is an all-year-round motorcycle helmet. Granted, this is a premium -priced helmet. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more on the affordable side but is still a quality-made helmet, consider going with a Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS Full Face Helmet (SKU 804-379). MIPS stands for “Multi Directional Impact Protection System” which helps disperse the energy of an impact, particularly in angled impacts since that’s the way most riders conk their head in a crash. The Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS Helmet has a lightweight polycarbonate shell and a Transitions Adaptive Faceshield that will lighten and darken automatically depending on how bright it is. The Bell Qualifier gives you a lot of bang for your buck, and its Transitions faceshield will allow you to enjoy the full spectrum of fall colors.