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Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping the chill away from the neck and face

Living in North Texas affords me the opportunity to ride year-round.  We do have occasional stretches of icy roads or really cold wet weather that will keep us off the road for a short period of time.  We do have to gear up with some warm clothing quite often during the winter months but, we can still ride.

Early on in my riding experience I figured out even if I did not have great gear I could always layer up.  Through the years I have acquire some quality gear for those colder days like a jacket, gloves, boots, and lined riding pants.  After a few rides I noticed that my neck would really get cold.  The air would find it's way down my jacket making the ride less than optimum.

I visited a few local motorcycle shops and decided to invest in a facemask (at that time I was wearing a 1/2 helmet and riding a VStar 1100).  I chose a simple fleece facemask by Schampa.  The Schampa facemask wraps around the face and fastens in the back with velcro, which allows uses to custom fit the mask.  There is a slit for the nostrils which helps prevent moisture buildup on the inside of the mask.
Schampa Fleece Facemask
The fleece does a great job of keeping wind off the face and front of the neck while keeping body heat in.  I really like the facemask but, certain movements would pull the mask and cause a break between the mask and the jacket.  The break would allow the cold air in.  I had to very careful with my head movements so as to reduce the size of the gap.

During the 2009 International Motorcycle Show I stopped by the Schampa booth to see what they had.  I started looking at items that might help my problem with the gaps.  I came across the Schampa turleneck fleece dickie.  They make several different "models."  I tried on several and decided to purchase the Zip D'Zip.  The Zip D'Zip has a zipper (go figure) in the front making it easy to put it on and take it off.
Zip D'Zip is convenient and warm 
The dickie is very effective.  The long neck can be pulled up over the chin and the lower portion is held securely under the jacket.  The extra layer on the chest holds in body heat extremely well.  When I went riding  I still needed to use my facemask to keep the air off my nose and cheeks.  The combination is great!
A warm combination
Once the dickie is zipped, facemask secured, and jacket zipped up I am a warm rider.  I have used the combination during below freezing temperature and felt great.  No nagging gaps allowing cold air in.  A small investment with great warm dividends.  

If you are going to do much riding in cold weather I would recommend Schampa gear to keep the face & neck nice and warm so that you can enjoy the ride.

3 comments:

  1. Nice review!

    There really aren't too many things worse than a chill wind leaking down into your jacket during a ride.

    I wear a modular helmet which behaves pretty much like a full face helmet in terms of shielding one against the cold wind.

    So my "retain the heat" and "keep out the chilling wind" needs have been met by the "Neck Gator".

    dom

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

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  2. Riding here in NW Arkansas in the fall and winter the only thing that bugs me is the wind whipping down through the top of my jacket. So I invested in one several years ago and "dont leave home without it." Great review.

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  3. I use a full-face through the winter, and I have found a neck collar (which can be pulled up over the nose if necessary) to be enough. Provided it is tucked well enough into the jacket, there are no draughts, and it's flexible enough not to restrict head movement. Only possible because the helmet covers all my face right down to the chin and keeps a lot of the wind and rain off the neck anyway. They are sold in the UK under the name of 'Buff' for around 10UKP and I have several. They will also do duty as a headband, scarf, doo-rag etc if the need arises.

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