As a native of Southern California, I don’t like to be cold when I’m riding a motorcycle. I don’t mind temperatures into the 90s, but the 50s make me uncomfortable on the highway. There are a few ways to battle the cold, and different strategies work for different conditions. When I want to be warm in the morning and have easy flexibility when the sun heats things up, the Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers—top and pants—have been getting the job done for years.
Apparel-based solutions range from jacket and pants liners to heated clothing. A jacket or pants liner works great if you know you’re going to need it for the entire road. However, stopping to unbutton, unlatch, and unzip a liner can be annoyingly time-consuming—and then you’re stuck with a bulky liner or two. Plus, a jacket that fits great with the liner can feel a bit loose when it’s gone. When it’s frigid, nothing beats heated clothing. However, it’s expensive, requires setting up a motorcycle’s electrical system to power it, and it takes up plenty of room if you want to take it off. Again, the Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers solve many of those problems, or work in conjunction with either of those approaches.
The material used in the Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers is simple—92 percent polyester and eight percent elastane. That gives just enough stretch for the layers to cling to my body in a friendly embrace without feeling the least bit constricting. The polyester fiber is exceptionally soft, giving the layers a lavish feel. They are completely smooth, with none of the scratchiness you might feel with other base layers. These are garments you want next to your skin all day. Fly Racing
claims UPF 40+ sun protection, though I see these as under, not outer, wear.
Although Heavyweight is in the name, the long-sleeve top is just 9.2 ounces in the Medium size, while the pants are 7.2 ounces. This isn’t a surprise, as the material in the top feels noticeably thicker than the material used for the pants. Speaking of the pants, Fly left out the fly—an odd oversight.Everyone’s sensitivity to heat and cold is different. For me, the Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers add about 10 to 15 degrees of warmth for me. In conjunction with an all-season jacket and pants combo with the liners in, I’m good for riding in the 40s. If the temperature is in the lower 60s, the base layers allow me to ride comfortably without liners. This is especially helpful in the transitions seasons—spring and fall—when mornings can be cool and afternoons toasty.I like the layers for all sorts of street riding, as well as off-road ADVing. For pure dirt bike riding, the top layer is too efficient. I start sweating quickly, regardless of the temperature. The material breathes well enough and eventually helps the sweat evaporate, but it isn’t designed to transfer excess heat out, so I keep sweating. Fly Racing offers a lightweight version—I’ll have to give it a try.
Having used the Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers for years, they have proven themselves to be remarkably durable. The Fly logo on the top has worn a bit, as I’m often likely to wear just the top—my legs aren’t as sensitive to cold as my upper body. I always wash them in cold water and dry them on a hanger, which aids in longevity. The tag recommends hand washing or the gentle cycle with mild soap—I haven’t adhered to those recommendations. I wash the layers every time because they’re against my skin. Fly uses Polygiene
Odor Control Technology, and it seems to work—the layers have never had an objectionable aroma.Sizing is a bit generous. While I’m usually a Large in jacket, jersey, and pants, the Medium size fits me just right.I am a thoroughly satisfied user of Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layers. When it cools down and I need to go riding, the layers allow me to easily regulate my temperature with flexibility, and they do it in a package that feels luxurious against my skin.Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layer Top and Pants Fast Facts
Fly Racing Heavyweight Base Layer Top and Pants Price: $60 MSRP
- Sizes: X-Small — 2X-Large
- Material: 92 percent polyester, 8 percent elastane
- Sun protection: UPF 40+
- Color: Black