Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why Fat Bikers Are Better

Losing weight is a good thing if you look at it from the standpoint of health, but from the standpoint of riding a motorcycle I'm not so sure.

I went from a high of 240 pounds down to 150 pounds, which is my normal weight if you consider Body Mass Index as being a good metric. I finally reached that 150 pounds just last November.

Since then, I can't seem to keep warm.

Most of the fat is now gone. Whereas before I could ride with just a t-shirt and jeans, I can't seem to do that anymore. Albeit we're riding in the winter time, Southern California still gets into the 60s and 70s during the afternoon. And in years past I've ridden with just a t-shirt and jeans in those temperatures.

Now days, I can't even sit inside a restaurant without a sweatshirt over a t-shirt.

I used to poke fun at people for bundling up with four layers of clothing when saddling up for a ride. But recently I've found myself riding with a t-shirt, with a sweatshirt over that, a leather jacket over that, and my vest over that. That's four layers.

Losing weight has also made my butt sore after a hundred miles of riding. My tailbone keeps digging into the seat, and that just makes me shift around all the time.

However, I can say with some satisfaction that after buying this Honda ST1300, I'm sitting in a little bit more leaned-forward position which seem to help. Also, having my feet below me instead of in front of me, shifts more of my body weight to my feet.

And of course, losing weight means buying smaller clothes. So far, I've purchased three leather jackets in three years, with the most recent purchase coming last weekend. Suffice it to say, I'm limiting my purchases to jackets $200.00 or less.

The last jacket I had was sized "Medium", which felt perfect when I bought it. But I've lost another 25 pounds since then.

For awhile, I figured I could just wear it anyways, even though it was a little loose. But a loose jacket is part of what makes you cold while riding. If the wind can fill up your jacket like a balloon, then the jacket can't keep you warm. It's gotta fit snug to keep you warm.

But I'd still rather be at my slender college weight than my portly biker weight, so I don't plan on going back. Yet, there is indeed an advantage to being chunky if you ride a motorcycle.


  1. When I bought my first leather motorcycle jacket, I thought it was too tight and almost exchanged it for a bigger size, but glad I did not because now it is a bit loose, and I did not lose weight. I can ride in jeans and T shirt in 60s-70s temps ... it's all relative, man ... those temps may be considered cold to Texans and Californians, but that's some mighty fine riding weather to us northeast riders.

  2. Now you don't have an excuse not to wear proper gear all the time...

  3. I have never been fat and can relate. I'm the guy all the fattys are always poking fun at because I wear extra clothes like sweatshirts and jackets. I don't mind wearing a protective jacket all summer long. It keeps the sun off your skin which in itself has a cooling affect. I can also relate to the boney butt syndrome. Sometimes a little extra junk in the trunk could be helpful. I look forward to fall so I can wear hte leather jacket. Well that's the skinny on being skinny.

  4. Dude, I'm laughing right now. I was going to post this because all my porked out brothers are always complaining it's too damned hot when I'm freezing my ass off.

    Their ideal riding weather is 60 or 65. Mine is more like 80. Glad I'm not as fucked up in my thinking as I thought.

  5. We're just hitting 40s again in Illinois. I'm dying for 60s and 70s!

    I'm a big guy, dumped 40 lbs, looking to dump 30 more. I agree with Mrs Road Captain -- if it's more comfortable riding in the leathers, then that's not a bad thing. I cook in a jacket in the summer and tend not to wear it, but I'm still a relative rookie and I feel like I should be wearing it all the time.


  6. Way to go Steve! You may be cold now but you sure will be enjoying the ride that much longer! :)

  7. when i layer my clothes on and somebody notices it, the will come up with the usual "feeling cold?" whereby i answer, "no, that's what the clothes are for." or something like that.

  8. Yeah, Steve, you're half the man you used to be. But twice as healthy.

    Hey, lets start our own Rider's BMI. We'll scale the rider's comfort level in cooler temperatures with how overweight they might be. I've got a few extra layers of insulation, myself, so I'll venture that if a rider is comfortable riding for an hour in the low 60's in a shirt and Levis he's 40 lb. overweight. That makes me a 63/40 on the RBMI.

  9. Nice. I'm always the cold, skinny rider too. I can handle the summer months much better than my huskier friends so it evens out. Im hoping to move somewhere warmer soon.

  10. Buy an electric vest and rider longer, happier, and faster.

  11. Man not sure i Wanna lose weight now...

  12. If you just dieted to lose weight and didn't include exercise then that is the problem.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)