Top 10 Things to Wear Under a Motorcycle Racing Suit for Enhanced Cooling and Comfort

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If you have splurged on a leather motorcycle racing suit, you need to know that you will be as comfortable as possible when out on the track. There are things to wear under a motorcycle racing suit that can make a big difference in keeping you cool and comfortable.

From comfort to safety, there are a lot of factors to consider. Motorcycle leathers can be quite hot, but how do you know where to start? What is the best thing to wear under your leather? And what material should it be made from? What about motorcycle body armor?

Armor NameCategorySafety CertificationCheck & Shop Now
Icon Field Armor 3Best Armored VestEN 1621-3 2018 Class CRevZilla | CycleGear | MotoSport
Alpinestars Bionic Tech V2Best Armored JacketEN 1621-3:2018 Level 2RevZilla | CycleGear | Amazon
Klim Outlander GTXBest Armored Boots5mm/3mm Perforated FoamRevZilla | CycleGear | J&P Cycles
Surlim SR Elbow Knee Protector CE Armor InsertsBest Knee and Elbow ArmorEN1621-1:2012 Level 1 Amazon
Alpinestars Missile V2 AirflowBest Armored SuitprEN 17092 Class AAARevZilla | CycleGear | Amazon
REV'IT! Seesoft Back Protector InsertBest Back ProtectorprEN 1621-2:2010 Level 2RevZilla | J&P Cycles | CycleGear
BARHAR Protective Armor Best Hip ArmorEN 1621-1:2012 Level 1 Amazon
Alpinestars Flex ProBest Shoulder ProtectorEN 1621-1:2012 Level 2 RevZilla | CycleGear | Amazon

Here Are The 10 Things to Wear Under a Motorcycle Racing Suit:


  1. Moisture-wicking undershirts and leggings
  2. Airbag vests
  3. Nylon or polyester sports bras
  4. Specialized motorcycle undersuits
  5. Thermal riding/racing socks
  6. Glove liners
  7. Back, spine, and chest protectors
  8. Compression bodysuits
  9. Thermal long johns
  10.  Ice packs

To learn more about where you can find these unique, specially designed undergarments and why they are so essential, keep reading. I will cover the most comfortable and safe pieces of clothing you should consider wearing under your racing suit the next time you head out for a ride.

1. Moisture-Wicking Undershirts and Leggings


To start the list, I want to highlight the importance of wearing moisture-wicking clothing under your suit. Motorcycle racing suits tend to be made of heavy, thick leather to keep your body protected and well-insulated in case of an accident. While these suits are great for protection, they can get hot depending on the weather and the length and intensity of your riding session.

Particularly during the warmer months, you will notice that you’ll tend to get pretty sweaty underneath the suit if you just wear your regular clothes; cotton is especially bad at repelling moisture. It is best to wear moisture-wicking undergarments to draw moisture away from your body and keep your entire body nice and cool.

Although there are moisture-wicking undersuits explicitly designed to be worn underneath your racing leathers, these specialized garments can get rather pricey.

As an alternative, you can opt for more basic undershirts and leggings that are made of the same cooling polyester as the more expensive suits until you’re ready and able to commit to buying a racing undersuit (and don’t worry; I’ll cover those soon, too!).


Opna Moisture-Wicking Undershirts

These moisture-wicking undershirts are an excellent choice for wearing underneath your racing suit during the summer to keep you from getting sweaty and uncomfortable while you ride.

They are far less expensive than specialized riding undersuits, but they are still amazingly effective since they are made of 100% polyester.

For your legs, we highly recommend wearing something like these compression leggings on They feature elastic closures and are great for muscle recovery. Plus, they’re very breathable, so you won’t be too warm.

Ideally, you want a pair of undergarments that are made of cooling polyester or nylon and fit snugly against your body, so they fit comfortably under your racing leathers. The material should not be too thick or too thin.

Plus, they come in a wide range of colors, so you can pick something other than black if you really want to avoid overheating while on the road!


The motorcycle body armor I recommend provides a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider. They are the very same armors that have earned my trust and served me exceptionally well during countless adventures.

2. Airbag Vests

AGVSPORT-Airbag-vest (1)

Protection should be your number one priority when it comes to all your racing gear, as your entire body is exposed while riding a motorcycle. One particularly clever invention for staying safe while riding is the airbag vest; these vests can be worn underneath your suit and usually are thin and compact. Airbags are becoming more and more popular and one of the best pieces of safety gear to wear under a motorcycle racing suit,

However, in the event of a wreck or some other major impact on your body, the airbag vest will rapidly expand within mere milliseconds and instantly create a protective barrier between you and the ground or wherever you happen to land.

AGVSPORT-Airbag-vest (2)

Some higher-end motorcycle suits have airbag vests built into them, but this is more of an exception rather than a rule. Most leathers come without an airbag, leaving it up to the rider to add later and select the brand they prefer.

If you know your suit does not have such a vest built into it, it might be a good idea to invest in a product that is lightweight and moisture-wicking for some extra protection on the road. While they can be rather pricey, safety is an essential investment for riding, especially for racing.

3. Nylon or Polyester Sports Bras

This one’s for the ladies; generally, if you have a smaller cup size, it is best to simply go without a bra underneath your suit whenever possible. However, not wearing a bra is just not an option for those with bustier chests, particularly in the hot summer months.

Like with the undershirts and leggings we covered earlier, you will want to opt for a bra made of moisture-wicking material such as polyester or nylon. Avoid bras with uncomfortable material, hooks in the back, or stiff underwire, as they can be bothersome while riding.

Additionally, these more elaborate types of bras will take you much longer to put on and take off than sports bras, which you can typically just pull over your head, adjust the straps for comfort, and be ready to go. Getting ready to go riding takes a lot of preparation and involves putting on lots of different types of gear, so your bra should be as simple and comfortable as possible.

4. Specialized Motorcycle Undersuits

These suits serve as a pricier and more durable alternative to simply wearing athletic compression undergarments. They are almost exclusively made of thin yet effective moisture-wicking material to keep you cool and comfortable while you ride.

Aside from keeping you cool (or warm and insulated if it is colder outside), these undersuits also prevent chafing and provide an extra layer of protection underneath your leathers. They typically feature a zipper that extends from the neck to the groin area, allowing you to quickly put on and take off the garment before wearing your racing suit.

Another distinguishing feature is their foot straps designed to keep them in place while riding. These straps are stretchy and flexible, supporting a full range of movement.

HEROBIKER Motorcycle Undersuit

HEROBIKER Long Johns Thermal Underwear Buy on Amazon

Undersuits made with DuPont Coolmax or similar moisture-wicking fabrics are an option that is comfortable and effective. Plus, it is reasonably priced, as low as $40, and comes in sizes ranging from XX-Small to X-Large, so you’ll be able to find a size that fits you perfectly. The premium silky soft lining material wicks perspiration and moisture away from the body and keeps you cool.

5. Thermal Riding/Racing Socks

Finding the right pair of socks is just as important as finding the perfect motorcycle boots to keep your feet well-insulated and cushioned while riding. I highly recommend wearing specialized thermal racing socks, as they have a wide range of features that make them ideally suited for a long day on the road.

EVS Sports TUG Fusion Socks

EVS Sports TUG Fusion SocksBuy on Amazon

The EVS Sports TUG Fusion Socks, are made from breathable, moisture-wicking material to keep your feet cool and dry in the summer while providing warmth during winter. These socks feature a thick and cozy texture, ensuring comfort in all seasons.

What sets them apart is their ingenious anti-odor layer, effectively combating unpleasant smells even after extended use inside boots. Designed to be worn under a motorcycle suit, these socks have a ribbed structure that prevents bunching around your legs and ankles, enhancing comfort and flexibility.

Most racing socks are knee-length, offering superior coverage and protection. Opting for these specialized socks instead of regular ones can make a noticeable difference, justifying their slightly higher price.

6. Glove Liners

Even though most racing suits don’t come with gloves, it’s essential to wear a thick, durable pair of racing gloves with your suit. One effective way to keep your hands from becoming hot and sweaty while riding is to wear glove liners underneath your gloves.

Terramar Thermasilk Glove Liners

Terramar Adult Thermasilk Glove LinerBuy on Amazon

Terramar glove liners are ideal for riders who don’t want their hands to slide around inside their gloves. If it’s hot outside, these liners will keep your hands cool and dry due to their moisture-wicking material and ClimaSense treatment. Additionally, they provide excellent insulation during the winter months, keeping your hands warm.

Made from 100% silk, these glove liners feel smooth on your hands and won’t cause discomfort, itchiness, or sweating while you ride. Moreover, they neutralize odors, ensuring your gloves won’t become smelly after a long ride. These liners are easy to wash and air dry, making them a convenient and practical choice to wear under your suit.

7. Back, Spine, and Chest Protectors


While some higher-end racing suits come with specialized protective gear built into them, many suits provide only basic impact protection. To enhance safety for more vulnerable parts of your body, investing in specialized protective gear to wear under your suit is a wise choice.

AGVSPORT Back, Spine, and Chest Protectors

Developed by AGV Sports Group using innovative safety technology, this protector features a honeycomb structure for optimal airflow, ensuring you stay cool while riding.


Most of these protective products can be worn either under or on top of your racing suit and come with adjustable straps for a customized fit. Made from exceptionally durable yet lightweight materials, this gear shields your back and spine from high-impact crashes and falls.


Take the AGVSPORT back and spine protector, for instance, crafted mainly from thick PVC armor that prevents back injuries while remaining lightweight and well-ventilated. Despite appearing bulky, this protective gear is surprisingly comfortable and flexible, allowing a full range of movement without straining your budget or your back.

8. Compression Bodysuits

When considering budget and effectiveness, compression bodysuits fall between separate athletic/compression undergarments and elaborate specialized racing undersuits. While not designed specifically for motorcycle riding, these bodysuits are crafted from moisture-wicking nylon and spandex, offering added protection and comfort under your racing suit, making them an excellent choice for riders.

Speerise Bodysuits

speerise Adult High Neck Zip One Piece Unitard Full Body Leotard Bodycon Jumpsuit Buy on Amazon

Speerise bodysuits offer a comfortable option for wearing under your leathers, constructed from 82% nylon and 18% spandex for flexibility and breathability, especially in hot weather. They provide just enough compression for a snug fit without causing discomfort. If you’re considering a specialized racing undersuit but are unsure, these basic bodysuits are a good starting point.

Available in sizes from X-Small to 3X and a variety of colors, they allow you to avoid excessive heat buildup under your suit.

9. Thermal Long Johns

During cold winter months, thermal underwear or long johns provide the ideal warmth and comfort under your racing leathers. These garments offer an extra layer of insulation, ensuring you stay cozy even in chilly weather.

Rocky Fleece-Lined Thermal Underwear

Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear for Men Fleece Lined Base Layer Set for Cold WeatherBuy on Amazon

These fleece-lined underwear are an excellent choice for winter wear under your racing suit. They offer both warmth and softness, and their partial composition of moisture-wicking polyester ensures comfort even if you start to sweat.

Plus, their inclusive size range from small to 6X accommodates various body types.

10. Ice Packs

If you’re still feeling sweaty and uncomfortable despite wearing cooling undergarments, try placing ice packs inside your suit’s inner pockets or lining to stay cool and refreshed.

TrekProof Ice Packs

Ice Pack (3-Piece Set) – Reusable Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Wrap Support Injury Recovery, Alleviate Joint and Muscle PainBuy on Amazon

Certain ice packs are specifically made to be worn under clothing. They feature a stretchy elastic band, allowing you to secure them around your waist under your leathers.

Besides preventing overheating, these packs can also provide relief for sore muscles and joints.

AGVSPORT Knee and Body Armor

I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, and non-profit organizations:


Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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