Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips
Thursday, January 9, 2014
If you love your motorcycle too much to put it away during winter, or if you lack other transport options, you should pay attention to some basic safety measures that can save your life while riding your motorcycle during winter.
- Fit the motorcycle with tires that are rated for slippery roads. If you live in areas where it snows heavily, you will need proper winter tires. In lighter snow, normal tires with improved traction are sufficient. Buy studs or spikes and screw them into the tires for traction.
- Avoid sudden acceleration, brakes and swerves. Keep a good distance between yourself and everything else and try to anticipate the mistakes others may make. It takes longer to brake on slippery roads, and you do not want to drive in the spray that comes from other vehicles.
- Dress warmly. A thick waterproof jacket is essential, and you will probably not be warm without at least two layers under it. One of these layers should be made of wool for good insulation. Wear warm long gloves, but make sure they are not so thick that you cannot manipulate the controls properly. Purchase a balaclava to keep your head, face and ears warm.
- Motorcycle manufacturers have invented a good solution to the problem of cold hands. Heated grips fit over the handles and keep your hands warm while you hold them.
- Heated clothing is one of those great inventions specifically aimed at motorcyclists. Heated gloves will help you use your hands more effectively on the controls, and heated vests and jackets will warm your body as well as an electric blanket does.
- You need to be able to see properly. Inner visors or masks keep your breath away from your visor so it does not fog up. You can also use anti-misting spray on your visor and mirrors.
- Be visible to drivers and pedestrians. Wear reflective clothing or buy special high-visibility clothing. Keep your machine's lights on at all times.
- Wash or wipe down your machine a few times a week during winter. Rock salt and other chemicals use on the roads to dissolve snow also corrode metals. The more expensive but easier option is to spray an anti-corrosion substance to prevent rust.
There are few things more exhilarating than a winter motorcycle ride if it is done safely.