Whether you choose to ride a motorcycle in the winter or are in a situation where you must ride in the winter, there is no doubt that riding a motorcycle in the winter is an entirely different matter.
Winter riding requires more preparation and attention than riding in the warmer months. So for those of you who must ride motorcycles in the winter, here are some Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In The Winter for you to choose from.
Best Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In The Winter
As a famous TV show said, winter is coming. If you are reading this text, you may have already had winter. Can you stand the thought of your motorcycle sleeping in the garage until the trees put on their leaves again? For many people, motorcycling is a year-round passion that never rests. It is common knowledge that you should not ride in the winter, but for those who truly enjoy riding, winter is the only time to get behind the wheel.
If you decide to ride in the winter, you need to know what’s different and what you need to do to be safe.
Wearing The Right Gear
Now, wearing the proper gear when riding in winter is a given, and you’ve heard everyone recommend it. But listen up. Wearing the right bike gear is not only essential for your safety, but also for your health. People think they are much tougher than they really are and assume that a thin, light jacket will suffice in 30-degree Fahrenheit weather. The weather doesn’t care about your resistance. The weather does not care about your resistance.
In case you are wondering, there is a phenomenon that can happen to people called hypothermia. Most people think they can only get it when they are wet. In fact, people who ride motorcycles in the winter are at high risk for hypothermia; according to the CDC, about 1,300 people die annually in the U.S. due to hypothermia.
The average body temperature for adults is about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs when the temperature at the center of the body falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is only 3 degrees below body temperature, so it doesn’t take much effort.
Wear layers under coats and jackets. Wear windproof pants and jackets over your regular pants and jacket. Do not skimp on layered clothing when riding in winter.
Use winter Tires
Every part of your bike is important, but the most important part of your bike in winter is probably the tires. Tires are what keep you running and between you and the road.
Believe it or not, there is actually a big difference between summer and winter tires on a motorcycle. This includes differences in the compounds between the two. Winter tires require a firmer tread to resist snow and ice and ensure traction. Winter tires for motorcycles are available, so if you ride in winter, you should get winter tires.
Also, snow chains (specifically for motorcycle tires) can be used on motorcycles, but note that this is only a last resort. If conditions require the use of snow chains, it is best to refrain from taking to the road on a motorcycle.
Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure
Maintaining proper tire pressure on your motorcycle is good practice regardless of the season. However, if you ride in the winter, maintaining the correct tire pressure is absolutely essential.
Each motorcycle tire knows how much pressure it should be inflated. Most of them have specific instructions on how much pressure to apply at a certain temperature, especially in cold weather. Some tires need to be inflated higher in the winter, while others are used at the same pressure all year round.
Whatever air pressure your tires need, keep in mind. This means that you should always check your tire pressure before a winter ride. Motorcycle tires tend to leak faster than automobile tires, both because of the cold weather and because of the way they are formed. This is especially true for motorcycle tubeless tires.
Don’t Ride When The Outside Temperature Is Below 32 Degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s hard to know what temperature is too cold to ride a motorcycle in the winter. I knew exactly what temperatures would dramatically increase the danger of winter roads from the terrible winters in the various places I’ve lived. If the outside temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not be riding a motorcycle.
When the outside temperature begins to drop below freezing, not only will ice build up in unexpected places, but the bike may not be in good shape. The combination of bad roads and a bike that is out of shape can get you into trouble.
Black ice is very likely to occur in sub-zero temperatures. Black ice is clear and almost always melts into the road on which it is traveling. Since a motorcycle supports itself on only two wheels, if one wheel slips, the other wheel will slip as well. There is no danger of riding in extremely low temperatures, even on roads that have been cleared of snow and salt.
Assume You Are Invisible To Surrounding Drivers.
Driving a motorcycle in the presence of other drivers can be a little scary. Not all drivers know how to avoid motorcycles, and they often don’t even know you are there.
When driving a motorcycle in the winter, assuming that drivers around you cannot see you. Not only are most drivers unaware of the presence of motorcycles, but some distracted drivers do not know how to drive on snow or ice. The last thing they expect is a two-wheeled vehicle driving in the same conditions.
Driving in cold or snowy conditions requires particular care. Keep a safe distance from cars and other vehicles and be as visible as possible to those around you. Try wearing a neon-colored waistcoat or attaching brightly colored accessories to your bicycle. If you see a driver coming too close behind you, let him or her pass so you don’t have to suffer his or her reckless driving.
Using a Helmet Demister
As the weather gets colder, the elements of everything outside begin to change a bit. Helmets are no exception. It is utterly frustrating and very dangerous to ride a motorcycle and have the visor of your helmet fog up.
I have encountered this problem dozens of times while riding. The best solution seems to be to raise it up, as it makes it impossible to see the road. However, this takes in a lot of cold air, which makes your eyes water and also obstructs your vision. Even if you wipe the inside of the visor and try to use it again, it will fog up again soon.
You might think that because you put your helmet on at home and it didn’t fog up while you were wearing it for a few minutes that it won’t fog up. The first few minutes you put your helmet on in the winter are not indicative of how condensation will act on subsequent rides.
As you ride, the temperature on the outside of the helmet drops, while the inside of the helmet is retained by your body heat. This difference between the outside and inside temperatures is what causes condensation.
Fortunately, there are a number of anti-fogging products that can quickly solve this problem. You can find good ones in stores or online for about $10 to $15. Be sure to treat both the inside and outside of the helmet visor to ensure that the solution is well distributed. This is very effective and will keep you safe on the road.
In the winter, we sometimes tend to drive faster because it is cold, we want to get to our destination quickly, and we want to stay warm. I have often found this to be the case. Remember, it is safer to drive slowly in winter. Even if the road looks dry, you may run into a puddle or over black ice without realizing it.
If you don’t intend to slow down in winter, at least obey the speed limit and don’t exceed it. But safety is more important than conforming to what other drivers want on the road.
Stay In The Furthest Lane.
As I mentioned earlier, drivers are not always aware of motorcycles (especially in winter). In addition to being as conspicuous as possible, there are several additional safety measures you can take.
When driving on a multi-lane highway, you want to stay in the right or left lane. In winter, it is best to drive in the right lane, as the left lane is usually the highway. By driving in the far left lane, you do not have to worry about the one lane next to you. Personally, I find it a bit stressful to be aware of two lanes on either side, so being able to see only one lane makes driving easier.
Paying Special Attention To Your Hands
While we have touched on wearing the right equipment for winter riding, we thought we should have our own section on hand. Hands play an important role in the operation of a motorcycle, so it is vital that they are well-maintained.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer from frostbite of the hands than those in other winter sports and activities. This is because the hands are located farthest from the center of the body and are therefore more susceptible to the effects of wind while riding.
Many motorcyclists do not take the heat seriously when it comes to winter riding. Frostbite can develop in as little as five minutes. The inability to use the hands means that other parts of the bicycle are also unavailable. This is very dangerous on a bike, as it slows down your response to the throttle and brakes.
It is not recommended to wear only leather gloves in winter. Leather gloves are great for protecting your skin in the event of an accident, but they are not always warm and can also freeze if it is cold. There are gloves with electric heaters specially designed for motorcyclists that can be worn under leather gloves to get the warmth you need.
Grip shields are also available that reduce the wind blowing against the hands. Take the right safety precautions to protect your hands from frostbite and make sure they are available when you need them.
Allow 30 Minutes For Your Commute.
Riding a motorcycle in the summer can help you get to your destination faster because motorcycles are easier to maneuver and faster, and in some states, laws give special preferential treatment to motorcycles.
Winter is totally different on a motorcycle. In fact, riding a motorcycle takes longer than driving a car. With the right safety precautions, you may take a little longer to get to your destination.
Plan to allow about 30 minutes. Consider ice- and water-covered roads. If you bike to work every day, leave 30 minutes early. Arriving early is not a bad thing, even if it takes an extra 30 minutes than expected. It is much better than arriving much later than expected.
Install A Windscreen.
If there is anything you can add to your bike to make winter riding more comfortable and safer, it is definitely worth doing. For example, if your bike doesn’t have a windscreen, you can install one.
I am a minimalist and don’t like to put a windscreen on my bike, but in the winter I am a big proponent of windscreens. Windscreens are a great source of protection from the winter cold. You will often get splashed by passing cars as well as rain and snow.
Windscreens also provide wind protection. Having this protection in front of you deflects the wind around you, giving you greater protection and making you more comfortable.
Just Because There Is No Sun Does Not Mean It Is Hot.
Speaking of winter, the sun can be deceiving. In the past, we have often mistakenly thought that because the sun is out, it is warmer and we can drive normally on the roads.
In winter, it is normal for temperatures and road surface temperatures to differ greatly. Even if the outside temperature is below freezing, the roads can be icy. Remember that the roads are always outside and the nighttime temperatures are much colder than the daytime air.
Nevertheless, just because the sun is out in the winter does not mean that the roads are free of ice. Don’t let the sun fool you; always be careful when driving on the roads on a sunny winter day.
Best Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In The Winter | Video Explanation
Can a motorcycle battery freeze?
Motorcycle batteries can freeze. If the motorcycle is not loaded, it can freeze from 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A fully charged battery will not freeze until it gets to about -75 or -76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is it difficult to ride a motorcycle in the winter?
Riding a motorcycle in the winter is more difficult and dangerous than when the roads are dry and warm. Driving a motorcycle in cold weather requires as much care as in other adverse conditions.
How do you maintain your motorcycle in the winter?
If you use your motorcycle often in the winter, it is recommended that you pay attention to tire pressure, oil changes, fluid top-ups, and battery charging. If you don’t ride in the winter, you may want to add fuel stabilizer to your gasoline, keep your tires elevated, and keep your battery charged.
Winter riding can be tough, but here are some tips to help you increase your mileage during the cold season.
Do you have any winter riding tips you would like to share? More tips can make winter riding safer.