9 Tips for Riding Your Motorcycle in the Winter

Posted: January 19, 2021 in Motorcycle, Motorcycle advocacy, motorcycle safety, Uncategorized
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It is that time of year again, winter in the northern hemisphere. A time where many of us will begin to suffer from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome), especially after the lost year of 2020.

Many of us will be tempted to get out and ride on a bright, warmish day, I know I will.  But take inconsideration the following tips if you decide to get out and ride.

9 – ATGATT! – means even more in the winter.  Not only should you dress for the slide you have to dress to stay warm, hypothermia can set in quickly if you are not prepared.  Wear layers under you motorcycle jacket and pants. If your outer layer supports armor, make sure it is installed.

8 – Watch for hidden ice – While you think you may be out on a sunny dry day frost and ice can linger in the shadows. Remember the rule about scanning ahead?  Now that small covering of leaves at the apex of the next turn may hide a patch of ice.

7 – Cold Motorcycle Tires – You know this, but it is worth reminding.  Your tires will take longer to warm up and may never reach the optimal grip temperature. Make sure you account for your lack of grip during breaking, accelerating and in turns.  A little fish tail at the stop light with warm tires can be interesting, on cold tires it could cause a crash.

6 – Tire Pressure – You really need to ensure your PSI is correct for the conditions.  Most tires have a year-round recommendation, some may have a different recommendation for winter.  Also, if you have not noticed, motorcycle tires seem to lose pressure in the winter.  Make sure your tires are at the proper PSI before every winter motorcycle ride.

The ultimate winter motorcycle tire

5 – More Tire Notes – Pay attention to the tread on your tires. Have the track day slicks on the bike, not a great idea for winter riding. Do not have much tread left? Not a good idea to go for a winter motorcycle ride. If you are going to be riding a lot of cold days, look for something that has a more rugged tread design.

4 – Install a Windshield – It is quite likely there is a windshield for your motorcycle.  If possible, find one and install it for your winter rides.  Not only will it reduce the wind it will also cut down on the splashing and spray from other vehicles. 

3 – Your Hands Need Attention – Your hands are out in the wind all the time and they are at the end of your circulatory system. Because of this they will get cold faster than the rest of your body. Heated grips help as well as a good set of windproof gloves designed to keep your hands warm. Pay close attention to the conditions of your hands so you can grab that clutch or break if you need to.

2- Heated Gear – If you plan on riding your motorcycle in cold weather a lot, invest in heated gear.  There is a lot of brands out there but make sure you purchase the one that will work best for you.  Can you plug it into your motorcycle, or do you need a battery pack?  Heated gloves, pants, jackets, base layers are all available, just figure out what works for your style of riding.

1 – Do not Ride if it is Below Freezing – Below freezing means ice will form. Below freezing means your bike might not perform as you expect.  Below freezing means it is just not worth the risk.

Ride on, Ride Safe

Comments
  1. Nice and informative article. During winter always check your tire pressure to avoid any accident. Happy to read this article.

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