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Wintertime Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips

As the colder winter weather comes around, many motorcycle riders will put their bikes into storage. However, the reality is that you can still enjoy riding your motorcycle in the winter months. It just takes some extra safety precautions and specialized knowledge of winter driving to ensure that you do so in a safe manner. 

The Differences You Need to Know About

When it comes to wintertime motorcycle riding, there are many aspects of your ride that are going to be totally different than in the summertime or early fall. Riding at high rates of speed can be bone-chillingly cold. You’ll need to think about protecting yourself from conditions like frostbite and hypothermia by adding extra layers of insulation to your body.

The colder weather has a big impact on the way that your tires function. The rubber will actually shrink and decrease the tire’s ability to grip the road that you’re on. With less traction, you’ll need to rely on having adequate tread on your tires. It’s crucial to note that stopping will take longer during the winter than in the summer due to the physical changes of your motorcycle tires, not to mention any snow or ice on the road.

Preparing for a Winter’s Ride

You’ve learned that the cold winter weather can make it harder for you to control your bike and your body less capable of handling the conditions that arise. To combat these wintertime riding problems, you’re going to need a healthy mixture of adjusting your ride, mindset, and gear. 

Dressing adequately for winter riding starts with determining the amount of insulation that you require. Your body needs to be covered with layers of insulation to ensure that it stays warm during your riding. Otherwise, you’ll be less capable of turning and maneuvering your brakes as your fingers and body become chilled. 

You’ll want to pick out a moisture-wicking base layer and add insulation to it. Make sure that you end with a waterproof outer shell layer. The worst decision you can make is wearing clothing that allows you to get wet because it won’t be long until your body temperature drops significantly.

Apart from dressing appropriately, you’ll need to alter your driving techniques and mindset to ensure that you’re prepared to operate in the colder winter weather. To start out, you’ll want to realize that you’ll need longer stopping distances. Keep this in mind when you’re traveling behind other drivers on the roadway. 

Additionally, when the snow and other adverse weather conditions arise, it’s going to make you less visible to other drivers on the roadway. You may want to consider wearing bright colors or adding additional lighting to your bike so that other drivers can easily see you. 

Wintertime motorcycle riding is a whole different beast than traditional summertime riding. If you’re interested in keeping your bike out throughout the winter season, you’ll want to ensure that you take the extra safety precautions above into account. This will help to ensure that you stay safe on the roadway, regardless of the conditions.