Winter motorcycle riding is not the same as summer, in fact, there are many things that you have to keep in check if comfortable riding is the goal. As soon as the winter starts tiptoeing its time to bring a change in your motorcycle and gear from motorcycle vests to jackets. First things first, riding against the chilled wind is a simple and straight suicide mission. Base layers are important, properly insulated and warm gloves are crucial, and will also need a pair of thermal socks with motorcycle boots. Do these and you most probably save yourself from hypothermia. Hours of research and after a successful error and trial method I have come across a few things that are necessary for winter motorcycle riding.
Motorcycle Gear and layering
For a comfortable winter riding, on motorcycles, layering is the golden rule. The base layers should be breathable and moisture-wicking because it will help the moisture getaway instead of making it cold and turning it into a nightmare. As base layers, there are many options available in the market a fleece jacket would be good if you are comfortable.
Mid-layers are not often needed but if so, a woolen sweater or hoodie can do. Then comes the outer most layers, it would be better if these are waterproof and breathable. Breathable because if not, it will become a hot bath and when the cold wind touches the body hypothermia is what you get. Heated motorcycle jackets are a thing if you want to check it out. For the hands and feet, insulated and warm motorcycle gloves and thermal socks with motorcycle boots, respectively. Alter your normal handle grips with heated ones if you still feel cold and uncomfortable. Of course, the outer and mid-layers have to be warm and completely covering the body motorcycle jackets with liners or fur inside will do the work. Gloves can also be worn in layering fashion. Cover yourself properly, neck warmers, scarfs, and a helmet might seem like unimportant things but they are not.
Preparing the Motorcycle for Winter
Preparing your bike according to the season will result in a better and comfortable ride. For instance, windshield, wind guards (for hands), and lower wind deflectors. Heated grips are very nice, you won’t even need layers of gloves with them. And now for the water-cooled biker guys. Be sure to regularly change and maintain your anti-freeze fluid. Check all hoses, brake fluid, and wires.
Our motorcycle tires also just like humans, in winter. Cold tired limit the traction but as you ride more and more tires do get hot and the traction increases and as you stop, they get cold again, back to square one. Obviously riding more will warm up the tires but accelerating and decelerating quickly repeatedly while being aware of the traction. The tires should also have enough tread for winter, done penny-pinch on things like these. Always keep the tire pressure in check, which is not the same as summer, but you know it right.
Save Tires and Yourself
Avoid the cracks, salt, and ice, usually, new cracks are formed by plow trucks. Salt is not the only enemy of metal but also traction, in addition, make sure to wash your bike whenever you have time because rust does not look good on bikes. Stay away from the ice, whether it be black or white it just nullifies the traction to none. Again, here tire pressure is important or cracks will eat your rims.
It simply means to keep your eyes open and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. During foggy weather decrease your speed and keep the lights on. Looking further down the road will let you know of the threats and react to it quickly and better. Don’t go quick and very hard on the breaks, especially the front brake on corners. Tailgating is against the law and stupid. More the speed more should be the distance in-between.
Riding in Snow Fall
No, don’t ride when its snow falling, unless it is a matter of life and death. Before leaving the house, you are seeing the forecast and put on winter tires.