Riding in Cold
Riding a Motorcycle or Powersport Vehicle In Cold Weather
Plan ahead to safely ride a motorcycle or powersport vehicle in cold weather
Use Extra Caution when Riding in Cold Weather
Not all states have ideal riding weather all year long. For those hardcore riders who ride regardless of the weather conditions – we salute you! It’s tough and not everyone can do it. The great thing about modern technology is that it allows more and more people to ride in extreme weather conditions. The cold itself is dangerous, as wind chill will actually make it much colder, but the cold can be tamed with these modern innovations. Cold temperatures can cause riding fatigue quickly, so never go past your breaking point. Road conditions however, cannot be controlled and extreme caution should be taken. Always take precautions seriously when attempting to ride during cold weather.
- Check the overall condition of your ride. Inspect tires, brakes and cable systems to be sure they are in proper working order (proper tire inflation, brake and cable systems overlook and wind protection if possible).
- Cold weather will greatly affect the performance of startup. Warm up your bike before taking off.
- Electric riding gear and riding suits are best suited for cold conditions. Electric riding gear plugs into the motorcycle and electric coils warm the clothing. It works very well to keep riders warm in the coldest conditions. A full one piece riding suit works great as well and electric versions are even warmer. Don’t forget to disconnect from the vehicle before getting off or you may fall or over your motorcycle. Electric gloves and boots are good at keeping your extremities warm.
- Anti-fogging spray and lenses should be used in eyewear as your body heat may fog up lenses and affect your visibility.
- Armor should be worn to protect the rider if the bike was to go down. Armor will skid along the road, whereas clothing may just rip.
- Knobby tires and crash bars will help with slippery riding conditions. Knuckle guards will keep the wind off your hands.
- Windshield and windscreens are very effective for wind protection as well as preventing road debris from flying up into the rider’s face.
- Road conditions are the biggest danger, but other dangers are riding temperatures. Just as riding in Fall conditions, the same type of debris plus snow and ice are present in Winter riding.Stay away from any leaves/gravel/sticks and absolutely try to stay clear of snow and ice. Black ice is almost invisible and very hard to avoid. Powering through ice is usually better than applying brakes, as you will start to skid when brakes are applied. If you do skid, stay calm and keep the vehicle from fishtailing. Let off the brakes slowly and keep the ride straight.
- If riding in snow, stop frequently to check if there is snowpack in the wheels or other parts of the vehicle.
- When backing a motorcycle along a snowbank, be careful not to plug the exhaust with snow. It will make it very hard to start the vehicle.
Planning ahead will be your biggest asset when riding in winter conditions. The route should be planned and all of the gear should be checked for working order beforehand. It is not advised to ride in snow or ice conditions, but no one can stop the free will of a rider. Ride safe and ride smart.