For most motorcycle enthusiasts, winter is a time to be dreaded. It signals the onset of several months of unpredictable weather, high winds, and icy roads, all of which are significantly more dangerous for bikes than for cars or trucks, and usually forces riders to put their machines into storage until spring.
But for those motorcyclists lucky enough to live in areas where the roads remain relatively clear all year round, winter becomes just another riding season—albeit one that requires more effort to protect against the elements. Here are some tips for how to do so:
- Dress appropriately for the weather, beginning with a snug-fitting base layer and ending with a leather or windproof/waterproof outer layer to help you stay warm and dry during the ride.
- Use heated clothing, such as the WarmGear 12V black leather gloves, heated jacket liner, heated pants liner, and heated socks from CozyWinters, to help keep your blood circulating and maintain feeling in your hands and feet.
- Wear a balaclava under your helmet to protect your neck and face from the wind. You might also want to wear a half-mask over the balaclava to prevent your visor from fogging up and hindering visibility.
- Consider installing a windshield or wind deflectors on the bike to redirect the flow of frigid air away from your body.
- If you typically use racing tires on your bike, now is the time to revert to an all-season model. Riding with the right tires will improve traction and handling on a variety of road conditions at lower winter temperatures.
- Take a look at your engine oil as well. Some manufacturers recommend switching to thinner oil in the winter to aid with start-up and improve cold-weather performance.
By following these winter motorcycle tips, you can extend your riding season and get more enjoyment out of your bike no matter what the thermometer says. Just remember to exercise extra caution during your winter rides since car drivers probably aren’t expecting to see motorcycles at this time of year.