Tips for Safely Enjoying Your Motorcycle in Cold Weather
Winter may be here, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pack your motorcycle away until warmer weather returns. As long as the roads aren’t snowy or icy, you can still safely operate your bike well into the winter. The trick, however, is staying safe and comfortable while doing so. To do that, keep the following tips in mind:
Head Home if it Snows – If you’re out for a ride and it starts snowing–or even just threatening to snow—play it safe and head home immediately.
Switch to Thinner Oil – Check your owner’s manual first because some bikes are designed to only work with one weight of oil regardless of the weather. Otherwise, switch to a thinner oil for optimal performance during cold weather.
Layer Up – To keep yourself warm, dry and comfortable while riding, get layered up. Start with a base layer of something like microfiber that will wick away moisture while remaining breathable. For your outermost layer, choose something that is resilient and windproof; nylon and leather are both great choices.
Stay Clear-Sighted – The combination of warm breath and cold air can quickly make a visor or sunglasses foggy. Avoid this by wearing a half mask inside your helmet. Beneath both of those, wear a windproof balaclava.
Hydrate –When we’re cold we don’t feel as thirsty as when we are hot, so there is a tendency to not drink enough. That can lead to fatigue, so stay hydrated.
Install a Fairing – Many riders add fairings to their bikes just for aesthetics. Consider adding one that’s functional too. When installed properly, it will route cold air away from your body. If a pre-made one isn’t compatible, have one custom-cut to suit your dimensions.
Use Regular Street Tires – If you use special race-type tires during the summer for their stickiness, switch back to regular ones for the winter. Regular tires develop grip during cold temperatures much more quickly than summer tires, so they are much safer.
Adjust Your Driving Habits – During the winter, increase visibility to ensure optimal reaction time. Try looking ahead about 15 seconds or so. Also, lengthen your following distance to account for potentially slick roads.
Take Advantage of Body Heat – Consider wearing a microfiber or silk base layer beneath your gloves to keep your hands as warm as possible, and use a neck warmer or balaclava to keep cold wind off of your neck and head.
Use Electric Gloves and Vests – If you plan to go on extended rides, extra heat will be necessary. Invest in electric gloves and an electric vest, which use the bike’s electrical system for heat, to stay warm regardless of how long you ride.
Just as in the summer, drive defensively at all times. If you end up being involved in an accident while riding your motorcycle this winter, please give me a call at the Law Office of Gary Poole Law Office for a free consultation. You can also Visit our website today to learn more.
Gary Poole – North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney “On the Side of Those Who Ride”