March 4th, 2014
Most motorcycle owners love the feeling of the wind on their face and being out on the open road. However, when the weather turns cold, many pack up their bikes for the winter and wait it out. While a lot of riders don't want to venture out in snow and freezing temperatures, there are those who will ride no matter what. Even with motorcycle insurance, riding in the winter can be a dangerous feat. If you find yourself taking your motorcycle out in the winter, here are a few safety tips to make the most out of your ride:
One of the biggest dangers while riding in the winter is the cold. When the temperature dips below freezing, you are more vulnerable to frost bite. Fortunately, there are many different types of motorcycle gear to keep you warm. In the winter, the best way to stay warm is to dress in layers that will protect your skin. Be sure to have on comfortable base layers that cover your arms and legs fully. Synthetic materials are often better than cotton, which does not pull moisture away from the body when you sweat. On top of your base layers, add midlayers that can create an insulation barrier from the cold before putting on your jacket. Be sure to wear gloves, socks and a helmet that will keep you warm.
Some motorists have a hard time seeing motorcycles on the road in perfect weather, but in winter conditions, it can be even more difficult. To make yourself as visible as possible to other drivers, be sure to keep your lights on while on the road. You can also wear reflective clothing on the outside of your layers that will help you stand out. Do not ride in a car's blind spot and make your intentions like turning or slowing down as obvious as possible. In addition to other cars having a harder time seeing you, your vision could be impaired by winter weather. Be aware of the road conditions and wear protective eye gear to see better.
Check your tires
When temperatures drop, your tires will also become colder. Many drivers already know that colder tires can lead to less traction on the road and a greater chance that you will slide. Be sure to check your tire pressure so that it will grip the road as best as possible. It is also important you check the tread to ensure your tires are not too worn down from riding before heading out.
Winter roadsWhen the road freezes and unfreezes, more hazards can crop up on the street. One of the biggest winter hazards for your bike is potholes. Potholes can be a major threat to motorcycles and driver safety, so be sure to keep an eye out and avoid running over them when possible. In addition to potholes, there are other obstacles that might be in the road. Remember that motorcycles were not designed for winter riding and you could run into trouble riding over salt meant to melt ice. You could lose traction easily, so be wary of salt littered on the road.