In the United States, winter lasts from November through February. During this period, the temperature is at its lowest. The nights are incredibly long in contrast to the short days. The winter snow worries motorcycle owners the most. Both the motorcycle and owner experience difficulty so much that most motorcycle riders abandon their bikes during the season. This is not the time for amateur riders to pick up bikes; you have to be highly skilled before riding motorcycle in winter. If this is not the case, then prepare to count your losses. If you're considering riding your motorcycle the next winter, here are some important things to note:
Riding a motorcycle in winter is dangerous
It is hazardous to steer a motorcycle during winter. Riding motorcycle in winter is beyond climbing the bike and directing it wherever you please; you should know the harsh effect this season has on bikes. You have to be able to manage the associated risks before attempting such action.
Can you cope with the freezing temperature, the turbulent winds, and foggy roads?
If you feel brave enough, here are some tips to guide you:
Do not go beyond 50 mph
It is not easy to concentrate when riding because the chilly weather and the climate may weaken you. To maintain a safe and optimum performance, keep the speed levels low. Going above 50 mph is risky and exposes a rider to accidents.
Do not drive when the wind is at its strongest
Have a habit of checking the weather and the forecast before going out with your motorcycle. A strong wind could blow you and your automobile off the road. Wind interference is one of the major causes of accidents during winter. Never underestimate crosswinds. Riding in a snowstorm is risky.
You must be in good health before you try driving in the winter
When you drive your motorcycle during winter, your chance of becoming hypothermic is high. This is because of the prolonged exposure to cold. It could be fatal when it is left untreated.
Ensure you get weather appropriate clothing
You move against the wind when you drive, and the cold hits you with force depending on the speed you move with. Dressing for a ride is more complex than the average winter clothing. Layering is imperative for the ride. Do not forget your riding gear and jacket. Liner gloves or heated gloves could serve to protect your hands. They are not as cheap as hand warmers, but they are definitely better. Your riding suit should be airtight for better protection. The jacket and trousers have to be leather or other protective materials that are waterproof. It is much better to be overdressed than to be underdressed when riding during winter.
Don't drive without a windscreen
You do not know how much of a savior your windscreen can be to your face. They shield you from the winds.
Avoid black ice
Beware of black ice wherever the temperature is above freezing. They are almost invisible and usually found on bridges and shades. Do not grip the brake when you are on it. Potholes are also hazardous, especially when they are covered with thin ice. The roads could be more slippery during the season. It must not have black ice on it before it slips. Be prepared for this, so you do not risk sliding.
Sound vision is vital
Your eyes must be sound before you give a thought to driving during the season. Good Vision is a prerequisite. Also, your helmets should come with some comfy pads and pin-lock visors. Do not forget to use anti-misting sprays on the visors and goggles.
Go for a heated seat and eat carbs
It keeps your body warm and helps you drive for a longer period. It is one way to get relief when driving in winter. Heated socks are also helpful. Junks and simple carbs are no; instead, go for energy-giving foods like complex carbs and proteins. Alcohol should also be crossed out. Your brake light is what makes you visible to other riders. Use it to avoid being hit by other riders close by.
How to store motorcycles for winter
Storing motorcycles during winter is just as hard as driving them. You need to know how to store motorcycle for winter before even purchasing one. Here are some tips:
- Have every surface of the motorcycle cleaned up thoroughly. Apply oil to the internal parts. Check that the parts are lubricated before the season. Replace the oil. Remove the spark plugs and pour in a little oil from a tablespoon. Turn the engine over a few times and fix the plugs. Have the bike warmed up before lubricating the chain. Fill the tank almost to the brim. Adding a fuel stabilizer helps to prevent the tank from rusting. If the tank is not filled up, the chances of it getting rusted are high. Applying fogging oil while the tank is empty also helps. Fill it up after that.
- Have the batteries charged regularly. Do not forget that the batteries should be turned on according to instructions. If not, the battery cells would stop functioning well. You can choose to remove the battery entirely if you won’t be using the motorcycle for a long time.
- Have the motorcycle up on its stands. The tires should not rest on the floor. This is to avoid wear, patches, and flat-spotting.
- You can use exhaust plugs and plastic bags for the exhaust pipes. You do not want rodents playing inside your motorcycle.
- Wax the exterior of the bike. Use breathable covers to cover your bike. Do not use plastic covers. Whatever cover you use should not hold in moisture. Whether you store it at home or in a rental, the motorcycle should be kept away from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Motorcycle Winter Tires are a must-have
People in the US, especially those in the northern part of the country, are advised to use winter tires when it is snowy. Motorcycle winter tires are specially meant for when the temperature is at its lower levels. The tires make the motorcycle steady and safer to use. It also enhances traction. You should always look out for grip whenever you want to buy winter tires. A good number of them are rated ‘M+S’ for ‘Mud’ and ‘Snow.’
If your idea of adventure involves riding a motorcycle in winter, or you have no choice but to use it as a means of transportation, you need to protect yourself and your motorcycle. If you adhere to the tips above, you can be guaranteed a great amount of safety. You should also check out some of this motorcycle gear for your winter riding experience.