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Winter Riding Tips
While many motorcycle owners choose to store their bikes for the winter, it can be difficult to come to terms with keeping your ride locked away for that long. Instead of locking your motorcycle up all winter, you may choose to keep using it when the weather is nice enough to ride. After all, riding a motorcycle can be a good reminder of warmer weather and it may help lift your spirits enough to get through a cold winter.
That said, riding a motorcycle in the winter can be dangerous, especially if you are unprepared. For that reason, today’s post will provide some winter riding tips for those motorcyclists who can’t keep their rides locked away all winter. Read on for insight from the RC Components team, and be sure to browse our site when you need custom motorcycle wheels and accessories.
Avoid Riding When It Is Icy or Snowy
While this first tip may seem obvious, it is by far the most crucial. Your safety is paramount when riding, which is why you should do your best to completely avoid riding in the snow and ice. Motorcycles were not made to handle these conditions and even an expert rider can find themselves in an extremely dangerous scenario while riding in the snow or ice. Many motorcyclists can handle riding in the winter, but you should probably choose a different means of transportation when it begins to snow.
Sometimes riding in the snow or ice is unavoidable. Perhaps you forgot to check the weather before a trip or an unexpected snowstorm hit your area after you arrived at work. Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself caught in conditions you did not plan to ride in, then be sure to slow down, increase your following distance, and let other motorists pass at the nearest safe stop.
By slowing down, you give yourself more time to react to the traffic and road conditions ahead of you. Slower speeds also expose riders to less windchill, meaning you will stay warmer on your motorcycle. Moreover, traveling at higher speeds can make it more challenging to control a sudden loss in traction, and if you do happen to wreck, higher speeds will just make the situation more dangerous for you.
Remember not to speed up or slow down abruptly, as doing so could cause you to lose traction on ice. The way you ride your bike through winter conditions will do the most to ensure that you manage the situation safely. Be sure to know your limits and use extra caution so you and your motorcycle make it safely to the summer.
Use the Right Tires and Check Them Often
Any experienced motorcyclist will tell you that you should not cut corners when you buy tires for your motorcycle. High-quality tires are crucial to safe riding in the summer, and they become even more essential if you choose to ride in the winter. You definitely want to have high-quality tires on your motorcycle if you ride in the winter, and you may even consider investing in winter tires. While winter motorcycle tires are relatively rare, there are some on the market for riders who want to brave the elements.
You will also want to inspect your tires frequently in the winter. Check the tread and wear indicators before each ride, as well as the tire pressure. Be sure to use a gauge when checking tire pressure in the winter, as properly-inflated tires can be the difference between a motorcycle that is under control and one that has lost traction. Colder weather means that your tires will naturally have less pressure, so you may want to air them up before heading anywhere.
To be safe on the roads, it is essential to ensure that your motorcycle is ready to ride before every trip, and checking the tires is a crucial first step. You will want to plan any trips out before departing so that you can be certain that you have plenty of opportunities to stop and check on your bike. It is also wise to get familiar with a motorcycle towing service in case you encounter conditions you or your motorcycle aren’t prepared for.
Wear Gear in Layers
You may not realize how cold riding a motorcycle in the winter can get. Windchill makes rides uncomfortable, exposed skin can become frostbitten, and riders can even suffer from hypothermia. Whether it is snowing outside or not, you will want to wear layers while riding in the cold temperatures of the winter.
When it comes to staying warm and avoiding windchill, it is essential to wear riding gear in layers. Start with a warm thermal layer to cover your midsection, arms, and legs. Next wear winter clothing of your choice, but be sure to consider the temperature outside and how much windchill you will experience while riding. Finally, wear your riding gear on top of those two layers, being sure not to leave skin exposed.
At this point, we should mention that you will want a good pair of gloves for winter riding. Make sure they are warm and give you enough grip to ride in the elements. You may also consider looking into heated gear if you plan on riding in the cold often, and every rider planning on using their motorcycle in the winter should invest in a fog-free face shield.
Clean Your Motorcycle Often
Finally, riding in the winter often means riding in humid conditions. In order to keep your motorcycle in good shape, you will want to clean it frequently in the winter. This will keep rust from forming and it will give you a good chance to inspect the motorcycle for any damage or wear that could cause problems on the road. By cleaning your motorcycle, you make it look fantastic and last longer.
Hopefully today’s blog post has helped you prepare for any future winter riding in your plans. If you plan on playing things safe and storing your bike this winter, then be sure to check our site in the future for tips on winter storage. RC Components has been crafting custom motorcycle wheels since 1989, and we are proud to be at the forefront of the industry. Explore our site to learn more about our products!