If the radio is playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” then there are special precautions you need to take when riding your motorcycle. You always need precautions like a helmet on your bike, just because bike riders are more vulnerable than people in any other type of vehicle. But the danger is greater when it’s cold, and especially when it’s snowing or sleeting.
Here are the top 3 tips for driving in dangerous winter weather conditions.
1. Dress in layers.
First, you want to make sure you are dressed warmly enough. Especially on a long ride in cold weather, you could suffer frostbite if you aren’t. We’re talking layers, too, because layers will wick moisture away from you, so you don’t sweat as well as get cold.
You need gloves, socks, boots as well as pants and sweaters – and, of course, a coat.
You might also think of investing in heated clothing, made specifically for motorcyclists. This is an especially good idea if you like the idea of motorcycle trips in clear but very cold weather, to see how scenic it can be in our region during the winter.
2. Slow down. Way down.
Winter weather presents challenges to all vehicles on the roads, because icy conditions and wet conditions raise multiple dangers. As we said up top, the dangers are magnified on a motorcycle, because you are not cushioned or inside a vehicle like cars, vans, and trucks are.
Ice can cause you to spin out. So can black ice, which, of course, is invisible to the naked eye. Sleet or snow on the roadway can do the same. You can lose traction in less dramatic ways from all of these conditions, too. Let’s be clear. Bad weather can kill you.
In addition, you have to deal with all the other vehicles on the road also dealing with these conditions. They can spin out and total you. They can cause havoc.
Slowing down gives you a chance to be able to stop in a reasonable, safe way without losing traction or losing control of your bike.
Don’t. Drive. In. Snow.
Yes, snow may be beautiful to watch. But it’s simply not safe to drive in. If the forecast calls for snow, don’t drive a motorcycle. If it starts snowing, go home or even to a hotel as quickly as you can. It’s slushy and not safe for motorcycles to drive in. Ever.
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- Lieback, Ron. 7 Tips for Winter Motorcycle Riding. November 14, 2013. Ultimate Motorcycling. https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2013/11/14/seven-tips-winter-motorcycle-riding/.
- Max, Josh. 5 Tips for Riding A Motorcycle Through Winter. Forbes. January 27, 2016. https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2013/11/14/seven-tips-winter-motorcycle-riding/.