If you’re a proud motorbike owner living in a cold place, you know how difficult it is to ride during winter. The icy breeze, and the snowy roads, might be too much for your bike to handle. This raises the question, are winter bike rides even possible? Or are they just fantasies?
Let us start by saying that it is indeed possible to ride your motorcycle during winter. You just have to take the right precautions, and we’ll show you how. With our tried and tested guide, which we prepared with Zemotor, you’ll be a world-class winter rider in no time!
How To Travel On Your Bike During Winter
As a winter rider, you’ll be doing things differently than those soft summer bikers who think they’re the bomb. No, you’ll put yourself and your motorcycle through the worst weather conditions. As you know, the weather will not be a friend to you and will throw everything it can to mess with your ride. But don’t worry; as long as you’re prepared, you won’t be skidding off your motorbike anytime soon.
Our training comes in two parts; first, you must prepare yourself for the journey ahead. This means gearing up with the right clothing and winter fighting armor to keep you warm and comfy. Then, you have to run a couple of preparations for your motorcycle.
Related Read: Best Type of Winter Boots
Preparations For The Rider
You might be used to doing 100 miles per hour during summers, but that’s not going to work now. Winters are harsh, more so for bikers, so make sure you’re geared up for it. To ride your bike during winter, you’ll have to warm yourself up with multiple layers of clothing. A single T-shirt and a jacket aren’t going to cut it. Simply put, you’ll need to layer up!
Starting with the inner layer, we suggest putting on a thermal shirt as a base. It will ensure you’re shielded from wind seeping through your jacket’s openings. Let’s face it; even if it’s freezing outside, you’re bound to sweat sooner or later due to your layers of clothing. That’s why it’s important to wear thermal clothing inside to soak it up when needed. Make sure you wear full sleeves and full-leg inners underneath your pants.
Get yourself an insulated jacket to wear on top of the thermal shirt. This middle layer will keep your body temperature warm while you’re out in the cold. Pick something wooly so that you aren’t uncomfortable during your rides. Finally, top it all off with an incredibly thick jacket on the outside; yes, it’s double jacket time! The point of the outer jacket is to combat the harsh wind, so go for something rugged and waterproof.
And, of course, don’t forget to slide in a set of winter gloves to protect your hands. The roads will be slippery this time of the year, so put on some hardy boots so you don’t slip.
Preparations For The Motorbike
Motorbikes aren’t always in the best shape during winter. Bikes are usually equipped with batteries and fluids meant to run in warm conditions. So if your bike’s been sitting in one place the whole time, you’ll definitely have to do some check-ups.
Try starting up the bike and see if there’s any delay in the ignition, which is quite common during winter. If your bike has difficulty starting up, you should replace the batteries. Moreover, the oil used in motorbikes becomes thicker during low temperatures, but not many people know this. So you might want to consult your mechanic about getting thinner oil.
If you want to go out riding in the cold, you must ensure your bike is well-maintained. Many areas use road salt to clear the terrain during winter; the corrosion becomes a problem for vehicles. So make sure you outfit your motorbike with a pair of winter tires and wash it before taking it out.
Being out on the roads during winter increases the possibility of encountering some on-road trouble. This is especially true if you’re planning on riding along the highways. If your motorcycle isn’t well maintained, or if the cold gets too thick, your bike might break down on the road. So always ensure you have a towing service number with you.
Related Red: Tips for Traveling Long Distances in Motorcycle
Tips For Riding Your Bike During The Winter
So now that you’ve got all the preparations right, you’re ready to kick off that ignition and be on your way. But not so fast; you need to be aware of the various things you’ll encounter on the road. After all, it’s not going to be easy peasy like it is during summer, so it’s better to be prepared for any challenge.
Warm Up Your Tires
Your bike’s tires will stay warm during summer but will definitely get cold in the winter. Cold tires mean less traction on the road, which could result in some difficulties. So make sure you warm up your tires by riding around the neighborhood for a few minutes before setting out.
You also have to keep your tires in mind while on the road. Stopping at a red light for a minute can easily cool down your tires again. So make sure you don’t dash off after each stop; take it slow and increase your speed gradually.
Watch Out For Cracks
Driving in the winter means encountering icy pits, road salt, and cracks on the road. It’s safe to say you won’t be able to ride like a daredevil unless you want to get into an accident.
Road visibility during winter is quite low, so be alert and watch out for what’s ahead and below. Stay away from cracks, carefully maneuver your way around pits, and avoid driving over road salt.
Keep Your Distance
The slippery winter roads make it difficult to make quick maneuvers; attempting it will definitely make your tires skid. Hitting the brakes suddenly, making speedy turns, and overtaking people ahead will just end in disaster. So avoid the need to do them, and keep your distance from other vehicles in the front and behind.
Remember, winter isn’t the time to be a daredevil on the streets. Take things slowly, like it’s your first date. Always make sure your tires, engine, visors, and rearview mirrors are in good condition.
Warm your bike up by riding around the neighborhood for a few minutes, and always keep in mind how cold or hot your tires are. Never make hasty attempts to overtake someone on the road, and always maintain a safe distance. Just follow the tips we talked about, and you’ll be a winter rider in no time.