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Motorcycle Tips for Riding in Winter

Nothing can prepare you mentally and physically for your first proper winter ride with the wind ferociously fast, the snow falling thick, and the cold seeping through your clothes right to your bones. You really must experience it for yourself to understand how extreme the weather can be for a motorcycle rider.

But you can do your research and best equip yourself for managing the situation when it happens. Here are our best tips for riding in the winter weather.
 
  • Layer your motorcycle clothing

Having a thick over jacket will simply not cut it when your riding in the bitter cold. Your best bet is to wear as many layers as you can providing you don’t feel restricted or uncomfortable. Wear base layers that allow your skin to breath and wick away moisture.

Don’t forget to have a waterproof outer layer too, there’s nothing worse than getting wet and being stuck in the cold.
 
  • Understand wind chill

If you check the weather before riding, good. But don’t assume that just because it says the temperature is 0 degrees, it’s going to feel like 0 degrees when your riding. If you’re riding at 20mph, the temperature is going to feel like -6. And if you’re riding at 45mph, the wind is going to feel like -9.
 
  • Be aware of salt

When the weather is cold and wet, treat salt like ice. Take your time round corners as it is easy to get washed out by not spotting salt on the road.
Salt is also the enemy of your motorcycle, as salt and dirt are flicked up onto the body of your bike be sure to wash it off. Otherwise you will find that come summertime, the body has started to rust.
 
  • Increase your personal space

As you’re riding along be aware that stopping distances can be increased ten-fold. Be aware that with darker mornings and darker evenings visibility is lower. Be aware that other road users can lose control of their vehicles just as much as you can.
 
Summary of Dos:
Signal early and clearly
Check your lights and tyre pressures regularly
Increase your braking distance
Buy warm and reflective clothing
 
Summary of Don’ts:
Don’t assume other drivers can see you
Don’t wear dark clothing unless you have reflective clothing too
Don’t ride fast in strong winds
Don’t underestimate leaves and patches of ice