It’s the time of year that I dread the most. Summer is done and now I have to ride my motorcycle in the cold winter. It becomes a totally different beast. Temperatures drop, road conditions change, visibility and being visible are major worries and staying dry is a real issue. That being said, it never stops me from riding. I am hardcore to the end, and I don’t think I will ever stop riding due to weather conditions. I have chosen motorcycles as my transportation and I’m sticking to it. Over the years I have, through trial and error of course, developed methods that keep me safe, warm, visible and dry.
Here are my tips to remember:
- Motorcycling + snow/ice = disaster. Only go out on your motorcycle when the roads are clear of snow and ice. Be sure that any ice that may have formed earlier (such as overnight) has completely melted away before you set out on your journey.
- Dress appropriately with insulated gear and ensure none of your skin is exposed. Heated gear such as heated vests, gloves, and grips can greatly help warm you up and make for a more comfortable ride.
- Take breaks more often and warm up with a hot cup of coffee / tea / hot chocolate. When taking a break, move around to get the blood flowing throughout your body with special attention to your hands and feet.
- Keep your hands warm and use your judgment to know when the conditions are unsafe. By the time the next motorcycling season comes around your skills will be sharp and your bike will be ready to go! Ride safe!
I have plenty of other pointers that over the years have helped me. The tips above are the basics and essentials. You can go a lot further, like buying and installing a windshield. Wind chill is a killer, your eyes tear and burn in the cold wind. The shield is a definite aid, but is a little pricey. You can install a heated seat. Once again a rather hefty investment, but depending on how much time you spend on your butt in the cold, it may be worth it. I always travel with heated inserts for my gloves and feet. I never start the journey with them, but use them once I have become colder. It’s a great injection of heat. And lastly, I always travel with a full rain suit. No matter what precautions you take, nothing is worse than riding and ending up with soaked clothing. At the first sight of rain, I am in my bright yellow rain suit. Invest in a good one. It’s truly a lifesaver.
Suffer for my passion. It keeps me alive and vital. I love riding in all conditions, some you just have to work harder at than others. I hope these little tidbits will keep you safe and warm.
Until Summer . . . . . .