Riding a motorcycle in the winter might seem a little off. It is cold, and there is no way to turn on the heater like in a car, the road is wet and slippery, and you are on two wheels which is far more dangerous.
Still, there are many bikers who enjoy riding their motorcycles in the cold season as well. So, yes, it is doable. However, there are some things you ought to consider before you hit the road in such weather conditions.
Local or state regulations
Even though it is physically possible to ride a motorcycle in the winter, the law might not allow you to do so. Different countries and states have different laws and regulations regarding this aspect.
There are some that do not allow this activity at all. Others demand having winter traction tires installed on the bikes during a specific period. Of course, there are also regions with no such regulations.
Just to be on the safe side, make sure you check with your local authority and find out if there are any requirements you need to meet before planning a motorcycle ride during the winter.
Be smart about it
Riding in the winter in regions where it is really cold and snowy is nothing like riding in the summer. And even though you take out your bike rarely, and miss it, you need to think of your safety first. There are certain conditions that make riding a motorcycle impossible.
Do not play Rambo, and make sure that the road is safe. If it is snowing, stay at home, take your car, or go where you need to go by bus. It is not worth gambling with your life. Just be patient, as better days are coming too.
It might seem strange that gloves are mentioned before any other type of equipment. Well, there is a good reason for it. Any motorcyclist will confirm that you want your hands to feel nice and warm. Some might even say that this is even more important than keeping your body warm.
The reason for this is that the hands and fingers are vital on a bike, as they are in control of the vital systems of your ride. The front brake lever, as well as the throttle grip, are operated by hand.
When you pick the gloves for winter, you should consider where you live and the temperatures in your area, your bike and whether you have grip protectors or a fairing, and also your tolerance to cold. Not being able to brake because your hands are frozen is not only terrifying but life-threatening.
If you have a helmet that came with a breath deflector, this is the time when you need to install it. You might remove it during the warm season, but not in the winter. This piece of equipment prevents mist and condensation from your breath to cover the visor.
This allows you to keep your view clean and sharp. In some areas, the breath deflector is used by motorcyclists all year long, but this depends on the weather conditions specific to a region.
Since the tires are the only physical contact between the road which is wet and cold and your bike, you need to ensure that they are suitable for the specific conditions. You need your tires to grip as much as possible.
Multi-compound tires handle corners very well, and they also offer excellent mileage when riding on straight roads. Experienced motorcyclists recommend getting a high-quality set of top-grade winter tires for your bike.
We did mention that keeping your hands warm is almost more important than keeping your body warm but that does not mean that you should dress light. You will need a suitable jacket, pants, as well as boots.
Make sure that your equipment keeps you warm enough until you reach your destination. Another very important thing to consider is that the materials need to be waterproof. Even if it is sunny outside, there is moisture in the air and you can face sudden weather changes. The last thing you want is to get wet while on the road.