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Many motorcyclists hang up their helmets when the temperature drops, but not all. Winter biking has unique challenges and a thrill all its own.
To prepare for winter riding, first check that your insurance policy covers year-round driving. Then plan carefully to stay warm and dry while riding in winter weather.
Riding dry and warm ensures that you stay alert with quick reaction time. Wind chill can really bring temperatures down. For example, on a moderate 50° day, riding at 40 mph drops the temperature that you’ll feel down to 26°, according to BikeRenews.com. If the temperature drops to 40°, it will feel like a frigid 10° at the same speed!
To combat cold and wet weather conditions, invest some time and money for winter riding safety:
Dress in layers. While sitting, your body won’t generate much heat, so it’s important to capture all warmth. Wear several overlapping layers, including at least one of fleece. Be sure that the top layer is made of a windproof material such as leather or nylon.
Buy quality gloves. Cold hands are stiff and sluggish with controls, and frostbite is a real danger. Choose gauntlet-style gloves that are waterproof and heat efficient. Always carry a spare, dry pair.
Keep your head warm. Wear a neck or pullover head warmer to keep cold air out of your helmet.
Invest in electrically heated clothing. Consider vests, jackets, pants and gloves that connect to your motorcycle’s electrical system. Check your owner’s manual to be sure that your vehicle can handle additional electric accessories.
Ensure visibility. Apply anti-misting spray to mirrors and visors to prevent fogging. Look for reflective materials on clothing for better visibility in shorter daylight hours.
Check Motorcycle for Cold Weather Readiness
Just as the rider must be ready for winter weather riding, your ride must be ready too:
Check tires. Check tire pressure regularly with an accurate tire gauge, and make sure tires have plenty of tread for best traction.
Maintain visibility. Keep all lights and reflectors clear of road salt film and dirt.
No matter how prepared you and your motorcycle are for winter driving conditions, accidents can happen, and your bills can really pile up while waiting for settlement. If you’re suffering from lost wages and excessive medical and other bills, consider a settlement loan from Any Lawsuit Loans to bridge the gap until you receive your settlement.
Adapt your Riding Style to Winter Conditions
Winter weather riding brings special challenges in surface conditions. Tires have less grip on snowy or icy roads. Adjust your style for a safe ride in these ways:
Warm up motorcycle. Let the motor run a little extra before starting out to get it up to operating temperature.
Take your time. Give vehicles ahead of you plenty of space for increased braking distances.
Look for road hazards. Watch for slippery wet leaves, tree branches and black ice patches on the road. Avoid standing water and slushy puddles – these could conceal dangerous potholes.
Watch for pedestrians. Anyone walking in windy or stormy weather may be concentrating on their own footing more than oncoming traffic.
Break for warmth. Stop frequently for rest and warm up breaks. Don’t ignore hypothermia signals such as numb fingers or toes, uncontrollable shivering or slower reactions. Take a break and sip a hot beverage.