Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

8 Cold Weather Motorcycle Riding Tips

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2017 | Motorcycle Accident

With fall starting to settle in and winter right around the corner, you could find yourself riding in some less than optimal weather conditions. Winter riding during the winter months can present many different cold-weather riding challenges, from high winds to sudden rainstorms and icy roads, riding a motorcycle in these conditions becomes even riskier. Even if you have years of experience in cold weather winter riding, it only takes one slick patch in the road to lay your bike down and end your cold-weather rides.

If you have to ride your bike during the winter months, it is important to always monitor the weather forecast and prepare yourself for changing weather conditions. Riding in bad weather, such as rain, fog or high winds, can cause stress and fatigue, and will require some warm up after the ride. For some bad weather riding tips, read below.

Safety Tips

If you find yourself in bad weather while out on the road, there are some things bikers can do to stay safe.

  • On long hauls, be sure to take breaks periodically, at least once every two or three hours to rest and recharge. Riding in bad weather can cause you to tire out faster, so be sure to listen to your body and pull over for a stretch or a coffee when you feel the need.
  • Take your time, especially if visibility is poor. Match your speed to the distance you can see in front of you so that you have plenty of time to stop if the unexpected occurs in front of you. Avoid riding at night if you can. It is better to arrive a day late to your destination and spend a little extra on a hotel room than not arrive at all.
  • Having proper gear (windproof clothing like Goretex, snow tires, etc)
  • Follow proper traffic laws (don’t speed as there could be black ice, keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you, etc)
  • Avoid driving in the snow/check the weather before going for a ride
  • Always note if there is road salt or black ice, and have snow tires equipped if possible to negotiate potholes, corrosion, or even veering off-road
  • Dressing correctly by having warm base layers under your motorcycle gear, and layering protection which can help to ensure your riding gear can help you avoid frostbite. Your riding jacket can offer protection from both a motorcycle accident and from the cold-weather riding
  • Windscreens, visors, and handlebars with hand guards to keep the wind chill from riding from affecting your skin and blood flow, staving off frostbite for motorcycle riders with the right gear

Many of these items can be found on Amazon, or many other sites with motorcycling riding gear, and can allow you to extend your riding season.

Raining Conditions

When riding in the rain, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation suggests that you take extra care when applying your brakes or throttle. Try to do so as smoothly and gently as possible. Also, do not accelerate before you complete a turn. Take the time to plan ahead so that you can avoid any last-minute manoeuvres that might lead to an accident. In addition, be aware of potholes, oil slicks, concrete surfaces and railroad tracks when you are riding in wet weather.

Cold Conditions

The best thing you can do when riding in cold weather is to dress for it. Be sure you are wearing clothing to keep your hands, feet and torso warm. Be sure you have gauntlet-style gloves with a comfort rating that can resist the Kansas City cold. Also, a pair of high-quality motorcycle boots will help protect your feet. Wear an outer layer of clothing that is wind resistant and be sure you do not have any openings anywhere that will allow the cold in.

While the above tips can help keep you safe on the road, they cannot protect you from distracted or negligent drivers. Sometimes, it is completely impossible to avoid a motorcycle accident with a car or truck whose driver is not respectful of poor weather conditions. If this happens to you or a loved one, keep in mind that you might be able to take legal action or hire a Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney to recover any losses due to an accident.