Driving your car doesn’t get that much harder in winter, but a motorcycle is a different story. Because it relies on the weather a lot more than a car does, you can’t always go for a ride. Or can you? There’s absolutely nothing stopping you physically, but it’s not advisable. In case you do decide to go for a ride in the colder months, here are a few tips which might prove handy.
Lots of people store their main cars in the garage for the duration of winter, so why should the bike be any different. Instead of abusing your pride and joy during the winter, get something cheaper and smaller. A Honda CB500 or a Yamaha XJ600 are perfect for the job. They’re reliable, relatively cheap and have lots of parts available. You probably won’t use it every day, but it will definitely prove useful when you get the riding bug.
Heated grips are considered a luxury most of the time, however, the same can’t be said for the colder months in winter. They’re almost a necessity if you’re planning on riding for a longer period during low temperatures. It’s not just a comfort thing either. Cold, frozen hands are next to useless when operating the clutch and the brakes, so it can prove to be unsafe as well. If you don’t have heated grips from the factory, consider handlebar muffs (gloves). A lot of them are heated, and an ideal choice for winter.
Make sure you wear warm gear if you don’t want to freeze. We’re not talking about a sweater underneath your gear either. In addition to the heated solutions available, consider purchasing motorcycle waterproofs designed for the rain and thermal base layers which will keep the heat inside. Great pair of gloves are vital too. Warm gloves are amazing, but make sure they’re not so thick that they affect the way you operate the bike. If they act as a visor wiper, all the better.
Gear Part 2
Wear high visibility gear! It doesn’t matter if it looks sillier, as it may just save your life. Winter driving is especially hazardous for riders, as visibility is lower and the roads are black thanks to the rain. Whatever you do, don’t wear all black gear. It looks cool, agreed, but it isn’t practical in winter. Try to find some gear with patches of high-visibility material if nothing else.
The standard tires are probably useless in winter, just like with a car. Try to get your hands on some winter tires if you can. Studded tires are not that common and are overkill most of the time, but simple winter tires do miracles. Consider Dunlop’s Sportmax Roadsmart 2 or Michellin’s Pilot Road 3. Both provide excellent traction in wet and cold conditions. They make all the difference in the world, trust us.