Extreme weather riding, be it summers or winters is always risky. Sometimes even seasoned riders prevent going out in such conditions and will always suggest you to avoid the same if you are open for suggestions. But on the other hand, it is equally important to have a basic knowledge of riding skills to survive any kind of weather and in the report below you are about to find out top tips to ride safely in winters.
1. Layered fashion riding gears –
One of the most common mistake riders tend to make is gearing up in their usual format irrespective of the weather conditions outside. To survive the blistering cold without damaging your health you need to carefully choose your gear. Starting off with the base layers, always go for winter specific leg and sleeves inner layers, this base lining allows the skin to breath and keeps the moisture away. Your body is always sweating during the ride, and if you don’t put up base layers, that sweat can turn cold causing further damage to the body. Also, go for multiple layers instead of a single big one, the reason being if temperature changes, you can always add or remove the layers as per the need. When it comes to riding gears then there are some specific gear brands which make some really functional winter riding protection gears. So always have a pair of winter specific riding gear in your closet to tackle the roads when the temperature stumbles below the usual.
2. Prepare you motorcycle –
The second most important thing you can do after getting yourself kitted with some winter specific gears is prepping up your ride according to the weather. There are a dozen of winter modifications you can add including hand guards, long windshields, heated grips, anti-skid knobby tyres, and anti-freeze coolant. The first two additions will help deflect the cold breeze off the body and half the work is done. But make sure, the windshield you add as a mod should not be a tinted one as it may restrict visibility on the road. The heated grips will ensure that your palm stays warm. This feature is currently restricted mostly to the premium motorcycles but you can always get the same fixed from the local motorcycle modification market.
Later in the list, the anti-skid knobby tyre will make a colossal difference when it comes to riding in the snow or slippery conditions. The traction and grip on the roads is very much compromised during winters and it is mainly because the tyres get cold very faster and tend to lose grip because of the same. The hotter the tyre temperature is more traction you get and vice versa. So make sure to warm up the tyres through a quick acceleration and braking session. And also check on the tyre treads condition, the better and more visible the treads are, the more grip the tyres will have.
If your bike utilizes a water-cooled system then replacing your current coolant with anti-freeze liquid should be the first thing you should do to make your motorcycle survive the sub-zero temperatures.
Also, you can go for aftermarket LED Hazard lights (PnP Hazard Flasher available on Grandpitstop.com) on the bike, as they increase the motorcycle visibility in foggy situations and hence add to the overall safety.
4. Get yourself an anti-fog spray for helmets and windshields –
An anti-fog spray is a must for winter riding. Even a thin application of the same will protect you from any kind of mist or fog on your helmet visor or motorcycle windshield. Hence, it is highly recommended.
5. Maintain more distance, ride slow!
Riding on the snow laden roads can be far trickier even if you are a seasoned rider. Maintain more distance between the vehicles you’ve been following for more reaction time. Maintain more space than you would on a day with more traction and if you like to stick to bumpers of the cars ahead; it is time to change your riding habits for good.
Don’t be harsh on the brakes, especially if your motorcycle doesn’t have ABS, because locking up the wheels on such roads is a child’s play. Also watch for fresh cracks, black ice and slats which resembles even remotely of ice because it not just an enemy of metal but also traction. And if you see some crystallized appearance on the road corners, slow down and stay away!