Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips
Some folks are just not ready to put their motorcycle away for the cold season, and that's ok.
If you're a frosty-weather enthusiast looking to gear up during the cold season, here are some tips for winter motorcycle riding:
Layer Your Motorcycle Gear
Layering your apparel keeps you warm, but also gives you the versatility to shed layers if they get a little too warm. Start with a good base layer, then add on some wool or other warm layers of apparel.
Heated Motorcycle Grips
Consider buying some heated motorcycle grips. Heated grips can be easily installed, and they're a great way to provide additional protection for your hands while you ride.
Check Your Battery's Voltage
Heated apparel and accessories are great for keeping warm while riding during the winter, but keep in mind that some draw electrical power from your motorcycle's battery.
Make sure your motorcycle battery can handle the additional load of these accessories by checking how much wattage your bike generates, and how much the electrical system on the motorcycle pulls. Don't add on too many heated accessories without knowing first what effect they will have on your motorcycle's electrical power.
Watch the video above to learn more about motorcycle battery types and how to charge them.
Check Your Motorcycle's Tires
Cold tires can lose air pressure as the air inside them contracts, so use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure often.
Tires can lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure for every 10-degree temperature drop. Lower air pressure can lead to cupping, where you get a wear pattern on the sides of the contact patch but not as much in the middle.
Riding in cold weather causes grip reduction. Heat is what helps tires generate the amazing grip they produce in optimum conditions. Good tires don't really start gaining grip from the heat until the tire gets to about 135 degrees.
You can get some heat in the tires through braking and acceleration, which causes friction. But when it's cold, heat quickly dissipates, so take it easy when riding in chilly weather. Also, be sure to check the tread depth to make sure your tires can channel water in rain or snow.
Watch the video above to learn how to inspect motorcycle tires for tread wear.
Winterizing Your Motorcycle
Although this article is meant to offer helpful tips for riding during the winter, depending on where you live, there may come a time where extreme cold weather conditions force you to put your motorcycle away for the season. If Mother Nature tells you it's time to put your bike away, listen to her!
Watch the video above for helpful tips on how to winterize your motorcycle.