4 Tips for Motorcycle Riding in Cold Weather
Whether you got stuck in the rain on a dreary day or you are a cold weather riding enthusiast, it is imperative that you equip yourself with helpful and even life-saving riding tips to protect you on the road. If you live in an area like the suburbs of Toronto, you are going to be doing a lot more cold weather motorcycle riding than someone who lives in Arizona or Alabama. Wherever you live, if you know you will be doing a fair amount of riding when the weather is dreary and cold or even a bit snowy, then it is important to implement these four safety tips that will improve your motorcycle riding experience.
- Layers, Layers, and More Layers Part 1 (The Inner Layer): We say layers over and over again because you are going to need multiple layers. If you anticipate weather conditions with temperatures in the 20’s or teens, you definitely don’t want to be caught on the road with improper clothing and gear. Seasoned cold weather riders know that the key to a safer and more enjoyable cold weather experience is to not only have layers of clothing, but the right kinds of layers. Start with your base layer: this should be a full leg and full sleeve outfit. There are lots of apparel companies designed specifically for motorcycle riding or even options that you can find through Under Armor that will help you. A base layer is so important because when you are riding, even in the cold, your body will be sweating and you don’t want that sweat to turn into freezing cold moisture. By having a base layer, the cold perspiration can be “wiped away” in a sense or evaporated instead of caught on your body. In addition to a full sleeve and full leg base layer, you should invest in some socks that will also cause cold moisture to evaporate. Next, you want a second layer that will insulate you. This could be something like a fleece that properly covers all areas of your upper body, including your neck. For extremely cold temperatures, bring a third mid-layer with you in case you have to stop off somewhere and put that on.
- Layers, Layers, and More Layers Part 2 (The Outer Layer): Once you have the appropriate inner layering of clothes, it’s time to gather the outer layers. You want a jacket that allows for breathability as well as waterproof protection. Your boots should also be breathable, but fully waterproof. Next, you need to find some winter weather gloves. Some riders wear two pair of gloves: a waterproof outer layer as well as a heated inner layer, although you might find this isn’t necessary for you. Lastly, you might want to invest in an outer neck warmer since a basic fleece with neck coverage might not be enough.
- Protect the Head and Eyes: Helmets and riding glasses aren’t technically clothes, so we will cover this part of body protection in this section. Since we are talking about cold weather riding, an open-face helmet isn’t going to be a good idea. If you don’t already have one, invest in a full-face helmet with a face shield that can open and close. You should also make sure that your helmet properly insulates your head, but also allows for ventilation. Lastly, it is imperative that your helmet comes with anti-fog protection since your helmet would otherwise definitely be fogging up while you are on the road. In addition to your helmet, you will want to invest in a pair of protective eye wear, preferably something with tinted lenses. Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean the sun won’t be out. During your cold weather riding days, anticipate bright, glaring sunlight and have the right eye wear to protect your vision from this. Wiley X offers plenty of motorcycle riding eye wear that is designed specifically for shielding your eyes in extreme conditions, such as rain or even snow.
- Inspect Your Motorcycle and Prepare for Cold Conditions: Every time you hop on your bike on a particularly cold day, you always want to conduct a brief, yet thorough inspection first. If you have a motorcycle that is water-cooled, take a look at your anti-freeze to make sure it has been mixed the right way and is fresh. After checking your anti-freeze, take a look at your hoses to make sure nothing is broken or looks out of place. Additionally, you should consider investing in some specific bike protections against harsh elements such as hand guards and a wide windscreen. Lastly, just as you would put winter tires on your vehicle, so too should you put winter tires on your motorcycle. Since you will be riding during the colder seasons, you need tires that can handle slippery, wet roads or even roads that are covered in ice and snow.
Looking for more advice on how to prepare for riding in cold weather or other extreme environments? Don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions that you might have. You can also keep reading our other blog posts for more free resources or visit our official website to browse our vast selection of prescription and non-prescription eye wear designed for motorcycle riding and other activities. We are committed to helping men, women, and children find the eye wear they need to enjoy their work and leisure activities in a safer, more comfortable way.