Many people ask, “Can you ride a motorcycle in the winter?”
There’s no denying that the winter months in Canada can be brutal, but that doesn’t mean you have to lock up your motorcycle during the entire season. Even with winter weather like snow, ice, and cold air, it’s still possible to ride your bike.
However, if you plan to take your bike out for a spin while there’s snow and ice, you’ll want to exercise extra caution. Below, we explore four winter motorcycle safety tips.
1. Understand the Risks
While the answer to “Can you ride a motorcycle in the winter” is yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for every rider. Riding a motorcycle requires a level of physical fitness and overall good health.
Furthermore, your training, equipment, and risk management skills affect your ability to ride. During winter, these factors are even more vital. As such, you should consider the following winter risks:
- Road conditions: During winter, roads will likely worsen, even in the city or suburbs. Besides ice, snow, and frost, cinder, road salt, and sand can pose reduced traction.
- Low visibility: During winter, seeing ahead is much harder, and it’s usually harder for other drivers to see you. Motorcycle riders are accustomed to wearing black clothing, but this gear can blend in with winter. Instead, consider wearing brighter riding gear.
- Speed and following distance: People enjoy riding motorcycles for their speed. However, you should slow down and increase your following distance.
2. Choose the Correct Riding Gear
We explored why you should wear bright riding gear during winter. However, you should also choose the right clothing to keep you warm. Layering is essential, with some important clothing choices including:
- Thermal underwear
- Solid grip boots
- Zip-up fleece jackets
- Waterproof but breathable outer clothing
- Warm gloves, especially any with heated grips
3. Avoid Extreme Weather Conditions
There’s a big difference between riding a motorcycle with a bit of snow and cold air and riding a bike during or in a storm’s aftermath. So if you know there’s a chance of a storm, it’s best to stay off the road.
You should also monitor road conditions days following a storm to determine if riding is safe.
4. Select the Right Bike for Winter
If you want to ride your bike during winter, pick one that performs well during this chilly season. Some bike owners prefer choosing cheaper, used bikes with the idea that if they fall, they won’t lose as much money.
However, it’s better to prioritize safety over monetary value. Dual sport motorcycles generally offer excellent performance during winter.
Many bikes will also need grip studs, as it can be hard to break 15 mph without using them. Many grip studs cost $100 for a pack, making them a cheap investment.
For buying a used motorcycle that can handle winter weather, Canada Powersports Financing can help. Riders of Ottawa, Ontario, can call us today at (844) 531-0138 to explore other considerations when asking, “Can you ride a motorcycle in the winter?”