Riding a motorcycle in the winter season is considerably different than summer riding. The harsh winds, chilly atmosphere, and foggy roads make navigation difficult for motorbike riders. While following general safety rules is necessary, there are a few extra factors that a motorcycle rider should consider when riding in cold weather. Here are some winter riding tips for motorcycles.
Make your presence known with brake lights
During the winter season, the roads are covered with fog. Particularly on highways where cars pass faster, the going becomes problematic if the rider cannot see correctly far ahead of the road. The foggy weather makes it very difficult to see other vehicles, even those just in front of you.
To prevent hitting from behind by a vehicle whose rider did not notice you or your motorbike until the last second, brake lights come in handy. Brake lights indicate that the vehicle is slowing down.
The rear light of the motorbike serves as a strong indication to the vehicle behind you of your presence. Red light is more visible than bikes and colors.
Ensure that your brake lights are in good functioning order. No broken or flashing light will help. If they are not in optimal functional condition, repair them. Brake lights are significantly more crucial than we realize, particularly during the winter.
Use brakes in every five minutes
If the road you're riding on is too foggy, you must make your presence extremely clear to the vehicle behind you. You may use brake lights. However, the brake lights will not light until you press the brakes.
That is why you must continually use the brakes to turn the rear brake lights on and off. It will also alert vehicles behind you. Additionally, it will lead the vehicles behind to slow down.
Now, a single brake application is insufficient, and it would only help if you continually reminded everyone behind you of your existence. Apply the brakes regularly, and a 5-minute interval should be the ideal frequency.
By braking, you're also able to maintain a constant slower pace than you would have teed off in the summer. Keeping a slower pace is critical while riding in the winter since the cold affects your ability to focus.
Maintain a two-second safe following distance
The two-second rule is straightforward. The gap between you and the vehicle ahead should equal the distance you can cover in two seconds at your current speed.
For instance, if you are traveling at 36 kilometers per hour, your speed is 0.6 kilometers per minute, equating to a speed of ten meters per second. You can cover a distance of 20 meters in two seconds, and thus, the safe following distance is 20 meters in this case.
Similarly, if you are riding at 72 kmph, you must maintain 40-meter distance from the vehicle in front of you. While this is something that must follow at all times. During the wet and cold seasons, the significance increases exponentially.
Due to the increased probability of road hazards during certain seasons, you must keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
The disc, brake pad, brake fluid, and drum brakes should all be in good condition
Whenever you go on a ride, your motorbike should be in excellent condition. In particular, the braking system.
You should be able to stop the motorbike at any moment when riding on a road in the winter. The foggy roads and cold weather make biking difficult and impair focus.
If you come dangerously near to another vehicle while riding, you should slow down or perhaps come to a complete stop. And for that, you're going to need your motorcycle's braking system to be in good condition.
Therefore, check the disc brake, calipers, brake pads, drum brake, and brake fluid. Each of these components must be in excellent working order. If not, take your vehicle to your mechanic or a service facility for routine maintenance and repair.
Gloves for riding
Motorcycle riding gloves are essential when going out on a ride during the winter season. Your hands will start to numb and your grip on the handles will loosen if you ride without gloves in the freezing weather.
As you ride more, the level of numbness in your hands is likely to rise significantly. Riding gloves protect your hands from the cold weather and keep them warm.
Even regular gloves will not fit perfectly since they will not give the same comfort and grip on the handlebar as riding gloves. Additionally, motorcycle gloves assist in avoiding calluses, guard against adverse weather conditions, fatigue, and numbness, while also boosting grip and comfort.
Clean the visor/face shield of your helmet
Riding in the cold is not easy. Fog limits the sight to five meters. However, you should pull the helmet visor down to protect yourself from cold. Clean the visor carefully to protect your face.
A dirty visor impairs your eyesight or, worse, will require you to drive without the visor down. Winds will constantly hit your face.
Wear three layers of clothing
Put on as many clothes as possible to stay warm. There is a difference between the cold you feel standing outside and the cold you experience when riding.
Faster biking makes you colder. If the clothes you are wearing are just warm enough to keep you warm while standing outside and in the cold, they're not enough.
Wear three layers of clothing, including motorcycle gear and a jacket. While you are riding, the intensity of the cold will be higher due to the velocity of the wind.
Hope above mentioned tips will help you ride your motorcycle more comfortably and safely in the winter season.