Preparing for a Cold-weather Ride
Preparedness is essential, and that starts with the appropriate riding gear for winter, including moisture-wicking clothing, waterproof boots and gloves, and a tightly-sealed helmet with fog-free face shield. The bike should be dressed appropriately for the weather, too, with parts and accessories like windscreens and heated grips for cold-weather riding. Tires should always be checked for adequate treading and appropriate pressure for the weather.
Choosing the Right Route
Choosing the right route can help a rider avoid snow piles, black ice, and other hazards. Riders should choose roads that are most likely to be clear, or at least have fewer patches of snow and black ice. Bridges and shaded roads are likely to present hidden dangers, like black ice. It’s okay to change the route along the way to accommodate changing conditions.
Practicing Safe Driving Habits
A winter storm requires bikers to adjust their driving habits. This generally means traveling at lower speeds and increasing following distances. Riders will need to accelerate gently, steer smoothly and without sudden changes, and slow down earlier than normal. Downhill speeds should be kept in check, as slowing down on an icy road can be difficult. Attention should always be kept on the ride ahead to be prepared for whatever dangers the road presents next.
Identifying Road Hazards
Motorcyclists face unique concerns riding in winter months thanks to several culprits. Obviously, slick roads are a problem, but metal bridges, manhole covers, and railroad tracks also present easy opportunities to slide. Similar to ice, salt threatens traction and creates rust. Snow plows can create cracks and potholes while clearing roads, which can catch even seasoned bikers off guard.
Start Preparing for Your Winter Ride!
Although it’s best to keep the bike in winter storage for the season, knowing what to do if you’re caught riding in a snowstorm can be the difference between making it safely to your destination and getting stuck miles from home. Tecumseh Harley-Davidson wants you to be prepared for whatever the road throws your way, and we offer a huge selection of riding gear to keep you warm and safe this season. Call us today at 517.423-3333 or stop by our showroom to check out our motorcycles and gear.