Tips for winter riding
October 14th, 2009
Winter, for most of us, means colder days, even colder nights, and the occasional snow and ice. But to a motorcycle enthusiast, it can potentially mean the end of the riding season! This can be somewhat depressing, especially if you enjoy riding. But, you might be pleased to hear that your riding does not have to end with winter, especially if you live in a climate where the winters are more mild. Here are some tips that might keep you riding, even if the temperature drops a little bit.
The main goal for riding in the winter is not to catch hypothermia. If your clothes get wet (either from the weather or from perspiration…) than it is time to stop IMMEDIATELY and change your clothes. Do not ride with wet clothes! This will offer basically no protection to you from the cold, and hypothermia comes on quicker than I’ll bet you would like to believe!
Your base layer of clothing should consist of either wool blends, silk, or silk blends. NO COTTON! Cotton takes longer to dry, and will leave you more vulnerable to the cold. Your mid layer should consist of your warm clothes. You need to retain body heat, let perspiration escape, and make sure that it is bulky enough to keep you warm. Fleece is ideal for this layer. Your outer layer should consist of waterproof riding pants, boots, and a jacket. Waterproof is essential so that you can stay dry while riding.
You might also want to wear a balaclava underneath your helmet if it is absolutely frigid, and you can even bundle up more around the neck to keep wind from getting down into your jacket. Remember not to drive in the ice or snow, because conditions like these are dangerous enough for cars to drive in, much less motorcycles.