A winding road through a snowy forest is shown

If you’re a motorcycle rider, winter can be a tough time. A lot of people put their bikes in storage because they don’t like riding in the cold weather, but some of us ride year round, no matter what the weather is like. Riding your motorcycle in the wintertime is very challenging and can be dangerous, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy a nice ride in the chilly weather. 

Here are a few tips on how to stay safe and prepared on a winter motorcycle ride. 

First, you’ll want to make sure your bike is in good condition for winter riding. All controls, wires and components need to be in good condition to have a safe ride. Check that your tires are in good condition and that they have enough tread to properly handle slippery conditions. Check that your battery is fully charged, as the cold can drain your battery faster than in normal temperatures. It’s also a good idea to do a fresh oil change and switch to winter-grade oil before you ride. 

Wear the proper clothing and gear. You’ll want to wear warm clothing that is waterproof to protect you from the elements. Wear layers so that you can adjust to the weather as needed. Your head, hands and feet are all very vulnerable to the cold, so make sure you cover each of these parts! Staying warm will help you react to riding conditions better and keep you comfortable. 

Since winter is a very unpredictable season, you need to stay alert and prepared for every situation. Keep an eye on the weather, you don’t want to ride your motorcycle in a blizzard! While on the road, keep a safe following distance from other vehicles on the road since it will take you much longer to safely stop your bike. Be prepared for many hazards, ranging from fallen leaves, snow, ice and debris in the road. Bridges freeze before normal roads, so be extra cautious when traveling over them. Keep your mind fully focused on your riding and get rid of any distractions. 

Always have a plan in case something goes wrong. With all the unpredictability of cold weather riding, you’ll want to make sure you have a fully charged cell phone so that you can contact someone in case of an emergency. Let a family member or friend know you’re riding, before you take off. Tell them your route and how long you think you’ll be gone so they can check on you and make sure you made it home safely. 

Finally, you need to know your limits. Some of us keep our bikes in winter storage for a reason. If you’re not confidant in your riding skills and abilities in winter weather, then don’t take the risk, keep your bike off the roads. Your safety and the safety of others on the road are most important, so find another mode of transportation if you’re not comfortable. 

Following these tips will help you have a safe and enjoyable winter motorcycle ride. Always be prepared and you’ll have a great winter ride! 

Hupy and Abraham, S.C. has helped motorcyclists for decades by promoting safety and awareness for all riders. The firm’s “Watch for Motorcycles” message helps keep motorcyclists at the top of mind for drivers on the road. The message is spread through TV advertisements, billboards, stickers, events and more. The firm also has great motorcycle articles and videos on our website, HUPY.COM. 

Sometimes you can do everything to help keep you safe, but the unthinkable still happens. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Hupy and Abraham right away at 800-800-5678 so we can start working to get you every dollar you deserve for your injury. We’ve helped over 70,000 people receive more than $1 billion for their injuries. 

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.