When the snow falls and temperatures drop, many motorcycle riders see this as a time to put their bikes away for the season. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, because even though you may not be able to ride your motorcycle, you can still ride a snowmobile. Snowmobiles are an excellent wintertime hobby to keep any motorcycle enthusiast satisfied during the months when they’d rather not ride their bike, especially in the Midwest.
If you choose to get behind the handlebars of a snowmobile this winter, it’s important to keep in mind the many different precautions and procedures to ensure that you and everyone else around you remain safe on the trails.
- Properly maintain your snowmobile: If you own your own snowmobile, ensure that you perform necessary maintenance and keep it in running condition.
- Wear the proper clothing: Layer up and keep warm. Look for gear that is both windproof and waterproof. Insulated boots and gloves are highly recommended as well.
- Familiarize yourself with the area: Review trail maps before riding into unfamiliar areas and always let people know where you will be going and how long you plan to be out.
- Use your lights – all of them: Ensure that your headlights, taillights and brake lights are all in working order for optimal visibility.
- Stay alert: Since most snowmobile trails will take you through rural areas and near farmland, look out for fences, low-hanging wires and other potential obstacles. Come to a full stop and look both ways before crossing any intersections.
- Don’t speed: Ride at a reasonable speed, as riding fast will make you more susceptible to losing control. Keep it slow and steady to give plenty of time to react to anything unexpected.
It’s always a good idea for riders to know the conditions before they head out, as different conditions require different riding styles. For example, steer clear of muddy areas or trails where dirt is plentiful as it is difficult to ride through and can cause jams. In much the same way, wet snow can be tricky to traverse and can stick to and accumulate on your running boards. When riding in wet snow, it’s important to stop every so often and clear off your machine. Finally, ice can be very dangerous for snowmobiles and cause riders to lose control, it’s advised that riders avoid especially icy conditions whenever possible.
For more tips on snowmobile safety, request your FREE copy of “Your Guide to Snowmobile Safety” right here and we’ll send one your way. And if you’re looking for more relevant news and articles for motorcycle enthusiasts, check out our Current News for Riders page on hupy.com.