Posted on Oct 24, 2019

Your Guide to Safe Riding in the Winter

For many people, the joy and excitement of riding a motorcycle ends with the onset of winter. The cooler months are, for many riders, a sign to store their bikes away for the winter, as they fear that riding in cold weather will be miserable and dangerous. To a certain extent this is true, as many motorcycle accidents happen in adverse weather conditions. Should you choose to store your bike for the cold winter months, check out our guide for how best to prepare your ride for winter storage here.

Despite this, it is still possible for a motorcycle to be ridden comfortably and safely all year long as many bikers choose to keep riding despite the cooler months. While this may come as a welcome surprise to many riders that think it’s impossible to keep riding in the winter months, it is important to take the necessary steps when approaching winter riding to ensure that you are always smart and safe behind the handlebars.

The winter months, especially in the Midwestern states, can be cold and brutal, making it important to prepare properly for winter rides. A few things a rider can do to make for a safe and enjoyable ride are:

  • Dress appropriately. Becoming cold while riding can be distracting and cause a rider to lose focus and crash. While riding in the winter, riders should wear gear that will keep them warm. Layered clothing, warm gloves, leathers and a full mask are some of the attire that will keep a rider warm. Check out a more detailed look at the types of gear best suited to riding in the cold here.
  • Consider using a windshield. Many motorcycles are not equipped with windshields but can serve a very useful purpose during the winter months. A windshield will reroute some of the cold air that is blowing on the rider and allow for a more comfortable ride. Wind chill will create an even colder atmosphere, making it uncomfortable and downright dangerous to ride as freezing temperatures significantly reduce a rider’s ability to make quick adjustments and reactions.
  • Maintain your bike. Riding in cold weather is harder on the motorcycle than during warmer months. Having a well-maintained motorcycle will help to prevent accidents and breakdowns while on the road.
  • Take it slow if there’s snow. Poor road conditions already pose a big enough threat for riders in more temperate months. Riding in snowy conditions can compound this danger. Snow significantly hinders your bike’s ability to maintain traction, so approaching slopes and turns with greater caution is necessary. Additionally, ensure that your bike is fitted with the correct tires o safely ride in snowy conditions, should you choose to keep riding through the winter.

Motorcycling in the winter can be a fun and exciting experience, but your first concern should always be your safety. That said, if conditions appear to be too rough for you to safely navigate the streets on your motorcycle, we’d advise that riders avoid getting on their motorcycles, and instead use transportation better suited for the conditions or simply staying in altogether until conditions improve.

For more relevant articles for motorcycle riders, check out our Current News for Riders page on

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