Motorcycle Gear For Winter Riding

For some road hogs, taking the winter off just isn’t an option. How can you prepare for riding your motorcycle in the cold?
Written by Andrew Koole
A lot of
owners park their bikes for the
months. The obvious perils of slick roads deter most, but it’s the bitterly cold conditions that put the icing on the decision. 
Even days that seem temperate can be dangerous for a biker traveling at high speeds. Beyond the risk of hypothermia and frostbite, lack of dexterity in your fingers can make your brakes and throttle much harder to control. 
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until spring to ride. With the right gear, many motorcyclists ride out all kinds of cool
. It just takes a little extra preparation. The following guide will help you get started.

How to dress for winter riding

Motorcycle owners are familiar with the extra clothing needed to ride, no matter what season it is. Riding during the winter requires an adjustment in almost every category, from your helmet to your boots.
Some helmets will come with different configurations based on the weather of the ride. For winter riding, make sure you at least have a neck roll to keep slush and water out. To keep your head toasty in there, an open-face balaclava will do the trick without impeding your
You can also find a jacket with removable liners so you can adapt it to the current conditions.
Gear Patrol
says some jacket brands have matching pants that can connect, which work well to keep you warm and dry.
As for boots and gloves, be sure to test how well you can move your fingers and toes before purchasing a pair. Riding requires a balance between comfort and dexterity.

Preparing your motorcycle

When considering winter riding, the first thing most people will think about is traction. Actual snow tires are hard to find, so
Cardo Systems
says all-seasons should do, as long as you’re not planning to make a lot of arduous winter trips. Just be sure their tread is in good condition. 
Throughout the season, make sure to check your
tire pressure
regularly, as it decreases more rapidly in cold conditions. And before you head out on the highway, be sure to warm your tires up with a few laps around the block to help keep them from sliding at higher speeds.
Once you are on the road, keep an extra safe distance between you and other drivers, and pay close attention to your blind spots. Snowy conditions will inhibit everyone’s vision. 
And after a winter ride, it’s a good idea to hose down your bike so the road salt doesn’t start corroding anything. 

Finding insurance for your motorcycle

As with car drivers, most states require bikers to have a personal injury protection policy (PIP). The season you ride in doesn’t affect your premiums, but other factors, like riding with a passenger, age, and driving record will change how much you pay.
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