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5 tips for riding a motorcycle in the winter

Winter may not seem like the time to take the motorcycle out for a spin, but there’s no reason a little cold should stop you. With the right safety precautions, motorcycling in winter can be a fun experience.

Here are five tips for getting out on your motorcycle out this season for an enjoyable, injury-free ride.

1. Wear layered motorcycle gear

Bundle up – it’s cold out there! Base layers that fully cover the legs and sleeves, a zip-up fleece with a neck collar and waterproof outer layers will help keep you warm and absorb sweat. Consider another layer between the base layers and zip-up if it’s extra cold.

2. Outfit your bike with element protections

A larger windscreen and hand guards can go a long way keep a winter motorcyclist safe. Make sure you’ve done some winterization as well, including freshening the anti-freeze and updating hoses if they aren’t in good shape.

3. Slow down

As you’re out on the road this winter, follow the same advice other vehicles should abide by and slow down. Don’t hit the accelerator too heavily and do your best to refrain from sudden braking, acceleration, cornering and swerving. Your traction probably won’t be as great with cold tires, so take it a little easier.

4. Find a motorcycle-specific repair service

If you’re going to ride during the winter, have a contact who can help you in case of an accident. It’s better to know ahead of time that you have someone capable of motorcycle towing than standing out in the cold calling a bunch of different shops before one finally shows up.

5. Don’t ride through snow

If it starts snowing, it’s time to go home. Keep an eye on forecasts and if it starts precipitating, turn back the way you came. No ride, however exhilarating, is worth the danger of driving through slippery snow.

With a few extra steps, motorcycling this winter can be invigorating when you feel cooped up inside for months. While you could still get into an accident thanks to other careless drivers, taking these precautions can reduce your chance of injury.

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