Riding Your Motorcycle in the Snow: Is It Safe?

Riding Your Motorcycle in the Snow: Is It Safe?

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Can You Ride a Motorcycle in the Snow?

It is generally considered unsafe to ride a motorcycle in the snow. That’s because motorcycle tires usually don’t have enough traction to drive on top of snow. Remember you only have two tires instead of four, and you can easily lose your balance if there is ice or snow on the ground. Black ice tends to be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. If the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, consider getting off the road to avoid slick surfaces.

Okay, but what if you’re riding in the winter and get caught in a severe snowstorm? Experts say it’s best to slow down and not panic. Try to stay on the road until you reach your destination unless riding becomes untenable. Increase your stopping and following distance to reduce the chances of error.

Use a Bluetooth Motorcycle Headset to Stay Safe

You should always use helmet communication regardless of the weather outside. It keeps you connected to your phone and GPS so you can check the route and make calls without having to physically interact with your device. Sign up for weather alerts to avoid riding your motorcycle in the snow.

If you live in a rural area and need to use your motorcycle in the snow, upgrading to snow tires is an absolute must. They come with reinforced tread patterns and deep grooves to help you get a grip on the snow. But you still need to slow down, increase your stopping distances and limit your riding whenever possible.

Storing Your Motorcycle for the Winter

Be sure to secure your bike indoors when riding is no longer an option. The rain and snow can seep into your bike, causing rust and permanent damage. Keep your bike in a climate-controlled environment whenever possible. If this isn’t an option, wrap your motorcycle in a waterproof covering to keep moisture out. Avoid storing your bike under a tree just in case the snow causes it to collapse.

Getting Back on the Road

Biker motorcycle on misty road

Source: pixfly/Shutterstock.com

Once the snow has melted and the roads are clear, you can get back on your motorcycle. You will need to wear plenty of layers when riding in the winter. There’s still bound to be plenty of moisture on the ground. Use waterproof riding gear to protect yourself from mud and dirty snow still leftover from the storm.

You may have trouble starting your battery after it’s been in the garage for a few months. The cold weakens the electric signal. Let the engine idle for a few seconds to let the oil circulate through all the necessary parts to improve lubrication.

Remember to pair your helmet with a wireless headset to improve communication. If you are using a half-helmet or skull cap, use a half-helmet Bluetooth headset instead to keep the receiver in range. You should be able to speak directly into the mic without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the handlebars. The device is voice-activated, so all you need to do is say, “Hey, Cardo,” and the headset will take care of the rest.

Find a Half-Helmet Bluetooth Headset from Cardo

Snowy road motorcycle with luggage

Source: vcsx/Shutterstock.com

Driving in the snow can be dangerous for several reasons. Use good judgment and the proper riding gear to safely navigate the road if you get caught in a snowstorm or are forced to ride in frigid conditions. And remember to lock up your bike indoors when there is snow on the ground to protect it from long-term damage.