Winter motorcycle riders could be the most passionate and enthusiastic of bikers. They face bitter cold, poor road conditions, and the hazards of being invisible to other drivers. As George Thorogood sings, they’re “Bad to The Bone.” But if you ask any veteran winter motorcycle rider, they’ll tell you getting chilled to the bone isn’t a good thing.
Getting chilled while winter riding is more than a little uncomfortable—it can be dangerous. A temperature of 40 degrees may feel like a warm winter day when you’re stopped. As soon as you hit highway speeds, it gets cold fast. At 65 mph, the wind chill turns that 40 degrees into a bone-chilling 24 degrees. Without the proper winter riding gear to maintain your body temperature, you can develop hypothermia.
Hypothermia is when your body’s core temperature falls below 95 degrees. Long before that, your ability to safely operate a motorcycle will be significantly impaired. Symptoms of hypothermia include:
Staying warm while riding in the winter isn’t all that complicated. It requires the right cold weather motorcycle riding gear and some common-sense approaches to the ride itself. Here are some gear recommendations:
If you have a co-rider, they need the same level of warm gear. As the rider, it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re warm, too. And don’t forget to make sure your insurance protects them. Check out Dairyland’s Guest Passenger coverage and the other motorcycle coverage options we offer.
As for planning your winter ride, consider the following:
The right winter riding gear and a good ride plan will make your winter rides invigorating and safer at the same time.
Till next time, ride safe!
If you enjoyed this piece, you might also enjoy other motorcycle safety tips we have featured in our Safety section.
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