Riding motorcycles can be a lot of fun, but it's not an activity free of danger. Not only do motorcycles offer the rider less protection while traveling but, with only two wheels, it's easier to lose control on a bike compared to an automobile. That’s why you should take care to avoid most adverse weather conditions when riding a motorcycle, especially if you are a less experienced rider.
Traveling in the Rain
Riding in the rain hurts both your maneuverability and your visibility, but sometimes you simply don’t have a choice. It’s important to understand how to drive while in a rain shower, just in case you ever get stuck in one.
If you find yourself in a rain shower while riding, be gentle with both the throttle and the brakes as you ride. Try to achieve a balanced grip and don’t react too quickly, or you risk losing control.
Do yourself a favor and avoid all of the obstacles listed below if you’re riding in the rain. They make maintaining control much more challenging and should be avoided carefully.
- Concrete surfaces – they are slippery and will take away from your traction
- Puddles – you could temporarily lose traction in larger puddles
- Manhole covers – they become very slick in the rain
- Train tracks – they also become more slippery in rain and, while driving over, take one of your wheels off the road when the pavement is already offering little grip
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
You can make your motorcycle safer if you are careful about which tires you buy. If you will be riding in the rain regularly, you should do your best to avoid any tires advertised as "long-lasting." While it’s nice to get more life out of your tires, these tires don’t offer much wet weather grip.
Cold Weather Riding
Most people pack away the motorcycle for colder days, but some will continue riding even through the winter. The trick to doing so comfortably is by protecting your body from the elements. Get a high-quality jacket, top-notch riding gloves and riding boots that are going to keep away the cold at high speeds. Layer wool underneath your standard riding gear to help insulate your body against the cold as well.
You can also install a windshield on some motorcycles to help you stay even warmer when riding in particularly cold conditions regularly.
Hot Weather Riding
When riding in hot weather, make sure that you remain hydrated so that you don’t lose control over your motorcycle from fatigue. Also, dress appropriately for the weather, but still keep your body covered. Wear lightweight clothing, but keep pants and a t-shirt on whenever possible to offer some protection in the event of an accident.
A motorcycle shouldn’t be operated in severe weather conditions such as snow or ice under any circumstances. Do your best only to take the bike out when the weather is fine, and you’ll enjoy your rides more.
You can trust your motorcycle in worse weather conditions as your experience increases, but always use good judgment and make sure that you aren’t putting yourself at too much risk while out on a bike.