Michigan is known for harsh winters, and each year hundreds of riders reluctantly hang up their helmets and put their bikes in storage when the temperatures start to drop. If you ride a motorcycle, ATV, or UTV, you can still ride in the cold. With the proper gear and knowhow, you can ride all year long. Here are three tips that make riding in the winter a breeze.
GET THE RIGHT GEAR
Invest in some solid winter riding gear. When you’re going down the highway or on a back road, even 50 degrees feels cold with the wind in your face.
Layering is the name of the game, and more layers mean more sweat. That’s why it’s important to make sure your base layer is designed to wick moisture away. Polyester blends wick moisture exceptionally well and give you a solid base layer to build on.
Next, your middle layer should be a heavy zip-up or sweater. This helps to trap heat by adding a layer of insulation. If it’s really cold, feel free to double up on your middle layers.
Lastly, your outer layer should be a heavy-duty motorcycle jacket. Waterproof jackets are a must because they prevent outside moisture from getting and act as incredible windbreakers.
BE AWARE OF WINTER RIDING HAZARDS
Loss of traction is a real threat on slick roads, so make sure that your tires have enough air and traction, and also ensure that the rest of the engine is fully functional. In addition, accelerate gently and make sure you avoid grabbing the brakes too suddenly. Even if you have ABS, progressive braking helps prevent losing traction. Take corners a little bit slower than you think you need to, and leave more space between you and other vehicles, just as if you were driving in the rain. If it starts to snow while you’re on your motorcycle, however, try to get off the road as soon as possible.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Riding in the winter is exhilarating, and, if you’ve never done it before, it’s unlike any riding you’ve experienced. Still, to stay safe, you need to take your time. Ride around a quiet neighborhood or a parking lot first. This helps you get used to how the vehicle behaves under low-traction conditions, and it helps you get a feel for the temperature as well.
Think of winter riding as a new skill. Once you learn it, you’re that much closer to becoming an experienced, safe, and well-rounded rider. Whether you ride a bike or a four-wheeler, these tips will help you make the most of the winter.
Town & Country Sports Center is your one-stop-shop for all the gear you need to brave the frigid Michigan winters so you can ride year-round. If you’d rather avoid riding in the cold, we also offer secure winter storage so your bike, ATV, or UTV is protected during the cold months. Visit us in Cement City to browse our inventory, or give us a call at (517) 343-1552 to learn more about winter riding gear.