For many, the 2015 motorcycle season is over in Ohio. For some, the hope of a few more sunny days in the 50s is keeping their bikes out of storage. There are some riders, however, who will continue to ride throughout the winter. While Ohio does not have ideal weather for year-round motorcycling, some choose to continue riding long after temperatures have dropped. With proper preparation and equipment, it is possible to continue to ride your motorcycle safely. Unfortunately, motorists may be even less likely than usual to keep an eye out for motorcyclists.
You Are Prepared, They Are Not
Even if you have all the equipment you need to operate your bike safely in cold weather, most automobile drivers will not expect you to be on the road. The law continues to protect your right to use the roads like any other vehicle. That will be cold comfort if you are struck by a motorist who isn't paying attention. The caution that protects riders in the summer is even more important in winter months.
Considerations In Winter Riding
There are several things you can do to improve your riding experience in the winter, including:
- Carefully consider everything from your boots to your helmet when riding in cold weather. The proper gear can save your life.
- Make sure your bike has fresh antifreeze and the proper oil. It is also wise to make sure you never get low on fuel. Fill up more often in cold weather.
- Check your tires. Cold tires get less traction than warm tires. If your tires are not properly inflated or are low on tread, it will make a bad situation worse. Snow, slush, ice and even road salt can cause you to lose traction while riding in winter.
- Wind is an invisible enemy. Snow and ice are obvious hazards, but you need to consider wind conditions before getting out on the road. Operating a motorcycle in a 40 mph crosswind is challenging, to say the least.
Get Home Safely
The choice to ride year-round is yours to make. That said, there are conditions that are simply not conducive to safe riding. If you get caught in a snowstorm, or find the roads covered in black ice, be ready to call it quits. The most important thing is to get home safely.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, we can help you. Contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
Source: Ultimate Motorcycling, "7 Tips for Winter Motorcycle Riding," by Ron Lieback, 14 November 2013