How to Prepare Your Bike for Winter
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and exciting way to get around in your day to day life. When winter rolls around and the temperature drops, many riders choose to store their bike for the season. If you are planning on riding through the season, there are a few things you need to know about how to prepare your bike for winter.
1. Know when to store instead of ride
If you live in a location with mild winters, you can easily ride in the winter provided you take the right steps. If you live in a state where a few feet of snow is the norm, you need to ride with extreme caution. There are many reasons riders choose not to ride in the winter such as wet, icy roads making it harder to maintain control and traction, frozen batteries from frigid temperatures, and the overall wet feeling of riding in the snow and arriving at your destination cold. There is also the matter of visibility. Snow can quickly decrease visibility both for yourself and other drivers on the road. If other drivers can't see you because of the snow, you are putting your life in jeopardy and it may be time to store the bike until spring.
2. Install winter tires
Provided you live somewhere that is relatively safe for riding in the winter, the tires should be the main focus before the season starts. When looking at how to prepare your bike for winter, the tires are perhaps the single most important element. Tires grip the road and provide traction and control. On icy roads, the lack of traction can lead to an inability to brake or maneuver which could end up costing you. You need to install winter tires which are made with a focus on extra traction for this exact reason. Winter tires are made with a focus on traction by not only the tread depth and pattern but also the rubber itself. In regular tires for warmer temperatures, the rubber will stiffen up and lose traction in the winter. Winter tires are made to avoid this stiffening effect which ensures better traction.
3. Install a helmet breath deflector
You need to be able to see clearly and when you combine the heat of breath with the cold temperatures of the outdoors, it can quickly reduce visibility while riding. The best way to combat this is to install a helmet breath deflector. This will help to reduce the condensation and ensures visibility in cold climates while riding.
4. Check brakes
Aside from the tires, the brakes are the most important thing to look at for winter riding. While traction is key to control and gripping the road, your brakes work with the tires for stopping which can be complicated by icy roads. Before winter riding, check that your brakes are in good working order such as the pads and casings, as well as the brake fluid being at optimal levels.
5. Install heated grips
When riding, your hands are crucial to control and stability. If they are too cold to grip or move the fingers with ease, you are in danger of an accident occurring. With heated grips, you can ensure hands are warm and circulation is improved for necessary movement in fingers.