Essential Tips for Safely Riding on Winter Snow and Ice

by Damien Heenan

Proper gear and understanding how to handle the different snowy surfaces will go a long way towards keeping you safe on winter roads. Here are some additional tips you can use to make your rides even safer and more pleasant.

First, tire selection matters. A LOT.  Go with tires that provide the best grip, which means deep grooves such as you can find on adventure tires.

Next, consider how snow affects your speed. Making quick, sudden moves on slick surfaces is NEVER a good idea.  Instead, approach acceleration, braking, and cornering with calm and measured moves. Brake earlier.  Do ALL maneuvers slower.

Snow also requires a certain amount of foresight. Don’t allow any sketchy situation to take you by surprise. Keep your speed adjusted appropriately to the conditions. Plan your actions well in advance.  And proper gear selection is another crucial aspect when riding in snow. Ideally, you should keep your motorcycle in the highest possible gear it can achieve at that moment. This way, the motorcycle will have less torque and power, providing you with better overall control.

It's only natural that when riding on snow, you’ll sometimes encounter actual snowfall as well. Remember that everyone on the road with you will have reduced visibility.  This means you’ll need to be extra visible. Use hi-vis gear and reflective stickers to make as sure as you can that other drivers notice you in plenty of time.

While on that subject of visibility, do what you can to ensure your visor doesn’t fog up. A pinlock and breath guard will help in this area, keeping your vision clear at all times.

Yes, there’s a lot to keep in mind, so it’s natural you might find yourself getting a bit tense when riding in the snow. But stressing out isn’t helpful. Instead, try to loosen up. Relax your shoulders and arms and remember everything we’ve discussed – because you CAN ride safely, and with all these precautions under your belt, you should have no issues venturing out into the snow on your bike.

Remember to gear up and prepare ahead of time and you’ll be ready for to enjoy the unique joys of riding in winter.


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