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The temperature is dropping, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put the bike away. Of course, there is a lot to consider when it comes to riding in the winter. It's a personal choice every rider needs to make for his or her self. For those who choose to store the bike, we totally get that. And for those who choose to ride through the winter, it's important to remember that riding in the winter is all about preparation. Riding season is all year long at Eagle Leather, and we’ve compiled three tips to keep your bike on the road through the season!
1. Make Some Adjustments to Your Bike
There are some changes you can make to your bike to better prepare it for running in the cold weather. Not all of them are going to look beautiful, but they'll make a difference for you when you're out in freezing temperatures. You can start by installing a very large windscreen - this will protect you from the biting chill of winter air. Handguards are a great addition as well. Your hands must stay warm; there's no other option. You can also invest in aftermarket heated grips to help keep the blood flowing to your hands to prevent frostbite.
You need to make sure your antifreeze is fresh and mixed properly. You also want to check every hose and ensure they are tightly connected. You do not want to have a radiator issue while riding in the winter.
2. Adjust Your Tires
We haven't forgetten about the tires - they are just important enough to highlight on their own. You must consider the science behind air pressure when the temperatures drop. Hot air expands, and cold air is more compressed. Riding helps keep the tires hot, but even a short stop will cool them back down. So check your tire pressure often - it's highly unpredictable when it's cold out.
Cold tires also mean less traction, so to build up heat in your tires, accelerate and decelerate quickly (keeping your safety, tire traction, and surroundings in mind!). Ensure you have enough tread on your tires as well. You need as much traction as possible, not only because colder tires have less traction, but because winter roads are often wet and can be icy.
3. Gear Up
Hypothermia is very real. So is frostbite. You don't want to mess around with either. The best way to prevent cold-related illnesses is to gear up properly. We recommend investing in heated gear. Gerbing's and FirstGear are two companies that make heated gear. Heated gear works by plugging directly into your motorcycle or an external battery pack that is worn on the body. Everything from the neck down can be heated. From jackets and jacket liners, to gloves, to pants, to shoe liners and heated socks, you can ensure that your body remains warm even during the coldest rides.
These tips will go a long way toward helping you ride through the winter; but no matter how prepared you are for winter riding, you can never be prepared enough to ride through a snow storm. So do yourself a favor and get home once you start seeing white stuff falling out of the sky!