Cold Weather Motorcycle Riding - Yes, it can be done!

A motorcyclist taking a spin during a cold wintery day

If you’ve reached this page, you likely want to know how to stay warm on a motorcycle in cold weather. The good news is, there are ways to defend yourself against the cold so you can still enjoy your ride. If snow is on the way or covering the roads, wait until the forecast and the streets are clear, and then try these ways to stay warm:

Block the wind

You can use a tall windshield and set it to the highest position for protection from cold wind. If your bike doesn't have one, mounting a small windshield on your handlebars could help divert the wind from your chest. You might also want to wear a tightly sealed helmet with a fog-free face shield.

Layer exterior garments

Wearing a full coverage jacket and pants combination or a suit that's water and wind proof may be a great option. Consider wearing gauntlet-style gloves that fit over your jacket, and choosing boots that are also wind and waterproof. Try to make sure your boots are above the ankle and that they're not too tight, which can reduce circulation and make your feet colder. If you ride often in cold weather, you may want to invest in some of the electric gear available for vests, jackets, pants and gloves.

Prepare your bike

If your bike is water-cooled, make sure the antifreeze is fresh and check that all hoses are in good shape. Use tires with sufficient tread and check tire pressure before every ride. Consider heated grips and a heated seat for your bike if you don't already have them.

Stay hydrated and fed

Cold, dry air can draw moisture from your body – so drink lots of water! Make sure you don't skip any meals before you ride. Your body generates heat as you digest which will help you keep warm.

Play it safe

Ride only when the temperatures allow you to stay warm with the gear you wear. Take caution and make sure none of your skin is exposed, or it will be at risk of frostbite. If you start to feel like you are being pricked by needles, consider finding a resting point where you can get off your bike and warm up indoors. Make it a rule to pull over and take a break whenever you start to feel cold or sluggish, or if you start to shiver. And lastly, have a warm beverage and a snack or meal. A short walk can also help warm you up!


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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only. The information is provided by Foremost® and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the articles or the information, products, services or related graphics, if any, contained in the articles for any purpose. The information is not meant as professional or expert advice, and any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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