Friday, December 30, 2016

5 Tips For Cold-Weather Motorcycle Riding

Although it is the winter time, it doesn't mean you have to put away all the fun stuff! While you shouldn't necessarily take your bike out in a snow storm, taking it out for a ride during a nicer day does no harm. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before taking your motorcycle out on the winter roads. Your Lake of the Ozarks Yamaha dealer has a few tips for you if you decide to take your motorcycle out for a ride this winter.

1. Layer It Up

Riding comfortably in the cold weather begins with correct gear choice, which is all about layering. A base layer is important, as it allows the skin to breathe and wick away moisture. This helps sweat evaporate rather than turning to cold perspiration on the body. The type of outer gear you choose to wear is also important. You want something that is breathable and waterproof. In addition to keeping your body layered and covered, you want to make sure your feet and hands are toasty too with the proper boots and gloves. Most of our heat is lost through our heads, so it is important to keep it covered. Wearing a full face helmet with a fog-free face shield will help along with neck warmer. There is also heated gear available, however, layering up should keep you toasty during winter rides.

2. Cold Weather = Colder Tires

Cold weather means colder tires, which means limited traction. While riding, the tires will heat up and help with traction, however, once you stop they will cool down, providing a lack of traction. It is also important to check the tire pressure and make sure there is adequate tread for winter riding. Cold weather affects the amount of pressure in your tires and having properly inflated tires is important to gaining traction on the road. Having adequate tread on the tires can help when driving in the winter weather, as you'll need the tread to channel water or snow. 

3. Watch for Salt & Cracks

Salt isn't just bad for metal, it's also bad for traction. Treat salt the way you would treat ice; if you see crystalized appearances on the side of the road, stay away. However, because salt is bad for metal, it's important to make sure your motorcycle stays clean during the winter season. If you take your motorcycle out and there is salt on the road, make sure you clean it the next time it is nice out.  It's also important to remember that snow plow trucks are rough on the roads. They cause new cracks, sometimes they are huge, which could be bad for your motorcycle. The winter season brings in a lot of bad weather, which means there could be ice on the road. Black ice is sneaky, so when driving, if it even remotely looks like ice, stay away.  

4. Look Ahead

While riding in the winter, increase your visibility by looking further down the road. This helps recognize hazards before they occur. It allows you to react to a potential threat well in advance, which is needed in the winter when traction is limited from the cold roads. In addition to looking ahead, make sure you give yourself plenty of distance between you and the person ahead of you. You need more stopping time in the winter than you do during the summer months, as it is harder to stop on cold roads. 

5. Take It Slow

Although you may feel the need to test how fast your bike can go every time you hop on it, during the winter, this isn't the best idea. In colder weather, be extra-easy with the accelerator and refrain from sudden braking, acceleration, cornering nad swerving. 

The weather in Missouri can be a bit unpredictable, so it is important to make sure you check the weather before leaving and if it snows, enjoy the day inside if you can. If you need a new motorcycle to enjoy the upcoming warm season to its fullest, stop by the best motorcycle dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks. At Surdyke Yamaha, we are experts in all things fun whether it's on land or water! Our team can assist you in finding the best motorcycle to fit your style. Stop by our store in Osage Beach, or visit us online at

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Highway Store Location        Marina Store Location         Surdyke's Port 20
5863 Osage Beach Parkway       1660 Yamaha Drive                 5395 Spruce Lane
Osage Beach, MO 65065            Osage Beach, MO 65065         Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-6575                         (573) 348-9283                      (573) 348-3178

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