motorcycle is always a risk, as is driving a car or taking part in virtually any other activity. But riding a motorcycle is much safer in perfect weather conditions. Those conditions do not exist on a daily basis and you may find yourself riding in weather that is not optimal. The safest thing to do in bad weather is not to ride your motorcycle at all, but if you want to (or have to) ride, use these safety tips to make it as safe as possible.
Rainy Motorcycle Riding Conditions
Safety Tip 1: Slow down and use extra caution. Water makes the road more slippery and you can lose traction easily.
Safety Tip 2: Wear bright clothes. It is easier for other drivers to see you when you are visible with colors that stand out, even in the rain.
Safety Tip 3: Wear the right gloves. The Olympia 4300 Gore-Tex Rain or Shine Glovesare perfect for riding, rain or shine. They help you keep your grip on the handlebars while protecting your hands from the elements and hand numbness.
Safety Tip 4: Watch for rainbows. If you see any rainbows on the road, it’s probably oil. Those patches will be even more slippery and should be avoided.
Safety Tip 5: Stop when you see lightning. Riding in the rain is harder and more dangerous, but it’s possible. Riding in lightning pushes the danger over the top and you should pull over and seek shelter immediately.
Snowy Motorcycle Riding Conditions
Safety Tip 1: Ride slowly. If the snow is really coming down, it’s best to drive in a car, if at all. If you must ride, take it extremely slowly.
Safety Tip 2: Increase your stopping distance. Snow can make it very hard to stop. Increase the distance between you and other vehicles and hit the brakes slowly and gradually.
Safety Tip 3: Watch for things concealed in the snow. You never know what a patch of snow has beneath it. Hitting a stick or a piece of tire buried under the snow can be very dangerous.
Safety Tip 4: Avoid salt. Road salt is similar to hitting gravel. It can throw your traction off very quickly.
Windy Motorcycle Riding Conditions
Safety Tip 1: Lean over the bike. Make yourself into a smaller profile when you are hit with side winds so the bike stays as steady as possible.
Safety Tip 2: Stay relaxed. When you tense up and grip the controls too strongly, you will get tired and your body will less likely obey you when you need it most. When you are stiff, your body will be more easily moved by the wind as well.
Safety Tip 3: Gauge the wind using trees. Watch the trees, flags and other items that are blowing around you to see how much they are moving. This can help you judge how hard the wind is blowing and in what direction.
Not every motorcycle rider is comfortable attempting a ride in inclement weather and that’s fine. But if you enjoy a challenging ride or simply have to get where you need to do in dangerous weather, use these safety tips to remain as comfortable and safe as possible.