Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Severe Weather
It’s a good idea to steer clear of motorcycle riding in poor weather, but sometimes bad weather strikes unexpectedly when you’re on your bike. It’s important to understand how to handle your bike appropriately and maneuver safely. Refer to these safety tips for riding a motorcycle in severe weather.
Take it Easy on the Brakes and ThrottleBad weather can hit without warning, and the most dangerous time to ride is right when rainfall or snowfall begins. This is because the rain or snow on the road may cause oil residue on the pavement to rise to the surface, creating slippery conditions. If precipitation begins to fall, travel gently, focusing on those actions listed: reduce your speed, lay off the throttle, and press the brakes lightly. Steer smoothly and gently, as well. Sudden, swift movements can cause your bike to slip out of control. Try to avoid slick spots and stay a good distance away from all other vehicles in case you do begin to slip or your brakes lock up. Also, for windy weather, Consumer Reports explains: "[B]e proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some leeway in the lane, should a gust nudge you."
Make Yourself Visible to Others on the RoadTorrential downpours and foggy and hazy conditions can be dangerous for riders because of reduced visibility. Improving visibility so others can see you might be among the most obvious of the safety tips for riding a motorcycle in severe weather. The following are some tips to better enable other drivers to see you in a heavy fog. Wear reflective gear and bright clothing. Use yellow or orange fog lights on your bike. Use your low-beams rather than high-beams which can wind up causing excess glare. Try to improve your own visibility on the road too. You can start by putting fog-resistant coating on your helmet shield to avoid having your helmet fog up when the humidity builds. You can also use a yellow-tinted face shield rather than a clear one. Yellow shields increase the contrast, which helps further improve your visibility.
Prepare for Unexpected Bad Weather with Weather-Proof GearMotorcycle riders can also prepare for the wet weather by weather-proofing their gear. Before hitting the road, make sure your tires are in good condition with ample tread. Apply rain repellant to your shield to help rainwater bead off your helmet. Also, you can invest in an insulated and/or storm proof jacket, a motorcycle rain suit, waterproof boots, and durable, non-slip gloves. There are even waterproofing products you can purchase that you can spray on your cotton shirts and jeans to help keep you dry.