Motorcycle Driver’s Handbook


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Winter riding

In the section on perception and prediction (section 5), the importance of predicting what other drivers may do was emphasized. In winter or in cold weather, even if the road conditions are good, other drivers will not be expecting to see motorcyclists. Expert motorcyclists must be even more careful of what other drivers may do and should assume that other drivers have not seen them.

The motorcyclist must also anticipate sudden changes in the road surface. Icy or snow-covered patches may be found at:

  • shady parts of the roadway
  • bridges
  • open, wind-swept areas
  • side roads not completely cleared

If you find you are unable to avoid riding on a very slippery surface such as ice or snow, slow down as much as possible before you get to it. Pull the clutch, coast across and stay off the brakes. On a long section of snow-covered roadway, try to ride on loose or fresh snow. Hard-packed snow has less traction than loose snow.

The other danger of riding in winter is the cold. The cold will affect the performance of both rider and equipment. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Cold weather lowers tire pressure, so check it regularly.
  • Your face shield will have a greater tendency to fog.
  • Wear sufficiently warm clothing.

Disclaimer

Rev: 2015