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How to safely ride a motorcycle in winter weather

Owning a motorcycle comes with a lot of responsibility, but it's also fun. Who said you can only ride in the spring, summer and fall seasons? There's nothing wrong with riding during the winter months, so long as you know how to do it safely.

When riding in the winter, you want to layer your gear appropriately so that you are comfortable while riding, but it also doesn't inhibit your ability to operate the bike. You need to layer your gear in order to stay warm during the winter ride, but make sure you wear gear that helps your body breathe.

If you insist on riding in the winter, make sure the antifreeze is fresh in your bike, especially if the bike is water-cooled. As a side note, antifreeze should be changed annually.

Riding in winter weather means that your tires will have less traction because of the cold temperatures. The heat in the tires will increase the longer you ride, but a sudden stop can turn them cold instantly, leading to less traction with the roadway underneath the motorcycle. In order to add heat to your tires, accelerate and decelerate quickly for a brief period, but stay aware of your traction.

Be aware of your surroundings when riding year-round, but especially during the winter months. Roads have salt on them and fresh cracks from snow plows. You also need to be on the lookout for black ice. If any area of the road looks dangerous, stay away from it while on your motorcycle.

Increase your following distance when riding in the winter. You never know when you will need to stop on a dime and if there is black ice or salt on the road that could cause you to skid. You should also increase your visibility. This is done by looking as far down the road as you can for any potential hazards.

An experienced personal injury attorney in Central Islip, New York, can guide you through the legal landscape of motorcycle accidents.

Source: Ultimate Motorcycling, "7 Tips For Winter Motorcycle Riding," Ron Lieback, accessed Jan. 20, 2017

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