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27 Sept 2021
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Winter Riding Tips

It’s common to see people in India going on long bike trips to hill stations and mountain areas. However, bike riders need to take special precautions when venturing out into cold places. Extremely cold temperatures can cause bikes to break down or stop functioning properly. We have compiled a set of winter riding tips for bike owners that can help them navigate cold weather and get to their destinations safely. Take a look at the below-given tips for biking in cold weather.

Winter Riding Tips for Bike Owner

  1. Get your bike serviced before the trip:

  2. Take your bike to a trusted mechanic and get it thoroughly tested and serviced to make sure it is in the best performing condition. You don’t want to be driving a suboptimally-performing bike that might break down in cold and harsh weather conditions.

  3. Check the bike’s engine and breaks:

  4. Even if you have serviced your bike, it is a good idea to test your engine and brakes on a short test run before you set out for a long trip. In case any problems arise, you can sort them out before your winter journey starts.

  5. Wear proper biking gear:

  6. If you are going to be riding your bike in hilly and mountain areas with narrow unkempt roads, you should always wear protective biking gear such as a helmet, a biking jacket, think full-pants and sturdy shoes that will protect you in case of a crash.

  7. Use warm clothing:

  8. Apart from using the right biking gear, it is a good idea to wear thermal clothing to protect yourself against extremely cold temperatures. If you do not have enough layers of clothes, you will be susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, especially in freezing conditions.

  9. Check and change your tyres:

  10. Before you start your trip, take a look at your bike tyres and try to determine if you need to change them. Tyres that have been used and become bald can slip and cause your bike to fall on icy roads. Hence, it is a good idea to replace old tyres with new ones that provide a better grip. You can ask your mechanic if he has any tyres that are specially made for cold environments.

  11. Carry rain-protective gear:

  12. If you are travelling on your own in hilly or mountain areas and it starts to rain, you will be exposed to extreme cold. Always carry a raincoat, a small tent for shelter if you are travelling to remote locations and some matchsticks to start a small fire to keep yourself warm.

  13. Drive safely on icy roads:

  14. Make sure to drive very carefully on narrow roads, especially if they are covered with ice. Even the smallest slip-ups can send your bike spiralling on icy roads. Always carry a first aid kit if you’re travelling to a remote location, as you won’t always have access to medical aid nearby.

How to Pack for a Winter Bike Tour?

While the above winter biking tips will help you have a successful journey, there is also a set of items you should carry to protect yourself against the harsh cold and rough terrains of mountain areas.

  1. Carry a map:

  2. Smartphones and maps have essentially made physical maps obsolete these days. However, if you’re travelling to remote locations, it is highly possible you may end up with no mobile network or low battery. In such a situation, a physical map can be very helpful.

  3. Carry a powerful flashlight or torch:

  4. You should always carry a flashlight or a torch on your journey as it can be used in multiple situations. A torch can be utilised to repair your bike in case it breaks down in the middle of the night. You can even use it to set up a tent at night.

  5. Earplugs:

  6. Earplugs are essential if you are going on a long trip in a cold region. The cold air can be painful to your ears when exposed for a long time. Earplugs will help keep your ears protected against the cold and loud noises while you’re travelling.

  7. Extra set of warm clothes:

  8. You should always carry an extra pair of warm clothes and possibly a small blanket if you have space. If you’re caught in the rain or in a situation where your clothes get wet, you may quickly fall ill. A set of spare warm clothes can be helpful in this situation.

  9. Carry cash:

  10. Always carry a little bit of cash with you if you’re travelling to a remote location where people don’t accept cards and online modes of payment.

Conclusion

If you’re travelling to a cold region with dangerously narrow or slippery roads, it is a good idea to get a comprehensive bike insurance plan with accidental damage cover and bike theft cover. Even if your bike gets damaged in an accident or gets stolen, you will be financially covered. You can take a look at the various bike insurance plans available at Finserv MARKETS and choose a plan that suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ✔️ Is it good to ride a bike in cold weather?

     No, riding a bike in cold weather can be dangerous as the roads are slippery and the bike may malfunction in extreme cold. However, if you have to travel, you should follow the bike riding tips given above.  

  • ✔️ Can you get sick from riding a bike in cold weather?

     If you do not wear enough warm clothes when riding in a cold region, the continued exposure to cold winds may make you sick.  

  • ✔️What temperature is too cold to ride a motorcycle in?

     You should not ride your bike in temperatures around or below 0 degrees celsius.

     

  • ✔️Does leather keep you warm on a motorcycle?

     Yes, a thick leather jacket can keep you warm when riding a bike in cold weather. You can add an extra layer of clothing if it isn’t enough.  

  • ✔️How do you ride a motorcycle when it’s too cold?

      Make sure you are wearing multiple layers of protective clothing and get your bike checked and serviced before your trip.