This will be my 2nd year riding through winter, last year I lucked out with it being so mild, I was able to ride all winter. This year, though, I was wondering if anyone else rides year round and if you do anything different (equipment, fluids, tire warming, etc).
I'm riding a 2007 GSX R600 with 25k miles.
My personal advice would be:
If it's below freezing then avoid riding unless you really know what you are doing, it gets very dangerous once there is snow/ice on the road.
If it's a above freezing but cold then just ride carefully, the main challenge is keeping warm. The sort of things that help are:
- Double socks
- Good boots
- Zip together motorcycle jeans and jacket
- Wear layers, vest, shirt, two sweaters and then your jacket
- Neck warmer
- Good winter gloves, I find mitton style are best (split into thumb, two fingers and two fingers)
- Add silk under gloves
- Or heated grips and slightly thinner gloves
- Balaclava if it gets really cold
- Get dressed inside, don't leave your house until you have your gear on as you get cold putting it on otherwise.
- Split up longer rides, stop for warm drink inside and warm up
- Be visible, wear bright clothes or helmet and always keep your lights on
- Keep your visor clean, Rain-X works well. Again you may need to stop and clean the visor - keep a small bottle of cleaner to hand.
- Ride smoothly with good throttle control, avoid harsh braking or acceleration.
- Slow down for corners and avoid leaning too much.
- Ride in the tracks swept by the car tyres, not in the center or the far side of the road where you get all the muck.
- Don't ride close to the car in front, leave a good gap.
- Stick to the main roads if it looks bad, avoid small side roads.
- Take extra care in parking lots and other places that might not be gritted.