Dressing to Stay Warm and Sade on Your Motorcycle This Winter
The weather is getting colder in north Georgia. Most motorcyclists are winding down for the year, but for the diehard bikers, motorcycle season is year-round. Here are five easy tips to keep you warm and safe on your motorcycle this winter:
- The Helmet: Georgia law requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets while riding. According to studies from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash by 37%. In addition, studies have found that motorcycle helmets are 67% effective in brain injury prevention. During the summer months, bikers can wear any helmet that complies with federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), but the weather becomes a factor in the winter. Motorcycle riders can stay warm by wearing a full-face helmet which a wind visor. This helmet will protect your whole head and keep the cold wind out of your face.
- The Jacket: With cold winds whipping around at high speeds, a thick jacket will protect against the cold and against road rash in the event you drop your bike. Look for specialized leather motorcycle jackets with armor at the joints and along the spine. The jacket should fit snugly but not too tightly. A good jacket will also increase your visibility to other drivers on the road. Look for jackets with reflective panels and bright colors.
- The Pants: Leather pants or jeans are essential to keep the high, cold winds from direct contact with your skin. For added safety, buy motorcycle pants with armor and shred resistance. Remember, if you drop the bike, your pants will be the only material between your legs and the asphalt.
- The Gloves: Without a warm set of gloves, motorcycle riders risk exposing their hands to sub-freezing temperatures for extended periods. Your hands must be warm and nimble to accelerate and brake without issue. A set of insulated leather gloves will keep you warm on rides and protect your hands in the event of a motorcycle crash. Gloves should fit snugly but not too tight and have extra padding on the fingers, palms, and knuckles.
- The Boots: Insulated boots with closed toes and thick soles are a must-have to keep you warm and safe during winter riding. Your feet are one of the highest risk areas of your body in a motorcycle crash. In addition, keeping your feet warm is critical at high speeds, so you can shift gears properly. Thick leather motorcycle boots with insulation, armor and slip-resistant soles are must-haves for cold weather.
BONUS TIP: LAYERS! Not only will extra layers under your outer shell keep you warmer and insulate you from high winds and cold air, but it will also add a few extra items of clothing between you and the asphalt in the event of a crash. Think long sleeves, long underwear, thick wool socks, glove liners, and scarves to protect against cold air.
Conclusion: Staying safe on your motorcycle during the winter is slightly more complicated than during the summer. Not only do you need to protect yourself against the usual risks of crashing or dropping the bike, but also against the stiff joints and muscles that come with traveling at high speeds through the cold air. Finally, always make sure the conditions are suitable for riding. If the weather calls for snow or ice, opt for alternative means of transportation.
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