Can you ride a motorcycle in winter? Riding a motorcycle in the snow can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with unique challenges and risks. West Virginia’s winters can be harsh, with heavy snowfall, icy roads, and frigid temperatures. While anyone should think twice before riding a motorcycle in the snow, some riders may find themselves needing to navigate winter weather conditions. When the temperature drops, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe while riding a motorcycle in snow.

Preparing Your Bike for Winter

Safety starts before you ride. You can prepare for riding in colder temperatures ahead of time by:

  • Check your battery and charging system to ensure they’re in good condition, as cold weather can strain your bike’s electrical components.
  • Lubricate your chain and cables to prevent freezing and sticking.
  • Pack extra cold weather clothing to stay warm
  • Add handguards or heated grips to protect your hands from the cold and wind.
  • Ensure your headlights, taillights, and brake lights are functioning correctly for maximum visibility.

Monitor Your Speed

When riding a motorcycle in the snow, it’s crucial to adjust your speed to account for reduced traction and visibility. To ride safely and maintain control of your motorcycle in winter conditions:

  • Reduce your speed, especially when cornering or braking.
  • Increase your following distance to allow more time to react to changes in road conditions or traffic.
  • Avoid sudden movements or inputs, such as hard braking or aggressive throttle application.
  • Stay alert for patches of black ice, particularly in shaded areas or on bridges and overpasses.

Maintaining Your Bike’s Fluids

Cold temperatures can affect your motorcycle’s fluids, making it essential to check and maintain them regularly during the winter months before going on a motorcycle ride. This includes:

  • Use a winter-grade oil that flows easily in cold temperatures to protect your engine.
  • Check your coolant level and concentration to ensure it’s providing adequate protection against freezing.
  • Inspect your brake fluid and replace it if it appears dark or contaminated, as moisture can lower its boiling point and cause brake fade.

What to Do if You Get Caught in a Snow Storm

If you find yourself riding your motorcycle in a snowstorm, it’s important to prioritize your safety and take steps to minimize your risk. This may include:

  • Seek shelter as soon as possible, such as a gas station, restaurant, or other public building.
  • Use your hazard lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Stay hydrated and nourished to maintain your body temperature and energy levels.
  • Call for assistance if you become stranded or are unable to continue riding safely.

What To Do After a Winter Motorcycle Accident

Even when motorcyclists prepare carefully and operate their vehicles cautiously, accidents can still happen when riding in the snow. If you’re involved in a winter motorcycle accident in West Virginia, it’s essential to:

  • Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor at first.
  • Document the accident scene with photos and gather witness contact information if possible.
  • Contact your insurance provider to report the accident and begin the claims process.
  • Consult with an experienced West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights and explore your options for seeking compensation.

At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience representing motorcycle accident victims throughout West Virginia. If you’ve been hurt in a weather-related motorcycle accident, contact us our West Virginia motorcycle accident attorney, and let’s get started with a free consultation.