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Riding in snow

Winter!! It's inevitable and for many of us harden bikers a little rain or cold weather doesn't put us off getting out there on our motorcycles. Riding in all weathers and riding all year round means you will meet some heavy rain, wind, sleet and snow at some point. Not forgetting those sub-zero temperatures (you know the sort that makes your face go numb) well some of us like the fresh morning weather but when is fresh too fresh? When the snow starts falling I hear you say!

Here at we ride our motorcycles into work on a daily basis. But when you are faced with 6inches of snow on the road you really do have to ask yourself the question is it worth the risk? Let's face facts here YOU are important a bike can be fixed or replaced but YOU can't. The risk of an accident when riding in the snow obviously increases tenfold due to the vulnerability of being on two wheels so sometimes you have to take one on the chin and say "ok let me find another way to get into work".

Just driving home the other night I saw a deliveroo rider picking his scooter up from the side of the road. When I stopped and asked if he was ok or needed any help he simple said he was fine his scooter just slipped from underneath him. It shows you the dangers of riding in snowy and icy conditions though. Sometimes you do have to ask yourself is it worth it?

We have bought bikes from various bikers over the years who no longer want to ride due to the weather being too cold or even falling off their bike in the snow. We have seen some badly damaged bikes too where bikers have come off in the snow so just ask yourself this question before you think about riding in the snow "Do I need to do this"? if your answer is yes then please do read on...

Riding in freshly laid snow?

Now for me, this is the best type of snow. You can often tell this type of snow as when you look down a road you can see that nobody else has driven down it. The snow that has just laid is often very soft and flattens down with a nice crunch when you walk on it. It's the best snow to use to build a snowman if you didn't know that. Also if you happen to have a road legal enduro bike (yes we buy enduro bikes too) then the knobbly tyres are fantastic for gripping in freshly laid snow. Snow that has just fallen is actually not too bad to ride on just make sure you go slow and be aware of where the kerb is and any objects that stick up above the snow surface.

When snow looks like a slush puppie?

Don't eat it!! Remember never eat yellow snow!! or brown snow for that matter.....Yuk. Usually, snow will break up as more vehicles drive over it and the gritting lorries do their thing and maybe the sun has come out and the ice is starting to melt and clear. As a result, you now get left with a slush, which makes the road look wet and greyish in colour. Riding a bike on slush means that your motorbike tyres might be able to churn through the melted snow and ice easier, on the road surface below.

BE CAREFUL THOUGH!!! This is where our old nasty friend Black Ice could be lurking. You can end up with ice patches in certain areas of the road which have not fully melted away or whereby the gritters didn't reach. This can be deadly when you are on a motorcycle so remember to take it slow don't get overconfident just because the snow looks like it has melted. This can lure you into a false sense of security which in turn can catch you out very quickly!


How do you ride on already compacted snow?

Snow gets compacted on the road when it has already seen a lot of vehicles driving over it. You can clearly see this type of snow as it has car tracks proceeding along it showing obvious signs of vehicular use.

When on a motorcycle and presented with this type of snowy situation, our minds instantly deviates us to follow the left-hand track already made by another vehicle. But is this the best option? Well, it's not the only option that's for sure. Compacted snow can become very slippery almost like an ice rink. Car tyre tracks can become frozen and shiny which makes them very slippery. We say aim for the middle of the road where the fresh snow lays and you have more chance in getting better traction and avoiding the rear wheel slipping in the snow. Just be careful when crossing tyre tracks and junctions and when crossing over them as they can have you off a motorbike in a second.


Being frozen to your bones is never a pleasant experience. Make sure you dress for the occasion wear your best and warmest winter gloves, make sure you have the correct winter motorcycle clothing. Wearing thin body warming layers underneath motorbike clothing can really help to keep you warm. Using heated grips and bar muffs is also a good idea to keep the snow and chill off your hands. Buying the best quality motorbike clothing you can afford is the way to go because cheap clothing really doesn't help you when it comes to winter conditions. You need to make sure you have the right gear in all weathers. Something to consider when buying your motorcycle clothing. Think will I be able to wear this when the weather turns? Will it keep me warm? Or will I need to budget for a second set of winter clothing?

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