As winter approaches and the temperature drops, not all motorcyclists are planning to winterize their motorcycles and store them in the garage. For motorcyclists who enjoy riding all year long and plan to be on the road, the Georgia Department of Driver Services’ (DDS) Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) encourages all motorcyclists to prepare for safe winter riding with five tips.

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore commented, “Please take these special precautions when riding in colder temperatures. Winter riding requires attention to the road, your speed, and the changing surroundings. Always be prepared and have a safe ride every time.”

A simple three-step layering method

Take the three-layer approach to dress for winter riding. A thermal that retains warmth and hugs the body can serve as your base layer. The middle layer of clothing should be snug and have enough room for ventilation and flexibility. Your riding coat is the third and outer layer that seals in the warmth and gives you protection.

Pick the right riding gear

It is a safe practice to make sure that all your riding gear is compliant with the Georgia Department of Transportation. In the winter, a full-face helmet gives you the most protection from the frigid weather and wind. Water-resistant gear that is adaptable to weather changes provides comfort on cold rides.

Plan your trip and check your bike

Have your trip planned to account for road delays and check weather forecasts. Find a news source or app that you trust to give you reliable and accurate weather information.

Inspect your bike

Before you get on the road, your bike needs to be in great shape if you plan on continuing to ride in the winter. Check your bike’s battery charge and indicator lights. Tires lose pressure in cold weather; check tire pressures to ensure each tire has the appropriate amount of pressure. On top of checking tire pressure, don’t forget to inspect tire tread.

Watch out for road hazards

One thing that other seasons do not bring to roads compared to winter is ice. Riding your motorcycle in winter is extremely risky when the roads are icy with black ice. Although it is recommended to not ride in the snow, sometimes it starts to fall as you are riding. Roads are slippery when wet, which gives tires less traction on the road. It is not just the wet and icy roads to look out for, but salt is not good for tires. Although salt is placed on roads to lower the freezing point of water, it can be a road hazard and cause damage to motorcycles.

About the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program: The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) is a part of the Georgia Department of Driver Services. In addition to regulating rider education programs, the GMSP also promotes motorist awareness programs, share the road campaigns, and is focused on highway safety issues affecting Georgia motorcyclists. For more information visit https://dds.georgia.gov/motorcycle-license.