Top five winter motorcycle riding tips to prepare for the holidays

Published 10:37 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

Staff Reports

As the holiday season approaches and temperatures begin to drop, many Georgia motorcyclists will continue to enjoy riding through the winter months and holidays. During the year’s most hectic and challenging riding season, the Georgia Department of Driver Services’ (DDS) Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) offers some helpful strategies to both motorcyclists and drivers to safely enjoy holiday celebrations and cold weather riding.

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.”

Don’t forget the basics: Choose the right gear.

In the winter, a full-face helmet gives you the most protection from frigid weather and wind. Water-resistant gear that is adaptable to weather changes provides comfort and warmth on cold rides. Take the three-layer approach to dress for winter motorcycle riding.

Plan your trip with safety and traffic in mind.

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 motorcycle.

Before you get on the road, your motorcycle needs to be in great shape if you plan on continuing to ride in the winter. Check your motorcycle’s battery charge and indicator lights.

Watch out for road hazards.

Riding your motorcycle in winter is extremely risky when the roads are icy, especially with black ice. If the weather becomes too difficult to drive in, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.  Roads are slippery when wet, which gives tires less traction on the road.

Be on alert for distracted and impaired drivers.

Holiday celebrations and winter weather conditions tend to bring about a multitude of distractions for drivers and motorcyclists alike. Always do your part by staying alert and driving sober.

GMSP Manager, Holly Hegyesi advises motorcyclists and drivers: “If your holiday plans include consuming alcohol, get a ride from a sober friend, or use a rideshare service to get home safely”.

Winter and holiday motorcycle riding can be challenging but you can do your part to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as the safety of others on the road. To brush up on your skills and learn the most up-to-date maneuvers for a safe and enjoyable winter ride, register in a RiderCourse at one of many DDS locations or Certified Private Partners.