Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips

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winter motorcycle riding tips

One of the beautiful things about living in Las Vegas, at least for a motorcyclist, is being able to ride year-round. While it can certainly get cold in the desert, with the proper gear and the right destination, you can enjoy a ride in January as much as a warm weather ride. Here are some great winter motorcycle riding tips from the bikers at Safeguard Insurance:

Get the Right Gear

When the ambient temp is 50 degrees and you are riding at 60 mph, body parts start to get cold quickly. It is important for the safe operation of your bike that your hands are protected. Cold hands may not be able to grab the front brake or clutch lever quickly in an emergency. Cold feet as well, can hinder proper operation of the shift lever and rear brake.

We recommend a pair of motorcycle specific cold weather gloves that provide adequate insulation and crash protection. If you really want to keep things warm, consider heated gloves or glove liners than plug into a 12v outlet. Or, consider installing motorcycle grip heaters if your bike does not have them already.

Heated socks or boot insoles are great for keeping your toes warm, along with good boots and wool socks.

A good winter riding jacket and base layers are also a must. Again, a motorcycle specific jacket that is designed to resist abrasion and has CE approved armor is a must. Riding jackets are built tough and designed to protect the rider in the event of a crash. Your regular winter coat is not meant for motorcycle use. Motorcycle specific riding pants that have insulation and armored knee pads are also a great idea to keep your legs warm on a cold day.

Planning the Ride Route

Along with our favorable weather, Las Vegas is also conveniently located within just a few hours of many places that are best experienced on a motorcycle, even in winter.  Here are some of the Safeguard staff favorite destinations for winter motorcycle rides:

  1. Oatman Arizona: located on historic Route 66, Oatman is wild-west mining town that never went away. Wild burros roam the streets and quaint shops welcome visitors. There are two ways to reach Oatman from Las Vegas and both routes are about 130 miles. US93 to Kingman, or US95 to Laughlin.  We recommend US95, over the river to Bullhead City and on to Oatman.
  2. Death Valley National Park: winter is the perfect time to visit Death Valley when the temps are actually pleasant. The scenery in Death Valley is like something from another planet and the roads leading to and from the park are windy and twisty.
  3. Lakeshore Road: The road that winds around Lake Mead is perfect for a morning ride. There are many options to choose from, but we like to ride out to Overton Nevada, connect with highway 169 and ride all the way into Boulder City. Then, you can turn around and start over or ride US93 back into Las Vegas.

Obviously, there are many other winter motorcycle riding destinations around Las Vegas and we’d love to know where you like to ride to. Lastly, don’t forget to buy the right motorcycle insurance for your bike. At Safeguard Insurance, we provide coverage for all types of bikes and riders. From sport bikes to cruisers to touring bikes, we can find you the right motorcycle insurance, at the right price! Ride safe and stay warm!

Image: Galina Barskaya/123rf