Cold Weather Riding
As winter sets in, the temperatures drop, even here in the Sooner State. If you’re one of those intrepid souls who wants to ride your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle all year round, you’ll need to contend with below-freezing temperatures. Even if it doesn’t seem that cold when you initially step outside, the wind will make you much colder as you ride. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ride in winter! You’ll just need to take a few precautions to stay safe even in the coldest snaps.
Myers-Duren Harley-Davidson in Tulsa, OK, is here for all of our Oklahoma customers, so we’ve provided this guide to the best practices for cold weather riding to get you and your Harley bike out on the highway even when there’s a chill in the air.
Wear The Right Gear
Keeping yourself warm on the highway isn’t solely about comfort. Your safety comes into play, too. While you might not be at risk of frostbite here in Oklahoma, you’ll definitely feel your limbs stiffen up if you aren’t adequately dressed for colder temperatures. Being cold makes it harder to use the controls on your Harley bike and it will also cloud your judgement and slow down your reaction times.
Layering is the best way to stay warm in winter. While you might think throwing on a thick coat over your street clothes is sufficient, this won’t keep you as warm and it could be bulky, making maneuvering your bike more difficult. A base layer of thermal underwear with layers of wool, fleece or polyester over it will be best. Avoid cotton clothing close to your body as it will trap any sweat (since you might still sweat in the cold if you’re working hard!) and become cold and clammy from absorbed moisture.
You may be able to wear your usual riding jacket and pants or riding suit, but adding some layers under them will help. If your riding gear is leather, you may also want to invest in a more breathable set of riding gear to help you stay ventilated and comfortable on the road. You don’t want to be wet out in the cold, either, so if the forecast predicts rain, you’ll also want to make your outermost layer waterproof.
Not only do your clothes need to be altered to keep you warm, but you’ll want to invest in some better riding accessories to help stave off the cold. A full-face helmet with anti-fogging capabilities will help protect your head and keep your breath from fogging up the mask and obscuring your vision. You’ll want to wear a neck guard to keep your neck warm, too. Water-resistant gloves and waterproof boots with thick socks will help trap heat if it’s both cold and rainy outside.
Prepare For Extreme Cold
Again, Oklahoma very rarely gets the extremely cold temperatures you may see further north, but even if the thermometer reads 45°F, windchill can reduce that by several degrees. And you never know when we’ll experience sudden freezing temperatures! If you’re heading to higher elevations as you ride, you’ll also feel dips in temperatures, so be prepared! On long rides, you should factor in more frequent breaks to give yourself a chance to warm up and take some strain off your muscles, as the cold can be fatiguing.
Prepare Your Bike
Your Harley bike will need some attention to keep it running well in the cold, too. For every 10° drop in temperature, you’ll lose anywhere from one to two pounds of air pressure in your tires. Make sure to check your tire pressure before you head out, and don’t ride on bad or low-quality tires.
Fitting a windshield to your bike if it doesn’t have one can help keep some of the cold winds off you, which will keep you warmer and prevent fatigue from setting in. You can investigate aftermarket options that either install permanently or are able to be removed as desired.
We hope our guide to cold weather riding helps you to enjoy your Harley motorcycle all year long. If you’re still searching for the perfect bike or you want an upgrade, visit our dealership location in Tulsa, OK, today. We carry a wide selection of new and used Harley motorcycles for sale! Myers-Duren Harley-Davidson® proudly serves the entire state of Oklahoma, including the cities of Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby and Glenpool.