The time has come, the mild temperatures are far behind us. They have made way for cold weather, slowing the fervour of many motorcycle enthusiasts. However, some riders will extend their motorcycle season until the roads are unusable.
For those true warriors braving Quebec's harsh climate, here are some tips to protect yourself on a motorcycle in cold weather.
Invest in high-performance motorcycle wear
A stylish leather jacket can break the wind, but the leather can become cold and stiff. For all intents and purposes, a garment made of good quality fabrics is generally warmer than leather. That's why so much modern motorcycle apparel is made of lightweight, high-performance materials that keep you warm, without restricting your movements.
For maximum protection against the biting cold that can occur early in the year in the northern Mauricie, make sure that your wrists, neck and ankles can be covered tightly to prevent wind and cold from seeping into the area. A neck warmer or scarf is a good addition to stop the icy breeze exacerbated by the wind chill. Finally, wearing several layers of clothing under your jacket is a good way to insulate yourself from the cold when you go for a long ride on the roads of Quebec.
Prevent frostbite on fingers and toes
You might be wearing the warmest jacket and pants, but if your extremities are not properly protected, riding your motorcycle won't be easy. This is especially true if you take winding roads like those in the Lanaudière region. Indeed, precisely operating the clutch, brakes and accelerator is difficult with frozen hands!
Get good quality winter gloves and wear wool socks to prevent your fingers and toes from going numb. However, be wary, just because gloves are thick doesn't mean they're necessarily hot. Usually, the price you pay will be the best performance indicator.
Use electric motorcycle accessories that will warm your hands
Electrical accessories are another way to fight cold and frostbite. For example, heated handles are easy to install and make an instant difference in comfort when riding in freezing weather. You can purchase complete sets that only need to be wired or opt for cheaper adhesive elements that can be attached directly to the bars.Make sure your clothes are always dry
If it gets wet or damp, even the best performing motorcycle apparel won't keep you warm for long. Moisture can quickly become your worst enemy, especially if you take routes along rivers such as the Saint-François River in Centre-du-Quebec.
So remember to carry a few extra items of clothing with you, which you can pack in bags that can be sealed tightly. Large format Ziploc bags can easily do the trick. These bags will be as effective at keeping your clothes dry as they are at separating your wet clothes from dry ones. Of course, to bring all this, your bike must be equipped with bags or transport cases.
Never ride your motorcycle if the temperature is too cold
In conclusion, you can be well protected from the cold by being cautious and taking care to apply the few tips mentioned above. However, in addition to reducing your comfort, extreme temperatures can have a huge impact on motorcycle riding. For example, tires can harden to the point where they lose most of their grip.
Finally, if it's too cold to ride a motorcycle, you can always stay warm and start planning your next expedition! If you would like ideas for itineraries or activities to do on your two-wheeler, visit the Motorcycling Quebec site today.