As the mercury drops week to week, heralding winter's imminent arrival, Quebec motorcyclists need to start thinking about what to do with their vehicles during the cold season.
However, the options are few and far between, leaving little choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. Here are the possibilities.
Keep riding your motorcycle despite winter weather conditions
In recent years, motorcycle enthusiasts have had no choice but to abandon their two-wheeled machines during the winter months in order to comply with the law. Since December 2014, Quebec legislation has prohibited driving on the province's road network equipped with all-season tires, whether by car or motorcycle.
The lack of manufacturers able to offer motorcycle tires that are truly suitable for winter driving meant that motorcyclists had no choice but to store their equipment from December 15 to March 15. This restrictive law therefore prevented motorcyclists from taking advantage of roads in more southerly regions, such as Montérégie, whose road conditions could have allowed for a few rides during this period.
The arrival of winter motorcycle tires on the market
However, little by little, winter motorcycle tires are appearing on the market. Like winter car tires, they display the snowflake logo inside a mountain, indicating that they are intended for winter use. They remain more flexible at low temperatures and offer superior grip on slippery surfaces.
Obviously, even with these tires designed for Quebec's harsh climate, it is important to adapt your driving style to the road conditions. It is even safer to avoid driving on the road network if it is snow-covered. This means that in regions where snow accumulates very heavily, such as Côte-Nord, it could be risky to attempt to ride a motorcycle in winter.
Winter motorcycle storage
This option is undoubtedly the most popular among Quebec motorcyclists. Indeed, few of them are willing to take the risk of driving on roads that offer very little grip, which increases the risk of falls and accidents. Not to mention that the extreme cold on a motorcycle is enough to discourage even the least skittish. Since motorcycles generally do not have heated handles, hands are often the first to suffer frostbite, even with good mitts. It is therefore apparent that motorcyclists in the northernmost territories, such as Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, are storing their bikes earlier, given the early onset of winter in this area.
Storing a motorcycle makes it easier to maintain it
Storage also protects the motorcycle from damage caused by cold, damp, salt and gravel on the roads. This cocktail can accelerate the corrosion of metal parts.
If you are wondering which of these two options is most appropriate for you, keep in mind that factors such as your driving experience, your level of cold endurance and the region in which you live should be taken into account. In fact, the most prudent thing to do is probably store your bike, but if your all-consuming passion dictates that you keep riding even in winter, why not succumb to it.
Finally, to learn more about everything Quebec has to offer motorcyclists, don't hesitate to visit the Motorcycling Quebec website. You will find a wealth of useful information on the different regions of the province, as well as itinerary recommendations.