How to Extend the Motorcycle Riding Season

Jan 22, 2022

Triumph motorcycle ridden in California.

In many parts of the United States, the weather is cooling down and motorcyclists are preparing their motorcycles to be stored for a few months. But if you’re not ready to let go of the riding season yet, there are a few ways you can extend your riding season and squeeze a few more riders during winter months.  

Head South

The easiest way to extend a motorcycle riding season is to travel south, where winter is generally milder. Whether you’re riding the Southern Pacific Route or visiting a tropical destination like Miami Beach, you can ride comfortably all winter long without worrying about chilly weather. Escape the snow during the cold months and explore some exciting destinations in the southern half of the country. Need more trip ideas? Read the Best Miami Motorcycle Riding Trips and How to Rent a Motorcycle in California articles. 

Wear the Right Motorcycle Riding Gear

When the Mercury dips, start layering up with the appropriate gear before hitting the road. Start with a thin but warm baselayer. Think long underwear, or a more technical pair of leggings, a long sleeve shirt and socks. Merino wool is great for keeping your feet warm and dry. Add a heated jacket over your baselayer to help stay warm without adding bulk. Finally don’t forget about your neck, which is where a lot of cold air can sneak in. Wear a neck gaiter and a snug full-face helmet (make sure to close the vents) to keep you insulated from head-to-toe.

Ride a Motorcycle With a Windshield— The Bigger, the Better

The best thing about renting a motorcycle is the ability to select the right bike based on climate. If you anticipate riding in cold weather, choose a street bike with a large windshield to help deflect air around you. You can also search for bikes that have heated hand grips, and/or a heated seat to make your ride more comfortable. Harley-Davidson has plenty of touring bikes with large windshields to keep you from getting too chilly.

Use Extra Caution

If you’re riding in a climate where there’s a possibility of snow and ice, it's important to be extra cautious on the road. Salt, snow, potholes and black ice are just a few dangers that lurk on roadways during the winter months. Use extra caution when riding in inclement weather and maintain a greater following distance. Give yourself more time to react to potential hazards on the road.

Take the Scenic Route

Cold weather landscapes can be beautiful, so this is the perfect season to slow down and enjoy your surroundings. Being in a rush to get to a destination is a recipe for disaster so take your time and allow for frequent breaks to warm up and drink water. It can be difficult to realize how cold you’re getting while you’re riding, so check in often and learn to recognize the signs of hypothermia. If the weather looks like it could get bad, be flexible and avoid routes where there’s a possibility you could get lost or stuck.