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5 tips for winter motorcycling

If you are one of the die-hards who brave northern Illinois winters on your motorcycle, you are made of tough stuff indeed. You can, however, reduce your risk and increase your comfort level by utilizing the following tips when you head out for a winter ride.

Watch the weather. Pay attention to the forecasts, not just for where you are, but where you will be headed. Remember the lake effect can greatly influence the amount of snowfall, but on a two-wheeler, any accumulation is too much.

Layer your riding gear. Begin with base layers that cover your extremities, then insulate with a fleecy layer. If more underlayers are necessary, wool is good. Whether you go for traditional leather outerwear or some of the newer waterproof fabrics, make sure that you are fully protected, right down to your fingertips.

Routinely maintain your bike and prep it for winter. From hoses to tires, it should be in tip-top shape.

Increase the distance between you and other vehicles. Your tires make less traction on the road when it's cold, so you need more time to react to hazards.

Beware of deadly black ice and other hazards. Salt can be just as hazardous as ice for a biker on the highway.

Remember, too, that most motorists are not expecting to see many two-wheelers out on the highways in the winter. Considering that precious few drivers pay much attention during the height of motorcycle season, this can be an even more dangerous time to ride.

If you get hurt in a motorcycle accident due to a driver's negligence, you need to be aware of your legal rights in the matter to make an informed choice on how to proceed.

Source: Ultimate Motorcycling, "7 Tips For Winter Motorcycle Riding," Ron Lieback, accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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