How Cold is Too Cold for a Motorcyclist?

It’s no secret that Chicago can get some brutal winter conditions, with temperatures ranging between 17 degrees and 36 degrees Fahrenheit on average and the entire winter season producing about 38 inches of snow. Needless to say, for motorcyclists that ride completely exposed to the elements, some wonder how cold is too cold to ride safely.

This question has a lot to do with clothing and gear, comfortability, and general preference, however, there are certain temperatures that may be simply too cold for motorcycle riders to hop on their bikes. Our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys explain more below.

Impacts on Riders’ Health and Safety

In general, you probably should not ride a motorcycle when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) outside. This is because ice can form on the road, increasing the risk of losing control of your bike, sliding, and getting into a motorcycle accident. Your visibility may be hindered in active snowfall and you may be at an increased risk of getting hit by another vehicle.

It’s important for all motorcycle riders to understand their own limitations when determining whether it is too cold to safely ride a motorcycle. For instance, some risks of riding a motorcycle in extremely cold weather include:

  • Wind Chill. When you ride a motorcycle, the wind, also known as the “wind chill,” can cause the heat to leave your body rapidly.
  • Hypothermia. Even in cold weather, you probably will still sweat on a motorcycle. The moisture on your body can cause your body temperature to drop and you may become hypothermic.
  • Frostbite. This condition can occur when body tissue starts to freeze due to heat loss, often affecting the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin.
  • Distraction. Motorcyclists can find it hard to concentrate and focus on the road when they are distracted by intense cold.

Ultimately, being safe on your motorcycle during the winter months depends on your experience, training, skills, equipment, and bike functionality. If you do decide to brace the cold on your bike, you can read our blog here to learn some key winter motorcycle riding safety tips.

Advocating for the Rights of Injured Motorcyclists

After sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident, you are left to face a long road toward physical, mental, and financial recovery. Please know that you don’t have to fight this battle alone—our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys will do all the heavy lifting for you. We will guide you through the claims process from start to finish and advocate for justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.

Contact McNabola Motorcycle Rescue at (312) 584-4477 to get started with a free consultation.