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Poor weather
and temperature
extremes

Poor weather conditions can affect you
and your ability to control the motorcycle.
Try to avoid riding in poor weather. Be
cautious when riding in spring and fall, as
you could be surprised by winter weather.
Check weather and road condition reports,
and make decisions for safety.

Lower temperatures due to cold or
wind chill conditions can cause the body
to lose internal heat. If you become
chilled, your ability to concentrate and
respond can be affected. Warm or hot
temperatures can cause the body to
become dehydrated and can result in
heat exhaustion. Wear the proper clothing
to protect yourself. (See Chapter 2 for
more about temperature extremes.)

Strong or gusty winds can affect your
ability to control the motorcycle and may
make it difficult to maintain a proper lane
position. In windy conditions, grip the
motorcycle tightly with your thighs. Keep
your upper body relaxed and your arms
bent and loose.

If you encounter a strong crosswind,
lean into it. Create a good space cushion
in case the crosswind suddenly decreases.
You can do this by choosing a lane or lane
position that will keep you out of oncoming
traffic, and a lane position that will allow
you to stay in your lane.

Be aware that when you are riding in
a strong wind, you may be more easily
fatigued. If the wind is extreme, your safest
choice is not to ride.


Road surface
hazards that
affect traction

Fluid leaks from other vehicles can settle in
the centre of the lane and result in reduced
traction. Traction is also reduced when
there is moisture on the road surface.
Pavement is particularly slippery just after
it starts to rain, before the surface oil and
dirt are washed to the side of the road. To
avoid this danger, do not ride in the centre
portion of the lane just after the rain starts.

When there is water on the road, a
layer of water may form between the
road surface and the tires. Your tires may
lose contact with the road surface. This
is called hydroplaning. To reduce the risk
of hydroplaning on wet roads, reduce
your speed without braking. If you start
to hydroplane, do not brake. Keep your
eyes up and along your intended path,
and maintain or very gradually reduce your
speed. Try to avoid riding where the tires
of vehicles have created areas where the
road is lower and water has settled.

Gravel, sand, tar strips, mud, painted
road markings, and steel surfaces like utility
hole covers reduce traction and should be
avoided or ridden over cautiously.

Dirt, gravel and sand collect along the
sides of the road, in residential areas and
especially on curves and ramps leading
to and from highways. Spring can be the
worst time for this due to road sanding
during the winter. Be aware of what is
on the edge of the road when turning
sharply, and entering and exiting highways
Reduce your speed and adjust your riding
for these conditions.
 

CHAPTER SIX                                                                                        RIDING IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS  43

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