After a long summer riding season, you are probably about ready to winterize your motorcycle and park it until the snow melts in Michigan. You do not have to say goodbye to your hobby completely, though. If you have been riding with old, damaged or ineffective safety gear, winter is a great time to replace essential pieces. 

While Michigan law does not require all riders to wear a helmet, donning one every time you ride is an effective way to stay safe behind the handlebars. After all, helmets saved nearly 2,000 motorcyclists’ lives in 2016 alone. While your riding helmet is the cornerstone of your protective gear, you need a few other pieces as well. 


When you ride, you use your hands to turn, accelerate and brake. During cold or inclement weather, your grip may become less predictable. Furthermore, if you fall off your bike during a collision, you may injure the bones, muscles and connective tissues in your hands. Wearing a pair of insulated gloves with reinforced grips gives you the protection you need to ride with confidence. 


Even though you may not enjoy wearing a jacket during muggy summer rides, doing so is your best bet for avoiding road rash. This medical condition occurs when you rub your skin against pavement, gravel or another rough surface. Fortunately, many modern riding jackets feature a lightweight design with reinforced areas that offer the ultimate protection for your rides. 


If your boot slips, you may lose control of your motorcycle. Many riding boot manufacturers make their products to limit slides. Additionally, good motorcycle boots protect your foot and ankle from injury during a collision. If your existing boots have worn tread, swapping them for a new pair before your next ride probably makes sense. 

You do not have to leave either your safety or your riding gear’s effectiveness to chance. Instead, you can spend Michigan’s notoriously cold winters finding the perfect safety-rated pieces of riding gear. With some luck, you may find end-of-year bargains that save you money.