How do you know when it’s too cold to ride your motorcycle?
You could check your phone from the safety of your couch.
You could step outside, and see if you get soaked.
Me, I just ask Hector, my bright orange cat.
Hector’s Head of Motorcycle Security around here.
So he’s often out in the shed, snoring loudly at potential thieves.
But every year, without warning, he suddenly moves his security operation inside, to the guest bedroom.
His muddy paw prints on the clean white quilt spell out a clear message.
Hibernation season has begun.
It’s officially too cold to ride.
When it’s too cold to ride motorcycles, you need a Plan B. Parking your motorcycle in your living room is a good place to start. You could also research your next bike, buy some new bike gear, or check out a motorcycle blog. It all helps you make it through winter to the first motorcycle ride of spring.
The thought of being cut off from motorcycles for months is beyond depressing.
As the snow falls thickly outside your window, and the wind howls through the trees, your motorcycle sits abandoned in the shed.
Is the sun ever coming back?
Oh, it’s coming back, alright. But it might take awhile.
Until then, you need a way to stay sane.
And that always involves motorcycles, right?
Well, I’ve got you covered.
Here’s a whole list of motorcycle themed stuff you can do in the meantime.
With any luck, they’ll keep you distracted enough until it’s time to find your bike key again!
12 Things to Do When It’s Too Cold for Motorcycles
1. Move your motorcycle into the living room
Bikes get lonely over winter. Everyone knows that.
So bring your motorcycle into the living room, where you can see it.
It’ll make you smile every day until the sun comes out again.
But maybe you need a little help to make this happen.
No worries; I’ve covered this in another post, where I give you 21 rock solid excuses to park your motorcycle in the house.
And while you’re bringing the garage indoors…
2. Do a small garage project – in the house
If it’s colder than moonlight on a tombstone outside, you can’t spend all day in the garage.
But there are still probably 100 Little Garage Projects you’ve been meaning to get to.
There may be boxes of stuff you want to sort through.
Or tools which need cleaning and oiling.
Bring a small project back indoors, and work on it at the kitchen table.
And sure, put down some old newspaper first.
(We’re not savages here.)
This way you gradually get your garage back in order for spring – without getting frostbite in the process.
3. Catch up with your favorite motorcycle blog
When the sun is out, you’ll be out on your bike, not reading online.
But when it’s too cold for motorcycles, you have a chance to catch up on your reading.
You may have missed a great new motorcycle article that tells you something new, answers a question, or even just makes you laugh.
There are plenty of great motorcycle blogs out there…
Wait, here’s one now!
Here are some of my OTHER favorites…
4. Tackle the piles of motorcycle magazines
If your household is anything like ours, there are always piles of bike mags lying around.
Some are lying open to an article you need to read again.
Others you’ve finished with, but somehow they’re still on the floor.
When it’s pouring with rain anyway, you may as well impose some order on chaos.
Get some of those basic cardboard magazine holders, and pack your mags into them.
You don’t need to go Full Library Nerd here.
But it’s actually pretty handy to know roughly where that article on the 1963 Bonneville is when you’re next thinking of buying one…
5. Repair (or replace!) your motorcycle gear
Winter is a great time to do some inventory on your bike gear.
It’s probably been ages since you gave it the once-over.
When your bike is calling you on a sunny Saturday afternoon, who cares if your gear is dirty or a little threadbare?
But now your bike’s on ice for a little while, this is your chance to gear up in earnest for the new riding season.
(It’s just around the corner, remember!)
- Are your boots still covered in road dirt from your last 4,000 rides?
- Does your leather jacket need wiping down and waterproofing?
- How about your helmet? This is the perfect time to pull out the liner and give it a good wash. It has plenty of time to dry in the living room.
This is also a great time to re-stock any motorcycle gear that’s wearing out.
Maybe your favorite riding socks developed holes when you weren’t looking.
You might need a new motorcycle t-shirt to celebrate the new season.
Or maybe there’s a sale on that headlight cover you need, or the mudguard extender you’ve been meaning to pick up online for months.
6. Plan your first ride after the winter
So it’s colder than your mother-in-law’s kiss out there right now.
But spring will be back.
And while you wait, you can plan your first ride of the new season.
Where will you go when the sun smiles on you again?
What’s your favorite ride that you just can’t pass up?
Start planning to get back out on that familiar road now.
Can you set a date? Can you call some friends to come along?
Now you have concrete plans for the first weekend of the next riding season.
And what about the second weekend?
What will you plan for that?
Maybe there’s a road trip on the cards?
Or an annual group ride you don’t want to miss?
Work out the details now, so you have something amazing to look forward to.
7. Sort out your motorcycle photos
How many bike photos do you have stored on your phone, computer or camera?
I have thousands and thousands.
(Yeah, I have a problem. I know I should seek help. Instead, I take some more photos.)
It’s such a shame to let all those photos just sit there, forgotten, sometimes for years.
But who has time to sort out photos?
Actually, you do, right now.
While the squirrels are running around outside in their thermal underwear, you can bring your favorite motorcycle photos back into the light where they belong.
This doesn’t have to be a boring, epic chore.
Just track down a couple dozen of the best shots of your own bike, other bikes you’ve admired, or great biking memories, and DO something with them.
Like this, for instance:
- Get your best road trip photos printed and put them on a photo board where you can remember how much fun you had.
- Unearth a stunning photo of your dream bike and make it your screensaver or phone cover photo.
- Take a handful of your best bike photos in to work and put them up so you remember why you work for a living
8. Take a road trip – in the car!
I know, I know, I should wash my mouth out with hot soap and water for saying such a filthy thing.
But when it’s too cold for motorcycles, this is one way to stay in touch with the open road, and the experience of the Great Outdoors…without dying of exposure.
You can check out potential new routes to take on the bike in spring, and do a trial run of new destinations.
And go on, bring the dog – he’s bored too.
9. Research your next bike!
So you’ve been dreaming about a certain motorcycle, huh?
You can practically hear it calling your name.
Yep, we’ve all heard that call.
If you’re thinking about adding a new motorcycle to the family, here’s your chance to get to know more about it.
Rather than buying based on emotion and desire, gather some information about the bike and see whether it really is The Right One for you.
10. Get a feel for the motorcycle marketplace
If you’re seriously thinking of swapping your current motorcycle for a different one, this is your chance to make sure you get the best deal.
Because now you have time to check out the market.
What’s your bike worth in the current marketplace?
Look through your local motorcycle magazine or auction websites, and see what bikes like yours are going for.
What could you reasonably ask for yours?
Does it need one or two minor tweaks to make it really appealing to the market?
Now’s your chance to do them.
This is a golden opportunity to set up the next phase of your motorcycle ownership journey.
11. Learn more about your own motorcycle
While you’re in fact-finding mode, how much do you know about your own bike?
Have you noticed gaps in your knowledge over the riding season?
Are there questions about your bike you wish you knew the answer to?
Here’s a great moment to get on the internet and find the answers yourself.
You don’t need to ask your motorcycle dealer’s grumpy mechanic for the answers.
He acts like he’s keeping more magic secrets than Harry Potter.
While you have time your hands, why not become more of an expert on your own motorcycle?
12. Get a fix of motorcycle action on YouTube
While it’s colder than a witch’s toes, you can’t roar down the highway on your own motorcycle.
But plenty of other people are doing it online for your entertainment – and you can be part of their two-wheeled adventures on YouTube.
Whether you want to hear a rare vintage motorcycle starting up, or get a biker’s-eye-view of the road from a helmet camera, there’s plenty of motorcycle stuff here to enjoy.
You know it’s too cold for motorcycles when the biker cats stop sleeping in the shed.
You definitely need a plan for waiting out the cold.
And now you have a dozen ways of staying in touch with your bike until the sun comes out (and the cats get back to their garage security duties).
If it’s too cold to ride, you might need some online therapy.
Here are some ideas…