Motorcycle Wind Chill Charts – 2021 Guide To Staying Warm While Riding

Troy
| Last Updated: March 14, 2021

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There’s no denying that cold wind can chill you to the bone. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that you hear the term ‘wind chill’ being thrown around once temperatures begin to drop.

It’s one of those things people love throwing around in discussions about the weather, but what does wind chill mean in the motorcycle world?

Today we’ll delve into the ins and outs of a motorcycle wind chart, including ensuring that you’re prepared.

Photo credit: TyphoonHelmets.com

What Does Wind Chill Mean and Why Is It Important When Riding?

Also known as the wind chill factor, wind chill refers to how cold your body feels. It’s perceived as a reduction in the ambient air temperature due to the flow of air on your body.

Upon riding your motorcycle, the wind on your bike causes immense moisture to leave your body. Consequently, heat leaves your body. It’s worth noting that the faster motorcycle rides usher in a greater wind chill.

Given that riding doesn’t call for intense physical activity, you stay fairly still, which means your body doesn’t produce new heat to warm it up, leading to adverse outcomes in a short time, even if the external temperature is above the freezing point.

Motorcycle Wind Chill Chart

Below are the wind chill factor charts that will come in handy when riding your motorcycle when the sweltering summers and chilly winters roll around.

How to Combat Wind Chill While Riding a Motorcycle

Let’s explore a few foolproof ways of fighting off the wind chill on a motorcycle.

Layering

It’s a lifesaver in motorcycling and other cold-weather activities. Excellent bottom layers are a snug-fitting wool or poly fleece coupled with insulating layers. We also recommend heated gear such as a heated seat and grips, given that you have a great power source (your bike) readily available.

Wind Proofing

It involves sealing in the heat to prevent it from being lost in the rushing air. The most crucial part of windproofing is seamlessness; otherwise, the money you shell out on pricey windproof gear is all in vain if you have weak points from which the heat is escaping.

At motorcycling speeds, the small gap between your collar and helmet or jacket cuffs and gloves quickly become gaping holes in your cold defenses.

Therefore, it’s important to seal these leaks with versatile items such as a balaclava or scarf, drawstrings, and Velcro. As you do so, keep in mind the biggest wind protection item that can be a lifesaver, and the best part is that you don’t have to wear it; a windshield.

How Cold Is Too Cold to Ride a Motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle when the temperature is below the freezing point of 0°C or 32°F is not advisable. These temperatures lead to ice formation, and motorcycles being smaller vehicles are more vulnerable to ice.

Now, let’s explore the repercussions of riding your bike when the wind chill drops that low. For starters, there’s the risk of hypothermia. When you think of hypothermia, what comes to mind is hikers getting lost in the Alaska Mountains for days on end.

However, the reality is that many people are surprised to discover that hypothermia can take place at a high temperature of 50 degrees.

Photo credit: AutoEvolution.com

The truth is that hypothermia arises when your body temperature dips to under 95 degrees. This can occur on a motorcycle in the middle of winter, more so if your head, hands, and feet are inadequately covered or if you’re wearing wet clothing.

It’s essential to not only know this risk but also be aware of the following signs of hypothermia.

  • Mumbling or slurred speech
  • Weak pulse
  • Shivering
  • Low energy or drowsiness
  • Shallow and slow breathing
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

Photo credit: PopularMechanics.com

If you notice any of these symptoms, stop riding immediately, as hypothermia can lead to death or cardiac arrest. Furthermore, there’s the possibility of developing frostbite in adversely cold wind chills. Nonetheless, temperatures will need to dip to under freezing point for that to occur.

In cooler states, bear in mind that a negative 25 degree-wind chill (that can be achieved when riding at 55 miles per hour in -5 degree weather) ushers in the likelihood of frostbite in less than 20 minutes.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that wind chill has serious consequences. Therefore, whether it is wind chill on a motorcycle or you gravitate more towards cold weather, investing in heated gear and proper planning is effective in keeping you alive and well on your exhilarating rides when you run into unexpected cold temperatures.

People Also Ask

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions when delving deeper into motorcycle wind chill charts.

Is It Bad to Ride a Motorcycle in Cold Weather?

While riding in cold weather increases heat in the tires, the most abrupt stop can cool them down in a jiffy, causing lack of traction. You may then lose balance, resulting in a grisly road accident.

Does Speed Affect the Wind Chill Value When Riding a Motorcycle?

Yes! There’s an inverse relation between wind chill and speed. When the latter goes up, the former goes down in stride.

Animation credit: bestanimations.com

How To Calculate Wind Chill On a Motorcycle

Wind chill revolves around an array of nebulous aspects coupled with human perceptions that make it an uphill battle to accurately compute. While there’s no precise way to measure wind chill, numerous attempts have been made to calculate the impact of cold on the human body as it is impacted by the wind to diminish risks.

Nonetheless, global standards haven’t been set. For instance, according to the North American Index, wind chill factors in the wind speed (V) along with ambient temperature (T), as opposed to your riding speed. It’s then calculated as per the equation below.

Wind Chill (°F) = 0.6215T + 35.74 – 35.75 (V0.16) + 0.4275T (V0.16)

At What Temperature Can a Motorcycle Not Start?

A bike may not start if temperatures dip below the freezing point of 32°F or 0°C as the battery's capacity is reduced when the outside ambient air freezes.

Troy

Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.