Riding in the snow
When riding in the snow, there are some things you should keep in mind. Snow conditions change constantly, and you need to adjust your riding depending on the snow and how it is changing. Snow riding is an entirely different set of skills than regular dirt biking, and it takes some practice to get comfortable.
The first thing you need to learn when snow riding is proper cornering. Depending on conditions, corners can be incredibly slippery or relatively easy to ride through. Always start a corner by leaning the bike away from the turn; this gives you more traction on the side of your tire that is in the corner. To turn, lean into the corner and push down with both feet until you are just about to slide out. Then lift up slightly with both feet and start leaning away from the corner again; this will cause the bike to naturally straighten back up.
Riding on ice
Riding on ice is much different than riding in the snow. Having a great set of studded tires will make all the difference. Dirt bike snow tires that are studded will ensure that you stick to the ice and slippery surfaces while giving you better support and traction.
Gear & apparel
When riding dirt bikes in the cold weather, you need some good riding gear to keep you warm and comfortable as you roost through the snow. For cold temperatures as you ride, you should wear a breathable jacket to keep yourself dry and warm on the inside of your jacket; this will keep you more comfortable and is also a good idea to have waterproof pants and always wear gloves with some sort of grip or padding on them so that you do not lose your grip on the handlebars.
Your pants should be made of waterproof, breathable material as well. This is to keep yourself dry as you ride through slushy snow and mud, which is highly likely to happen. The boots should be waterproof with some sort of grip on them.
One of the best things you can do is purchase some good handguards for your dirt bike. Handguards will block the wind from your knuckles and help your grip strength. You can choose between the wide square-style guards or a full wrap-around handlebar guard.
It is also a good idea to install a set of electric grip heaters on your dirt bike. These will keep the blood flowing through your hands, which will help you maintain feeling in your fingers and grip strength. You do not want to lose your grip and take a big digger.
When your bike is not in use, it is defiantly a good idea to always elevate the bike onto a stand to extend the life of the suspension. This is a big deal for bikes with air folks. One other benefit is having flat spots on your tires, which is important for tires made out of soft rubber.
Another thing you can do to help your dirt biking skills in the snow is to change your tires. For serious snow riding, you should change the tire to one that has a lot of lugs on it, and slicks are not recommended because they do not dig into the snow so you will slide around. Softer rubber also works better in cold weather than harder compounds. You need some grip to gain traction on the ice and snow.
You do not want to get snow caked onto your tires, because that will affect your traction and braking. If you already have snow packed into the tires, stop as soon as possible to take a look at each tire so you can knock off excess snow.
Modifying the motor on your dirt bike is a modification you can do to prepare for riding in the snow, especially if you ride through deep powder often. By covering the carburetor you can prevent snow from getting into your throttle body and choke. The airbox is something you want to make sure that snow does not build up, you will want to stop as soon as possible and clean it.
Kickstarting a cold dirt bike
Kickstarting in the cold is a lot different than kickstarting in warmer temperatures. When you are kicking, do not use the compression release because it will flood your bike. If you have trouble getting your cold dirt bike started, keep your kicks fast and short rather than slow because chances are that if you kick too slowly, the engine will flood. Also, winter riders should consider installing an electric start on their dirt bikes if they plan to go biking in the snow.
If you are done dirt bike riding for the winter and it is still cold outside, you should store your bike in a climate-controlled storage unit. Climate control helps keep moisture away from the bike, which will prevent rust. If your bike is not stored properly it can result in corrosion, and if left untreated this could lead to more serious issues on your dirt bike.
Don’t forget to also fill up the tank with gas, give it an oil change, and put plenty of anti-freeze in it. Wash off your dirt bike and use a good lubricant to coat the chains. This will help extend the life of your dirt bike and prepare it for next season. A good tarp or cover for it will also help keep the moisture out and plug up your exhaust pipe. This keeps water and condensation out as well as animals building nests.