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Snow chains are used by many vehicles to increase traction when they encounter roads with heavy snow and ice. Many vehicles have to use snow chains to get into certain areas. You may be wondering if motorcycles fall under this category.
Can you put snow chains on your motorcycle? You can put snow chains on your motorcycle in an emergency. In winter, however, it is highly advised that motorcycles be kept off the roads unless absolutely necessary. Only use motorcycle snow chains as a last resort.
You should carefully consider the pros and cons of adding snow chains on your motorcycle tires. You should be aware of the best navigation method for safety, especially if you live in harsh winter climates.
When It’s Appropriate To Use Snow Chains On A Motorcycle
Many people believe that adding snow chains on a motorcycle is easy and simple. They are available for most other vehicles, so why should a motorcycle?
Only a handful of reasons are there to add snow chains on your motorcycle. Avoid riding your motorcycle when it’s below freezing or snowing. Street bikes were not intended to be used in extreme weather conditions. This can make them dangerous for those who are less skilled. See my article here that discusses when it’s too cold to ride a motorcycle.
It is quite simple. Snow chains require at least four tires to transport the vehicle. Two tires are needed for motorcycles. Motorcycles are highly susceptible to sliding and hydroplaning on ice. Your life is more important that the destination you are trying to reach, even if your motorcycle is all you have. You can wait.
Your motorcycle’s function is also at risk from snow chains. Snow chains can also cause damage to your motorcycle if they break. This scenario could leave you stranded during a storm.
The only time it is appropriate to use snow chains on a motorcycle is if you are in an absolute emergency, your motorcycle is your only source of transportation, and you don’t have knobby winter tires on your motorcycle.
These people are often misled by the notion that dirt bikes are capable of handling such conditions. Motorcycles are different from dirt bikesDirt bikes were made for tough terrain and similar conditions, while a street bike was designed for everyday use.
If you are going to use snow chains on your motorcycle, buy a good quality set; this is a purchase you don’t want to go cheap on. Be sure you install them correctly because that could only cause you more problems if you don’t. If possible, have a friend help with the installation.
Tips to Add Show Chains To A Motorcycle
Here are some tips to help you feel safer when using snow chains to protect your motorcycle tires.
First, carefully follow the instructions provided with the chain. Don’t skip steps or assume you know how it goes on without reading the directions because you’ve put chains on a car tire before. If your snow chains did not come with instructions, look up the instructions online and on YouTube, you shouldn’t have trouble finding them.
Snow chains for a motorcycle are different to snow chains for any other vehicle. This is because there is less clearance between the chains, and other important parts of your motorcycle.
Zip ties or additional chains can be used to attach the chain to your tire through the tire’s rim if possible. It’s pretty easy for the chains to slip off to one side, so having the fasteners will prevent the chains from doing so. If you’re going to loop some extra chains or zip ties through the tire rim, make sure to use at least 5 or 6 fasteners on each tire so there is an even distribution. Make sure you use thick, heavy-duty zip ties.
Once the snow chains are installed on your motorcycle, do a quality check and make sure it is tight and won’t slip off. Be especially careful with any part that rubs on any part the motorcycle frame, the rolling chains, or other parts.
Snow chains can cause you to be unable to ride your motorcycle safely. Having snow chains on your motorcycle usually means you’re riding through some snow and ice, so you don’t want to go too fast and risk slipping.
Listen for any eerie clinking noises that don’t feel right to you; you don’t want the chain to be rubbing on places it shouldn’t be because it could cause expensive damages to your motorcycle. You can also ride on snow-pounded paths, but not all of them.
Alternatives to Motorcycle Snow Chains
There are many alternatives to using snow chains on motorcycles, as we have already stated. First, you can wait for the storm to pass and then plan to travel when it passes or the roads are clear. Many people end up in hotels or at gas stations while they wait for roads to clear. This is the best option.
A second option is to keep another set of knobby snow tires on hand and store them somewhere at home. This alternative is more labor-intensive as you will need to mount the winter tires to your motorcycle rims before using them. Your motorcycle winter tires are the best option if you have to travel in snow and ice.
If you must travel somewhere and have to take your motorcycle with you, you’re third best option would be to Rent a truck, and your motorcycle will be transported wherever you need it to. If you’re stuck somewhere away from home, try renting a truck. It is possible to return your vehicle at a different place than the one you picked up. Some rental companies will even come pick you up if you’re not able to ride to their location.
The Laws Concerning Motorcycle Snow Chains
Before you consider adding snow chains to your bike, make sure to verify your state’s laws about vehicle chains. Each state is different with their rules, so if you’re travelling to multiple states you’ll need to know the laws of all the states you’re travelling through.
Many states have snow tire laws that are quite relaxed. They state that you can use them if necessary and safe, but there are some that are more restrictive.
There are many states that prohibit chains from being used in parts of the state, including Alaska. Utah and Wyoming also require snow chains to be worn by all vehicles when they travel along roads marked with such signs.
Pay attention to state laws that allow only buses and commercial vehicles to use chains during winter conditions. It is illegal in most states to use snow chains on any motorcycle tire, or any other tires, if there are no snow or ice. Chains can damage the road underneath it and state authorities don’t take too kindly to things like that.
Is it against the law for motorcycles to use snow chains in certain states? Although there are no laws that prohibit motorcycles from using snow chains, motorcycles must still follow all applicable laws regarding snow chains.
Are you able to make studded motorcycle tires yourself? You can make your own studded motorcycle tires. All you have to do is remove the tire from its container and insert the screws from the inside. The screws will have to be installed through most of your tire’s interior.