Understanding wind chill is a crucial factor that can help you prepare for the chilly weather.
By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of wind chill, how to calculate it and how to use it to your advantage as a winter rider.
So, let’s dive in!
What Is a Wind Chill?
Wind chill on a motorcycle refers to the perceived decrease in temperature that occurs when riding in windy conditions. Because the wind can expel heat from the body more quickly than still air, it causes the air to feel colder than it is.
It is based on the rate at which the human body loses heat to the surrounding air and considers both the ambient temperature and wind speed.
There are many different things that affect the wind chill factor on a motorcycle, these include, attire and outerwear, humidity, perspiration, precipitation, etc.,
There may be additional factors at play. For instance, because beta-blockers decrease the circulation to your extremities, if you’re taking one to treat high blood pressure, you’ll probably experience coldness before everyone else.
Fogs can impair your riding ability throughout the winter because of the extreme cold; use anti-fog for motorcycle helmets to easily solve this issue.
True vs Apparent Wind
While riding your motorcycle, you may feel two types of wind on your body. These are,
True wind is the wind that you feel while standing still or on a traffic stop. It blows past your body with natural speed.
It refers to the perceived wind as you move forward.
For example, if a motorcycle is traveling at 60 mph in the same direction as a 10 mph true headwind, the apparent wind will be a 50 mph headwind (60 mph motorcycle speed minus 10 mph true wind speed).
On the other hand, if the motorcycle is traveling at 60 mph in the opposite direction of a 10 mph true headwind, the apparent wind will be a 70 mph headwind (60 mph motorcycle speed plus 10 mph true wind speed).
Why Does Wind Make You Cold?
The wind makes you cold because it speeds up the rate at which heat escapes your body. Your body produces heat continuously as a result of metabolic activities, and a layer of insulation made up of clothing, fat, and other tissues helps to keep that heat in.
You feel colder than you would if the wind weren’t blowing because when the wind blows over your skin, it removes the thin layer of warm air that surrounds your body and replaces it with cooler air. This creates a convection process that transfers heat from your body to the environment.
Motorcycle Wind Chill Chart
A wind chill chart or a motorcycle temperature chart, also known as a wind chill temperature index chart, is a tool that shows how cold it feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. The chart displays the “feels like” temperature based on the actual temperature and wind speed.
Here’s an example of a wind chill chart for motorcycles:
The degree of wind chill approximated this way, however, would only apply if you were completely unprotected by windscreens or fairings, as well as if you were wearing no clothing.
This is because wind chill is defined as the sense of cold wind on naked skin. Which obviously is an ideal case, don’t worry.
It is clear from this motorcycle wind speed chart that you can get down into the below-zero temperatures quickly if you’re riding when standing air is right around freezing.
How To Combat Wind Chill While Riding A Motorcycle ?
Riding a motorcycle in cold weather can be challenging, especially when dealing with wind chill. Two things are necessary to combat wind chill: layers of insulation to reduce the rate at which body heat is lost, and windproofing to stop rushing air from stealing that warmth.
Layering your clothes helps trap warm air close to your body, which can keep you warm. We also advise heated equipment, such as heated holds and seats.
Wind proofing is blocking the wind from hitting you straight while riding. You can do this by using a windshield. It’ll create a barrier between you and the wind, reducing the wind chill effect.
Or using a full face helmet can help protect your face from the cold wind, preventing wind chill.
What Are The Dangers Of Wind Chills?
When riding a motorbike in the cold, wind chill can have some extremely serious negative impacts if it is not taken into consideration.
The two most common ones are hypothermia and frostbite.
When exposed to extremely cold temperatures, the skin and underlying tissues can become frostbitten. The impacts of cold weather can be made worse by wind chill because it causes the body to lose more heat, which raises the possibility of frostbite.
A person experiences hypothermia when their body loses heat more quickly than it can generate it. When your body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius, it happens.
In which your extremities feel very cold, there is a serious chance that your body could shut down, and you could also find yourself dozing off without warning, which could be fatal if you were riding a motorbike.
It may also cause serious side effects in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys.
Some symptoms of hypothermia
- Weak pulse
- Slow and shallow breathing
- Amnesia etc.,
Due to these dangers, wind chills can be pretty dangerous and adds to the list of factors affecting your riding experience, that has the motorcycle weight on top
How To Calculate The Wind Chill On a Motorcycle?
Wind chill is a measure of how cold it feels when wind is taken into account with air temperature.
Here are the steps to determine the wind chill:
- Determine the current air temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (T).
- Determine the current wind speed in miles per hour (V).
- Use the formula below to calculate the wind chill temperature.
The formula to calculate wind chill is:
Wind chill = 35.74 + (0.6215 × T) − (35.75 × Windsfc 0.16 ) + (0.4275 × T × Windsfc 0.16
The motorcycle wind chill chart in Fahrenheit is a useful tool for riders to determine the level of wind chill they’ll be experiencing and adjust their gear accordingly.
Easy does it! Simply let Google’s wind chill calculator do the math for you in a breeze!
Let’s consider an example. If you’re riding motorcycle in 20 mph wind and the air temperature is 25 degrees then the wind chill temperature is 6 degrees using the formula 25 – (20 x 0.7) .
What’s The Best Temperature Level For Riding?
The best temperature for riding can vary depending on a few factors such as personal preference, type of riding, and location. Being honest, for me it’s 60°F to 75°F. However, most users find 50 to 77 degrees F suitable for them.
Temperature greater than this range can be unsafe somehow, for instance riding a motorcycle in 100 degree weather is not safe in my experience, as your body gets hotter and hotter and dries you out creating heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Cold Weather And Wind Chill Can Make Riding A Motorcycle Tough
Riding a motorbike in cold weather and wind chill may prove challenging because low temperatures make wind chill seem worse and make it easier to reach subzero temperatures.
A motorbike should not be operated when the outside temperature is below freezing (32°F or 0°C).
If you must bike in sub freezing conditions, be sure you are properly equipped. Always remember to check the motorcycle weather chart first.
Understanding Wind Chill for Winter Riders FAQs
32 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for motorcycles. In general, you probably should not ride a motorcycle when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) outside. This is because ice can form on the road, increasing the risk of losing control of your bike, sliding, and getting into a motorcycle accident.
It’s important to first know the actual air temperature before calculating the wind chill. However, as a rough estimate, using the wind chill chart for motorcycles, at 60 mph, with an air temperature of 50°F and no added humidity, the wind chill would be approximately 39°F.
If a motorcycle is riding at its top speed, For instance, Honda shadow 750 top speed is 112 mph, riding at 20 degrees, the wind chill will be -50.2 degrees Fahrenheit which is below the freezing point.
A temperature of 40 degrees may feel like a warm winter day when you’re stopped. As soon as you hit highway speeds, it gets cold fast. At 65 mph, the wind chill turns that 40 degrees into a bone-chilling 24 degrees.
Wind speeds exceeding 50 mph are considered too dangerous for motorcycles, even heavier models. Wind speeds between 20 and 30 mph will be too much for most lightweight motorcycles.
Riding your bike in 45 degrees is okay as long as you’re wearing tights or leg warmers; long-sleeve wicking undershirt and lined cycling jacket; thin full-fingered gloves; headband covering ears; wool socks and shoe covers.
No, it’s dangerous to ride a motorcycle when the air temperature is below freezing without proper gear because hypothermia can set in quickly. Our bodies have a natural internal temperature of 98.6 °F or 37°C, and if this temperature drops to even 95 °F or 35°C then hypothermia sets in.
Use a motorcycle riding temperature chart to take measures to prevent motorcycle highway winds.
Motorcycles can become more difficult to start in colder weather, and the battery may not perform as well. However there are certain things to use to keep your motorcycle warm in 40 degree weather. These are, using a block heater, battery tender or a fuel stabilizer. Keep the motorcycle covered, and use heated gears.
In this article we have covered everything about wind chills and motorcycle wind speed charts. From combating wind chills to their dangers you’ll find everything you need.
Understanding wind chills is crucial for winter riders, as it can greatly impact their safety and comfort while out on the road. By using the wind chill chart, riders can better prepare for their winter rides, ensuring they have the appropriate clothing and equipment to withstand the cold temperatures and wind.
Remember to always check the weather conditions before heading out and ride safely. Thank you for reading.