Even if equipped with winter tires, mopeds and motorcycles, when the road surface is frozen or covered with snow, they cannot circulate.
If it is customary to install thermal tires on your car between November 15 and April 15 of each year, it is not clear to many what it is possible to do when, in the same period, you want to travel with motorcycles and scooters.
A circular from the two major associations bringing together tire manufacturers, namely Federpnaus and Assogomma, comes to the rescue: they communicate that “the circular dated 27 May 2016 of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport no. DIV3-12424-C “.
This, in practice, supports what has already been disclosed in the circular of the Ministry of Transport n.103 of 1995, sent to all members of the two associations. We can read that “mopeds and motorcycles can mount, in the specific seasonal period, tires of type M + S with a speed code lower than that shown on the registration certificate up to a minimum of M (130 km / h), without any need to modify the aforementioned circulation document “.
What does it mean?
In a nutshell, this circular does nothing but affirm the possibility, for motorbike and scooter owners, of fitting M + S tires in the winter, which corresponds to an obligation, for those who drive by car on certain roads, where the use of winter tires or snow chains on board.
It is to be considered that however, as far as motorcycles are concerned, there is no obligation to install thermal tires and it is possible to move on with normal summer tires. If, on the other hand, in order to increase your safety, you still decide to adopt M + S type tires, they must have a lower speed code than what is shown in the registration document.
However, it cannot be below the letter M, which identifies the tires approved to reach a maximum speed of 130 km / h.
Choosing to mount winter tires can still be a good option, especially for those who put on their two wheels every day, perhaps to go to work. Thermal tires, as is well known, give their best when the temperatures are cold, around 5/7 ° centigrade or even less.
Compared to normal summer tires they improve grip on the asphalt therefore, consequently, it increases grip and decreases the braking distance. So can you drive if there is snow or ice on the road? Absolutely not!
The highway code on this issue is very clear: everything is explained in the Ministerial Directive of 16 January 2013 n. Prot. RU \ 1580 titled “Road traffic in winter and in case of snow emergency”.
This Directive imposes an absolute ban on scooters and motorcycles to move when there is snow or ice on the road surface, or snowfall is in progress. As said, (and the Directive does not mention it) there is no obligation for motorcyclists to mount thermal tires in the winter, but they cannot always circulate, even if they have specific tires.
If you pinch on a road when the weather conditions described above are present, you will incur heavy fines. The Directive of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has set an administrative sanction that varies from 85 to 338 euros depending on the case.
To this must be added the probable halt of the vehicle (this sanction is decided by the police force that verifies the infringement), a limitation that is normally made if there is a lot of snow on the road surface or ice that makes the movement of the motorcycle dangerous.
In recent times, phantom snow chains for motorcycles and scooters have appeared online. Let’s say right away that, at the moment, no model for sale is approved to be installed on a motorcycle that circulates on the Italian road network.
So if you are stopped by the traffic police and there is snow or ice on the asphalt, you cannot think you are in good standing. Basically you go to buy an item that is not needed and you throw money unnecessarily.
At the end of the winter period, (therefore, normally, after April 15), motorcycles and scooters that have installed specific tires are obliged to remove them and fit the summer tires again.
This can be avoided by changing the vehicle registration document, which involves the use of tires with a lower speed code than the original throughout the year.
The advice, however, is to leave the registration certificate unchanged and to remove the thermal tires which, in the presence of hot asphalt, wear out much more intensely than the summer ones and are therefore also less suitable, in general, in terms of safety, regarding stability and braking distance.