Winter riding tips
We all know that the weather can be especially unpredictable at times with the winter months becoming particularly extreme in recent years. Temperatures at record lows and disruption to our homes and lives can be all the more upsetting.
Here are our main tips for staying ahead of the weather and maintaining good motorbike health throughout the winter and avoiding any nasty accidents:
- Firstly do some checks on your bike to make sure it’s in top-notch condition before riding. You should always make sure that your bike is in good working order but this is especially important during the winter. Check the lights to see whether they work to their fullest potential and are free from dirt and mud. Make sure the tyres have been adjusted to cope with the winter conditions. Anti-misting spray can be used on mirrors and visors to ensure you can see everything around you.
- If you know that certain weather conditions can hamper your riding skills, stay out of them! Low winter sun and fog are two such conditions that can really be a hazard. Perhaps avoid riding when you know the sunlight will be at its most compromising and always check weather reports beforehand.
- Be visible! Brightly coloured bike gear can make you better seen by other road users and avoid collisions.
- Keep warm. Making sure your body and in particular, your hands are warm is a good way to ensure you have the capacity for quick reaction times, especially if you need to brake suddenly or change direction.
- Be aware that the vision of others will be limited so bear in mind motorists and pedestrians who might not see your bike so easily.
- Make use of rest stops during times of bad weather to make sure your bike hasn’t been damaged and to recuperate.
- Slow down on the road, signal within plenty of time, giving others plenty of notice as to what you intend to do. Increase your braking distance to decrease the chance of being sprayed and don’t take any risks.
- Finally remember the environments around you, especially in the aftermaths of storms and extreme weather as it may impede on the grip of the road. Wet leaves, oil and sleet on the roads are such examples. Also be aware of fallen branches or larger objects hidden in snow.
Other things to bear in mind:
- Road salt is highly corrosive. In this country we use rock salt to line our streets and roads to combat the problem of ice and snow causing accidents. You can see on your bike any chinks in the paintwork and any holes that may have formed. Acting on them quickly is the best way to ensure that no further corrosion occurs when oxygen reacts with the salt on exposed metal. One way to prevent corrosion is to treat your bike with an Anti-Corrosion Formula (ACF) which neutralizes the salt and protects against the water. A good hosing down with very cold water can be a good way of removing all the salt from the bike.
- To ensure that your helmet doesn’t get misted up you can buy special anti-fog inserts for them, to ensure maximum visibility on the road.