For many people, winter is a time when the motorbike gets tucked away in storage until the weather warms up again in Spring. However, you might not want to or might not be able to stop riding through the winter months. In that case, you’ll need to adjust your riding style and also keep on top of maintenance to ensure you can ride safely and keep your motorbike in top condition.
Our tips can help you to keep riding this winter, whilst still keeping yourself and your bike safe.
You should avoid riding in the snow or in icy conditions as much as possible. However, sometimes you might just get caught in bad weather. If it begins to snow when you’re out riding, try to return home as soon as possible. You should check the weather forecast before your journey and avoid going out when snow is due.
Even if you avoid riding early in the morning or late at night when it’s more likely to be frosty, you might encounter patches of ice. If the road has been salted or gritted, this can not only cause damage and erosion to your bike, but it can also cause a loss of traction when you’re riding. You’ll need to be more aware of the road ahead of you and watch carefully for potential hazards. If you see anything that looks like it could be a patch of ice or something else that could cause you to lose traction on the road, do what you can to avoid riding through it.
Warming up your tyres can help to increase the traction when riding in cold weather. You can do this by smoothly accelerating and then braking a few times in a row, but only when it is safe to do so. You should be aware that your tyres will be colder when riding in the winter and adjust your accelerating, braking, and leaning accordingly. You should allow for a longer stopping distance and always be looking as far ahead as possible.
You should make sure both yourself and your bike are kitted out properly for the winter weather. You should have plenty of warm clothing and make sure you layer up, with a base layer that can allow your skin to breathe, up to a protective, waterproof outer layer. You should ensure your hands are also well protected, with a good pair of winter riding gloves. You can even get heated gear that will plug into your bike and keep you warm as you ride, but you should check your bike is able to accommodate this type of gear before you purchase it.
As for your bike, you may need to buy extra equipment to help keep it and you protected from the cold weather. A larger windscreen and handguards can help to protect your hands from the cold in addition to gloves. You can also get heated handgrips, to really ensure that you don’t lose any dexterity as you ride.
You should keep on top of your bike’s maintenance if you’ll be riding throughout the winter. You should check the tyre pressure before every journey to ensure it’s at the correct level. You should also ensure your tyres have sufficient tread and get new tyres if they have degraded too much. You should check the antifreeze if your bike is water-cooled, and make sure it’s fresh.
If you’ve been out on gritted roads, you’ll want to make sure you wash your bike down after the journey to help reduce the corrosion caused by the salt. You should use cold water, as warm water will just cause the salt crystals to dissolve and corrode further. You can also purchase corrosion protection for your bike, which can help to protect the surfaces of your bike.
Riding in cold temperatures will make you cold, regardless of how well you’re dressed. When you’re cold, you’ll become more tired and less focused. You should make sure to take more breaks, especially if you’re taking a long journey, and also make sure you stay hydrated as you would when riding in the summer. If you become too cold and start shivering or if you lose the dexterity in your hands, you should make sure to take a rest stop as soon as possible so you can warm up again.
Euphoria Finance has the best motorbike finance deals on both new and used models. We even offer motorcycle financing deals for people with bad credit – as a direct lender, we can assess every individual situation to find the best deal and offer finance direct to you. Get a quick finance quote today or speak to our expert team on 01282 509609.