If there’s one thing that riders know all too well, it’s that winter and motorcycles are not best friends. For some riders, winter is that time of the year when bikes should be put away until the new season, but this does not have to be the case. While it may be reasonably difficult to ride your motorcycle in winter, with the right kit and appropriate caution, riding your bike in winter shouldn’t be a problem.
Here are a few tips from The RAC to make winter motorcycling comfortable and safe;
While this is an obvious winter hack, wearing the right outfit while motorcycling during winter can be a lifesaver. Winter motorcycling is more dangerous than motorcycling at any other time of the year, which is why it is essential to have the appropriate gear. Motorcycle helmets, neck warmers, jackets, balaclavas and generally any clothing that will provide adequate warmth should be worn in a layering fashion.
CHECK THE ESSENTIALS
You want to be sure before you hop out on your bike during the winter that your motorcycle is in excellent condition. Motorcycling in winter requires having your bike in a top-notch state to avoid making you look stupid in the end. Before departing, ensure that your lights, tyres, oil, stands, chassis and controls are in perfect state. Also, don’t forget to check if your chain is properly lubricated.
While your motorcycling skills might be exceptional, winter is not the best time to go “fast and furious”. During winter, avoid wild swerving, sudden braking, acceleration or cornering. The best trick to keep you safe with while motorcycling during winter is to slow down.
COLD WEATHER EQUALS COLD TYRES
Cold weather equals cold tyres, which, in turn, equals less traction. What this suggests is that the colder the weather, the less likely the odds of your tyres heating up, which could drastically reduce friction. This isn’t great news for riders as your motorcycle needs extra traction during winter.
To get your tyres heated up, alternate between quick accelerations and decelerations to help build up traction. Don’t forget to inspect your tyre pressure before setting out too, the right amount of pressure is crucial to getting the necessary traction for winter motorcycling.
INCREASE VISIBILITY AND FOLLOWING DISTANCE
Another great tip to stay safe while motorcycling during winter is to increase visibility. Keep a keen eye on other riders on the road as it helps you respond quickly to potential threats.
Also ensure that you keep a reasonable following distance, imagine if the car in front of you suddenly brakes. You want to make sure you have ample space to avoid a collision.