Winter Motor Biking Safety Tips

motorbikeFor many motorcyclists there’s an understandable temptation to put their bikes to bed for winter (or rather tucked-up under a tarpaulin in the garage). However, with the right preparation and changes to your riding style there’s no reason why you can’t continue biking safely throughout the year.

Keep Warm Admittedly it’s something of a ‘no brainer’, but it’s impossible to overstate how important it is to stay warm and dry.  As your body temperature drops you begin to lose concentration and your reaction times slow. Besides wrapping-up well, and helping your circulation by keeping your limbs moving, plan extra breaks and warm up with a hot drink.

See and be Seen Short days with low levels of light and poor weather all conspire to reduce visibility on the roads. Motorist often set out with steamed-up windows, or worse still a porthole scraped out of the ice on the windscreen. Meanwhile pedestrians trudge around with their heads down to protect themselves against the worst of the winter weather.

Making sure that you are clearly visible could be a matter of life and death. Check that your front and rear lights are in good working order and kept clean. Signal early to give other road users plenty of indication of your movements and wear a high visibility jacket or vest. Use anti-mist spray on the inside of your visor (to prevent your breath from misting-up and freezing over) and on your mirrors.

Keep your Distance It goes without saying thatbreaking distances increase in wet and slippery conditions so give yourself plenty of time and space to react to other vehicles; you’ll also avoid the worst of the spray thrown up by other road users.

During the drier months grease often builds-up on roads and mixes with autumn rain to make them particularly slippery, wet leaves on the road only make matters worse.

Check your tyre tread to make sure it’s above the legal requirement of 1.0mm and have a look at the manufacturer’s website to see what tyre pressure they recommend for riding in cold conditions.

Check Conditions Even if it’s fine and bright outside it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before setting out; after all the British weather is notoriously fickle. If snow or high winds are forecast; you may need to reconsider your travel plans.  Riding in the cold is one thing, but riding in the snow and ice is much more dangerous.

 


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