The clocks going back signals shorter days and colder climes which is not good news for motorbike riders and 2014 is set to welcome a pretty frosty winter. However, cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pack up your bike and with careful planning and the right equipment there is no reason why you can’t ride throughout the season this year.
Too Hot To Handle
Forget a fat exhaust, one of the most loved accessories on any motorbike is a pair of heated handlebars. Cold hands make bike riding virtually impossible as you lose sensation and mobility, therefore by adding some much needed heat to combat the wind chill index your digits and ultimately your riding will be far more responsive. Handlebar muffs are another great way to keep the icy winds away from your hands so get a pair fixed to your bike pronto.
Get Washed Up
Icy roads in Britain mean that the local councils will be out in force to grit the main routes with rock salt, however this is bad news for bikes that are made of largely ferrous materials. Salt will quickly eat into the metal work so we highly recommend washing your bike at the end of each day with cold water to prevent any corrosion.
Love The Layers
No we are not talking an extra fleece under your biking jacket, layering for a motorcycle ride starts right at the clothing against your skin, as it provides the necessary layers to trap air and keep you insulated on the road. You will need to invest in several thermal base layers to be worn underneath your fleece, followed by neck and chest protectors and the finest goretex waterproofs you can afford. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good pair of gloves to protect your hands, and look out for ones that include a visor wiper blade or fabric panel to clear your visor.
Get top tyres
Winter weather requires winter tyres, and if you are expecting a great deal of snow in your city then you need to invest in some fat tyres to see you through the season. The widened rims will allow you to glide through freshly fallen snow and cut through icy ruts, whilst helping you to remain more stable on the road thanks to the greater surface area making contact with the tarmac.
See and be seen
One of the most common distractions for a motorcyclist is a fogged up visor, and when you are cruising along at 60mph this is the last thing that you need to be dealing with. There are several solutions that can help prevent this, such as a fog mask that helps stop your breath reaching your visor or chemical treatments such as sprays and rubs that will keep your view clear. In addition to seeing the open road ahead of you, you need to ensure that you as a rider are clearly seen too. Invest in some quality hi-vis gear and the best lights on the market.
Ensure you are insured
At the end of the day, accidents can and do happen so make sure that you have adequate insurance to cover all eventualities including tyre replacements, towing and courtesy bikes should the need arise.