Are you winter-bike-ready?
It’s getting colder outside, which means more hazardous driving conditions. The winter doesn’t mean you have to hang up your driving jacket though. Here are a few simple tips to make driving in the winter safer:
Protection from ice damage
Moisture is one of the biggest hazards facing bikers during the cold winter months. During this period, any moisture that gets trapped in your bike has the potential to freeze, which can make the metal brittle. If the internal mechanisms are affected and freeze, you’re in danger of suffering from them jamming or even breaking. Take precautions to stop this from happening. If the drive-chain becomes frozen, your acceleration will slow and the chain may snap, so make sure you keep it regularly cleaned and lubricated to stop it from icing. Your clutch cable can also be affected by ice, so you will need to ensure that this is lubricated before and after riding. Should you have a liquid-cooling system, check to make sure that there is fresh antifreeze in the water take, and that it’s flushed through the bike thoroughly.
Dirt & corrosion
The winter roads make your bike a magnet for dirt and grit, which can result in a rusted bike. Make sure you use a good surface-protection fluid to seal the finish and prevent corrosion, and ensure that your bike is cleaned thoroughly after the journey. It may be a bit of a pain, but it’s better than having to shell out for new parts. Wash the underside of your bike with cool water (hot will dissolve the salt crystals and help them penetrate further into your bike).
Preparation is key
In the summer, it’s great to just jump on your bike and ride, but in the winter you need to take a bit of time to do your safety checks thoroughly. Check your tyres, controls, lights, oil levels, chassis and stands (T-CLOC) before each ride, and if it’s the first time you’ve been out for a while, make sure to let your bike run for a few minutes to get her warmed up before you set off. Make sure you have an emergency repair and survival kit with you too – just in case!
It’s not much fun riding in the cold, so make sure you wear the correct clothing. It’s not just about warmth – it’s safety too. The wrong gear is dangerous for a biker. Thermal underclothes are always worth looking at if you’re going to be out in the cold for a while, or just layer up underneath a thick and waterproof jacket. Thermal inner gloves liners will help to insulate your fingers whilst still allowing you the function you need to operate your bike.
Know your limits
Accept it – sometimes it’s just not suitable to give your bike full throttle. Cold and wet roads can be slippery, and this will effect your braking and stopping differences. Plan your trips around the weather and factor in the cold, wet, slippy roads; the dark nights and the wind-chill factor.
#WinterSafety #MotoramaJersey #BikeSafe