There is no doubt that the motorcycle provides a thrilling means of getting from one place to another and exploring the world, but it can also be pretty dangerous, especially in tough conditions like those often experienced during the winter months.
If you or someone you love is a keen biker and you’re worried about safety this winter, here are some tips that should help you, or them, make it through without so much as a scratch:
Ensure Your Gear is Certified
First and foremost, you should ensure that all of your motorcycle gear, from your clothing to your helmet is certified safe. If you don’t know much about safe gear certification, you can look it up now. Then, check all of your gear meets the requirements and replace any that don’t. Then, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, you’re much less likely to come to any serious harm.
Always Check the Weather
Before you head out on your motorcycle, you should always check the weather. If the roads are icy or it’s snowing heavily, then you should ideally not go out on your bike at all. You might think you’re a seasoned motorcyclist, and you can handle it, but you’re most likely overestimating your ability to deal with these tough conditions. Even a small patch of cold on the road, let alone ice can reduce your grip a whole lot, so be sensible!
Get to Grips with Wind Chill
Although your thermometer might be telling you one thing, it doesn’t mean that’s the kind of coolness you’ll feel. If it’s windy. The wind chill factor, which you can read about here, comes into play and, especially when you’re riding at high speeds, you could feel a whole lot cooler. So, always dress appropriately, adding more layers if necessary because, if you are too cold, it can affect your ability to act swiftly and ride safely.
In winter conditions, it’s a good idea to signal earlier, so that other road users know of your intentions well in advance, that way it's more difficult for you to make a manoeuvre and it takes longer, you’ll still be relatively safe.
Leave More Space
Leaving more space between you and other road users when the roads are icy or extremely wet will help to prevent collisions, bumps and scrapes which wouldn’t ordinarily happen in normal conditions.
Check Braking Distances
In a similar vein, you should always check your braking distances in the winter because various things from speed, to force can impact upon how rapidly a biker can brake and these come into play even more so in winter conditions.
Check Your T-CLOCS
Last, but not least, in winter, you should regularly check that your tires, chassis, lights, oil and controls are all in good working order. It’s particularly important that your tires have good grip and your suspension is a little softer for the conditions. Do this before you ride every time you ride, and you’ll be in much better shape out there.