Tips to help bikers stay safe this winter

With spring still feeling like a million miles away, here are a few tips to help keep your machine running smoothly during the rest of winter.

The tips – from IAM RoadSmart’s Richard Gladman – include:

  • Proper servicing can help prevent issues over the winter period
  • Make sure your tyres are safe and legal – tyres close to the legal limit will not disperse water as well as those with a deeper tread
  • Make sure your bike’s chain drive is adjusted correctly. Keep the chain well lubricated and re-apply chain lube after washing your bike
  • Clean off road salt – to avoid corrosion, let the bike cool down and then hose off with clean water
  • If you’ve fitted aftermarket heated grips, make sure they are either switched off via the ignition or that you disable them once you are off your bike – a flat battery will definitely spoil your day!
  • When riding, it’s important to keep warm. Being cold can be a huge distraction as you will be focussing on how the weather is making you feel rather than concentrating on the road ahead.
  • Make sure your vision is clear.
  • Allow much more space for braking. The limited contact patch of your tyres means they are likely to lose grip well before those of the car travelling in front of you.
  • Don’t ride if there is snow or ice on the ground – travel by public transport or car instead.

Richard Gladman said:

“Motorcycling should be fun and I find there is little satisfaction in riding in freezing conditions.

“A quick blast on a sunny winter’s morning may well bring a smile to your face but a freezing cold trip with a constant fear of doom on every roundabout is not what motorcycling is about.

“Wrap up warm and enjoy when you can – but above all stay safe.”

16 January 2018

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