Posted by Mark Barclay on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 Under: Motorcycle Safety
Winter can lead to all sorts of problems for motorists, but even more so for bike riders. In this article, Mark Barclay from GSF Car Parts shares his advice for protecting yourself and your motorbike during a cold snap.
Bad news for motorcyclists: freezing temperatures are predicted all throughout this winter, with some experts even anticipating the return of the Beast from the East.That could bring -14°C temperatures to the UK, not to mention wet, windy, and even icy conditions to Britain’s roads (express.com).
Last year, motorcyclists accounted for 20% of road deaths, amounting to 354 people killed as a result of motorbiking (racfoundation.org).When the temperature drops, this figure can get even worse. So, below I’ll be taking you through some of the most crucial actions you need to take to keep you and your bike safe this winter.
Before you set off
It’s good to get into the habit of checking your lights and tyre pressure daily, particularly at this time of year when visibility and short rolling distances are a must. You also need to make sure your oil and anti-freeze are topped up before you go for a ride, then test your controls and brakes so there are no surprises for you on the road.
Get the lay of the land
Planning ahead is crucial at this time of year, as you don’t want to be caught unprepared in the middle of a snowstorm. Check the weather before your journey, as well as the traffic, to determine how risky the roads will be. Packing an emergency repair kit with water, a snack, and a flask of tea or coffee can come in handy if you think you’ll be out for longer than you plan to be.
What to wear
It’s a good idea to add more to your collection of reflective and protective gear during winter so you have plenty of options when it comes to staying visible and safe on foggy or snowy days. You may also want to invest in some heated options or thermal underlayers to keep out the cold, as well as keeping a well-stocked supply of balaclavas and neck warmers to hand.
Even if you plan ahead, you can inevitably still get caught out by sudden changes in weather that can make staying safe while riding difficult — particularly around other vehicles who may not be as careful. When you’re on the roads, exercise caution by signalling earlier, driving at a sensible speed, and being generally more aware of your surroundings. Most importantly, keep a good braking distance: try increasing it by 10 metres in icy conditions.
Protect your bike
Your bike will get you home safe and sound if you treat it right, so look out for problems that could be brought about by freezing cold temperatures and address any issues as soon as possible.In particular, look after your battery and manage any exposed surfaces with corrosion protectant. Wash your bike regularly to prevent rust and store it indoors underneath a fitted cover to keep moisture at bay.
The tips in this guide can help you prepare for the worst when it comes to wintery weather. With the right know-how and a sensible approach to riding, you should be more able to cope with wet, windy, and even snowy conditions.
In : Motorcycle Safety
Tags: motorcycle winter riding motorbike safety tips