Winter riding: how to be safe, storage and tips
With fog, snow, icy roads, riding a motorcycle is no piece of cake in the winter.
So what is your idea of how to store your bike for winter? If it’s just throwing a cover over it, you may be in for some nasty surprises come spring time. The last thing you want to find out when riding season starts is that your bike won't!
Many motorcyclists do without their vehicle in winter. But if you’re not letting winter getting in the way of getting on your bike, you should go well prepared.
Below we lay out tips for getting your motorcycle through the winter and staying safe out there during tough road conditions.
Which one is better suited for winter: a scooter or a motorcycle? On a scooter, it is easier to protect oneself from wind and weather with a large visor and a heated blanket across one's legs than on a motorcycle, where one is more exposed. Generally, the larger wheels of a motorcycle are better suited for winter. However, the step-through frame of a scooter may be more convenient, but it makes the vehicle more difficult to stabilise than a motorcycle, which can be handled more easily because you can close your knees around the tank.
In addition to your normal motorcycle gear, we recommend using heated grips and possibly even heated clothing in winter. Rain jackets with reflective inserts or a separate reflective vest help improve your visibility. A helmet with a double visor prevents fogging. In case of snow, you also need sunglasses.
Winterize your motorcycle or scooter. We recommend checking the brakes, brake fluid, electronics and lights. The battery and the chain drive should also be checked because they are the main cause of breakdowns in winter.
You should practise driving on a slippery surface. Braking on a slippery road is very challenging: you should generally use the rear-wheel brake; the front-wheel brake may only be applied very carefully to avoid jamming the front wheel.
Anyone who is not used to driving on ice and snow but does not want to go without their motorised two-wheeler had best attend road safety training.
If you have an option, it is better to drive on new snow than on packed tracks that have gone solid. Watch your riding position: keep your feet firmly on the foot rests and your hands in a relaxed position on the handlebar. It is not advisable to try and stabilise with your feet while driving.
If you no longer feel like riding your motorcycle or scooter, you can put it away for the winter, return the number plates and even save money. You can return the number plates either by post or directly at the counter of the Road Traffic Office. During the period of suspension, you are not required to pay taxes and insurance premiums or your will get a refund if you have already paid them.
FREE WINTRY CHECKS
For our hardcore, all-weather, all-year-round riders, we offer FREE motorcycle safety checks!
Click here to simply arrange to bring your bike into our Keighley Motorcycles branch and we'll check that the brake linings, fluid levels, battery condition, bulbs and tyres are in good enough condition to help run through your winter journeys.