Most motorcycle owners store their machines away for the winter, concerned that riding in colder months is both unpleasant and risky. Indeed, ice and motorcycles do not mix well, but that doesn't mean winter riding is impossible.
Here are our five tips for safer winter riding…
1. Keep your speed down
Part of the pleasure of riding a motorcycle is the speed - but in ice and snow, speed is your enemy. Use that accelerator gently and avoid doing anything suddenly - be it braking, swerving, cornering - or speeding up.
2. Be aware your tyres cool down quickly
As your tyres heat up, your traction improves. But in colder weather, your tyres cool down quicker as soon as you stop. This means waiting at traffic lights for a minute results in tyres that are as cold as when you first fired up the engine - reducing your traction accordingly.
3. Sort out motorcycle roadside assistance
Investing in a good quality roadside assistance policy will give you the peace of mind that if you do break down this winter, you'll get the help you need - fast. Take a look at Start Rescue's roadside assistance service for motorcycles.
4. Stay at home if it snows
While you may be able to handle wind and even ice, when it starts to snow, you should stay at home. Crucially, visibility becomes extremely poor, meaning you cannot spot other road users, black ice, sharp curves and all manner of other hazards. If it starts to snow while you’re on your bike, find somewhere to hunker down while it passes.
5. Wear suitable gear
If you're dead-set on winter riding, spend some of your hard-earned money on high quality boots, pants, jacket, gloves and a full-face DOT-approved helmet. You might even invest in heated boot-liners, handlebars and jackets, although it can take a while to hook yourself up before each ride.