A lot is said about cars and winter, but there is less focus on what it’s like to be a motorcycle rider through the colder months of the year. For the most part, it’s pretty much the same as it always is — more convenient, quicker, and infinitely more exciting.
However, winter does take its toll on bike riders, particularly when it comes to how you ensure you stay upright. With fall in full swing and winter just around the corner, here are a few reminders that anyone who prefers two wheels to four might be best to keep in mind…
REMEMBER: Ice Is Everywhere
Just because a road doesn’t look like it has ice on it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t. As a general rule, when the outside temperature drops below 4C, you should be wary of ice while driving. It’s worth investing in a watch or similar device that can accurately measure the air temperature; it’s a great idea if it keeps you safe.
REMEMBER: Don’t Weave Through Traffic As Often
Related to the above; weaving through traffic is one of the biggest pleasures of riding a motorcycle, but it’s a bad idea. The constant motion is just asking for ice on the road to be your downfall; don’t assume the road is ice-free because cars have been on it. If the weather is particularly bad, be more patient. It’s also worth remembering that if there’s fog or heavy rain, you’re not going to be as visible to car drivers, so doing less weaving and overtaking is recommended.
REMEMBER: How To Handle A Skid
Learning what to do when your bike skids is important for a variety of reasons. The first, most obviously, is the simple matter of safety; if you know how to handle a skid then you’re going to be able to keep yourself upright. It’s also important to think for the future. If you don’t know how to handle it when your bike skids, then an accident is likely, which is not only a danger to health but means going through the arduous task of having to claim on your motorcycle insurance. Skidding is far more likely in winter thanks to the prevalence of ice, so brush up on your knowledge to the point where you could recite it backwards — you need the information hammered into your mind, just in case.
REMEMBER: Potholes Are More Likely
Freezing temperatures can play havoc with the roads, so potholes will become all the more likely. Even if you think you know where potholes are, you might be in for a bumpy surprise; they can develop overnight. So be careful and scan the road ahead if there has recently been freezing weather in your area.
REMEMBER: To Rinse Salt Off Your Tires
Finally, when roads are salted they are generally safer to use — but you need to remember to remove the salt from your tires. If the salt accumulates, it could cause a jam. Get into the habit of washing your tires down after every ride on a salt-covered road.
Happy winter bike riding!