It is important to consider whether you and your motorcycle are ready for the extra demands of cold, wet, icy conditions we experience. We would always as a starting point recommend these to remain safe when you're motorcycling.
Motorcycle tyres are required by law to have at least 1mm tread depth but this really is the bare minimum and, for the winter months, we would recommend having no less than 2mm. This allows your motorcycle higher levels of grip when dealing with standing water, wet roads and leaves, which can be a disastrous combination for bikers.
Wet leaves which have built up by the kerb can catch out the most experienced of motorcyclists, even at slow speed.
Most motorcycles automatically run with headlights on all year round now and, along with items such as heated handlebar grips, can put quite a demand on the battery and charging system. The majority of bikes now have an electric starter motor and no kick start, so a good battery is vital for reliability. A regular overnight trickle charge can really help.
Another important item is the chain. Ideally you should lubricate the chain and checks its tension every week through winter to avoid corrosion and prolong the life of the chain and sprockets.
Consider changing the foot rest rubbers, to help prevent wet boots from slipping.
Check your lights regularly - Keep a rag in the bike to wipe over the headlights to ensure maximum visibility. It's handy to wipe the saddle in the rain too.
The most important thing is to be seen - always wear a high visibility jacket as it could save your life.
You need to consider whether you have the right clothing to keep you warm and dry - whether you have a 10-minute commute or you spend 10 hours on a bike each day like me.
If you're not wearing the right clothing, your body will suffer and your concentration will be impaired.
Spend as much as you can afford on quality kit. If you only have a small budget, it's worth checking out an army surplus shop, as you might be able to save on gloves and balaclavas for example.
Layering your clothing can be warmer than wearing one thick layer, and layers can be removed if you get too hot. Good thermal under layers can make a big difference in the cold weather.
Wearing sunglasses can help vision on most days With the sun so low in the sky. Glasses with brown tinted lenses not only offer protection from the sun, but they also enhance red lights - brake and traffic lights etc.
*Information sourced by www.theaa.com