Are you and your motorcycle ready for the extra demands of cold, wet, icy conditions?
The most important thing is to be seen. Always wear a high visibility jacket – it could save your life. And make sure you have the right clothing to keep you warm and dry, whether you have a 10-minute commute or hours of touring ahead of you.
Layering your clothing can be warmer than wearing one thick layer, and you can peel off layers if you get too hot. Good thermal under layers make a big difference in the cold weather.
Motorcycle tyres are required by law to have at least 1mm tread depth, but this really is the bare minimum. For the winter months, we 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.
Most motorcycles automatically run with headlights on all year round and, along with things like 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, too.
You won’t get far without a well-maintained chain. Ideally you should lubricate it and check its tension every week through the winter to avoid corrosion, and to prolong its life.
Think about changing the footrest rubbers to help prevent your wet boots from slipping. Check your lights regularly – keep a rag in the bike to wipe over the headlights for maximum visibility. It's handy for wiping the saddle in the rain, too.