With it getting colder, darker and generally more unpleasant out, it’s easy to understand why so many motorcyclists are choosing to lock up their bikes until the warmer months return. However, if you’re a lot like us, you're probably rather reluctant to give up your bike just because it's a little miserable out. If this sounds all too familiar, we recommend you pay close attention to the following advice we're going to share, as it will help keep you safe whilst riding in less-than-perfect conditions.
Protect your bike from dirt and corrosion
With the winter months closing in, rain, mud, black ice and salt will soon become an inconvenience for both motorcyclists and motorists. If you're thinking about ignoring the grit on your motorcycle because it's likely going to rain again, we would strongly advise you think again as this way of thinking is a one way ticket to rust. The best way to prevent surface rust during these testing times is to make sure you clean your motorcycle often after use. It's also worth investing in anti-corrosion products, these will prevent road salt and moisture from doing any serious damage. Just remember to rinse your bike off with a hose once you return from a trip out to ensure minimal exposure.
Ensure all fluids are topped up to prevent breakdowns
Admit it, we're all guilty of not checking our motorcycles vital fluids before embarking on an adventure. The truth is, it doesn't matter if you go on long trips or multiple short trips, you should always check your fluids to ensure your your bike will remain in full working order throughout the duration of your journey. Breaking down in the winter months can be dangerous for both the biker and its rider, especially if the conditions are both cold and dark. With the snow and ice on its way, we would highly advise putting anti-freeze into your motorbike’s system to help prevent your radiator from freezing. Antifreeze usually needs to be diluted with distilled water at a 1:1 ratio, unless you’ve bought the premixed solution (just bare that in mind).
Make sure you're suited and booted appropriately for the weather
This may seem a little too obvious to some but we thought we would include clothing as it's essential in our eyes. When it comes to motorcycle clothing, the old saying goes "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". The truth of the matter is, wearing the right clothing will protect you from both hazards and the unexpected elements. In terms of what to wear, we would advise wearing several thin layers including a warm base layer, to allow you to add or remove clothing depending on your temperature. It is also a good call to invest in a decent rain suit, as we’re all familiar with the unpleasant feeling of arriving at your destination soaking wet and shivering.
Adapt your riding style to the weather conditions you are faced with
When the weather conditions are sub-optimal, it’s more important than ever to ride defensively, to help prevent an accident from potentially occurring. Signalling earlier, increasing your breaking distance and driving slower when there’s a risk of ice are all ways you can minimise your risk. Low visibility should also be a major consideration before heading out as we cannot count the amount of times we've faced thick fog in the cold winter mornings. The best and easiest way to overcome this is to ensure all of your lights are working correctly, we would also highly recommend wearing reflective clothing to help further improve your visibility whilst out on the road.
Checking your motorcycle suspension
Last but certainly not the least, it is paramount that you check, service and when necessary replace broken or worn motorcycle parts. One of the first components to check should be your suspension, especially if you frequently ride off road. If you are unable to check the suspension parts yourself (don't worry), many people don't feel comfortable tinkering with their own bike, in fact many simply do not have the time. If this sounds familiar, feel free to stop by for a coffee and a chat. At MH Suspension, we have vast experience in servicing road, off road, track and ATV bikes and would be more than happy to check, service or rebuild your bike in our specialist workshop.
LOOKING for something SPECIFIC?
In the meantime, if you're on the lookout for specific parts for your motorcycle, feel free to take a look at our range of products below. As mentioned above, if you're unsure as to which parts or accessories you should be considering for your bike, do feel free to get in touch with one of our specialists via our website, Facebook or by telephone.