With the nights drawing ever closer and riding visibility reducing by the day, it’s important to plan your journeys well. Taking necessary precautions and having the right mindset, gear and know-how can make autumn rides some of the most picturesque and enjoyable.
To help you prepare you and your motorcycle for the change in the weather conditions ahead, we thought we would put together a quick guide to help you make the most of this spectacular season.
This one is likely to catch a lot of people out, especially as the colder weather starts to creep in (that is unless you often store your motorcycle in a heated garage). To prevent any unwanted failed starts or potential breakdowns whilst out and about, we would highly recommend you frequently check how well charged your bike is before committing to a particularly long trip. Failure to make this simple check could leave you potentially stranded in less than ideal weather conditions.
Although this may appear like an obvious tip when it comes to riding in cold, wet and dark conditions, keeping warm should be a key consideration. After all, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. With this in mind, we would recommend wearing several thin layers including a warm base layer, to allow you to add or remove clothing depending on your temperature.
As well as helping you feel more comfortable during your ride, wearing the right gear is also important for safety. A good-quality pair of warm and waterproof motorbike gloves will prevent your hands from potentially going numb – which could affect your control of the bike and ability to break. A pair of waterproof motorcycle boots are also a must, as cold and wet feet can become a distraction.
If your motorcycle is relatively new, it’s likely that your suspension has been set up to a fixed standard straight out of the factory. If it’s second-hand, however, it could be that your suspension is optimised to the previous owner’s preferences and not yours. This means if you, or your ride style, differ from the factory or previous owners settings, your suspension could be out of sync for you and could be causing unnecessary discomfort and potential damage.
Before adjusting your suspension, however, we always advise getting a certified specialist such as ourselves (shameless plug) to thoroughly examine your entire motorcycle and its components first, including tyres, brakes, shocks, forks, seals, and bearings to ensure everything is working as it should.
When weather conditions start to become a little more challenging, it’s important to ride defensively where possible, as this, in many ways is the most effective way to prevent a potential accident from occurring. Simple changes in your riding style such as increasing your braking distance, signalling earlier and driving slower when there’s surface water, or slippery leaves on the ground can minimise your risk of falling off your motorcycle.
As we ride our way through autumn into the winter months ahead, ensuring you are fully visible to road users will be detrimental for safety – which is why we always recommend storing a reflective jacket within your motorcycle storage compartment to ensure you’re never caught off-guard and in the dark.
We hope these tips will help you stay safe when commuting to work or just generally riding around during the autumn and winter months. If you want to make sure your suspension is in top condition to provide you with the smoothest and safest ride possible, do get in contact with us to book your motorbike in for a service or inspection.