When the weather is scorching hot like it has been in the UK for the past month, it can make going for a long ride on your motorbike a rather sweaty, uncomfortable and potentially hazardous experience. With 2020 being a pretty difficult year at the moment and with the majority of us feeling rather isolated, it's probably no surprise there has been a notable increase in motorcyclists and motorists since Lockdown has eased.
If you too are itching to get out for a ride, we urge you to take all the necessary precautions to ensure you stay safe. With our National Health Service busier than ever with COVID-19, road traffic accident prevention is key in order to ensure their focus stays on treating those currently dealing with the disease. With that in mind, we thought we would share some tips to consider when jumping on your motorbike this summer.
Tip 1: Always wear your leathers
Although the thought of wearing thick protective layers under the hot sun is an unpleasant one, safety has to come first. We’d recommend wearing ventilated clothing made of moisture-wicking fabric underneath your leathers to absorb sweat and keep you cool. Although it can be tempting to wear shorts and a t-shirt, you don’t want to find yourself scraping the pavement with nothing to protect you.
Tip 2: Remember to stay hydrated
Keeping hydrated during your ride is also something to think about. If you know you’ll be out on your motorbike for a fair few hours, a hydration pack can help you keep your fluids up. Remember to take an extra bottle if you’re travelling long-distance, as breaking down in the summer heat in the middle of nowhere could be a disaster.
If you do overheat in the hot weather you may start to feel dizzy and fatigued, which can be dangerous for both yourself and others if you end up causing an accident. Taking a break to pull over and rest if you start feeling like you might have heat exhaustion will help you protect yourself and other road users.
tip 3: check Your engine fluids
As well as looking after your own physical health, it’s also just as important to keep your motorbike in good working order, especially throughout the summer months. With high temperatures causing your motorcycle to work harder, oil consumption is likely going to increase. That's why it's worth checking your levels often along with your oil filter to ensure no damage comes to your motorcycle.
(If you're motorbike is liquid cooled, you'll also want to make sure you've checked your coolant levels to ensure your bike won't overheat and leave you in the middle of nowhere.)
TIP 4: Check your battery
This one has been catching out a lot of people lately, especially with the majority of us having to hang up our keys for the past few months (that is unless your journey is considered essential). With the recent Lockdown restrictions preventing travel, many people's motorbikes and cars have remained static on the driveway for quite a few weeks. During this time, your battery has most likely started to deplete. To prevent any unwanted failed starts, we would highly recommend you check levels and charge if necessary before committing to a trip.
tip 5: ride defensively
Adapting your riding style to the weather and road conditions is incredibly important for any rider looking to embrace the great outdoors this summer. With traffic slowly returning to our roads, and with anxiety still high for many motorists and motorcyclists, riding defensively and cautiously is key in order to prevent an accident from occurring. It is also important to remember that bright sunny days can at times reduce motorist's visibility, especially at junctions, which is why we urge our fellow motorcycle enthusiasts to anticipate these risks in advance.
Lastly, stay safe AND ENJOY THE RIDE
We hope these tips serve you well during these rather unusual times! If you would prefer to give your bike a full once over with an expert mechanic, please do get in touch with us, we're only an email or call away. We promise to deliver the highest standards of servicing to all major motorcycle brands including their suspension. To see how our primary motorcycle suspension services have changed during the current pandemic crisis, click here.