I’m sure if you’ve been riding a fair bit this summer you’ll have noticed it’s starting to get a bit nippier in the mornings now. Yes folks autumn is well and truly on the way and it’ll only get colder…
Hopefully we’ve still got a few mild weeks to look forward to before the proper cold stuff arrives so it’s the perfect time to get your machine ready for the dismal days ahead. Here are a few practical tips to stop you and your scooter / motorcycle getting caught out by the seasons.
One item on a bike that will take a pounding in cold weather is your battery. If it’s already past its best now might be the time to consider replacing it. At the very least you should check the acid level and top it up if required. The best way to maintain a battery over winter is to keep it connected to a bike trickle charger when you’re not using it, they’re not too expensive and will keep your battery in tip top condition.
As the Tarmac gets colder and the roads wetter you need to ensure your main contact patch with the road is in the best condition. Give your tyres a good visual check for tread depth, cuts, bulges etc. and if they’re fine check the tyre pressures. Also consider which compound you’re running, a sticky race tyre might not be the best choice for icy conditions so think about swapping for some good all-rounders with a better tread pattern.
If your machine is liquid-cooled check the antifreeze is ready to battle the elements, even if your bike is hibernating for winter the cooling system can still freeze. Also check the oil level and grease any cables or components that may get attacked by road grime and salt. Oil your chain as well and make sure you keep it well lubricated.
On the road
It’s common sense but keep your eye out for fallen leaves, damp leaves can be lethal on a bike so try to avoid them whilst leant over on your new winter tyres. Also be aware of low winter sun, not only can it make it tricky for you to see other road users but it can also make it very hard for them to spot you, so keep your wits about you even more than usual.
Although it might be a bit colder and darker there’s no need to stop riding. There are plenty of bright dry and sunny days over the colder months. As long as you wrap up warm, your bike is prepared and you don’t mind a bit of cold you can still enjoy riding as much as you do in summer. Keep Britain riding year round.