6 Essential Tips for Winter Riding

by Karen Neill

Motorcycle Maintenance

When the weather gets colder, and winter is on its way, some riders will choose to store their motorcycle during the cold and wet months to protect their pride and joy from corrosion, but some of us ride all year round, either to save time and money on commuting or because not riding is not an option.

These six tips will keep you riding and help you stay safe and warm on the roads this winter

Historic Winter Biking

6. Visibility

The days are shorter in winter so you may well find yourself commuting during the hours of darkness. In the daytime, it can be dull, grey, and often foggy and rainy too.  Needless to say, being seen by other road users improves your safety. Make sure your lights and reflectors are clean and functional, blown headlight bulbs can be replaced in minutes and save your life. Try and wear some hi-viz and reflective clothing, and think about road positioning so that oncoming traffic is aware you are there.

5. Winter Makes Tyres Cold

Tyres reach optimum grip when they warm up from the friction with the road surface. It makes sense that if it’s cold out, they’ll take longer to warm up, meaning less grip. Be that bit more careful when you first set off on a chilly morning and don’t forget other road surface challenges like black ice, slippery white lines and spilt diesel on corners. Ensure that your tyres are in good condition, have plenty of tread and are inflated to the correct pressure is important too. Why not come by our workshop for a free tyre health check?

4. Protect Your Bike from Corrosion

Wet weather and salt which is used to grit the roads are not good for your bike. The best way to defend against this is by getting your ride treated with ACF-50. It is an advanced anti-corrosion formula that was initially developed to be used on military aircraft. This amazing substance will protect the exposed parts of your bike from corrosion for weeks and maybe even months. If you are riding your bike all year round or parking it outside for the winter you must clean your bike regularly and protect it against salt, dirt, and the elements. Zenith Motorcycles offers valeting services that can not only make your bike look like it has just come out of the showroom but also protect it from the damage winter can cause.

3. Heated Grips or Heated Gloves?

If you are sensitive to the cold, it may be worth considering fitting heated hand grips on your handlebars. Here at Zenith Motorcycles we can supply and fit high-quality Oxford heated grips or connect the appropriate charging cable for heated gloves to your battery. Another option is using handlebar muffs to shield your hands from the wind. Come by the shop to explore options!

2. Respect the Weather!

Snow Motorcycles

Remember, no matter how hardcore you are, there are some weather conditions you just shouldn’t ride in. If it’s snowing or hailing, or if there are gale-force winds, please consider leaving the bike in the garage. You’ve got to respect the road because the road doesn’t respect you, especially if it’s got black ice or piles of melting snowy salty sludge all over it. Better safe than sorry!

1. Wear Proper Gear

Seems obvious, but this is probably the most important bit. When you get cold, your reflexes slow down and we all know that even a one-second lapse in concentration can be very dangerous on the road. When the temperatures drop, ensure that you’ve got a proper winter jacket and trousers (with armour in all the right places) which are either waterproof or you’ve got a separate waterproof outer shell to go with them. Layering is key to keeping out the cold and a good thermal base layer can make a huge difference. A neck warmer helps too, as is having decent warm winter gloves. At Zenith Motorcycles we can kit you out with the best winter accessories at great prices, and offer helpful advice on what will suit your needs best. Come on by the shop and we’ll even offer you a warming cup of coffee while you browse!

Winter Biking

Our Recommendations

Finally our top six products to help you beat the cold this winter

  1. Oxford Hot grips – available in store
  2. Tucano Urbano Handle bar muffs – avalible in store
  3. Thermal socks – any good clothing retailer such as J&S accessories will be able to help you
  4. Neck tube or balaclava – avalible in store
  5. Moisture wicking base layer – while you need to be warm we also sweat and you need good base layers that will wick that mostire away from your body.
  6. Winter riding gloves – look at brands such as Rukka or Dainese

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