Hopefully you'll find some of these suggestions useful if you plan on riding through another British winter! If you'd like to add your own ideas to the list, drop us an email with the details.
- Fit an Optimate charger/accessory lead if your bike hasn't got one and invest in a compatible trickle charger. If you can, keep it plugged in whenever your bike isn't being ridden. Remember you can also power accessories like Sat Nav or a phone/ipod charger via the lead.
- Fit a clear visor.
- Fit an anti-mist visor insert.
- Carry sunglasses (to prevent being dazzled when the sun is low in the sky).
- Wear a neck 'Buff' or balaclava.
- Wear several layers not just one item under your jacket.
- Ideally use a thermal base layer (e.g. EDZ, Coldkillers etc).
- Fit heated grips, warm hands will help your concentration & reaction time! Handguards/handlebar muffs can also help.
- Keep your pillion warm by fitting 'wrap-around' velcro heated grips to the pillion grab rail or grab handles.
- If you don't have quality two piece textile waterproof clothing, carry a one-piece waterproof suit in your luggage, in a bum-bag or under your saddle.
- If you use a rucksack, place items in a plastic bag before putting them in it.
- If you can, tuck your riding boots under not over your riding trousers.
- Check all your lights/bulbs at least weekly.
- Clean your headlight, indicators, tail lights & numberplate at least weekly.
- Lube your chain at least weekly, more often in wet/salty conditions.
- Wash your bike at least weekly, more often in wet/salty conditions.
- Bike must be cold
- Wash & soak bike, then rinse off with cold water. In salty conditions, wash your bike with cold/cool water to remove the salt, NOT hot water - hot water increases the corrosive effect of the salt.
- Dry bike (chamois leather is quick, cheap and reusable)
- Always treat your bike with a corrosion inhibitor, e.g Scottoiler FS365, WD40 etc.
- Wet Autumn & Winter conditions mean slippery roads, its more likely there will be leaves, gravel and mud around the next corner, slow down! More time to think, brake and move.
- In foggy conditions, is the journey necessary? Fog can be disorientating & deadly, especially on a bike. If you are caught out, slow down, AVOID motorways and dual carriageways, remember the road surface may be treacherous too.
- In snow & icy condition, LEAVE THE BIKE AT HOME. Walk, take the car, bus or train instead, or better still stay put, get your feet up and have a brew!