Winter riding isn’t for everyone. But when riding is a necessity, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience poor weather at some point in the winter months in the UK, whether that’s torrential downpours, ice, or snow. We’ve put together a handy guide on how to safely ride in the winter months.
- Choosing the right bike or equipping your vehicle for winter
Not all bikes are designed for winter riding and it’s crucial to make sure your bike isn’t going to put you at risk or impede your safety. You will need to check the tread depth of your tyres, decide whether your bike needs snow chains and ensure your brakes are fully functional. We also suggest investing in some heated grips to help keep your hands warm, even if you choose to wear heated gloves, as you’ll want your hands to be as warm as possible, so you have full control of your bike.
- Keep your visor clear
A steamed up visor is a big pain point any time of year, but especially so in the winter when visibility is already somewhat reduced. Your vision needs to remain unimpaired and it’s crucial to keep your visor clear at all times. We recommend a Pinlock visor, which is a secondary visor that sits on the inside of your visor, acting like a second screen. Alternatively for short journeys, anti-fog sprays are usually a good idea.
- Breakdown cover
Breaking down is frustrating enough but doing so in winter can be a serious hinderance, especially when the temperatures are low. Always make sure you have sufficient breakdown cover and make sure you pack appropriate essentials in case you find yourself stuck at the side of the road in freezing temperatures!
- Take it slow
Winter roads present unique challenges and adapting your riding style is essential. Increase your following distance, brake gently, and avoid sudden movements to maintain control. Keep a vigilant eye on road conditions, as patches of ice or snow can appear unexpectedly. Additionally, be aware of the reduced visibility caused by winter weather and ensure your lights and signals are in top working condition.
- Gear up, get warm
The key to an enjoyable winter motorcycle ride lies in proper preparation. Start by investing in the right gear to shield yourself from the biting cold. Thermal layers, heated gloves, and insulated riding boots can make all the difference. A windproof and waterproof outer layer will help you combat the elements and keep you warm and dry throughout your journey.
- Safety First
It’s always a good idea to let someone know your travel route and expected time of arrival, but especially so in the winter. Keep a fully charged phone with you and consider carrying emergency supplies such as a first aid kit, phone charger and hi-vis or thermal clothing. It may seem overkill, but being prepared for any outcome is always preferable to being stuck without.