It’s important to realize that motorcyclists can often have a difficult time in winter. This is important to you if you do own a motorcycle, but also important for the general driving public to know. The interplay between motor vehicles and cycles requires respect for the road and good driving habits on both sides, and we might multiply those feelings when winter comes around. Driving in winter can often be a difficult process. Low visibility, mulchy roads, and black ice can be extremely dangerous, on four wheels let alone two.
That is why this guide is here to help motorcyclists keep their positive ambition to drive this winter in check. We hope it can prevent at least one problem from occurring:
Stick To Gritted Roads
It’s extremely important to stick to gritted roads if you can. Without this, you can find yourself victim of the aforementioned black ice, or potentially magnify your chances of getting into some form of collision. Gritted roads melt the ice and provide more grip for you to make use of. However, that doesn’t mean you can drive as you would have in non-winter conditions. You must go very slow. Stick to main roads or roads that have less traffic on but are obviously taken care of by the local council authority. Also, even if a road is gritted, assume that black ice lays on any surface of road exposed to the wind, or on any turning point you deal with. This can prevent you from getting too comfortable.
Replenish Safety Gear
Ensure that your safety gear is well maintained. If you have cracks in your helmet visor, if it’s already been knocked once or twice, or if your protective suit padding is starting to fray, you’ll likely need more competent options. Fingerless gloves can also be extremely cold on the tips of your fingers when driving at any speed, so try to look for gloves with gripped palms to compensate for the lack of finger tension. There are many out there that are available and well worth your investment. If the statistics of your encountering an accident on the road are dramatically increased during the winter, then the very least you should do is absolutely ensure your safety gear is working for you and not against you.
Cut Speed Deeply
This is a no-brainer, but it’s essential to remember. Cut speed deeply. Give twice the distance in stopping time between you and the vehicle in front, and even less if you feel that the most appropriate. We needn’t explain why this is a wise option to take, but we can suggest that you do so with diligence. In extremely icy or snowy conditions, sometimes even going faster than 25mph could warrant difficulty. Be sure you pay attention to the weather warnings and ensure you veer on the side of over-caution than anything else.
Sometimes, the safest way to prevent any form of road accident happening is simply not to take your motorcycle. Taking public transport can be a safer method of getting from point A to point B, especially during shorter journeys. Hosting this on a car enthusiast blog, and telling people who are motorcycle enthusiasts not to ride their bikes is one of the hardest things we could say. But sometimes, the conditions simply do not warrant the risk. We’d recommend that if you wouldn’t make the journey in a car, you absolutely shouldn’t on a motorcycle.
If the journey is questionable in a car, the chance must be absolutely prevented on a motorcycle. This kind of automotive good sense can help you avoid being involved in an accident, testing your luck too thoroughly, and generally help you feel wiser in your driving decisions. It might be temporarily humiliating not being able to ride your pride and joy, but you can be sure that when the snows melt, you will both be reconnected with enthusiasm.
It’s essential to consider the visibility you bring to the roads. The weather conditions may make seeing down the road hard to begin with, but if you’re steaming up your helmet visor this can be quite another problem. There are coating gels that can prevent any form of condensation on your visor, so we’d keep in mind how useful this could be if making a worrying journey. However, even on roads with long straight lines it can be difficult to see far off, and this can be dangerous for bikes, particularly when coming up to intersections.
This means you need to wear highly reflective gear in winter, fluorescent so that the color isn’t simply masked with all the wide around. Reflective mirrors on your motorcycle can also contribute. Ensure that people see you. Ensure that your alertness levels are the highest they could be, and even then give most people a wide berth while following the rules of the road. If you need to, don’t be afraid to use the horn. It is designed for you to announce your presence.
No matter how safe you are on the roads, motorcyclists are always at the mercy of dangerous drivers. Sometimes you’ve followed the exact tips in this list and more of your own wise making. Does that decrease the potential for someone else to drive like an idiot on the roads in winter? Absolutely not. If you encounter an accident on a motorcycle that wasn’t your fault, it’s essential to know the contact information of a fantastic lawyer after you’ve recovered from your potential interviews.
A simple survival kit can be worthwhile to craft and place in your bike storage area. This might include a flashlight, rope, a flare, a mini-medical kit and replacement safety gear if you have enough room, such as another pair of gloves. You are limited to what you can bring compared to a car of course, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have something to help you should you encounter a problem.
With these tips, winter riding should be a little more secure. Stay safe out there.