Whether to ride or not during the colder and wetter months of winter is a frequent question we get asked.
We train students all year round, and unless the UK gets a lot of snow, training is conducted as normal.
For some the turn in temperature and the darker nights mean the bike is put into hibernation in the garage or other storage facilities.
If you choose to do this make sure you don't make the mistakes detailed below:
Don't drain your tank. The best option is to have a full tank and a good quality fuel stabilizer additive. Emptying your tank can cause corrosion and dry out the seals.
Don't put off an oil change until next season. Why let acidic oils go to work on your bearings over winter. Get that oil change in, and its one less thing to worry about when you start riding again.
Don't use a tarp or untried cover. If you don't have access to a garage or storage facility, and storing outside is the only option then what should you use. It is recommend that if you have to, choose a 100% waterproof and vented motorcycle cover. You don't want something that will trap water inside, doesn't stay in place, and therefore possibly chafing and damaging paint.
Don't use the wrong battery charger. "Trickle" charging is used a lot when talking about motorcycle storage. This is not always the best option, as some can overcharge and waste your battery (can even cause acid leakage!). It is recommended that a "float" charger/maintainer that reads the voltage and tops up as needed would be the best option.
Don't leave the cleaning until later. Giving your bike a good wash and wax, will ensure that any road grit, grime and bugs don't take its toll on the clear coat, anodised aluminium, polished metal finishes and stainless steel. This will keep it looking factory fresh for the years to come.
Don't forget to secure your bike. Thieves don't take the winter off, and 25% of all motorcycle thefts are done over the winter period. Make sure the same care of securing your bike is taken, and if you can't/don't don't check it as often that extra security is in place.
If you are an all season motorcycle rider, then we will be doing another blog on some pointers for winter riding. Having ridden for years through all seasons, I have picked up some good tips that have helped keep me warm and dry, as well as prepared for anything.