We are slowly but surely moving out of the warmer summer weather and it will soon be time to retire your Best Summer motorbike clothing for yet another year as the colder and wetter autumn and winter weather starts to settle in.
Riding a motorbike in the colder weather is not necessary as glamorous as heading off into the evening summer sun but being out on your bike is better than being stuck indoors. That is as long as you have taken care of your bike and prepare yourself for the trickier riding conditions.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your bike is in tip condition even on those frosty mornings.
Cold weather wreaks havoc with the battery in your bike. This is down to the fact that the cold temperatures slow down the reaction of the chemicals within the battery, meaning that more power is needed. One way to combat this is to regular charge the battery overnight, ideally in a garage or suitable outbuilding that has its own power supply.
Salt is a necessary evil when it comes to keeping our roads safe to drive on but the salt spray hitting our vehicles including cars and motorbikes causes corrosion of the metal and paintwork. There are a number of ways in which you can combat this, one is to regular wash your bike, although you need to careful not to simply rub the salt and grit further into your paintwork. Spraying your bike with water before wiping with a soft damp cloth is the best way to prevent further damage from occurring. The other method is to buy one of the many spray-on products that are available on the market such as corrosion protectors. This are usually water-based sprays that leave a film over the bike surface, helping to protect the metal and paintwork. It is however something that needs to be regularly reapplied during the autumn and in particular the winter months.
Grease is your new best friend
During the freezing weather you can find that some of the moving parts of your bike including the chain and levers on the handlebars can seize. This is because the cold and frost gets into the joints of the mechanisms and prevents them from working correctly. You can help to minimise the impact of this by regularly applying grease to all of the moving parts of the bike. One of the best ways to do this is to remove any parts, thoroughly clean them before greasing and refitting. If you are not confident in safely and correctly fitting the parts, then you should seek the help of a professional mechanic.
Other areas to consider include adding anti-freeze to the water in your radiator which helps to prevent the whole system from freezing during the drops in temperature to freezing and below overnight. You may also want to consider changing your oil and perhaps even the filters in preparation for the colder weather.