Wrap up warm
An obvious one, but it’s quite surprising how much speed makes you colder. Michelin detail that when it’s 10°C outside, riding at 30mph (50km) will result in felt air temperature on bare skin being -2°C and -6 °C at 80mph (130km/h)!
Another interesting fact from Michelin – your body cools down 5 times faster when it’s wet.
To combat this, you’ll want to layer up properly.
Base layer – sports brands can sometimes be cheaper and just as effective
A hoodie or fleece – Remember the hood on a hoodie can be annoying…
Motorcycle jacket – Leathers are not really suited for winter. Go for a warm and waterproofed textile option
Onesie – If it really is hammering it down with rain, a onesie is your best option.
A neck warmer or a snood can be a great investment, especially if you’re riding on the motorway.
Reflective materials can be a lifesaver, literally, so consider that when gearing up. Same goes for anti-fog tech. The best in the business is a Pinlock visor.
And finally, gloves. Never skimp on the gloves.
Adjust and clean your motorcycle chain
A smooth ride is essential if things might get a little bit slippery out there, so correct chain tension is important if you want the bike to respond in good time to your inputs.
One of the fastest and most effective ways of setting chain tension is using one of our Chain Monkeys.
Check your tyres and warm them up
Check that your tyres are correctly inflated and have plenty of tread left. It’s never worth the risk just to get a few extra miles out of a pair of tyres.
At this point, it’s worth checking other things that can go wrong while your bike is wrapped up for a long time in the cold, such as fluid levels and battery health.
Many bikers think the best way to warm your tyres up is to ride side to side – it’s not. Accelerating quickly and then braking hard is far more effective – just be careful and conscious of your available grip.
Take it slow
If it’s been a while and you’re just popping out to keep things ticking over and your battery charged, take it slow to begin with. You’ll be a little rusty and it will take your bike some time to get up to temperature.
Keep your distance
Rain, snow, ice and even cold roads significantly increase stopping distances when compared to a nice hot day.
If you are unfortunate enough to come across a patch of ice, try to remain calm and do not brake. Look ahead and ride it out.
Be careful of white or yellow road lines or paint too – it can be very slippy in the wet.
Have the right breakdown cover
Things tend to go wrong more often in the cold, and because it’s cold, you’ll feel a lot worse about it! Make sure you’ve got proper, bike-specific coverage for breakdown recovery.