Whether you've been riding for many years or you are a new motorbike or scooter driver, more and more of you are continuing to ride in inclement weather. Winter conditions do not scare you and only snow and ice will prevent you from getting on the road. A few tips for this time of year.
Your safety and comfort
- Visibility is certainly the most important point. Short days make all road users less visible, especially bikers. These items will help you to be noticed by other users:
- high visibility vest in fluorescent colour and reflective stripes (for riding at night)
- white or fluorescent helmet
- clothing with reflective zones
- additional lights offset to form a triangle and increase your light footprint
- Hands and feet are the most sensitive parts of the body to the cold. At low temperatures, blood vessels contract (vasoconstriction). Blood then stays close to organs to keep them warm at the expense of limbs, especially hands and feet. In the shop or at your dealership, you will find a complete set of winter equipment. Gloves, jackets, trousers and shoes should all be chosen specifically to protect you from the cold. These garments have special cold-weather linings and membranes that protect against wind and water while remaining breathable. Think light but also warm underwear too. There is also a range of products that contain heating elements.
- Your motorcycle or scooter can also help you cope with these difficult times. A large range of equipment is offered in both original and retrofit versions:
- heated saddle and handles
- hand protectors
- additional wind shield
- leg covers and sleeves for scooters
- choice of aerodynamic fairing for touring bikes and scooters
Precautions during winter
You may be exposing your bike to the salt used for road de-icing during this period. The passage of salt-spreading services may leave traces. The corrosive action of salt will attack the engine, exhaust, wheels and bodywork. Take care and rinse your bike to remove as much salt as possible.
For those waiting for warmer days
Is your motorised two-wheeler going to get through the cold? This is a well-deserved hibernation, but be alert before you get back on the road:
- The battery: whether removed or left in the battery compartment, it is preferable to connect it to an intelligent charger which will keep it in perfect condition.
- Oil: The best method is to change the oil before storage. In any case, it is essential to check the level before restarting.
- Petrol: refuelling prevents gas evaporation and condensation. Because water is heavier than petrol, it will flow to the bottom of the tank. It is therefore possible that it will be first to enter the carburettor when restarting.
- The chain (if your motorcycle is equipped with one): spraying lubricant along the chain is useful before heading back out onto the road.
- Tyres: It is advisable to rotate the wheels regularly to prevent the same part from constantly contacting the ground. This may cause the tyres to deform. Before enjoying the first ray of sunshine, check the pressures.
- The return to riding: for you and your machine, do this gently. Take the time to re-accommodate and get back on track.
No matter what the weather, drive safely.