How to stay safe on your motorbike in cold weather

21 February 2019

Whilst most people wouldn’t even attempt to ride a motorbike during the colder months, it is, in fact, possible to ride your motorbike in the chilly weather, especially for commuting.

Whether it’s the middle of winter or just a particularly cold day on either side of the season, here are 6 tips on how to stay safe on your motorbike in cold weather.

1. Stay on the safer roads

Before setting off on your bike, always prepare for the conditions ahead. Ice, snow, and frost on the road surface are the most hazardous risks you could face in the cold. It’s imperative to be extra careful if you’re riding in those conditions, and not usually advised at all.

Not all roads in your area will be gritted in the mornings. With gritters usually focusing on the busier main roads, you should try to stick to those roads if you need to ride your motorbike in these conditions.

2. Stay warm

It goes without saying that you should always wear the appropriate safety gear when riding your bike. It is particularly important though during the colder months to wear clothes that keep you extra safe and warm, especially when there’s a wind chill.

Your hands and forearms need to be warm to ensure your reflexes aren’t slow. Make sure you have waterproof, insulated, well-fitting gloves that allow flexible movement to control the throttle and brakes.

3. Be extra mindful of other people

We all know that when driving any vehicle, you’re not only responsible for your own safety, but of others you encounter.

In the cold weather, take extra consideration to those around you on the roads. Others might not be as experienced or confident driving in such conditions, resulting in a greater risk of accidents. Wearing bright, reflective clothing and signalling earlier will get you seen!

4. Check braking distance before riding

If your brakes feel a little loose, consider getting them checked out before riding in the colder weather.

Good brakes are vital to making sure you stay safe on the roads at all times, but especially in the rain and cold. Riding on icy roads in lower visibility means that you and your bike need to have sharper reactions, for the safety of you and others on the road.

5. Make sure your tyres are up to the job

It’s always more difficult to keep your tyres warm in the cold weather, but it’s worth ensuring they have appropriate tread to provide you with good traction and grip on slippy roads.

Remember that borderline yet technically legal tyres are certainly less capable of holding the road than a deeper tread. Don’t take unnecessary risks with maintenance and therefore your own safety.

Wrapping up

Safety on the road is a concern for all bikers at any time of the year, but the cold weather is always a little more concerning for those on two wheels.

Although the colder weather can dramatically increase the risks associated with being on the road, by considering these tips, you should be able to enjoy riding your bike with reduced risk.

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