Winter is coming, are you prepared?
here are a few things to consider...
Use or not to use? It really does not matter, what does matter is how you look after your bike during this cold, wet, sometimes salty period. Even if you're not planning to ride in Winter, there is still work to be done if you want to return to your bike in spring!
For those who wish to ride throughout most or all of the winter here are some pointers to help you and your bike.
1. make sure your bike is fit for use, serviced, tyres at the right pressures, decent tread depth, battery fully charged (may need more charging than usual summer use), MOT, Tax & Insurance in place
2. make sure YOU are fit to ride in the cold, with the correct protective gear, make sure you keep as warm as possible, waterproof where possible (obviously), wear clothing with even greater visibility than usual or a clean Hi-Vis vest.
3. The next thing to prepare is YOU or rather your state of mind, riding in the winter is not the same as riding in the warm, dry, summer. you have to remember everything is more slippery, ice can be invisible, some roads are NOT treated with salt/grit, the morning & evening sun jumps out & dazzles you, car drivers may have blurred steamed up windows & be fiddling with their heaters so paying less attention to the roads than usual (if that's possible). Winter riding can be a safe activity for you but think that everyone else out there is out to knock you off.
4. Clean your bike, more so than usual as salt will rot it before your eyes, once clean dry it & use a corrosion preventative, ACF50 is the best but WD40 or similar will do at a push.
Not everyone wants to ride through the winter so if you decide to lay up your bike the following will help protect it and make it easier for you when you decide to start riding again come springtime.
1. Clean your bike & protect against corrosion (number 4 above), change your engine oil & filter (4-strokes), top up your fuel tank & add a fuel stabiliser, ACF50 / WD40 any areas that may attract corrosion avoiding tyres, brakes, etc.
2. If storing in a garage find a place where it will not be disturbed or have things dropped on it, put the bike on its centre stand or use paddock stands if you have them, ideally with both wheels off the ground.
3. Remove the battery & connect to your battery conditioner in a well ventilated area.
4. Cover your pride & joy with a suitable bike cover or a thick blanket, if worried about things dropping on it secure a large sheet of cardboard on top of the cover.
5. Retreat to your comfy chair in front of the fire & plan next years ride outs.