Stay Safe in winter

By: Dave MotorCycle Direct Posted: December 11th, 2017

In winter it's important to ensure you look after your bike so you can carry on enjoying it through the winter months. It's important to know what to keep on top of with your bike so it stays in good working order. Here we take a look at some top tips for taking care of your bike in winter:

Tyres


Checking your tyre pressure is essential in the cold weather as they can fluctuate between hot and cold weather. It can be tricky to see low pressure tyres or flats which is why it's so important to regularly check pressure. Checking your tread depth regularly using a tread depth gauge will ensure your tyres have the optimum legal amount of grip to keep you upright in wintery conditions. In 2015 4% of winter bike breakdowns were because of wheels and tyres. This can easily be avoided with the correct precautions and checks in place.

Drive Chain


The drive chain can normally stretch slightly when it's running so when your bike is on the stand this is a great time to check the chain is correctly adjusted. The wheel spindle needs to be loosened to allow for the adjustment. Slide the wheel backwards or forwards evenly until the chain has the correct amount of free play.

Battery


There's nothing worse than getting all prepared to get out on your bike and go for a ride then finding that your bike won't start. Ensure you check connections are secure and clean. If any have started to loosen up then tighten with a spanner but don't make them too tight so they are rigid. If you are intending on leaving your bike for a longer period of time standing then attach it to an optimate battery charger. 18% of last year's winter bike breakdowns were battery related, 5% were due to charging issues and 7% were ignition problems. This proves that battery checks and maintaining your battery are worth doing.

Oil


It is very important in the winter that you check your oil as often as possible. Due to the changing weather conditions your bike can find itself working harder than normal and using up more power to do so. Ensure your bike is standing and has been running until it reaches a normal temperature then switch it off and leave it to settle for a few minutes before checking the levels.

Fuel


Whilst having the right amount of fuel in your bike seems an obvious one, 9% of all 2015 winter bike breakdowns were a result of fuel related issues with many simply running out! Check that you have enough before setting out on any long journeys and top up where possible.

General Care


Last year, 10% of all breakdowns were related to mechanical issues. Ensure you maintain your bike throughout the year with regular MOTs and servicing to ensure your bike is running as smoothly as possible.

Check your owner's manual for the correct procedure to check these factors on your motorbike model.