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For some bikers, winter riding is just a no no. As soon as the weather takes a turn for the worse the bike goes into the garage for hibernation until spring. But it doesn’t have to be that way, with the right kit and a little respect for the roads and other road users, riding in winter can be very rewarding.

Here are a few tips to make sure it runs smoothly.

Make sure you’re insured

This is a no-brainer. Always make sure your motorbike insurance is up to date. If it’s up for renewal look for online motorbike insurance quotes from and get yourself covered.

Wrap up against the conditions

Talking of getting yourself covered, one of the most important things you can do when riding in winter is to make sure you have specialist winter biking clothing to keep you protected against the elements. It might be time to hang up the one-piece race leathers and pull on the Gore-Tex, the best option as they reduce any chance of the icy wind getting in. If you can’t afford these, it’s vital that you choose layers which overlap well. If there is one piece of kit that is absolutely essential in winter it’s a decent pair of gloves.

If you’re wet and cold when riding this will lessen your response time, which is vitally important when the conditions become a bit more treacherous. This is especially true if you have cold hands, so to reduce this, opt for a pair of gloves that are waterproof as well as thermally efficient. Failing that always have a spare pair in your pocket to change when the ones you’re wearing get wet.

Check your bike

Before you ride in hazardous conditions, you need to make sure you check your bike thoroughly. Always check your lights, tyres and mirrors every time you go out to ride in winter.

Respect the roads

You simply can’t ride the same way in winter as you would in summer. Whilst respecting the roads is an essential requirement any time you go out on your bike, regardless of the time of year it becomes even more essential in winter. If conditions are worse, especially when they are wet this will reduce visibility – as many road users struggle to see bikes at the best of times it’s even more important now that you’re mindful of where you are in relation to other vehicles and how you’re driving.

You’ll have less grip on wet or icy roads and you’ll also be severely challenged by the wind. Always be mindful of these issues when you ride in winter.

The following should always be done when riding in poor conditions:

  • Increase the distance between you and other vehicles to account for wet, greasy or icy roads
  • Make yourself as visible as possible to other road users – reflective clothing is a must
  • Signal earlier to give as much notice as possible to other road users
  • Try to avoid riding in strong winds – if you do, always be mindful of debris that can be swept onto the roads by the wind

Most of all, stay safe and enjoy your riding.