I’ve just flown back to Barcelona (where I live) from Bristol airport (I’m from Swansea, South Wales). As us motorcycle fanatics do, I bought the best motorcycle magazine money can buy (advertisers write to firstname.lastname@example.org :p), to feed my addiction and relieve my brain of the tedious journey ahead of me.
I found an article about riding your motorbike through the winter months. I’ll be honest, (sorry future advertiser) the article read as if it was written by a 90 year old. We are all aware of the dangers riding a motorcycle in the snow and ice presents us, and I don’t really feel we need to be told by grandad Bill that we should wear a minimum of three layers to keep warm……..”really grandad! Is that how I do it? I had no idea!”
However, it’s the beginning of anew year so I won’t start with a negative tone. There were in fact some nice tips to bare in mind. Leave a glass/bowl of water outside over night, check if its iced-up in the morning to get a feel for the road conditions. Apparently, if the water has turned to ice, it’s a good idea to leave the bike in the garage……….”really grandad, I would never have thought that in a million years, thank you for telling me all of this!” Sorry, negative again!
The truth is, snow and ice aside, oh and rain, the weather is typically good enough to ride through most of winter. My bike is kept in a garage in the UK, so when I get back home for Christmas, I’m so excited to get it going that I don’t really care what the conditions are. I have heated grips on my motorbike, for which I was called “a f*cking pussy” by a Swansea (hard-as-nails) lad. But I wonder where him and all his mates are, when I’m one of only a few motorcycles on the road through most of December, January and February. I guess what I’m getting at is, if it takes heated grips to ride through the winter, so your hands don’t literally get frost bite every time you go over 40mph, then surely that’s better than being “nails” and leaving your beautiful motorcycle in the garage for 3/4 months of the year? (yes it is, but don’t call me Shirley)
I’m not trying to say that riding in winter is the same as summer motorcycle riding. Even with my heated grips, my hands still feel like they are going to freeze. Typically it’s my left pinky that suffers most, for months I thought there was a problem with the left heat grip, but I think it’s just because I use the clutch more than the break and the grip cools down when you take your hand of it as the wind gets in there (I know grandad, wear gloves bla blah bla!). Saying that, for adventure motorcycles riders, its a good chance to hone your skills. Really use your senses to feel the conditions under the rubber, but Im not suggesting this on a GSXR1000 or any other sports bike. For those of you who have the awsome Triumph Tiger or BMW GS, winter is the time you should really be getting out there and getting the most out of all those special features these incredible bikes have, in fact, it’s your duty!
Motorcycles are dangerous what ever the conditions, that is why we love them!