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Some wheely good ideas for biking this autumn

By Kyle Linsay
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 16:00

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This week’s tips, from the IAM’s head of riding standards Peter Rodger are offering advice to motorcyclists about getting their bikes ready for autumn. Read our tips to find out how you can best prepare for the season.

  • It’s that time of the year again when you need to get your waterproof overalls and gloves on. Hi-visibility clothing is important during the day, and reflective clothing is essential to wear when travelling in the dark.
  • Give your tyres a proper check beforehand. The tyre tread should be no less than 2mm in the winter, as opposed to the legal requirement of 1mm. Consider changing your tyres now, before road conditions become increasingly slippery.
  • The colder it is, the more work the battery has to do. Check your battery is fully charged and in a good condition beforehand – keep it protected against corrosion using solid Vaseline or paraffin. If your battery is not working properly, replace it now.
  • The cold weather can cause moisture to collect up in the electrical connections. Take time to spray them with an anti-corrosion product to keep them lubricated.
  • Check the front and rear brake fluid reservoir levels. If they’re low top them up or consult your dealer. It’s worth checking your brake pads too – if they are a near the wear limit then get them changed as soon as possible.
  • Keep an anti-mist product with you when your helmet visor builds up with condensation – this will particularly come in handy in rain and foggy weather.
  • When riding through bad weather switch on your dipped headlights to help you see further ahead. Avoid using full beam as this will only dazzle other road users.
  • Riding in low sun will make it difficult to see ahead, be prepared to slow down and make sure you keep your eyes shaded using a visor helmet if you have one.
  • If road conditions are wet and slippery leave more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Ride at a steady pace and don’t rush through pools of water as it will force your bike to lose traction.
  • Avoid riding through puddles as they might be concealing potholes. Keep an eye out for any of these hazards ahead and adjust your riding accordingly.

Peter said: “Motorcyclists need to especially make allowances for the arrival of autumn with only two wheels; anything that reduces your contact with the road requires your attention. Keep in complete control of your bike, think ahead, and you can enjoy a bracing autumn on two wheels.”

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