As the warmer months come motorcyclists take their bikes out of hibernation and prepare for long summer rides and bank holiday escapes. After a winter under a tarpaulin a bike’s never in greater need of TLC than at this time of year. Here Bikesure provides ten top tips to ensure safe and enjoyable summer biking, from spring cleaning and maintenance ideas to what to check for when you are out on the open road.
Before going out for a ride, these will help ensure your bike is roadworthy and ready:
- Give the bike a once over. Dust it off, check for any damage and make essential bits of repair work that you put off when the weather turned cooler. Bike Trader offers some advice on what to check.
- Give the bike a service, Bike Trader again has advice on what to check. Change the oil and filter. Check all cables, lubricants, brake fluid and lights.
- Charge the battery. Motorcycle.co.uk has a useful battery care guide.
- Drain the fuel tank, clean and refill with fresh fuel. This is particularly important if you left the tank nearly empty during the winter. An empty tank will have air inside, and that air will have moisture, which will condense out in the cold as water. Help for this can be found on www.iandmautobodyrepairs.co.uk.
- Check the tyre pressures and tread. If you had special winter tyres or pressures, change for summer ones. Michelin have a dedicated motorcycle tyre page.
- Check your helmet for any cracks or damage and clean it with a mild soapy solution. Ensure it is dry and smear-free before use. SHARP, the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme provide expert advice on helmet care.
Once you’ve made all the necessary checks there are a few other things to bear in mind for spring/summer biking. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the sunshine, but these tips will help make the ride more enjoyable, as well as safer:
- Keep cool. Don’t be tempted to ditch the protective gear for something cooler. There are many options out there that will keep you cool while still keeping you protected from websites such as www.getgeared.co.uk. You can increase the airflow in your helmet by undoing the vents.
- Stay hydrated and watch out for heat stroke. Dmv.org has how to guides for biking in different weather conditions.
- Plan your route, using tools such as AA route planner. Allow time for comfort breaks and rest stops to avoid exhaustion.
- Stay safe. Directgov offers advice on their Think Bike campaign. Remember the glare of the sun can impair your vision and that of other motorists.