Do you know what the magnificent seven are? IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, gives advice on riding during inclement weather.
We always advise never to ride in bad weather conditions. However, this is sometimes unavoidable, as your morning journey may be full of bright sunny skies which can then turn into unexpected wind and rain during the afternoon - Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart Head of Driving & Riding Standards
1. Ensure your screen and visor are in good condition and consider using an anti-fog insert or product.
2. Deep water may cause aquaplaning. If this happens, gently close the throttle and retain a firm grip on the handlebars, do not brake or attempt to steer as any input is likely to be excessive when the grip returns. The grip will return within a short time. If possible, avoid standing water.
Snow and ice
3. The best advice is to avoid riding in snow and ice. However, if you do get caught out in it, beware of micro climates in shaded areas where ice will form first. If you are riding in the snow, your machine will have much reduced grip and take longer to stop. Brake only in a straight line and be gentle with the throttle.
4. Coarse steering input may induce a skid. Be smooth with steering in order not to break grip. If you have to steer, do it gently until you are back to the course you wish the machine to follow. Try not to brake whilst cornering, as the bike will slide.
5. Be aware of the effect of extreme cold. Make sure your motorcycle kit is fit for the job, as concentration is adversely affected by the cold.
6. Keep in mind the wind will change when passing a high-sided vehicle, so ensure you give them sufficient space, and if you see them being affected by the wind, don’t pass.
7. Be especially careful if crossing exposed bridges, where wind conditions will change.
Motorcycling should be fun. Planning to ride in extreme conditions is likely to take the fun out of the ride. If you are travelling in wet and windy conditions, make sure you have kitted up properly. The first drop of rain that gets in will open the floodgates. Snow and ice are not conducive to two-wheeled travel. What is fun off-road is challenging on-road - and best avoided. If the temperature is forecast to be close to freezing when you leave, think about how it will be for your return - Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart Head of Driving & Riding Standards
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