Riding a motorcycle or motorbike
in poor weather conditions
Riding a motorcycle or motorbike in bad weather can be a challenge to even the most experienced rider. Following these simple guidelines can help you avoid mistakes, and motorcycle accidents.
Rain poses two major problems: traction and visibility. Traction is the main concern for most riders. Watch out for metal objects like manhole covers or bridge gratings, and also painted areas, and places where built-up oil and grease have not washed off; these areas become much more slippery when wet. The obvious one is to be wary of large puddles, not only will they affect braking traction but they may conceal potholes or other road damage.
Assuming that your tyres are in good condition to start with, you can easily check what your traction is like by riding on a quiet and safe section of road and applying your rear brake. This should give a feel for how the bike will respond in the prevailing conditions.
There are other steps you can take to improve traction. A good quality set of tyres can make a big difference to braking performance in wet conditions, also a slight increase in your tyre pressures can also improve traction in bad weather.
Turning a motorcycle on icy or wet surfaces demands gentle handling. Braking abruptly or making a sudden steering changes could get you intro trouble.
Start your turns a bit more gradually, change down smoothly, engaging the clutch a little slower than usual, and avoid abrupt throttle changes. Use a higher gear to reduce the forces reaching the rear tyre.
Apply the brakes in such a way that the tyres are not loaded abruptly. Allow more space in front of you to give you more time to stop, and also signal earlier to warn other vehicles that you are about to manoeuvre.
If you don't already own one, consider wearing a high visability jacket or vest. Rain, fog or snow can reduce visibility considerably, and reflective clothing will enable drivers of other vehicles to see you from some distance away, even in bad weather.
Also consider your own vision. Your view can be impaired by your helmet visor or windscreen fogging when it is wet or cold. There are many inexpensive spray products which can help deflect moisture in these conditions.
Riders involved in motorcycle accidents are particularly vulnerable from many types of injury, from whiplash to traumatic brain injuries. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault, and it occured within the last 3 years, then you may be able to claim compensation, just call us on 02392 484 244 and one of our team will be happy to give you expert advice and legal assistance.