Buying first (motor(bike just before winter – bold or stupid?

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  • Buying first (motor(bike just before winter – bold or stupid?
  • grim168
    Member

    I’ve ridden bikes all my life and wouldn’t rely on one as my only transport. The winter we had the other year meant roads were still frozen after gritting. Investing in good kit and electric vests and gloves are a godsend.

    Premier Icon AndyRT
    Subscriber

    Cheap and cheerful for a winter hack. Stats suggest we all drop a bike now and then, especially in your first year. I did…twice. Both at slow speed but both made a mess of the bike. Rain, leaves, mud, ice and the ever present diesel and not forgetting man hole covers.

    I agree that heated kit makes sense. Not battery powered! Make sure it is powered by the bike. Good kit lets you daisy chain vest to trousers to gloves etc.

    Enjoy but be sensible and never underestimate car drivers stupidity!

    5thElefant
    Member

    Purely from a safety point of view it’s a good idea. A month of winter commuting will put you off riding bikes ever again.

    b r
    Member

    As long as you are warm, can see and watch out for frost you’ll be ok.

    So, good gear, heated grips and bar covers (MX type ones work fine); new helmet with one of those ‘double-glazed’ visors installed and if there is frost/ice on the car windscreen, use the car/train/taxi etc.

    chojin
    Member

    Oddly, I’ve mainly ridden bikes through winter – if you come out the other side still enthusiastic for motorcycles, you know she’s a keeper 🙂

    Markie
    Member

    I got my first bikescooter in the spring (a few years back) and come winter was glad I’d had the 6 months experience.

    Still managed to come off it on black ice twice – and I was only doing 4 miles each way.

    Positive recommendations, I had a ‘double glazed’ Shoei helmet and it never fogged up. Never. Also had one of those snuggly rug covers that go over your legs and up your front – always toasty, prob not possible on a bike!

    fontmoss
    Member

    Put this up on rev counter already but spreading the net far and wide. Passed my test on Friday and dead keen to get started. However, as Sean Bean would say – winter is coming.

    On the plus side I’d keep the momentum going and good habits are still fresh in my mind. I wouldn’t have a huge gap between training and actually starting (I’ll get a bike in spring if not now) and with a bit of luck I’ll develop a Belgian hardman mentality towards the weather. On the flip side I’ll need that luck to avoid ice and idiot drivers through the darkening months. I’ll also need good kit to avoid ending up like a drowned rat.

    My commute is from SW london out towards Surrey. Bit of town then a3 for 10 miles and one junction on the M25 to round it off. I’m using a car at the moment although I live across from the train station but would sell the car if got a bike. If needed I could use the train for the majority of my shifts but couldn’t use public transport for late shifts which finish after midnight. That’s the other issue, tiredness after a long day and riding home in crap weather.

    So there you have it, thoughts and opinions. Ta

    fontmoss
    Member

    I’m bizarrely drawn to cutting my teeth in the darker months. God knows why. It’ll probably end in tears. And A & E

    I’ve not even ridden my vfr1200 all year other than a trip to the dealer for MOT, anyone want one ?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    You don’t really get winter down south!

    I’ll be honest, it was partly scottish winters that killed my enthusiasm for motorbiking, riding in snow is… well, kind of fun, but not when you have to, and bad visibility and cold sucks the joy out of it. Icy roads are just a gamble, you can weight the odds with good obs and planning but then, that’s a bit of an aquired skill. With good kit it’s not such a chore, but it takes a little time and money to get kit that really works for you.

    All in all… Don’t be afraid to do it, it’ll be OK. But it’ll be better to start in better conditions with everything on your side.

    fontmoss
    Member

    Cheers NW, yeah my impression so far is that the weather is much milder here and I’m sorely tempted to get started before winter kicks in. Not sure if being headstrong and will end up on my backside in a few weeks though.

    mogrim
    Member

    Cheers NW, yeah my impression so far is that the weather is much milder here and I’m sorely tempted to get started before winter kicks in. Not sure if being headstrong and will end up on my backside in a few weeks though.

    Do it, it’ll be fine. Just keep an eye out for the weather forecast, you might want to leave the bike at home if it’s definitely going to be icy (or snow’s on the way). Decent clothes are a must, and get a pinlock for your helmet visor. One trick I use is to wear cheap plastic overtrousers and jacket over my proper motorbike gear – if it is raining it keeps most of the rain off the proper stuff, and dries out a lot faster. It’s also a lot easier to bung in the washing machine, with no pads to take out etc. Obviously it offers no impact protection, though!

    If you’re not that bothered about the image a modern Japanese scooter would be a lot more practical, although of course you won’t get to practise changing gears.

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    Prices are in your favour this time of year, compared to spring, motorcyclists can be compared to butterflies, there is a large percentage that only come out in the summer when it’s nice. Can be ridden all year round, done it myself, I think some bad weather riding does you good, as you get to feel what low/no grip feels like, so when you get to the spring/summer it feels totally different. Good clothes, plenty of layers, and wear something bright, there is too many motorbike shops still rammed full of black, then we wonder why we become statistics of the smidsy.

    martinxyz
    Member

    Yeah, Pinlock for visor. WIndproof neck/face sock type thing (Oxford make a few) as basic buffs that we use on the mtb are useless. You will end up shivering yourself into an accident with the wrong clothing on! Winter gloves,not some race type glove will be the way to go. If you do have summer gloves then a pair of thin shell gloves over the gloves works well. I have Trek lobster ripstop gloves and they keep the chill off the summer gloves.

    Splash out on heated grips too. They help but aren’t the complete answer to warm hands. Palms get warm but the backs of your hands will chill in near sub zero temps. Don’t overdress with layers of crap clothes. Try and get the right stuff so you don’t end up bulking out. You’ll end up feeling like you can’t move around on the bike.If the tyres are getting out of shape,replace them straight away. It spoils the ride and makes smooth cornering for a newbie (as well as anyone else) a ballache and unsafe.

    I commute year round by bike. Down here in the south its ok, some heated grips, decent kit and a thermal buff and your ok. I’ve dropped it on ice at walking pace. I’m lucky in that I can go by car if I need to so can avoid ice and snow if needs be.b

    fontmoss
    Member

    AA might drop you an email if that’s ok?

    mogrim
    Member

    WIndproof neck/face sock type thing (Oxford make a few) as basic buffs that we use on the mtb are useless

    Or you can try a thin buff under a polar fleece type model, works pretty well too.

    I used to commute to collage on scooters/bikes all through the year.

    1) summer gloves are fine, it only takes 30 min or so of agony each morning defrosting fingers under the hot cold* tap.

    2) you can always stall the bike to stop it when the switchgear freezes up completely.

    3) it’s character building

    *hot tap will be too painful

    rp16v
    Member

    ul be fine i commuted all last year with no problems even in the floods we had was abit wet but hey were made of water, beware when weather turns drivers get stupid and drive like miss daisy on a sunday morning try and get yorself something cheap for the first year/winter and poss keep the car aswell im not in a great payed job but can support both ok i just decide based on the forcast but last year only had bike an all was well justheated grips were a must and a mentiond a decent buff/thermals and kit that fits propperley and ul be fine

    AA might drop you an email if that’s ok?

    No problem

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