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Tips for winter?

  • 31-10-2020 7:28pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 25 JamesEIRE


    Started riding a Honda CB500F as a learner since June and already had my fair share of near crashes due to gravel, dead animals on blind bends and other stuff on the road from farmers.

    Just looking for any advice that will make my first winter on the bike a smooth one :) should i change my tire pressure? 33F and 36R or keep it the same? dont have any heated gear yet, just been using what i have to keep warm

    I drive a bit on the dual carriageway than spend about 15/20 minutes on backroads to reach work. Thanks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ IrishGrimReaper


    Get heated grips and something to keep the wind off your hands. I had a set of Barkbuster Blizzards which worked really well.

    I also use these and matching trousers, completely waterproof.

    Suggest rinsing the brake calipers with cold water after every ride and regular cleaning to help fight off corrosion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,501 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    Get heated grips and something to keep the wind off your hands. I had a set of Barkbuster Blizzards which worked really well.

    I also use these and matching trousers, completely waterproof.

    Suggest rinsing the brake calipers with cold water after every ride and regular cleaning to help fight off corrosion.

    If it's icy, leave the bike at home. A drop on your driveway could cause a couple of hundred euro damage


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,459 ✭✭✭ zubair


    Heated grips or gloves are a must, all my bikes have had heated grips but you still feel the cold and it can get pretty painful once it's sub 3 degrees out.

    As above, if you're on back roads that aren't going to be treated or heavily used in winter there'll be some days you'll have to leave the bike at home. Personally, I will ride in all weather bar snow, but some mornings just getting out of our 200m cul de sac to the main road was the hardest part of the journey.

    To add to the list, add aux lights or upgrade your bulb. Not sure what the lights are like on the CB500 but its got a single lamp so it possibly could be improved. GE bulbs are the best IMO, aux lights will help you see and be seen.
    .
    Finally, all my offs and crashes have been between October and February, so make yourself visible. I know there's lads on here who aren't keen on Hi Viz gear but the benefits of it are obvious to me, the difference between a biker or cyclist dressed in black vs one with hi viz gear is clear at night. And as I mentioned offs, get crash bars or bungs if you haven't already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,176 ✭✭✭ Fabio


    Leave tyre pressure alone, stick with what Honda recommend but make sure you've decent tyres on the bike, they'll make a huge difference.

    Ensure the general stuff like brakes, engine oil, coolant, bearings etc are all good and the bike is serviced.

    Someone mentioned lights - pop into a motor factors or Halfords and look for a 150% brighter bulb (Halfords have their own brand of these, there are others available too including the much-touted Nightbreaker ones, which are great). It's probably a H4 bulb on the CB500 but I'm not sure. No need to get a motorbike-specific one, the car ones are the same and tend to be cheaper. Cheap LED auxiliary lights can be had on ebay or other online places pretty cheaply and are easy to wire in. Don't use them to blind people, ensure they point slightly downwards if you fit them. There is some evidence out there that shows that bikes with two front lights, or three in a sorta triangle placement at the front of the bike, are easier for car drivers to see and easier in terms of depth perception for oncoming drivers.

    I'm a big believer in passive safety. That is, ensuring you're warm enough and dry enough to concentrate on the road rather than being distracted by a cold chill and dropping concentration just long enough to leave your braking a little too late into a corner that tightens more than you thought. Inevitably that corner will either have a manhole cover in the middle (lethal when wet), wet leaves spread all over the place, or diesel pooled around it (also lethal).

    As such, make sure your gear is as waterproof as it can be. If it leaks like a sieve and something like Nikwax Tech Wash and TXDirect doesn't wash and reproof it then consider getting a cheap rain suit to go over your gear. It won't be breathable but you won't get wet from rain and it'll protect you from the wind so you'll kept warm(ish). It's vital to look after your feet too so be sure your boots are waterproof (carry spare socks with you if going to work or something, walking around in wet feet all day isn't good).

    Wiring in a set of heated grips, or buying heated gloves, is a great idea. Consider the windchill factor on your hands when on the motorway, it's significant and results in you basically losing feeling in your hands which isn't great for braking or throttle control. Keep some heat in those digits and you give yourself a far more comfortable, far safer, ride.

    For maintenance, pick up a can of ACF-50 and apply with a cloth to anything that may become vulnerable to salt or general corrosion (but do not apply to the brakes obviously, it's slippery). If you want to keep the bike looking well it'll need a wash every couple of weeks and the paint work could do with a coat of Turtle Wax or similar. WD-40, or similar, is good for spraying into electrical bits to keep water out and keeping the side stand and centre stand pivots clean and lightly lubed. Make sure the chain and sprockets are in good order and keep the chain lubed (gear oil or a chain lube spray) and correctly tensioned to ensure smooth gearshifts...smooth is important when things are slippy underneath...

    Also, change your riding. Give yourself more time to slow down, more time to get through bends, and ride as smooth as butter. Apply throttle gently, plan your braking, plan your gear changes. Don't be afraid to use more back brake, especially when things are slippery when you should be applying 50/50 anyway. Back brake can also be used to tighten your line through a corner if you feel you're in too hot but that shouldn't happen if you've planned ahead.

    TLDR:
    - Make sure bike is right
    - Make sure tyres are right
    - Make sure the gear is right
    - Stay warm and dry
    - Ride as smooth as butter


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,454 ✭✭✭ Blondie919


    https://www.getgeared.co.uk/held-2848-chikara-gloves-gtx-black

    Get a good pair of winter gloves with GoreTex and a pair of inner gloves if you don't fit heated grips. I wear the winter gloves for about 9 months of the year. Held are a great brand. This pair are somewhat similar to my ones. I have them 3 or 4 years now and they are still 100% waterproof.

    Like the lads said don't ride when it's icy if you can help it. But if you have to ride on ice or snow just decrease the speed and keep both feet on the road. Some form of hi-vis is a must. Most jackets these days have hi-vis strips.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 31 Duke Dan


    And remember you will probably learn more riding in the next 5-6 months than you will just riding in dry sunny weather. Wet leaves are lethal on the back roads also.

    While riding in the winter, increase your visibility and space. Increasing visibility simply means looking further down the road, helping you recognize hazards before they occur. Increased visibility allows you to react to a potential threat well in advanced, and this is more than needed in winter when traction is limited from the cold roads. My rule of thumb is always looking 15 seconds ahead.

    Ride safe

    DD


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,176 ✭✭✭ Fabio


    Another thing to remember is that the petrol station forecourts can be super slippy in winter. A few drops of diesel on wet ground near a pump creates a very interesting surface! It'll be like glass, no grip, and could result in an embarrassing fall, so be extra careful when filling up. Don't hesitate to report a spill if you see one, it might help others.

    Another thing - become familiar with just how much front brake you can apply before locking the front wheel. Do that now while the roads aren't too bad. The CB doesn't have ABS so knowing the limit of the front brake is a good thing. And, obviously, most of your braking is with the front brake so it pays to be familiar with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,906 ✭✭✭✭ CJhaughey


    Grip changes dramatically, not just forecourts but manhole covers, painted lines on the road surface, things that used to provide grip may become super slippery including bus stops /lanes where oil and grease are dropped out of traffic.
    Avoid high lean angles and think ahead, don't get fixated on the car right in front of you.
    Learn to anticipate and scan ahead of the traffic to see what is happening in front of the car in front.
    Sidestreets and on ramps particularly become hazards as drivers have limited view(if they bother to check) through wet and steamed windows.
    Use engine braking to help slow you even if your bike has ABS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭ omerin


    As someone who skidded across a b road on black ice in a car and it wasnt particularly cold, dont use a bike if there is a sniff of freezing weather, not worth it. Even for main roads i wouldnt trust the gritters covering all parts of the road.

    As mentioned keep the tyres at the recommended pressure and dont let them wear out to 1mm.

    Bit of a tight bastard, but a bit of washing up liqud and water inside the visor does the job


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,176 ✭✭✭ Fabio


    omerin wrote: »
    As someone who skidded across a b road on black ice in a car and it wasnt particularly cold, dont use a bike if there is a sniff of freezing weather, not worth it. Even for main roads i wouldnt trust the gritters covering all parts of the road.

    As mentioned keep the tyres at the recommended pressure and dont let them wear out to 1mm.

    Bit of a tight bastard, but a bit of washing up liqud and water inside the visor does the job

    Good tip. Although I'd say spend the few quid and get yourself a Pinlock insert for your visor if you don't already have one. They are a lifesaver - impossible to fog up when fitted right.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ Japcati2020


    Stick stabilizers on yer bike,then make yourself a cuppa tea,lock your front door,wrap yourself up in bubble wrap,watch some corrie on TV
    Then unlock your front door,and get back on your bike when its "spring".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ twowheelsonly


    Alkers wrote: »
    If it's icy, leave the bike at home. A drop on your driveway could cause a couple of hundred euro damage

    This....all day long...

    If you do go out and it's icy then once you get around the first corner turn around and go home. You've already used up all your luck for the day.

    Ice, wet leaves and wet Luas tracks are the enemy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,527 ✭✭✭ Lorddrakul


    I'd be a bit more on the other side of this.

    I've often left my estate, gone the 400m out to the road with my two feet down, pootling in second asking myself WTAF are you doing, to find that the main road is fine.

    That said, I've generally had a good set of crash bungs on the bike and I'm not that precious either. I'd recommend a set of decent crash bungs for any bike, from a panzer tractor to a Panigale. But get decent ones. Those trick looking ones from AliExpress that connects with one 8mm Allen Stud is not going to protect your bike.

    I rode a Ducati ST through 8 Irish winters, and not only the did the bike survive, I did too.

    Pay attention to the usual things.

    Tyres are one of the most important things here. Don't expect your snot-sticky supersport tyres to be effective at 06:50 on a cold and wet December morning.

    A decent sports touring tyre is far more up to the job.

    Adjust your suspension for the conditions. Set your sag correctly, but a plush ride is far better for the conditions than your corner-carving track-ready set up.

    Make sure your brakes are tip top too. Proper feel and bite are better than drag and woodeness.

    Sort your lights, and your riding gear. If you are so cold you can't relax and react properly to a slide or a situation, then you are at nothing.

    Also, adjust the bike - if you have traction control and/or ABS make sure they are turned up to the max, and power delivery turned down. It does make a difference.

    After all that, you are good to go.

    Probably.


  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭ Sir Galahad


    JamesEIRE wrote: »
    Started riding a Honda CB500F as a learner since June and already had my fair share of near crashes due to gravel, dead animals on blind bends and other stuff on the road from farmers.
    /QUOTE]

    Slow down. How many crashes are "my fair share" that you say above ? Seriously how many since June ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ Breezin


    JamesEIRE wrote: »
    Started riding a Honda CB500F as a learner since June and already had my fair share of near crashes due to gravel, dead animals on blind bends and other stuff on the road from farmers.
    /QUOTE]

    Slow down. How many crashes are "my fair share" that you say above ? Seriously how many since June ?

    It's 'near crashes'.

    Agree fully re crap from farmers. Much more of an issue than days of yore... as discussed elsewhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,539 ✭✭✭ Did you smash it


    Crap from farmers? Like cow****? Or wtf?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,906 ✭✭✭✭ CJhaughey


    Crap from farmers? Like cow****? Or wtf?

    Usually a combination of mud from tractor tyres and cow****, both equally as slippery and dangerous to all road users.
    Although 2 wheeled vehicles suffer more than 4 wheeled vehicles for obvious reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,495 ✭✭✭ knucklehead6


    I'm only driving the bike since July and i have to admit that when (if) the snow n ice hit this year I'll be back to the 4 wheels and multiple airbags of the car quicker than you can say kickstand.

    Thoroughly enjoying riding the bike though, have been out in all weather and times of day so getting more comfortable (but not complacent)

    I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot of experience to get. And while winter driving is probably the best time to get that experience, I'll get it when its safe to do so. Overly nervous and cautious driving is nearly as bad as overly confident complacency


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ Breezin


    Crap from farmers? Like cow****? Or wtf?


    Like cow****e, slurry (same thing?), mud, whatever chemicals are mixed in, and probably tractor diesel too. Filed generally under 'Sh1te. Lethal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,459 ✭✭✭ zubair


    Snapped some winter tips from Ride magazine this month.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 25 JamesEIRE


    Thanks a lot of the reply lads!!
    I'll be sure to read each reply and take away from what yous have to say :)


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