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Nov 11

Posts: 45

Winter riding. (My first winter)

Hey guys (and girls),

I'm interested in any tips you could share with me about riding in the winter; ranging from problems with road surface to bike maintenance.

I'm particularly interested in problems with ice (and whether it is a regular problem) such as the black ice causing this rider to spill.
I ride down a 40mph country lane (busier and better built up than the one in this video) fairly regularly to get to my girlfriend's house, and was wondering if black ice could be a big problem for me.

Sorry for the pretty basic question, but I'm sure you get what I mean.



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  • Posted 3 years ago (19 November 2011 00:57)

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Nov 07

Posts: 2423

smidget says:


If you know about black ice then you should know the answer to your question.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4758

philehidiot says:


was on ice for ages before coming off (when he leaned slightly) and shouldn't have been on that road if there was the risk of it given the kind of road it was.

Black ice is a myth and you should be able to distinguish it from water if there's sufficient light from two angles as well as knowing the likelihood of its presence. You must look at the road surface and use your head.

Treat the bike with ACF50. This is an oily corrosion protector. Then get some scottoiller FS 365 and spray it on the exhaust, engine, etc after a hot ride. It'll vaporise and get into all the nooks and crannies.

Clean your chain and lube it up weekly and get either a TUTORO or scottoiler.

Get a scarf and some muffs.

Check what kind of tyres you have on and consider their suitability.

If you have leather boots, clean and treat them with a waterproofing and leather care deelie now rather than when they're covered in shite.

Get a foggy mask or pinlock.

Get two plaggy bags - one for each foot for when the boots leak.

Pack spare socks.

Get a V2 sponge - be GENTLE or you'll knackered your visor with the grit.

Check your armour is all intact and in decent condition. I checked mine a while back and found two pieces snapped.

Be overly cautious to start with. Winter will make you a much better summer rider as you'll be on the edge of grip a lot more and learn how to control skids.

Train yourself. If your bike doesn't have ABS then go to a car park ride at 25-30mph and grab the front brake so it locks. Then immediately release it and reapply slowly. Keep doing it until it's instinct and it just might save you from an off.

Get a hivi. People stop looking for bikes and when it's dark it'll reflect light making you show up.

Get a Philip's extreme vision headlight bulb.

Get a louder horn. Stebel magnum is a straight swap.

Get into the habit of doing your checks if you don't already. The salt will get into electrics and shaft them so check lights and switches frequently (I tend to check the front lot one day as I'm wheeling the bike out and the rear lot the next and repeat). Check your tyre pressures every week as the changes in temperature will make them vary.

Don't be stupid. If it looks unsafe, it probably is.

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Apr 10

Posts: 245

Andyvfr1 says:

Make sure

your exceptionally smooth with all your inputs.

Dont grab a handful of throttle because the wheel will spin, be careful with the brakes, dont leave braking untill the last minute, give yourself space to slow down incase you encounter a patch of ice and cant slow down.

Dont get brave even on dry patches aswell, you dont know whats round the corner and not just that, its quite alot harder to keep your tyres warm when the ground and air temperature is around 0. You'd be suprised how little grip stone cold tyres have.

As far as saving slides goes:

Locked brakes are easy, fully release the brake and reapply, i personally avoid the rear brake because its too easy to lock and too hard to modulate.

Rear wheel slides take a bit of practice, its mostly throttle modulation but whatever you do, DONT cut the throttle, your asking for a highside, best bet is to hold the throttle steady, if the back comes round on constant throttle your in trouble because you didnt instigate the slide with the throttle, if the back goes by itself, just hope for grippy tarmac.

Front slides are pot luck whether you save them usually, just try and stand it up and pray.

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:


Wrap up warm: you'll need all the concentration you can get and if you get cold you'll make poor decisions. If you don't have them already, heated grips (or heated gloves) are probably a good investment. If you don't have them, you can stop periodically and warm your gloves up on the exhaust.

If you don't already have one, a cheap winter hack is probably a good idea. That way if you drop it or throw it down the road, its less of a heartache than chucking your pride and joy down the road.

Make sure your tyres are good and the pressures are right. Its your only contact with the road.

"Feel" what the bike is doing underneath you - this will give you an idea of the likely grip available. Do beware, the surface can vary quite considerably in an incredibly short distance (micro-climates) where the road is shaded from sunlight (trees / hedges etc). If you have any bridges on your route, these can be slippery when nearby roads are ok because they're exposed on all sides.

Watch out for the tin-can twits who will insist on the usual stupidity (pulling out, tailgating etc). They've mostly got no idea of the care required on a bike, especially in winter.

Snow in itself is not too bad; you can get a certain amount of grip on it. It's when it turns to slush its a bastard (for sheet ice under a thin layer of snow, read as for slush).

Check the weather forecast before venturing out - this will give an idea of what to expect.

SLOW DOWN, and don't try to be a hero - you need as much time to react and think as possible. Better late than never.

If in doubt: take the bus.
Hope that helps.

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Oct 06

Posts: 1533

BaldE35 says:


All good advice mentioned by the previous posters but I would add. The colder you get the less able you are to deal with any situation so dress like an onion ie many layers of light clothing under your bike kit and pay particular attention to the hands and feet. So I'd invest in heated grips and winter over-gloves. It's not so much the ice which is an issue (because if it to dangerous to ride you don't) than the f*ckin cold.

Have fun.    

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Nov 07

Posts: 2423

smidget says:

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Aug 11

Posts: 508


Don't ride a scooter at night on ice...

Not good.


Snow, when its first laid down, no rainwater underneath to freeze up, without any other traffic, is quite entertaining.

Just hope the tractor coming round the corner doesn't just look at you riding a bike on snow...

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