I had to ride down to Cambridge the other morning and when I set off the Honda Crossrunner’s dash told me it was minus three. Even with heated grips, thick gloves and Acerbis hand guards to deflect the worst of the weather, the icy air still permeated through to my hands.
After nearly three hours out in the freezing cold (I exaggerate slightly as it had warmed up to one degree by the time I got back), my hands were starting to suffer. There is only one cure for this: muffs! Love them or hate them, they do a job. And I had just the thing at home – an old pair of Oxford muffs that used to be on my BMW.
They’re easy enough to fit – it took me about 10 minutes – but I felt the difference straight away, just by getting rid of the penetrating wind and taking away the misery of winter riding.
Muffs fitted, I thought I should have a quick check round the Crossrunner and noticed the oil level had gone down on the Scottoiler automatic chain oiler – there’s an easy-to-use gauge on the handlebar display. I had the Scottoiler fitted just over 1500 miles ago and it has been doing a good job of looking after the drive chain through winter.
The Scottoiler reservoir is easy enough to re-fill, and resetting the gauge to 100% takes just a few seconds, then we’re good to go for another 1500 miles.
Some months back I fitted a pair of Metzeler Roadtec Z8 tyres (£215 mail order before fitting) and I’ve been taking their performance for granted. It was only when I went out on a couple of MCN test bikes with OE tyres fitted that I could feel the squirm under braking on the same road I had just ridden the Crossrunner along. It just highlighted the fact that the Roadtec Z8s are so reassuring, even in the damp slippery conditions at this time of year. I’d definitely fit the same again.