For most people here in the UK, the New Year presents the perfect opportunity to quit any nasty habits that may have been picked up during the previous year. But while some sign up for another 12 months of torture at their local gym, and others decide that this is the year they’ll finally stop smoking, for us bikers, the New Year presents a different type of opportunity.
From upgrading the riding experience to staying dry in a downpour, here’s the list of resolutions that we’re making this year.
Look after your bike
Whether you’re riding on a machine that’s hanging together by a single bolt, or you spend more time polishing your chrome than riding on the road, your ride says a lot about you as a biker. So if you’re on a bike that’s sporting worn tyres and oil that’s in desperate need of a change, what message do you think you’re conveying to other road users?
Every year you should think about changing your oil – that’s a given – whereas tyres pose a different question.
According to Michelin, weekly checks can help to determine how much life is left in your tyres. By monitoring tread depth (which should be 1mm across three quarters of the tyre with visible tread remaining on the other quarter) and condition of your tyres, you should be able to gauge whether or not you’re in need of a new set. However, it’s worth remembering that if you’re unsure, it’s probably best to ask your local dealership or trusted mechanic for advice.
New Year, new helmet
In terms of safety gear, a helmet is definitely the most important one when riding a motorcycle. And yet despite this blatant fact, it’s astonishing just how many bikers will compromise their safety in a bid to look cool on the road.
Sound familiar? Maybe it’s time to make a change.
As part of the government’s plans to increase awareness for motorcyclists here in the UK, the Helmet Safety Scheme, also known as SHARP, has created a handy guide to buying a helmet. From getting the right fit to knowing which lid to buy, SHARP’s findings are really helping to drive the message home that safety should always come before style.
It’s also worth remembering that helmets aren’t designed to last forever – so if you’ve had your existing lid for more than three years, it might be worth investing a newer option.
Ride in the 21st century
As anyone who’s been caught in an unexpected downpour or had their ride ruined by traffic can tell you, it’s no fun when your afternoon pootle around the country turns into a soggy and stressful ride.
Luckily, in the modern era, there are plenty of tools that help you to pre-plan your ride, which may go some way in steering you clear of any unwanted drama.
While the likes of Yahoo Weather and AccuWeather can help you with the daily forecast, EatSleepRIDE and Best Biking Roads are really useful when finding some of the quieter roads within your local area.
Stay Dry in 2016
Bored of feeling a chilly trickle running down your spine whenever the slightest bit of rain falls? Perhaps your wife is bored of telling you to remove your soggy socks from the living room radiator? If this sounds a little too familiar, maybe it’s about time you finally get the hang of staying dry while riding!
When it comes to waterproofing your ride, there are plenty of things you can be doing to guarantee a drier biking experience. Sound good? Simply click here to find out what’s available for bikers today!