Ready to tuck your motorcycle away for its hibernation now autumn has arrived? Think again!
With its abundance of stunning colours and crisp air, autumn is arguably the best time of year to ride your bike, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and unforgettable rides.
However, riding in autumn comes with its own challenges unique to the season, which is why you need to be prepared. From weatherproofing to maintaining your bike, here are our top 5 tips for riding in autumn.
1. Don’t fall foul of the rain
Now, we’re not suggesting you try to avoid riding in rain because, let’s be honest, the great British weather likes to shower us with more than the odd downpour. However, you can easily prepare for wet conditions – doing so could be the difference between a soggy nightmare and an epic ride.
Step number one in weatherproofing yourself is to wear waterproof clothing. That doesn’t just mean a jacket, but trousers, boots and gloves that have waterproof qualities. When choosing clothing, also try to pick items with reflective detailing that will make you more visible in the darker conditions and during night riding. Here at Halfords, we have a range of waterproof motorcycle clothing from top brands including Duchinni, and you can find the full range here.
Even with waterproof clothing, water can still seep through gaps. So, why not also use Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On to add extra water repellence. Easily applied to breathable waterproof clothing, it’ll enhance the performance of your gear, helping keep you warm and dry. If you want to add extra water repellence to leather clothing, try the Nikwax Leather Restorer.
2. Beware of the cold
As the season ticks by and we get deep into Christmas territory, the temperature will drop, and you’ll need to think carefully about your warm-weather gear. As a general rule, it’s better to be too warm than have numb fingers and not be able to operate the brakes, so now will be the time to start layering up.
For avoiding numb hands, the Richa Arctic Gloves are a great option. They’re not only thermal gloves that will keep your hands nice and toasty, but they’re also waterproof too.
Another part of your body to consider is your neck. It’s an easy part to forget when you’re throwing on layers, but all that layering up can come unstuck if a cold draft works its way in. Luckily, you can avoid this with the help of the MYX Thermal Neckwear. It’s thermal, has a breathable fabric and is sure to keep you warm.
3. Watch out for ice
Numb hands aren’t the only thing to think about during late autumn. The same temperatures that leave you shivering can also cover the roads in ice. It can often be hard to see ice on the road, so always check the forecast before heading out and ride carefully if ice is forecast. If it is and your ride isn’t essential, you can always save it for another day when the conditions are more favourable.
4. Avoid a flat battery
Most people have experienced that heart-stopping moment when you turn the ignition key only to receive a faint splutter. And, annoyingly, it always seems to happen in autumn or winter when the weather is colder.
There’s a reason for that! Cold weather affects a battery’s capacity to hold charge and can slow it down. Luckily, there’s an easy way to prevent this so your ride won’t be cut short before it’s begun. The best solution is to keep your motorcycle’s battery topped up by manually charging it, especially if you only ride occasionally. You can do this using the Halfords Smart Motorcycle Maintenance Charger. It’s designed to provide safe, long-term charging without the risk of overcharging.
Another part of your motorcycle to be aware of are the tyres. They can take a little extra time to warm up and supply optimum levels of grip, so always start off steady.
5. Know your route
The falling leaves may look beautiful, but you never know what hazards or potholes are hiding beneath them. So, always ride cautiously and pick your line carefully.
Also, try to stick to roads and routes you know well as you’ll probably have a good idea of where any major potholes are. If your favoured route has any potentially hazardous roads, divert around them and save them for when the sun is shining.
If you need any help navigating or planning routes, check out the Garmin Zumo XT Motorbike Sat Nav with Full Europe Maps. It’s specially designed for motorcycling and comes equipped with lots of market-leading features like rider alerts and incident notifications.
6. Be safe, be seen
The days are shorter and the nights darker, so lighting becomes more important than ever. That means making yourself visible to other road users and having good visibility of the road.
So, before heading out on any rides, make sure your lighting system is working correctly and clean any lenses so they provide optimum brightness. If you want to boost your visibility, why not upgrade your bulbs to our 150% brighter range? With brighter light and a longer beam pattern, you’ll have no problems being seen.
7. Watch out for the sun
On the flip side, the sun can also be a problem as it sits lower in the sky. That means there’s more chance of it being in your eye line while riding. So, in a tip you’d probably expect for summer, make sure you use a helmet with a high-quality visor that will protect your eyes. If you need some inspiration, check out our full range of motorcycle helmets here. One of our favourites is the Shark Ridill as it packs lots of features into a user-friendly helmet, including a Pinlock anti-scratch visor.
During the damper months, helmets tend to fog up easily too, which is why the Tru-Tension Anti-Fog Spray is a must! Providing a long-lasting barrier against fog and mist, you can spray it on goggles, visors or glasses.
It’s important to stay safe on your motorcycle this autumn, so make sure you follow these tips. For lot’s more motorcycle-related advice, why not check out our other motorcycle blogs here?
You can also find all the motorcycling accessories and clothing you need over at Halfords.com.
You want to keep riding through autumn, you want Halfords.