Prep Tips for Riding in Winter
Preparing you and your bike for the cooler months?
How good is winter! Not only an epic time to ride but with the change of climate & terrain it's also a good time to stop and make sure you and your bike are prepared and ready to roll out to the track or trails in the best condition (as well as keep both yourself and your bike protected with whatever gets thrown your way!)
Here are a few bike maintenance tips, along with our suggestions on how to make the most of your winter riding.
Top 5 essential maintenance and accessories for your bike this winter:
1. Fuel Stabilisers:
Fuel stabilisers protect the fuel system against rust and corrosion while also preventing the gummy build-up saving you a blocked or leaking fuel system. It also preserves the life of your fuel and ensures an easy start after long periods of storage without having to drain and replace your fuel.
2. Fresh Fluids:
It's always a good idea to flush all of your fluids and replace them to protect your beloved dirt bike from potential damage especially coming into winter.
Engine and Gearbox Oil: Having the correct weight and viscosity engine and gearbox oil is important when riding in hotter or cooler weather. Incorrect oil will increase wear on your engine and on your wallet, so refer to your owner's manual to find the correct oil to run in your current weather conditions.
Brake Fluid: Is "hydroscopic" which in a nutshell means super absorbent - brake fluid absorbs the moisture in the air lowering the boiling point of the fluid. It is crucial to flush your brake fluid on a regular basis to reduce the chances of losing feeling in your brakes. A brake bleed kit makes quick work of replacing your brake fluid.
Coolant: The purpose of coolant is to keep your engine at optimal running temperature however, it can't do that when it's frozen from the cooler temperatures. Replacing your coolant will ensure you don't do any damage to your engine because your cooling system wasn't up to scratch.
3. Bike Protection:
Winter usually brings condensation on rides (along with sleety/gritty and muddy conditions) which can get into the nooks and crannies of your bike and cause corrosion and rust. There's a tonne of different products (depending on the types of riding you do) but the list of protective parts for your bike include; handguards, bash/skidplates, radiator braces and sleeves, clutch & ignition protectors, pipe guards, fork seal savers & front disc guards.
We have tonnes of different products to suit your bike, so get your bike protected this winter!
Hand covers and heated grips are the best things to have in winter, they provide safer more enjoyable riding in cooler conditions!
Hand covers from Ballard's come in two different styles (Type A and Type B) and provide warmth and protection to your once exposed freezing hands. Check out Geoff Ballard's video for more information.
Heated grips will keep your hands warm and help heat your entire body - it's amazing but true! The Ballard's grip heaters are perfect if you want to use a particular style of grip or you can buy the Oxford heated grips which come as a complete grip assembly.
5. Bike Covers:
This is something that is overlooked, bikes are commonly left out in the elements when camping on those cold nights - we have all felt that icy seat and grips when first jumping on the bike in the morning. This can be easily avoided by using a bike cover to protect it from the elements and stay warm.
Top 5 must-haves to keep you prepared for riding this winter:
Invest in cold weatherproof riding gear, this stuff is built to be durable and you'll get a few good seasons use out of them. Something we can't do without through winter is a riding jacket or vest (windproof) or rain jacket to reduce that chill factor from the wind and elements.
2. Goggle Lens:
Dual lens goggles help prevent fogging (due to condensation) on your ride. We like to call this the "foggle" effect. When your vision is impacted, your safety is too! Keep that in mind. Some goggles you can pick up from $60ish or if you have a top-end pair of goggles you can always throw in a new dual-density lens kit to your goggle bag for those cold(ish) days.
Choosing suitable cold weather-specific gloves makes a world of difference on the bike - you can actually feel your hands! Brands like the 100% Percent Brisker cold weather gloves and the Seven Zero cold weather gloves are some of our favourites. Also, a pair of Kevlar under gloves are awesome for keeping your hands warm and reducing blisters at the same time!
4. Compression Gear:
Compression gear can be worn under your gear for increased warmth if needed. This will ensure you stay warm even in some of the coolest conditions riding and maximise comfort whilst eliminating any irritation during the long motos.
Both balaclava's and neck warmers make a massive difference in keeping the cold at bay on those early morning rides. We have a few different options to keep your neck and head toasty warm.
Brave the cold and see you out there! #RideMore
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