Tag Archives: winter

Why You Shouldn’t Cancel Motorcycle Insurance During Winter

By Cyndy Lane: Traveler, Blogger, Writer, Loves to write about personal travel experiences

If you are the proud owner and rider of a motorcycle, you will know how important it is to have insurance coverage in place. Insurance provides protection against a range of incidents such as accidents, theft, fire, damage, and third-party liability in the event of an accident. There are various different levels of motorcycle insurance you can consider, so you should be able to find the ideal one for your needs.

Once you have your cover in place, you can look forward to peace of mind and protection when you hit the road on your motorcycle during the summer. Of course, in the winter, the roads are often not safe enough depending on where you live, so you may decide to store your bike during the winter months and use other methods of transportation. If you do this, you may also be tempted to cancel your insurance cover during the months you are not using the motorcycle, but this could prove to be a mistake. In this article, we will look at some of the key reasons why you should keep your motorcycle insurance active, even during the winter when you are not riding it.

What Are the Reasons?

We all want to save money where we can, which is why some riders decide to cancel their motorcycle insurance when they are not actually riding their motorbike for an extended period. However, there are various reasons why you should think twice before you do this. Some of these include:

You May Face Fees and Penalties

When you take out insurance coverage, it is designed to cover you for the period of one year, at which point you can renew or go elsewhere for coverage. However, if you decide to cancel partway through the year because you will not be using your motorcycle, you could face penalties and early termination fees, and these can be very costly. So, it is well worth considering whether you will be better off keeping the coverage in place rather than being hit with huge financial penalties.

You Will Lose Valuable Protection

As we know, insurance coverage protects us in the event of damage or injuries caused during accidents while on the road. However, it also covers you for problems that could occur when you are not on the road such as the theft of your motorcycle or fire damage. If you cancel your insurance cover, you will lose this protection. So, if something happens to your motorcycle during the months you are not riding it, you will have no protective cover in place.

You Will Be Unable to Ride Your Bike

While you may think that you will not ride your motorcycle at all during the winter months, you never know when the odd day of decent weather might come along. If and when this does happen, you may want to take to the road on your motorcycle. However, if you have cancelled your insurance cover, you won’t be able to do this. So, it is worth keeping your insurance cover active so that you can still ride your motorcycle in winter if you are able to.

What Can You Do?

So, what can you do in order to continue to enjoy protection? Well, it is worth noting that there are some insurance providers that offer lay-up insurance plans. These plans make things far easier for you, as you can benefit from reduced costs when your motorcycle is not being used for an extended period but you will still be protected when it comes to things such as fire damage or theft of your bike. So, you can look forward to continued insurance cover even if you will not be riding your bike and do not need liability coverage. There are also some lay-up policies that do allow for occasional riding of your bike, such as when the weather take a turn for the better. You can go online to get a competitive motorcycle insurance quote, which will make it easier for find cover that fits in with your budget.

If you want to enjoy continued protection rather than cancelling your insurance plan altogether during winter, it is well worth checking with your provider – or another provider – whether they offer this type of plan. This is something that will provide you with much greater flexibility when it comes to your insurance coverage and means that you are not left completely unprotected during the winter.

Motorcycles do not come cheap, and the last thing you want is for your expensive dream machine to be at risk. By making sure you keep some level of cover in place during the winter months, you get to benefit from far greater peace of mind as well as valuable protection. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Winter Motorbike Maintenance – The How-To Guide

(Contributed Post for our Northern hemisphere readers)

There is no way to sugarcoat it – winter can be very tough on your motorbike. This does not mean, however, that you can’t get it out for a ride every once in a while. That, of course, with the right maintenance, to make sure your bike can stand any challenge that winter may throw its way.

Depending on how though winter gets in your area, you can either park your bike away and protect it from the cold, or if you want to still enjoy a good ride from time to time, ensure you are keeping your bike in prime condition.

No matter if you decide to keep using your bike for the winter, or store it away until Spring is approaching, this article is meant to help you take proper care of your ride, to ensure winter will come and go in a breeze. 

Consider storing it away

Many bikers decide to store their bike away during winter, either because the roads become sort of dangerous when they get all snowy and frozen, or because they don’t want the shine to wear off. If you chose to park your bike away until the weather gets brighter, do keep in mind that there are some things you need to take care of before.

First of all, you need a good place to store it. You definitely don’t want kids or someone else in the family knocking it over or turning it into a storage shelve. If you have a big garage, then you can safely store it away there and put some protective sheets over it, or even build a cover. If you don’t have a garage, you need to find a good parking spot. A good option would be to rent a spot in covered parking. Just like this San Francisco monthly parking service, you can find such options in almost every city.

Once you decided on a place, you need to prepare your ride for the long hiatus. Make sure you plug and cover your pipes, to protect them from corrosion during winter. By spraying a little light oil into the pipe ends and covering them with some plastic bags, you should be able to keep moisture from getting in and give yourself some peace of mind.

If you, do however, decide you want to keep using your motorbike during the winter season, here’s what you need to do:

Check battery health

When the temperature starts to drop, there will be even more strain put on your battery life. Cold starts, lights turned on more often, bar warmers, they all drain your battery life more than they did before. Make sure to periodically check the power, to avoid unfortunate situations, such as being left with 0 life in your battery in the middle of nowhere.

A healthy battery such be above 12.6 v, but cold temperatures can make it drop significantly lower. Especially before a long ride, make sure to charge your battery and check the voltage periodically, to ensure you can enjoy a risk-free ride. Also, if you find your battery draining way too fast, you may want to consider replacing it before you take the bike for another ride.

Check tires before every ride

Tires tend to lose pressure from time to time, especially during the winter, when the air inside gets cold. If you didn’t already, you should get into the habit of checking your tires before every ride, to ensure there is no damage from previous rides, as well as to verify that the pressure is optimal.

Also, you need to make sure you change your tires with winter-ready ones when roads start to get icy so that you don’t encounter grip problems. On snowy or icy roads, summer tires may be too slippery or prevent you from breaking on time. Changing your tires will ensure you don’t run the chance of accidents.

Use a good antifreeze

Liquid-cooled machines need water in their radiator to keep it cool, but we all know what happens with water in cold temperatures – it freezes. This is why you also need to add anti-freeze to the cooling system, to ensure the radiator does not overheat, but to also avoid frozen water in your pipes.

Ideally, you need to use antifreeze or coolant that has a low freezing point, usually down to -68 °F, so you don’t risk it freezing if the motorbike is parked outside. Also, make sure to check the antifreeze level periodically, to ensure it does not go beyond the lower limit.

Don’t forget lubrication

During the winter, ice on the roads is usually melted with salt. The combination of water and salt can get to the chains and make them rusty. This is why you need to make sure you clean and lubricate the chains periodically, to prevent salt or dirt from accumulating and damaging them.

Other moving parts, such as the controls (brake, pedals, and throttle) can also get damaged from ice or salt, so make sure to lubricate them as well.

What’s more, you should also consider changing the engine oil, as it can get dirty over time, which again, creates the perfect environment for corrosion.

Protect from corrosion

Over time, but especially during winter, the metal on your bike tends to accumulate moist. The problem with moist is that it creates the perfect environment for corrosion to damage your motorbike when you least expect it. Washing, drying and waxing your bike periodically will protect it from damage and ensure it keeps its shine even in freezing temperatures.

You can also apply anti-rust spray to the areas you consider vulnerable, to protect them. For better protection, make sure you apply it regularly, after cleaning your bike, so you don’t seal in the dirt.

Also, keep in mind that corrosion can happen if your bike is stored away as well, you remember to take it out for a cleaning session from time to time.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

7 Motorcycle Fall Hazards You Should Watch Out During Winter

(Sponsored post for our northern winter riders)

A motorcycle ride may be one of the best ways to overcome winter blues, and it’s a way to keep reminding you that spring is on its way. Riding out in the crisp and cold air is revitalizing. Riding motorcycles during sub-freezing winter temperatures can be scary to some riders. But for others who enjoy the thrill of it, winter is nothing but a new riding season, with some challenges and fun all on its own. 

Motorcycle Fall Hazards

It’s a fact that not all winter days are snowy and icy; however, if you want to be a seasoned rider no matter what the season, watch out for hazardous surfaces that surface during winter. Being alert during your winter ride can sharpen and hone your skills in perfect time for spring.

Here are some of the motorcycle fall hazards during winter:

1. Black Ice

Winter presents a lot of challenges like black ice. This kind of ice got its name because it’s thin enough to show through the black color of asphalt, which technically makes it hard to notice or see. Black ice typically forms on the surfaces of the road, much similar to frost forms found on your lawn. 

The Black ice can take place when the temperature of the air is above freezing and when the surface temperature of the road is below freezing. You have to watch out for that formation in areas near bridges and places where the road surface is under a shade. Drive slowly in the sites where there are rampant rain run-offs or melted snow.

The height for black ice is late in the evening and early dawn so you have to be extra careful when you ride during those times in winter.

2. Salt and Sand

Salt is capable of lowering the temperature that water freezes at and starts to melt ice on the road. Sand can make your wheel skid. This combination can make roads a lot safer during the winter storms. But when the roads are dry, the sand and salt will accumulate in places and will be become slippery like ice.

You should be vigilant for sand and salt accumulations at the edge of all lanes because car tires often sweep them off. Be more cautious when you turn across the area with intersections. Slow down in turns and choose your lines wisely, as it can be difficult to predict when you spot a lot of salt and sand accumulations in blind spots.

3. Potholes

Smooth roads will begin to degrade during the fall season and within the first winter weeks. Potholes will upset your steering and can damage your wheels and tires. A pothole that’s filled with thin ice is an accident waiting to happen.

Winter potholes happen when water infiltrates fine cracks at road surfaces and can seep in between layers of pavement. When this water starts to freeze, this will expand and create a gap between these layers of pavement. Right after the ice melts, this sizeable new gap will collect more water. This repeated cycle of thawing and freezing again undermines the surface’s pavement until it begins to break and will start to create a pothole. 

4. Frost Heaves

Frost heaves develop from the repeated cycle of freeze and thaw that creates potholes. They tend to cross the travel lane linearly. They usually appear as long, inverted cracks, but sometimes the road pavement is heaved with no signs of cracks. Passing these sudden bumps can upset your suspension and steering.

5. Slippery Roads

Even without black ice, some roads become more slippery during the winter months. There can be several reasons like water, stones, or ice fragments. While some icy roads are manageable for four-wheel vehicles, these kinds are more dangerous for motorcycles. If you’re not careful, you could skid off the road or fall off a sharp turn.

6. Motorcycle Damage

Perhaps the most critical fall hazard is the effect of cold temperature on your motorcycle. As you know, cold weather can freeze your tires and riding will increase heat around your tire.

Depending on the weather’s temperature, a quick and brief stop will efficiently cool your tire that will provide a lack of traction. Know the proper way to heat your tires. If you can, avoid stopping in zero degree areas.

Protect yourself at all costs. For your motorcycle, maybe choosing a bike protected with carnauba wax can help mitigate damage. Check out thevehiclelab.com’s article on carnauba wax for more information.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com