October 7 2015.

The IAM’s head of riding standards Peter Rodger has offered advice to motorcyclists about getting their bikes ready for autumn. Dealers might consider copying this info to make a poster for use in showrooms or for including in newsletters.....

- It’s that time of the year again when you need to get your waterproof overalls and gloves on. Hi-visibility clothing is important during the day, and reflective clothing is essential to wear when travelling in the dark.

- Give your tyres a proper check beforehand. The tyre tread should be no less than 2mm in the winter, as opposed to the legal requirement of 1mm. 

- Consider changing your tyres now, before road conditions become increasingly slippery.

- The colder it is, the more work the battery has to do. Check your battery is fully charged and in a good condition beforehand – keep it protected against corrosion using solid Vaseline or paraffin. If your battery is not working properly, replace it now.

- The cold weather can cause moisture to collect up in the electrical connections. Take time to spray them with an anti-corrosion product to keep them lubricated.

- Check the front and rear brake fluid reservoir levels. If they’re low top them up or consult your dealer. It’s worth checking your brake pads too – if they are a near the wear limit then get them changed as soon as possible.

- Keep an anti-mist product with you when your helmet visor builds up with condensation – this will particularly come in handy in rain and foggy weather.

- When riding through bad weather switch on your dipped headlights to help you see further ahead. Avoid using full beam as this will only dazzle other road users.

- Riding in low sun will make it difficult to see ahead, be prepared to slow down and make sure you keep your eyes shaded using a visor helmet if you have one.

- If road conditions are wet and slippery leave more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Ride at a steady pace and don’t rush through pools of water as it will force your bike to lose traction.

- Avoid riding through puddles as they might be concealing potholes. Keep an eye out for any of these hazards ahead and adjust your riding accordingly.