Dark nights ‘no reason to put bikes away’

JUST because the clocks have gone back, the end of summer is no excuse for bikers to pack their bikes away for the winter, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association.
The MCI’s analysis of new Government taxation data shows more and more UK bikers are committing to the benefits of biking all year round and 122,000 more bikes were kept taxed for road use than there were in 2005.
The MCI is reminding year round riders how to stay safer in the months ahead. It says winter riding presents a number of extra hazards caused by darker nights and cold, wet weather. Slippery roads and reduced visibility are two important factors riders must take into account on their journey.
Research has shown cold weather reduces concentration and can impair mental function and make it more difficult to complete complex tasks, so it is essential riders prepare for the reduced temperatures by ensuring they have the right kit for the weather conditions.
As winter officially starts the MCI is urging all road users, not just bike riders, to act responsibly. There are some simple safety tips that will benefit all during the British winter.
• LIGHTS – Turn your lights on before it is fully dark – but don’t dazzle on high beam
• SPEED – Reduce speed in wintery weather conditions – fog, rain and ice
• TYRES – Always ensure adequate tread depth and pattern and correct tyre inflation
• MIRRORS – Check mirrors regularly
• TAILGATING – Give each other extra space when road conditions are poor
• VISIBILITY – Motorcyclists can increase their visibility by wearing clothing such as a reflective jacket
• TEMPERATURE – Invest in some special winter kit which offers better protection from the elements and will help to keep you warm and dry in the colder months
Steve Kenward MCI’s CEO said: “Winter riding brings its own unique challenges, but a change in seasons doesn’t mean you have to put your bike away.
“In the dark mornings ahead, riders and drivers alike need to be more vigilant for everyone’s safety. Drivers in particular should not be complacent about their driving style and remember that even if they themselves are warm, comfortable and focused, other road users may be finding the conditions more challenging.”