Get ready for the road
It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a funny old year so far. No sooner had we come to terms with Brexit before the world all but shut down in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. But while the government-enforced restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus were absolutely necessary, we for one have really missed being able to get out and ride our bikes for pleasure (the 20-minute commute to EP HQ just doesn’t cut it). Encouragingly though, if recent government guidance is anything to go by, it looks like we can finally start to enjoy the open road again…
If you’d not had the opportunity to get your bike out of hibernation before the lockdown hit, you’re probably going through the motions of all the usual “get ready to ride” duties – checking tyre pressures, fluid levels and giving it a good old clean. That said, after an extended period off two wheels, there are some more serious things to consider before you’re ready for the road.
The old saying goes, ‘you never forget how to ride a bike’. However, if your motorcycle has been parked up and unridden for the best part of eight months, chances are you’ll not be as sharp as you were last summer. Does your riding gear still fit? Yes?! Then you’re lucky! Make sure your kit suits the conditions, check the weather before you go out and if in doubt, layer up. Riding while cold can severely affect your concentration – remember? If your leathers are a bit tight, consider getting some new ones (or hitting the gym) before hitting the road.
Take your first ride steady – your bike might feel faster than you remember – and take the time to re-familiarise yourself with your favourite biking route as the road surface may have changed and you might find it doesn’t grip the surface like it used to. Worst still, the speed limits might have changed and that speed camera could catch you unawares.
If you’re feeling a little bit nervous about your first ride out after a long break, EP Crash Protection can help protect against major damage to your motorcycle if the worst should happen. And that doesn’t just mean if you’re unlucky enough to have an accident… overbalancing while manoeuvring your bike is more common than you’d think – especially if you’re a bit out of practice. You could also try EP Front or Rear Wheel Spindle Bobbins, which are designed to prevent damage to the wheel spindle’s head and endpoints as well as the lower sections of the front forks (the spindle clamps), brake calipers and at the rear of the bike, the swingarm.
To be 100% sure your bike is roadworthy after a long period of inactivity, most good dealers can offer seasonal health checks rather than full blown (and costly) services. If you’re not confident doing it yourself, the technician will adjust the chain, check your tyre pressure, top-up your oil and coolant and do a full nut and bolt check. In the latest government announcement, motorcycle dealers can reopen from 1 June so get yourself (and your bike) booked in.