How to winter-proof your Herald like a boss
Winter Motorcycle Riding
The colder months can be a little tough on your motorbike, so here is a quick guide to make sure your Herald performs at its best even when the weather throws you its worst.
Lubricate the chain
You should do this regularly, and at least weekly if the bike is being used in winter. It is best to do this after riding rather than before, which allows the lubricant to sink into all the chain gaps instead of being flung off straight away.
HANDY TIP: Do this little and often for best result.
Change the oil
It is a good idea to check this fairly regularly, and if you feel you haven’t done this for some time – now is definitely a good time to change the oil. Dirty oil is full of contaminates which can increase corrosion which leads to engine wearing out prematurely.
Before changing the oil, fire up the engine, allowing it to run for several minutes to get everything up to operating temperature. Follow by draining the old oil and refill the engine with recommended Silkolene 10w40. There is no need for any special ‘winter’ blend or oil additive.
Look after your battery
The winter months are a little tough on the batteries as the low temperature slows down the chemical reaction, requiring more current to keep up with the demand. To make sure your bike battery stays in top shape your Herald needs a regular run, or if not possible and your garage has a power supply, try using a trickle charger to keep the battery in good condition. Otherwise ensure that it is regularly charged during the winter to keep fresh.
HANDY TIP: Tighten up the connectors on the terminals and keep them covered in grease to keep moisture out.
Protect exposed surfaces
The best way to do this is regular cleaning, protecting your bike from the dangers of road salt and potential corrosion. There are also a variety of usually silicone-based, spray on products which can protect exposed surfaces, we recommend ACF-50 which is especially useful in awkward out of the easy reach places.
HANDY TIP: Keep in mind that many protective products wash off easily, so will have to be continually reapplied.
Grease those joints
Grease is a very integral part to keeping your bike in tip top condition during winter. It is also the best way to protect the moving parts, major joints, and protect exposed threads like chain adjusters, gear lever tie rods and wheel spindles, as well as lubricate them. It is best to apply liberal coating before the onset of winter and regularly check throughout the cold winter months.
HANDY TIP: Remove the fairing and panel screws and dab them into a pot of grease, this will stop them from perishing in winter months.
Keep it clean
It is vital that you wash your Herald after every ride, paying particular attention to the exposed underside. Make sure to use cold water, as hot water dissolves the salt crystal and allows it to penetrate even further destroying the motorbike.
Keep an eye on your tyres
Tyres are always important, that much is obvious, but they are even more so in the winter when traction can be a little dodgy. Give your tyres a good check out before the onset of winter. Colder temperatures can reduce pressures, and it is vital that the tread depth is good to cope with overly wet and slushy roads. Make sure you’ve got at least 50% of the tread left before venturing out on winter roads.
MYTH BUSTER: Under-inflated tyres do not offer a better grip in winter and are dangerous!
Look after the brakes
Motorbike brakes are particularly vulnerable during winter riding. Exposed calipers are vulnerable to road salt and can corrode easily so give them a good clean and make sure to check them as often as it is possible.
Adjust the suspension
If it is at all possible it might be a good idea to soften off your Herald’s suspension settings for winter riding. As firm suspension settings can reduce grip in slippery conditions, while a slightly softer setting means you will be able to ‘feel’ road grip levels more accurately.