Winter riding versus Summer riding - Discuss

Sorry to hear of all the offs recently. GWSI posted this against another thread but in the light of all the talk about road conditions recently, decided to post up in it’s own thread as I am interested to hear others viewpoints on warm weather riding versus year round…and road versus track.I have ridden through a couple of winters commuting, but no longer do so. In fact I only own summer leathers, jacket/jeans and light water proofs and come November the road bike gets snugly tucked up in a garage till spring. In my opinion, unless you ride for a living (despatch/police/AA etc) or have absolutely no other choice for getting to work, I think it’s crazy to subject yourself to: 1. Greasy Roads 2. Freezing weather - rain, snow, ice, fog - where is the fun and it triples your budget for riding gear just to deal with it. 3. Dark early and low sun. Affects riders, drivers and all alike. Dodgy.4. Knackered bike unless obsessive compulsive on the cleaning regimes I reckon the chances of an off ‘out of season’ are 80% higher than during warmer times. I know people claim that winter riding gives you experience of control in less than ideal conditions or makes you a proper ‘hardcore’ biker but that is just ego/pride and we all know what that comes before…! You can get the same experience of ‘difficult’ conditions and how a bike deals with it on a wet road in summer (it is UK after all…!), a trackday in rainy conditions or just doing a bit of offroad or greenlanes riding. Skittering around on greasy salty roads in the dark of a January morning holds no appeal.I am now coming to the view that I will only do my ‘spirited’ riding on track only and instead of the GSXR on the road get a fun sit up and beg tool like maybe a Superduke or ‘god forbid’ even a tourer. Road riding pretty much bores me now(in UK - not touring or on the continent these are still grinny) and is infinitely more dangerous than on track.

I like to go for a blat from time to time with mates but it is with less excitement than ragging the tts off RGV250 round Sussex countryside in the 90’s when you were young, dumb and full of cm (listen to me - I’m only 36!!). More traffic, cameras, uninsured drivers and so on. Apart from trips abroad the only reason is to catch up with mates and talk bikes/banter etc.

What about you guys/gals? There is a range of people on here from old stagers to new keen riders, do any of you think about this?

Don’t get me wrong - I’m still as mad keen on bikes as I’ve ever been it’s just the road riding experience has jaded.

All of those apply all year round - for example, the sun does set in June, just a lot later. Roads can be greasy for lots of reasons. A dry dusty road with light rain in july can be worse than a damp road with the new grit on it in January. Just ride to the conditions whatever they are.

Dont the stats say that you are most likely to die or be seriously injured on a rural road in good conditions (sunny warm day)?

I ride all the time, except for snow.
As long as you respect the weather you are travelling in, you’ll be fine…trouble is, a lot of riders don’t.
I’m of the oppinion if you are a fair weathered rider, you are putting yourself more at risk because say you’re out, and you get a little drizzel of rain during the summer…the weeks of oil build up make it incredibly slippery, and if you can’t remember how to ride in bad weather and you treat it as if it’s good weather…well, good luck!
At least in the winter, the copious amounts of rain keep the roads slighly less greasy.

I ride all the time too and, apart from snow and mega-icy conditions, I find it enjoyable and very challenging because my riding has to alter significantly according to the conditions.

I hear what you are saying, but my point is really - do people actually enjoy it? What makes you do it?

Also I think that the oft trotted out line that ‘fair weather’ riders can not ride as well in bad conditions or in some way get rusty is somewhat simplistic and also a little patronising. It could be true if you passed your test in October then put the bike away till the following spring but if you’ve got many years and miles under your belt I find you generally pick up where you left off come warmer weather.

At the end of the day it is just personal choice but I’m interested to see if any others on here hold a similar viewpoint to myself or if LB members are do or die hardy souls :smiley:

the only reason I ride in winter, and or summer for that matter is because I enjoy riding motorbikes no matter the weather…I dont like coming off though…and to be honest it really is just one of those things in winter, some come off some dont…conditions will always play a part and depending upon your riding style i guess how often those conditions will catch you out…

I ride for pleasure :smooooth: If I get caught in the rain or cold so be it, but why would I choose to venture out if it’s guaranteed to do either? :ermm: If we have a mild day I’ll whip the cover off and go for a blast but only if it’s gonna be long enough to warrant de salting the bike the next day (not too quick a job on a faired bike) in all the nooks and crannies :rolleyes: I’ve learnt to keep my steed taxed all year round though as there’s nothing worse than having an itch you can’t scratch :stuck_out_tongue: I used to ride all year round and did so for many years, it suited me then for cost reasons and a different view on life. I even used to take my 400N Superdream out in the ice to practice being a speedway star with my footpegs folded up :smiley: The snow I always found safer and more predictable than ice and of course we never had better tyres than Avon Roadrunners, heated grips or anymore than a Wax jacket over the leathers which only seemed to attract icicles :blink:The roads were much more fun and Europe does bring some of that back but I still find enough fun to continue at home, but not with the vigour I once had.I never knock those who have no choice but am confused by some peoples decisions :pinch: Strangely I get judged for being a part time FWB even though I’ve ridden far more than most and not in warm London Town :satisfied:When I jump aboard my bike after a lay off I’ve forgotten none of the skills I’ve taken years to develop but I always ride to the conditions and my abilities for them, that’s the plan anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

i just got home from having lunch in victoria. roads were dry and pretty decent on the way down if not a bit windy for my liking. on the way home however it was drizziling but i felt like i had absolutly no grip on my tires which was making me very uncomfortable to the point of probably being a little dangerous. Not sure what the reason was for such a bad drive as i’ve driven pretty much every day for the last 2 years. can’t put it down to complete inexperiance. To my point though no i didn’t enjoy it a single bit and i’m glad to be home in one piece . I do however really like driving in fog not rain, snow and ice just fog must be some weird fetish?

Henry, you’re a dirty fogger! :wink:

Can’t say I enjoy fog but rain is mostly OK.

That said, I did 5 hours non-stop last Spring in the rain and I stopped enjoying myself after the first hour!

Well yea i sort of agree, but there are more chances of the roads being wet in winter due to the pressure/temperature relationship and therefore greasy when there has not been any rain for a while. I have seen loads of posts from people saying they are not takin the bike out if it is raining but at this time of year its probably less hazardous if it is properly raining or recently stopped as i’m sure most people are aware.
I spend a fair bit of time in large coldrooms and chillstores and a store that has risen to 4 or 5 degrees C with fork trucks depositing tyre rubber everywhere is usually far more slippery than a freezer at -23. [ not that i take the bike in there…]
Yes you do have to ride to the conditions ,but recognizing them is not always easy , especially for newish bikers.

i ride all year round and don’t mind the wet at all. as we all know you just have to ride accordingly. the right gear and you don’t even notice it apart from your visor. plus, the right tyres and you can still have a bit of fun. that said it’s something i’d only do if i had to make the journey. there’s no way i’d suggest a ride out, all day in the pouring rain.

for me it divides the biking community into 2 groups – commuters and people riding for fun. riding to work or whatever in wet, cold weather vs a summer’s day on the track. i still enjoy riding in the winter (exception being the last week or so with ultra slippy roads) but there’s no substitute for dry, warm tarmac :smiley:

as for accidents, i’ve had 3 in total. 2 in summer and 1 in winter. arguably you’re likely to take it easy in the winter due to the conditions. and are far more likely to push it in good conditions, in the summer.

I’m not going to go for a ride if I know it’s raining heavily or icy, I don’t let the possibility stop me. I used the bike over Christmas to travel to London, 2 track days this month and various rides this winter, have done 9000 miles since end of Aug last year. I’m fortunate that I have a couple of cars to use too but I’ve done probably 800 miles in the one without a roof or windscreen this year too, that is even harder to drive on salty/wet roads than the bike.

There is a difference as Grim mentined between town riding and longer distance, coming back from London on the A1 in winter when it’s freezing is seriously unpleasant, but in a perverse way I get a sense of satisfaction from it, I hate to think that something has beaten me and I wanted to ride a bike partly to gain another skill and poor weather riding is part of that.

The FWB’ers take a bit of leg pulling but at least they still get out and take part, some others seem to retract into their slightly unhealthy forum world.

Maybe once I’ve come off a few times in the ice/salt/wet I might change my mind :w00t:, only been riding since last year but for now riding a bike means being prepared to ride in all conditions and learning how to cope with it. Still don’t like wet track days on a bike but I think that’s just common sense :stuck_out_tongue:

When I first started riding last May I’d planned to leave the bike at home and go back to the train over Winter, but that didn’t happen … only time I got the train was if I was going out for drinks after work, and for a few days after having one of my wisdom teeth out at the beginning of January :pinch:

this winter is my first riding a big bike,i have ridden through all 12 months of the year a few times 125’s, this year due to my scoot being stolen, i have ben using my SV, and its definetly made me a better rider! i totally agree with as said that it will give you an idea of how a bike behaves in diffrent weather condtions and how to control the bike, i always ride to the condtions, in the wet i might as well have an instructor behind me!:w00t: in summer when its dry and warm the does pace go up a bit yeah, but im still carefull if its wet. i dont have a long ride to work;) so the weather condtions dont bother me to much,'cept when i put my summer gloves on in winter…doh! plus public transport sucks…been there…aint doing it again!:smiley:

the wear and tear issue…well i was a bit upset about finding out how much winter makes your bike look shite! as much as i love my bike , i bought it as a tool, to learn on and hve a bit of fun along the way, shes my first so i’l probably keep her, might even fighter it:w00t::smiley:

i have another scoot now, got a few things to do on it then it wil be pressed into service for teh daily run to work.:slight_smile: in all weathers!!!

I’ve been riding just over a year and after riding all last winter, the novelty is wearing off! I don’t mind a cold sunny day too much, and recently on our winter ride out had a blast!

This week, I’ve been glad to use my car and even the tube. I don’t want to crash/drop my bike and there is a much higher risk of that happening in conditions like this as I don’t seem to have much disclipline while I’m on the bike :w00t:

I’m agreeing with Grim’s logic and like riding just for fun :cool: I’m not a fan of bike washing either so riding in this weather really isn’t ideal

I’ve had a couple of winters now and it is tiring sometimes, but looking at the train queues, at the carriages full of people coughing, sniffing, runny noses and what not, makes me get back on the bike and take a quiet ride into work. I get there awake, glad to be alive! Seriously - I ride slow and steady in the crap weather, no point racing because you are only racing death. Come summer time, the pace picks up a bit, but the hazards are exactly the same. It is not a race, it is a means of getting from A-B in comfort and having a bit of fun.

I ride all year round mostly in London (to/from work & between different places of work), sometimes up to 1000 miles a month.

I still enjoy it to the max… except when it’s raining REALLY hard or the traffic is GRIDLOCKED & your clutch hand has just had enough !

To be honest I’ve probably had as much fun on the roads this winter than I had throughout last summer, cos those summer months were SO DAMN WET !!!

However the track is obviously the best place to ride… but you can still enjoy yourself commuting &/or around town be it summer or winter !! It’s a different kind of riding tho… & sometimes the pleasure is acheived in arriving at your destination while everyone else is still sitting in traffic or waiting for the night bus etc etc…

These days I actually find the typical ‘sunday blast’ rather frustrating… it takes you an hour to get out of London onto some ‘decent’ roads, & then you can still never ride properly, cos of all the sunday drivers & crappy road surfaces etc - in fact this can be the most dangerous kind of riding, & this is where most of the bike fatalities happen - so take it to the track…

I just like to write in my bike adverts “Never Seen Rain”;):P:D

imho rubbish conditions let you learn much quicker 'cos the limits are so much closer. i hate riding in the rain. but as long as it’s fairly dry, it’s fun for me!

bad riding conditions let you concentrate on your inputs and your style much more thus making you more aware of what is going on underneath. in the summer you just open the tap and never actually get near the limit of traction/grip.