Advice for motorcycling in wet weather conditions

Riding in the rain - it’s probably fair to say that bikers in Wales will have lots of experience of this!

Nevertheless a few hints and tips from Wales By Bike will hopefully provide a useful reminder of how to ride safely in wet weather.

  • Traction is greatly reduced in the rain; it’s especially important that tyres are undamaged, inflated to the correct pressure and with good tread depth
  • Ride as smoothly as possible with careful, progressive use of the brakes and throttle
  • Wear proper rain gear, one or two sizes larger than you normally wear, so it fits over your normal PPE
  • Choose your lane position to avoid large amounts of surface water; look for dry tracks made by vehicles in front of you, as these sections allow greater grip for your tyres. Avoid puddles wherever possible - they may even be hiding a pothole
  • Use common sense; slow down in the rain and keep a safe extended following distance - at least double the distance you allow in dry conditions
  • If they really can’t be avoided safely, take slippery spots such painted lines and manhole covers as straight on as possible  
  • A rainbow patch on the road surface could be oil mixed with rainwater so early observations will allow you to avoid this hazard
  • Being tense on a your bike affects control and puts you at greater risk; stay relaxed and if the weather really becomes too bad, pull over
  • Bikers are even harder to see in the rain. Make yourself as visible as possible; hi-vis rain gear can be a good option. And remember to use your lights
  • Remember, when visibility is low it becomes even more important to ride so you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear

Rain or shine, each ride should ideally be smooth, relaxed and confident. Look well ahead and try to enjoy the experience, even if you’re soggy around the edges!

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Know the difference between e-bikes and electric motorcycles

Following a wave of seizures and arrests across the country, Road Safety Wales would like to clarify the difference between electric bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes, and electric motorcycles, as these are vastly different modes of transport.

An e-bike is an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) which is equipped with an electric motor to assist a rider when they are pedalling. By law it cannot propel the rider on its own - if it does, it is classed as a motorcycle or moped.

To ride an e-bike, a person must be at least 14 years old. However, you do not need a driving licence and an e-bike does not need to be registered, taxed or insured.

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DVLA launches new online account for motorists

From today (2 August 2023), motorists can opt for digital vehicle tax reminders rather than having to wait for a paper reminder to drop through their letter box. The change comes as part of DVLA’s new Driver and vehicles account  service, which launches on GOV.UK today.

The new service, which allows motorists to easily access their driver and vehicle information in one place, has been launched as a public beta and DVLA are asking motorists to provide feedback to help develop the service.

The Driver and vehicles account is easy-to-use, secure, and it only takes around 5 minutes to sign up. Once an account has been set up, motorists can simply sign in using their email and password, and will be able to:

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Wales by Bike Prize Draw

Paul, a biker from Blackwood in south Wales, has been randomly selected as the winner of the Wales by Bike Prize Draw Survey.

Anyone who had completed a Welsh Government subsidised course was invited to fill in a survey and to be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win £250 from Road Safety Wales.

Welsh Government subsidised courses included:

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Courses available in Neath Port Talbot for 2023

Neath Port Talbot Council has announced a number of motorcycle courses for 2023, all of which are subsidised by the Welsh Government.

BikeSafe is national police run motorcycle initiative aimed at working with motorcycle riders, in a relaxed environment, to raise the importance and value of progressing onto accredited post-test training. The purpose of BikeSafe is to upskill riders, instil confidence and increase their depth of knowledge and understanding, with an aim to making them safer road users.

The BikeSafe assessment course involves a morning of discussion to explore the main riding hazards that riders face, whilst the afternoon consists of an observed ride with a police motorcyclist or an approved BikeSafe observer who will help determine strengths and weaknesses.

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Spring is in the Air – First Ride of the Year?

With the approaching Easter bank holiday weekend, the increasingly lighter days mark the start of the new motorcycling season for many riders.

Wales holds a major attraction for riders due to the uniquely challenging roads and breathtaking scenery.  Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists show an excellent standard of riding, a small minority choose to use the roads as a racetrack, putting themselves and other road users in danger and risking life changing injuries or even death. Police forces across Wales will target these individuals in the coming months, giving the clear message that poor and anti-social riding behaviour will not be tolerated.

This could also be the first time in a few months that many motorcycles have been out of the garage. Before every ride, preparation is key to your safety.  Take a close look at your kit and your bike to ensure everything is in full working order, paying particular attention to the condition of your tyres, brakes and lighting – it could save your life.  Just as important is ensuring that you are well prepared; never ride angry, tired or impaired by drink or drugs.

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Road Safety Wales / Wales by Bike: Prize draw survey

A number of motorcycling initiatives across Wales are subsidised thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

If you have taken part in one of these courses in Wales, your feedback is important.

We are inviting you to complete a survey and be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win £250 from Road Safety Wales.

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Checking motorcycles after the winter months

North Wales Police is appealing to bikers to take extra care as many will be preparing to get back on the road after the winter months.

With the weather forecast predicted to be sunny for the coming days and the start of British Summer Time from Sunday 27th March, riders are being advised to check their bikes over carefully, as many will be getting machines out of storage for the first time as the weather improves.

Sergeant Leigh Evans of the Roads Policing Unit said, “Motorcycles may not be roadworthy after being locked up over winter, even if they were in good condition on the day they went into storage.

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Free Enhanced Motorcyclist Rider Scheme

Motorcyclists are invited to sign up to a free enhanced riders training course to help improve their riding skills and the safety of Powys roads.

With funding from the Welsh Government, Powys County Council's Road Safety team is providing these courses free of charge to any motorcyclists who live in Powys or use Powys' roads.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Enhanced Rider Scheme is suitable for full motorcycle licence holders who want to improve their riding skills, for those returning to riding after a break, riders who have just passed their test, people upgrading to a more powerful motorcycle and/or those who want to check their riding standard.

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First Bike on Scene (FBoS) in Neath Port Talbot

Spaces have become available for the First Bike on Scene (FBoS) course this Sunday, 23rd January in Neath Port Talbot.

First Bike on Scene is a one day nationally recognised First Aid course for motorcyclists. It is accredited by the Quality Casualty Care Alliance (QCCA) and is designed to provide the knowledge and skills to deal with the initial management of a causality involved in a road traffic collision or any incident where injury is sustained.

Bikers will be encouraged to provide necessary Basic Life Support (BLS) in the event while waiting for emergency services.

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