Scooters and Commuters
One of the first issues any rider faces during the winter months, is reduced grip. Most of us will park the bike up during cold spells, especially where snow and black ice are a problem. However, some riders cannot escape the challenges thrown up by wet and slippery roads. Tyre manufacturers are always somewhat focused on grip, whatever the tyre is designed for; however, winter and wet weather riding really raises the bar when it comes to correct tyre choice. This problem is especially significant for riders who are commuting daily, or who are using their scooter or motorcycle for work purposes.
When riding your motorbike in urban areas, the winter and sustained wet weather bring a whole bunch of challenges. First and foremost, car and van users are often less affected by the bad weather. Modern vehicles with air conditioning, good quality anti-locking brake systems and the general level of comfort, meaning that cars and vans may brake at the same distances they do all year round. If you are travelling behind a car or van, you can easily find yourself squeezing on the brakes far harder than you would like, as the vehicle in front stops in virtually no time at all.
The increase in surface water during the winter months causes another problem. All of the diesel, oil and fuel that has soaked into the tarmac over the summer rises. This creates a surface film that can be as slippery as ice. Other road furniture such as manhole covers, white lines, and drain covers are also a menace to two-wheeled vehicles.
Finally, road debris can be an issue too. As the surface water washes dirt, shale, grit and debris from surrounding verges and paths, straight into the road, you may find yourself hitting patches of road debris that could puncture your tyres, or even throw your front wheel away from you.
Which tyre is best for winter and wet weather riding?
With so many different tyres and riding styles, we thought it would be a good idea to deal with each separately. Because those who ride in all weathers are most at risk, we have decided to start with scooter tyres. When you are riding your scooter for the daily commute or for delivery purposes, you will have a higher chance of needing to stop in a hurry. You will also be filtering through traffic and dealing with all of the road surfaces mentioned above.
Best winter tyre for Scooters
One of the best tyres on the market for urban riding in all weathers is the Michelin City Grip Pro. The Michelin City Grip Pro has a groove pattern specifically designed to push water away from the tyre. Even in heavy rain, you can corner with confidence. While we always recommend adjusting your riding style to suit the conditions, with a Michelin City Grip Pro, you have the extra confidence required for all-day riding.
Another key feature of the City Grip Pro range is the tyre wall construction. The City Grip Pro is designed with more layers than other tyres. Michelin’s design is proven to be 20% harder to puncture than other brands due to the increased strength these layers offer.
Michelin has gone one further with their City Grip Pro tyre design. To tackle the problem of tyre temperatures, Michelin has also designed the City Grip Pro, Winter. In addition to all of the features of the City Grip Pro, the Winter edition has a different compound for each section of the tyre.
The centre of the tyre remains as a hard compound, providing the hard-wearing rubber required for high mileage riders, right where you need it most. The clever bit is the softer compound used on the edges of the tyre. By using a softer edge compound, Michelin has created a tyre which will warm up far quicker than single compound tyres.
With the edges becoming tackier at a much faster rate, you can be assured that you will achieve the best grip possible when cornering in winter conditions.
Pop into JC Motorcycles in Plymouth for a free winter tyre check. Our trained staff will be able to advise you on the condition of your scooter tyres for winter riding.
Do you still have questions about winter riding on your motorbike?