Bike Tips


As the sun peaks through the grey cloud and the temperature does its best to climb out of the single digit, it can only mean that summer is nearly with us and the roads will soon be filling up with gleaming motorcycle metal. Here are a few tips to get your ride all ready for the summer season.

Clean is serene

You can’t even begin to think about summer servicing your bike without getting it nice and clean first. That way, with all the winter’s dreary muck washed away you can start to keep a close eye out for any issues with rust, seizure, or too much wear and tear in consumables, like tyres.
If your bike has been laid up for several months and you’ve not even looked at it – shame on you! – then you’ll have to start from the ground up to fully and safely prepare it for the summer; P&H Motorcycles can help you with this.

Refresh the rubber

Tyres are entirely critical to motorcycling safety, so after you’ve cleaned your bike, check the tyres of age-related marks, drying out of the compound and any splitting. Filling them right up to the correct air pressure will help you check for all of these faults. A tyre should never feel hard to the touch; you want a feeling of youthful rubbery softness.

Is the petrol perished?

Petrol will only last for few months before it starts to go off, and old fuel can clog up carbs or injectors, so if the bikes is having trouble starting – is your battery still alive? – then it may be that the fuel delivery system needs cleaning out. One way to more quickly check this is to drain the old fuel away, disposing of it in the correct manner, and putting some fresh fuel in the bike. If you know the fuel is fresh and the battery is working the starter motor well, then it could very well be a blocked fuelling system. And a more time consuming problem.

Saggy suspension

The best tyres in the world will have trouble giving you their best grip if the suspension they are running on is too tired to cope with the stresses and strains of faster motorcycle fun.
Check the stiffness and rebound character of the bike’s suspension if it has been sitting for a while through these long, cold months, and also check for any leaking oil residue around the rear shock and chrome front fork stanchions.

Binding brakes

While brakes are designed to bind and therefore slow you down, you don’t want them bound up so tight the bike cannot move. Perhaps the brake discs have stuck to the brake discs over the winter?
It will be easy to tell if this happened, just get the wheels off the ground and see how freely you can spin them, using just the power or your hand. Too much sticking means that a much closer look at the brake callipers will be needed; perhaps even a rebuild and refurbish of them. You might as well change the brake pads and brake fluid while you’re there, too.
There’s quite a bit to do if you’ve not checked your bike all winter, but they are all crucial tasks to make sure your bike performs with grace, grip and speed this summer, and that we all make the most of some warm and dry roads while we can.

Essentially there are seven different types of motorbike, and within each type there are many different models with different levels of performance, different costs and consequently different insurance premiums. Here we will indicate each of these types and which insurance groups they are likely to be placed by specialist motorbike insurers. There are 22 groups in total though most motorbikes fall into groups 3 to 17, and it is the higher groups that attract the higher premiums.


Mopeds are bikes with very small engines of up to 50cc, which can also be driven by pedalling just as in an ordinary bicycle. Essentially they are motorised bicycles and because they have relatively low levels of power they fall into the lowest insurance groups of around 1 to 3.


Scooters are often a popular choice for getting around towns and cities as they are very cheap to run and convenient to ride. Lower powered scooters fall into the lower insurance groups, possibly 3 to 6, though nowadays it is possible to buy some quite powerful models which are more expensive to insure.
Sports Bikes

Sports bikes are the most popular and often are fast and have powerful engines. They also look good with aerodynamic fairings. Typical manufacturers are Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Triumph. These are likely to be in groups 10 to 17 depending on their performance levels and cost.

Naked Bikes

Naked bikes are generally sports bikes without the fancy fairings of sports bikes, and similar considerations apply in terms of insurance groups.


Cruisers typically have low seats are longer than conventional motorbikes, and a general retro look reminiscent of the Easy Rider era. The most iconic of all cruisers is the legendary Harley Davidson, which are likely to fall in the higher insurance groups.

Adventure Sport Bikes

Adventure sport bikes are made to go off-road as well as on-road because of this they are endurance machines and are built with toughness in mind. They are also long distance bikes and tend to have large petrol tanks and luggage compartments which can make them very expensive to buy and insure. 

Touring Motorbikes

Touring motorbikes are made to eat up the miles by the thousand and provide the rider with high levels of comfort including all the electronic devices available such as an intercom for the driver and passenger and – believe it or not – air conditioning. They can be very expensive to buy and attract high insurance premiums.

With winter upon us, here at cool cars and bikes we like to provide helpful motoring and biking tips and today’s article is all about winter proofing your bike 

There are many ways you can winter proof your bike and it’s vital you do so to meet the challenges of the harsh and dangerous winter months.

One thing is absolutely necessary: obtaining a motorcycle insurance policy from a reputable provider. After you have this covered, simply follow the ten tips below.
(1) Storage is crucial. Ensure your bike is secured in a warm environment protected from the ravages of the winter weather. This will prevent fuel from freezing. Apply wax to the body to avoid weather damage.

(2) Mildew can have a devastating effect on your bike. Purchase a specially designed bike cover to keep your bike safe and dry. Invest in a high quality cover. The small investment could save you a lot of money by protecting your bike from rust and other types of damage.

(3) Moisture can be extremely damaging to valve seats, cylinder walls and piston rings, so make sure you regularly check oil levels and ensure your cylinders get a thorough coating of oil to protect them. Always administer oil after you have warmed up your engine, which evaporates existing moisture.

(4) Your engine must also be protected from rust. The best way to do this is to fill the tank with fuel mixed with a fuel stabilizer. Use a top quality fuel stabilizer, as pinching pennies can lead to costly repair fees.

(5) It’s very important to check your tyre pressures every week and to keep them inflated to the levels recommended in your owner’s manual. Tyres have a tough time as it is on icy roads, so be careful to maintain safe tyre pressure levels.

(6) Always renew spark plugs that have accumulated dirt or become corroded. You will also have to keep your battery charged as it will discharge in storage. Hook up your battery to a smart charger to maintain the required charge levels and add a touch of grease to the battery bolts to prevent rust.

(7) You may have to rely heavily on your brakes throughout winter so regularly check your brake pads and brake fluid levels to ensure you are as safe as possible on the roads.

(8) Visibility is vital throughout the early dark nights, fog and snowfall of winter. Check all your lights and indicators are in perfect working condition and be sure to wear a reflective jacket.

(9) If you are in any doubt regarding the safety of your bike arrange to have a vehicle inspection test with a reputable mechanic. This will give you complete peace of mind and ensure your bike can handle winter’s adverse conditions.

(10) Last, but certainly not least, ensure your bike’s MOT is fully up to date. Accidents can happen in the winter months due to the dangerous icy condition of the roads and your motorcycle insurance will be invalid if your MOT is out of date. You owe it to yourself and other road users.

Follow these top tips and you will be on the road to staying safe while riding this winter. Remember, if you have any apprehensions don’t get on your bike.