As the weather warms up many motorcyclists are hoping to get their bikes back on the road but one expert advises caution.

James McCarthy, a motorcycle instructor at the Canadian Traffic Education Centre (CTEC), said the past few months mean many riders will need to hone their skills again.

“The riders not having enough time on the motorcycle or any time at all over the winter, maybe their skills are not as sharp as they should be.”

Another major issue, according to McCarthy, is gravel.

“There is very little traction there and that is where motorcycles tend to have issues,” he explained, adding it was particularly difficult to turn or break in those circumstances.

He cautioned riders not to rush back on the road in case they get hurt and lose out on the rest of the season.

“Get training before you get out on your motorcycle. You’ll be happy you did.

“The benefits are that you are going to learn skills that you probably didn’t even know you could do on a motorcycle. Having those types of skills are going to definably keep you out of harm’s way more often than not.”

McCarthy also advised motorcyclists to be careful when following other vehicles and not to follow too closely.

“When those cars are going over things like all the potholes that are out on the road and big piles of gravel it is going to be a surprise to us if we are following that car too closely.

“Slow down and give yourself some space from the cars in front of you. There is no need to be in a mad rush.”

He has also said that other drivers need to be patient with motorcyclists.

“Be aware that the motorcycle may not be able to stop as quickly or turn as quickly.”

The CTEC holds 70 to 75 motorcycle training classes a year. For more information check out their website.

With files from Amanda Anderson