Riding a motorcycle in rain can be an interesting challenge, or a terrifying trip down the slippery lane. While most of us dread to hop on the motorcycle during monsoons; if done right, riding in rains can be safe without having to compromise on fun. Irrespective if you are commuting or planning a long ride, there are a few fundamental rules that you need to follow to keep yourself and the bike safe. So, to prepare you to handle the downpour this season, we list down five tips you need to follow for riding two wheelers during the monsoon.
Tip 1: Dress To Be Visible
Rain makes it difficult for vehicles to see you. That's why it's best to invest in high visibility waterproof gear. Colours like yellow and orange are most preferred, while you can get reflective stickers for your motorcycle. It's always better to opt for a full faced helmet for absolute protection. If the helmet visor has too many scratches, make sure to replace it before monsoons. You can also apply some car wax on the visor for water to run down and not obstruct your vision.
Tip 2: Check Your Tyres And Electricals
Tyres are the only part of the two-wheeler that actually touch the road surface and it is important that the rubber is in top notch condition. Tyre treads should have at least half its shelf life left to provide adequate traction... If not, it is time you replace them. Also make sure you to inspect the lights, indicators, horn and instrument console. Waterproof the wiring, if need be, so you do not face any surprises on the move. Rains also cause a lot of dirt build up and it is necessary that your bike gets more washes than usual.
Tip 3: Be Gentle On The Throttle And Brakes
Its best you alter your riding style to be more gentle during the monsoons. Go easy on the throttle with small increase in speed, and use a less lean angle around corners to maintain more contact patch between the tyre and road. Rains do not require being enthusiastic on the brakes either and you need to get into your braking zone early. Work with both the front and rear brakes to gain maximum traction, and gently tap the brake lever to come to a halt.
Tip 4 Maintain Distance
Maintaining a larger distance allows you to react calmly in case of a mishap and you are less likely to lose control and slam on the brakes. Rains obstruct your vision and braking power and that's why you need to Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front for a larger braking zone.
Tip 5: Mind Your Surroundings
Remember to watch your surroundings at all times. A falling tree, jaywalkers or just animals are easy mistakes waiting to happen. In case of waterlogging, you need to ensure your engine is on the boil to avoid getting any water to seep in. Avoid puddles altogether as you don't how deep it goes and manhole covers that drastically reduce traction.
There you go! You don't need to give up on riding altogether when the monsoon starts. However, remember, you need to be wise about when to ride and when to exercise caution. Riding in heavy downpour should be strictly avoided, especially with the winds catching up. Similarly, avoid low lying areas which tend to flood during heavy rains. A little attention, care and some preparation, and the rains are as good time to enjoy the two wheels. So keep calm and ride on!