Monsoon and long bike rides go hand in hand. Won’t you agree? A bike trip during the monsoon is a unique experience. It can be adrenaline-rushing yet soothing at the same time. However, it is also the time when you should be super cautious when riding a bike. Indian roads are infamous for their bad condition during the rainy season. Rains make the road wet and slippery, thus increasing the risk of accidents.
It does not matter if you are a veteran or a new rider. You must take all precautions and stay covered with a robust bike insurance plan at all times. Meanwhile, here are some tips for ensuring a safe bike ride during the monsoon:
Check your tyres: The curvy patterns on your bike’s tyres are called treads. These treads help in dispersing water and maintaining the grip. A tread depth of 2-3 mm is necessaryto maintain a decent grip on a wet slippery road. So, check your bike’s tyres every time before you set out on a long ride.
Check tyre pressure:When riding in the rain, it is recommended to keep the tyre pressure one or two notches lower than the manufacturer’s psi. Reducing the tyre psi by a small margin increases the patch or the surface area of the tyre-to-road contact, which provides a better grip on wet roads.
Get your monsoon gear:Waterproof bike gear is not an option if you plan to go for a monsoon bike trip. It is a must. Acomplete set of waterproof biking gearcan be quite expensive. If you are on a shoestring budget, then just get rain gear that fits you well over your clothing. Before buying, try it over your clothes. It should be loose enough to not restrain your body movement and tight enough to not flap in the wind while riding.
Pack light:Always pack light when travelling, especially on long bike rides. If this is your first bike trip in the rains, pack judiciously. With curves and bends across slippery roads, you don’t want any extra grams with you.
Think of spare parts:Carry a chain cleaner, lube, clutch cable, and similar spare parts while riding in the monsoons. You must check your bike’s chain every 90-100 kilometres. It is very easy for dirt and mud to get stuck to your motorcycle’s chain when riding in the rain. If you do not want to carry spares with you, then keep a note of popular garages and mechanics on your travel route.
Use clear visors:Avoid using dark or tinted visors on your helmet. Moisture, condensation, and rain will hamper visibility anyway. Using tinted helmets can significantly blur the visibility further and increase the risk. Notethat clear visors give far better visibility than darker ones. Also, check if your visor is scratch-free. If not, replace it before you start your trip.
Check your air filter: Before heading out for your bike trip in the rains, check if moisture has started setting-in in the air filters of your motorcycle. If yes, then start your bike and keep it idle for 4-5 minutes. This will heat the engine and the set moisture will be taken care of.
Get bike insurance:This is a no-brainer.You could be a veteran or a first-time rider. It does not matter. What matters is that you should have a bike insurance policy at all times when riding your bike. Motor insurance will protect you from all possible mishaps when on the road. Always buy a policy that promises maximum coverage such as comprehensive Honda insurance by ICICI Lombard. This will ensure that you and your Honda bike remain safe during your monsoon trip.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when riding your bike in the rain:
Maintain the right distance:When riding your bike, maintain a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, stopping a bike on a wet road needs more time and surface due to reduced traction.
Don’t splash: Avoid riding through waterlogged roads as it can heavily damage your engine. Dodge pools of water and ride on the dry side of the road. You may not be able to avoid wet roads in monsoons. However, bike insurance with engine protection cover can help in case of a mishap.
Don’t follow heavy vehicles onthe road: It is better not to follow cars or heavy vehicles when riding in the rain. Behind them, you can miss the potholes. Also, you may lose your balance due to water displacement caused by the tyres of heavy vehicles.
Right braking technique: While riding in wet conditions, proper braking techniques are non-negotiable. If your bike has an anti-lock braking (ALB) system, you can slam brakes on wet roads without locking up. However, if your bike does not have an ALB, then you have to be extra cautious.
Wear bright colours:Wear bright, if possible neon or fluorescent, coloured clothing when riding in the rain. This enhances visibility. Lack of visibility is one of the leading causes of accidents in monsoons. Choose rain gears or jackets that can be easily seen by the other commuters.
Keep headlight on:As mentioned above, visibility is of prime importance while riding in the rain. So, keep your headlights on while riding even if it is just overcast and not a heavy downpour.Also, now and then, check that tail lamps and headlamps are cleanthroughout the ride.
Pauseat the crosswinds:Crosswinds can be a major challenge while riding on highways or long straight wide roads. If you lose control even slightly, don’t try to manoeuvre through the crosswinds. Instead, stop immediately.
These tips will help you plan and execute a safe bike trip during the monsoon. Just make sure that your bike insurance is renewed on time and is valid during your trip.