As I am writing this articles, there are talks going on about Monsoon soon arriving to India. Rains can be both the best and the worst times for bike riders. The experience of riding your motorcycle in rain on a weekend is just divine. However what is horrifying is the daily commute between home office on your 2 wheels.
During rains, the condition of our roads go from bad to worse. It is nightmare when your 2 wheels breaks down on an open gutter which has turned into a pond while it is pouring cats and dogs from above. Hence preparing your 2 wheels for monsoon is utterly important.
I have tried to keep this article simple so that even the folks who have least liking or knowledge about their 2 wheels can also benefit from. I recommend that you get your bike serviced before the rains and use the below points as checklist that you should discuss with the mechanics.
Tyres are for bike what shoes are for you and I am sure you won’t step outside your house in rains with those worn out slippery floaters. Similarly, the bikes tyres need attention.
If your regularly (once in 2 weeks) check tyre pressure and maintain the pressure recommend then half of your job is done. Tyres with too much air will make bike susceptible to skids. Less pressure will cause loss in power and early death of the tyre.
If you have been riding the bike for couple of years then it is a good idea to take some time out and inspect the tyres of your bike. If the groves on tyre have leveled out with the rest of the surface, it time to replace the tyre. Tyres do cost you a couple of thousand rupees, but they are dirt cheap when compared to hospital bills !
Effective brakes are core components of all vehicle. During monsoon, even the most effective brakes do tend work ineffectively. Consider your disc brake splashed with dirt and water, the braking will be affected. Disc or drum, make sure that you get them checked before monsoon. If needed don’t hesitate to change the brake pads, they will cost couple of hundred rupees, but the confidence and peace of mind they get is is immense.
Trust me, even the most powerful lights don’t illuminate the wet roads as effectively as they would do on a normal night. Make sure that the head lamp illuminates the road sufficiently. Change the bulb if required, or get the fog lights mounted on your bike. A well illuminated road increases the safety factor drastically.
The tail lamp is as important as the headlamp. People behind you should know when are you applying brakes and slowing down or riding in through dark in first place. Ignore this and you will find your self in a serious trouble.
Oh, and don’t forget to check if the indicators (blinkers) are working fine. Do all us a favor and use them correctly. Just so that you are sure, the left one should blink when you want to go left and right one when you want to go right. Neither one should blink when going straight !
I know so many people who get rid of the mirrors as soon as the bike get delivered. In today’s chaotic road conditions, mirrors are as important as brakes of your vehicle. Please put them back and use them. In rains, the visibility decreases considerably, hence it is recommended (not just in monsoon but every time you ride) to take a glance in them before you decide to stop or take turns. On road, you should know what is a happening ahead of you as well as behind you.
Try and park your bike under some roof and not under the sky on the road. If you don’t have a covered parking, get your self a bike cover . Keep your bike covered saves your bike from following :-
- Water seeping into the petrol tank
- The meter console clouding
- The switches getting jammed
- The footrest and brake pedals getting slippery
- Exposing the metal parts to corrosion
- Degrading paint
With these points the chances of your bike giving up on you are considerably less. Please feel free write comments below or to add important point that you think should have been covered here.