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Riding the Rains

The heavens have opened up and it’s raining cats and dogs. Monsoon though being the awaited time of the year for most people, but for riders; some may love it, some may dread it. Though riding in the monsoon can be quite a lot of fun, especially with nature at its best and the heavens open when you are riding.

But it doesn’t come without its own set of risks; slippery roads, low visibility and a lot of other factors can make riding in the monsoon a very tricky business. The complexity & the unpredictability of riding in the monsoon isn’t every biker’s cup of tea; some put up with it, some avoid it if they can & the few remaining learn to enjoy their monsoon rides. Which of the categories do you fall under? Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you suit up yourself and your bikes for that monsoon ride!

1. A complete pre-monsoon service would be in order for your bike which should include a coat of wax or Teflon polish

2. Ensure proper oiling and greasing of bike parts; specially the chain

3. Visibility is a hassle in monsoons. It’s advisable to invest in some good, bright colored monsoon gear that will keep you visible to other people on the road. Ensure that any lose ends on your rainwear doesn’t get caught in your bike

4. It’s important to tighten the brakes proper but at the same time make sure that they are neither too tight nor too lose as brakes don’t work the same on a wet tarmac

5. Invest in a set of good fog lamps or LED lights

6. Always make sure that you aren’t riding at your speed you would otherwise ride at. Ride at a speed comfortable for you. Don’t lose control of your bike, at the same time cruise well to enjoy the humid wind coming on your face

7. Put your rear brake to maximum use. Use both brakes while riding on a straight patch. Avoid front brake while riding on curve

8. While riding in dirt or slushy roads, an important tip would be to ride your bike one gear low than what is required. By doing so the rider is ensured control & the bike gains stability.

9. When you have no choice but to cross that patch of road filled with water, ride on very low gear by simultaneously revving up the engine. By doing so a certain pressure is created along the tip of the exhaust due to which little water will get in

10. Avoid water logged areas; if you happen to ride through deep waters, make sure water does not enter your silencer.

11. Use gear braking to control your bike while riding on water filled road. Instead of applying brakes frequently, upshift your gear to gain control of your bike. This will save life of your tires and provide better power while steering through tricky road

12. Once in a day, clean all water entered in your engine by removing spark plug and frequently kicking your engine while keeping a dry cloth on spark plug opening. This will throw all water out from engine.

13. Always make sure that you have increased distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This is because there is a considerable loss of traction & it takes longer to stop your bike on wet roads

14. Focusing on the road is more important than on speed… especially on water logged pot holes, pedestrians, stray animals and any other hurdles you may encounter

15. Along with bright colored monsoon gear, switching on your headlights is mandatory; not only for bikers but other motorists as well since it tends to get foggy and cloudy

16. Lastly keep a piece of cloth handy to wipe muck/mud from your helmet visor, tail light, head light & turn indicators

We know it may be easier said than done, but after all practice makes a man perfect. Enjoy your monsoon ride but with these measures in place and we are sure you will have a smooth ride.

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