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10 Safety Do’s & Don’ts While Riding

10 Safety Do’s & Don’ts While Riding

10 Safety Do’s & Don’ts While Touring on a Two-wheeler


Planning to go on a long road trip on your motorcycle? Two-wheeler trips across India have become more common than you would have imagined just a few years ago when the infrastructure or the motorcycle market was not mature enough to support the biker lifestyle. But today there are a ton of adventure motorcycles as well as the existing options have become much more advanced which has made long distance cross country touring a common activity.  If you are planning one of those special trips of your lifetime, here are 10 safety do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of before setting out on your journey.


Always wear a helmet


Most avid riders who love riding motorcycles do not leave their homes without a helmet, but the small unwitting mistakes they make when they are on the road are simply beyond imagination. Never think that you do not need a motorcycle helmet just because you are riding half a kilometer to a store to buy water for the camp or some grocery. The motorcycle helmet is something that has to be on you always whenever you are on the bike because you never know when disaster might strike. For those times when you have to ride in hot conditions, make sure to open up the air vents on your motorcycle to allow flow of cool air instead of riding without a motorcycle helmet! Invest in a modern branded motorcycle helmet that has multiple air vents on the front as well as at the top and rear which facilitates a comprehensive air circulation which will take care of the humidity and hotness inside the helmet.


Never ride unless you are completely focused


A common mistake many riders make when they are starting on the two-wheeler lifestyle is that they tend to ride their motorcycles even when they are not completely focused. There could be multiple reasons why you may not feel focused. One reason could be consumption of alcohol. The second reason could be a lack of good sleep at night. And the third reason could be ill health caused by stomach infection, fever or some other health concern. The key thing to remember when you are on the road is that you are alone and there might not be anyone around to help you out if you ever get in trouble. That is why, you need all the faculties in your body to be working at peak performance so that you don’t make a mistake that could have been easily avoided had you been completely focused on the road. If you feel that your body is not ready to take the load of riding 600-700 kilometers at a stretch, then it is advisable that you don’t push yourself! Take the day off and reschedule your itinerary to match the delay in your ride.


Always do a pre-ride check


When you are riding long distances across rural areas where you have to put up for the night there are many things that could have gone wrong during the night. Speaking from experience, our riders have had wild animals chew down brake cables, or knock down their bikes at night and they were not aware of the damage until much later when they were on the highway. That is why it is important that you always complete a pre-ride check-up before throwing your leg across the seat. Check for fuel levels and do a quick visual overview of all the mechanical parts to see if everything is in proper order.


Don’t leave your bike or luggage unattended


Whenever you are stopping for the night do not leave your luggage and motorcycle riding accessories outdoors unattended because that might end up becoming a victim of theft. That is the last thing you want when you are on the road. Not only does that mean that you have to spend a lot of money to buy replacements, there may be times when money may not be enough to solve the problem! For example, if you happen to lose some important documents that were inside the motorcycle luggage bag then replacing them will take more than just money. Always make sure to carry luggage and important things indoors and keep the motorcycle changed and locked properly to a solid pillar or parked inside a garage for the night.


Don’t depend on a single source for critical information


It is a good idea to have a GPS device on you at all times instead of relying on strangers for directions. Talking to strangers is not such a bad thing but you must never completely rely on the information because one, they may not know themselves and two, you never know when you might come across a miscreant. In the rare case when you have to depend on someone else for information always follow the rule of asking thrice.  What this simply means is that you ask the same question to a minimum of 3 different people and compare their answers. If all the answers are the same, then you have got the correct information. If that is not the case, start asking another set of 3 people all over again. As soon as you have three common answers you know that you are on the right direction.


Always have redundant communication connections


Never solely rely on just one mode of communication when you are on the highway on a long cross-country ride. It is a good idea to have a dual SIM mobile phone with multiple connections so that you never run out of options even if one of the mobile networks do not have coverage in the area you are riding across. Back in the day, there used to be telephone booths (PCO) where you could walk in, dial a number, pay the charge and connect with people, but nowadays those that have completely vanished. You may walk into a shop and request to use their communications equipment but chances are that they will deny it. Mobile phone networks have come of age and they are good enough to keep you connected across india but if you are planning a cross continent motorcycle ride then it might be a good idea to invest in a satellite phone.


Riding solo is great, but if group ride is better for beginners


If this is your first time riding long distance then refer to have someone accompany you on your ride. There are motorcyclist forums where you can find people planning their own cross-country tours and you can group up with them. That has a lot of advantages, primarily in terms of safety but also so it will keep you motivated to complete the ride which might be arduous if your machine is not equipped for huge distances (small CC bikes) or are you often find yourself digging deep into your soul for inspiration. However, know that the more people in your group the more complications there will be!


Power back-up is a must


Our lives around gadgets and electronics. Even when you are on the road you are going to need your mobile phone to check the GPS for directions and to call people back home and update them about your progress. There might be times when you run out of juice on your mobile phone especially if you have been using the GPS functionality in your phone which is a huge power hog.  That is why you must always have at least a couple of power banks in your motorcycle luggage bag or in the fuel tank bag so that you can easily access them to recharge your mobile on the go! Also, if you prefer camping over staying in a hotel, you might not have the access to power outlets to recharge your gadgets which makes the presence of power backups even more important.


Know the limits of man and machine


New riders often overestimate the capacity of their motorcycles and push it beyond its optimum operating capacity. There are multiple repercussions of doing that. First, it pushes the machine over the edge which could result in a mechanical failure. Second, it stretches the safety equipment place in the motorcycle for your protection and may lead to an accident and thirdly, it creates a lot of mental stress and anxiety which is the last thing you want when you are on a pleasure ride across the country. Always plan your travel well in advance, making time and distance calculations in detail so that you know how much time you are going to need to cover a particular stretch of the road even if there are small delays in between for police security checks at state borders or meal breaks.


Medicines aren’t optional


Pharmacies and medicine stores are plenty across the highways of India but unfortunately, they suddenly become rare exactly at the time when you need medicine! While you don’t have to stuff your bags with a lot of medicines and first-aid kits, but it is important that you carry at least a few basic things such as bandages and antiseptic cream along with a few common medicines for fever and stomach infection. A couple of painkillers in your medicine bag is also a good idea, but do not depend on them for minor muscle/joint pains which is common when you ride for long distances without taking breaks. To avoid those, stay hydrated and take frequent breaks after every 200-300 kilometers.