During monsoon your bike needs as much care as you take of yourself. You don't want your bike to 'fall sick' when the rain Gods are letting out their love on you, do you now? Here are some tips to keep your bike in top shape all through this ruthless season
Scheduled Checks: Routine servicing and check-ups of the bike should be done before riding in the monsoon. Life can become very difficult in case your bike stalls in heavy rains. As far as the engine is concerned, there isn’t much you need to check if you have had your timely scheduled servicing.
Brakes: The brakes of the bike should be top notch. Since you cannot brake hard or suddenly on wet roads it is all the more important to have your brakes in good condition. For this reason, running your bike on old worn out pads or liners, or a brake that is not very effective can lead to disaster. Make sure to get your liners, discs and the inside of your drum brakes cleaned before monsoon starts. Also verify if the level of the brake oil is as per requirement.
Check for the depth of your threads with by inserting a one-rupee coin
Tyres: Keeping your tyres in shape is very important during monsoons. If the rubber is worn off, make sure to replace the tyres before you ride in the rains. The treads of the tyres do the job of dispersing standing water and in the process provide grip. The treads need to be deep not just in the centre portion of the tyre, but also on the sides. To test the depth of the grooves, you can insert a one-rupee coin into the grooves. A minimum of 2-3mm of tread depth is necessary for the tyres to provide a fair amount of grip on wet roads. Anything below that, and it might warrant changing the tyres. Tyre pressure can also make a huge difference in the grip you get. Ideally you should set your tyre pressure a couple of psi below the levels required in the dry. Check for tyre pressure regularly to ensure it is at optimal levels.
Avoid parking under a tree, you never know when a branch might fall off, especially in this season
Parking: Even when you halt for a break, as far as possible make sure you park the bike under a shed. Avoid parking your bike under the shade of a tree as there is always a risk of a branch falling on your bike. When not on a ride keep your bike covered at all times to protect it from the rain. In fact you should even clean your bike and remove the muck off the engine once you back from the ride, as dry muck can be a huge hindrance for the cooling process of the engine. The rains tend to bring a lot of pebbles and gravel on to the road surface, which are kicked up by the tyres. So it becomes necessary to check the oil chamber and engine casing for damage after the ride.
Rider: During a monsoon ride, not only is it important for the bike to be in good condition, the rider should be equally fit and fine as well. Always wear protective gear. A completely drenched and cold rider may suffer from a momentary lapse in concentration which can be just enough to cause a calamity. A waterproof jacket and gloves are a must, apart from a helmet and knee pads. It is not just the bike which has to be in good shape but also a rider.