Monsoon Motorcycle Tips: 5 Ways To Ride Safely In The City

Riding in the rain complicates the laws of physics, and we as riders need to be aware of the bike’s behaviour on wet roads. Here are some useful tips for safe monsoon riding

Monsoon tips water wading

There’s no denying that riding in the rain with the sweet smell of first rains permeating through your helmet is one of the most blissful feelings ever. However, monsoon riding isn’t exactly fun when you’re commuting to office, especially when you’re carrying electronic devices. Irrespective of the occasion, a downpour can swiftly change the dynamics of riding on the road, and we as riders need to be aware of its effects. Here are five tips that’ll help you be a safer, more responsible rider during monsoons:

Plan your route in advance:

Monsoon tips route plan

Indian cities are often crowded, and even a short spell of rain brings (most) cities to a grinding halt with a number of gridlocks. Planning out the route to your destination in advance can be extremely useful as it helps in minimizing risk, and also save time by avoiding traffic jams.

Wear rain protection gear:

Monsoon tips rain gear

A combination of windcheater jacket and rain pants works effectively. Proper rain riding gear is also available in the market and is in fact, even more comfortable and foolproof for your monsoon ride. Avoid darker-coloured gear as it cannot be easily spotted during rains due to the lack of contrast the overcast sky brings.

Slow and steady:

Monsoon tips slow and steady

Your life is more important than risking it all and speeding. Stick to the left lane and keep your headlight switched on at all times. Maintaining a two-car distance goes a long way in giving you ample reaction time in case things go awry for the vehicle in front. Moreover, bikes take a longer distance to brake in wet conditions than in dry. You can also follow the tyre tracks made by the vehicle in front that has already waded through the water, so that you’re aware of the road undulations by simply observing how the vehicle in front of you behaves.

Be careful while braking or accelerating:

Monsoon tips braking

Always be very cautious about giving throttle and braking inputs. Especially, after the first rains, the rain water tends to mix with leaked fuel and oil on the road and can make the surface quite slippery. Don’t lean the bike as much as you would do in the dry. This will allow the tyre to have a wider contact patch with the road surface. Accelerate and decelerate gradually, as the tendency to slip on a wet road is much higher than on a dry surface. Keep track of all vehicles ahead and around you, and when you use the brakes, use the front brake progressively - don’t just slam them. Using both front and rear brakes simultaneously and in equal measure is recommended. Also, keep an eye on the rearview mirror when you brake or change lanes to see what’s behind. Due to low visibility, the vehicle behind you may not see you brake or change lanes easily. Always take measures such as using the indicators while navigating in rain. Having ABS makes braking in the wet or panic braking much safer.

Wade through water in first gear:

Monsoon tips water wading rear

If you’re inevitably caught in an flooded road, keep the motorcycle in first gear, ride with a steady throttle and do not shift gears. While wading, try and keep the engine at a steady rpm as sudden changes in throttle inputs might cause water to get sucked into your engine due to the change in back pressure. Use your feet to balance as well. Avoid using oversized mud flaps that cover your engine. Most of the commuter motorcycles have air-cooled engines, and this jugaad obstructs the air-flow to the engine, rendering it prone to overheating. Use a regular-sized mud flap for your fenders, and that should do the job just fine.

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