Monsoon brings in all sorts of trouble for motorists. Especially for motorcycles.n2 wheels means lesser traction than a car and even lesser braking power.
There are certain things one needs to understand and exercise caution while riding in the rain. Here are some tips to ride safely in the monsoon:
Invest in bright gear: Rains reduce visibility, so get some bright colored gear. This will help you be more visible to other motorists. There are gears available in the market which are waterproof and will even provide decent protection. Carry a piece of cloth, it will come in handy to wipe the dirt and the water condensation off your helmet visor.
Ride slow: Like I mentioned earlier 2 wheels means lesser traction. A car in front of you may stop suddenly and you may not be able to stop at the same pace. Wet roads reduce traction considerably. Especially for the first 20-30 minutes as all the dirt and oil existing on the road is let loose. Always! I say always go slow till it has poured for a good half hour.
Go easy on the brakes: Braking on wet roads is again a whole different ball game. You can’t squeeze your brakes with the same intensity when you did on dry roads. Brake progressively. Although most of the stopping is done by the front brake, do slightly use the rear brakes for wet surfaces. Since your braking is compromised on wet surface, keep safe distance so you have enough room to brake slowly.
Maintain throttle control for corners: There are multiple forces that act on the bike and its tyres while cornering. Avoid mid corner braking. Finish braking completely before you enter the corner. Smooth throttle control is the key for safe cornering, i.e roll on and off the throttle smoothly.
Keep a lookout for shiny surfaces: Avoid shiny surfaces like lane markers, manhole covers, metal plates. They tend to be slippery during a downpour. If you see a certain colourful surface on the tarmac, slow down, it could be oil.
Reduce tyre pressure: Keep tyre pressure 2-3 points slightly lower than normal. What this will do is give you more contact patch hence increasing traction. Do not over inflate, this will reduce the contact patch on your tyre and your bike may Aquaplane.
Keep your bike covered: Riding in the rains is fun, but if you decide to back out and keep your bike be parked; cover it up! Especially the fuel tank. You don’t want water seeping into the tank and spoiling the injector or the carb. Water is your bikes biggest enemy, parts WILL rust if your bike is standing there unused. So cover it up!
And at last…
Stay alert: Stay focused on riding and look at everything. Keep an eye out for loose gravel, potholes, puddles or even reckless drivers.