Riding a motorbike can surely be a liberating feeling. Some ride for passion and for some, the motorbike is the basic necessity to complete the day-to-day point A to B movement. As with everything, there are some risks attached to motorbiking too. As per the latest report of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway department, it is estimated that almost 6 two-wheeler riders die every hour in this country. Since a motorbike rider is essentially exposed to the elements, the risk factor goes up dramatically. But the good thing is that you can easily reduce the risk factor if you inculcate some basic safety habits while riding your bike. Here are 5 bike safety tips that you must follow while riding your motorbike-
1. Invest in a good helmet
The most significant safety factor, that can make a tremendous difference in an unfortunate incident, is your helmet while riding a motorbike. Most of the fatalities result from brain trauma, and a good quality helmet can protect your head. According to a WHO report, the helmet is a single factor that reduces the chances of death by 75%, a number that is too large to ignore. In India, there is a legal requirement that mandates wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler. Not only should you have a helmet, but it must fulfill all the ISI certification requirements. While buying your helmet, make sure that it is a snug fit and not too loose. The helmet should have full face protection, including jaws. Also, make sure that the pillion rider too is wearing a helmet.
2. Follow traffic rules
They say ‘rules are meant to be broken, but not when your own life is at stake. The rules are designed so that you and others on the road can commute safely. So you must follow the designated speed limits, try to stick to your lane, and use your indicators properly. The traffic rules are not to be taken lightly. Not only breaking them will invite heavy penalties, but you are putting everyone at risk. Another major thing is to never ride your motorbike if you are under the influence of alcohol, this is the most dangerous thing that you can do. Your life is precious, a two-wheeler can be replaced, but your life cannot. So be a prudent and responsible rider on the road and always obey the traffic rules and other bike safety tips.
3. Avoid bad weather
As we have discussed above, a motorbike rider is exposed to all surrounding elements, and hence at a greater risk. If you can, avoid riding in bad weather, specifically while it is raining or during strong winds at all costs. But if you cannot, then you can follow some important tips. The main contact between your motorbike and the tarmac is the tire. During wet conditions, the chances of aquaplaning increase almost three times, and the overall road grip is compromised. So you must avoid any gradual inputs and do your braking and acceleration in a very gentle manner. If the visibility is bad, then turn on your lights to make yourself more visible. Make sure your ride has anti reflector stickers at both front and back. These safety tips can go a long way in saving your life.
4. Power comes with responsibility
This is a basic saying, ride what you can handle. Most motorbike enthusiasts are eager to go for big BHP numbers, without realizing that a high-powered motorbike can bite you back very hard. If you are new to the motorbike world, start with something light and easy, which you can handle without any difficulty. The road to high-powered bikes is gradual and slow. Build your confidence and experience, and as you learn, you can then unleash your superbike dream. Never come under peer pressure, or the influence of show off and force yourself on something that you are not fully prepared to handle.
5. Maintain your ride
The last thing on the safety tips is that your motorbike should be in tip-top condition to face the daily commute. A brake at the fag end of its life or a wheel bearing that is about to give up can produce some nasty results. Do not compromise on your safety and always make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s schedule of maintenance. Motorbike maintenance is cheap and easy so you should not be lazy about it. These days, there are a ton of resources available on the internet and you can do the maintenance the DIY way. By not doing so, you put yourself and others on-road at a risk. A well-maintained motorbike will also reward you back with a smoother ride and great fuel efficiency.
Riding a motorbike is a fulfilling experience, but you should also become a responsible rider. You aren’t gaining anything by saving expenses on a helmet or saving a few seconds by breaking the traffic rules. India already has a bad reputation for road safety records, and we just cannot put the whole blame on the government, so follow these bike safety tips. We, as citizens also have our share of responsibilities, and we must fulfill them. Remember, there is always someone waiting for you at home, so ride carefully.