It is that time of the year when weather gods bestow their blessings in the form of heavy rains throughout the mid year weeks. At the same time, we the bikers are really tempted hop on the motorcycles and hit the mountains as they are flourishing with greenery and peaks are covered in a lush green layer. Albeit the hills are beautiful especially after the rainy season but at the same time the risk involved is also pretty higher. So in the report below we cover out all the risks related to riding on slippery mountain roads during monsoon. Also, we highlight a couple of tips and tricks on how to survive in hills if you are out for a ride during this season.
- Check your tyre conditions:
First and the foremost tip which you need to pin down is to make sure the tyres have enough grip to keep the bike upright even when the road gets rough. During rains there always is a thin layer of water between the surface and your tyres. In that case you need to have enough treads to provide you traction on wet surfaces. If your tyres do not have the required grip, your journey can end on a sad note as chances of slip or sliding drastically increases when the tyre do not have the necessary grip to stick on to the road. Also, as a result of this, you will not be able to properly corner the motorcycle and you will also end up having repeated punctures and cuts which will slow you down throughout the journey. Do thorough check on the tyre life before heading on for the ride. Check the depth of the tyre treads using penny gauge method. Also check for the punctures or cuts on the rubber surface. At the same time, make sure to carry Grandpitstop’s Universal Tyre Puncture Repair Kit and Tyre Inflator, for added safety.
- Always ride under speed limit:
We know that it is really tough to control the wrist once we are on the winding roads up the hills but it might not be the best idea if the roads are wet and the grip is compromised. Also, mountains turn unpredictable after rainfall because of landslides which is the main cause of traffic jams on the hills. So if you are planning to ride on such a stretch which is infamous for landslides, make sure you plan alternative routes in case you get struck in such a situation. Also, always ride well under control, and never let the rush take over your sense of judgment.
- Keep a check on the brakes:
Make sure your brakes are in the right condition, and your brake pads or disc plates still have the required life left. If your motorcycle has ABS (now mandatory on all performance bikes) then you are well under safety radar, if not, then make sure you learn the right braking technique as unlike cars, motorcycles can easily lose the front and lose the front especially on wet roads. The right braking technique is to apply brakes on both the ends simultaneously. If you put too much pressure on front brake there is a good chance that the front-end might lose traction, and same is the case with the rear brake. So it is always recommended to distribute the braking force on both ends.
- Keep a check on the chain life:
Operating a motorcycle under wet or slushy condition can eat up a chain’s life twice as fast. Also, if you do not take care of it then it might turn lose and come off the rear sprocket (though it is rare). So before leaving for the mountains make sure your motorcycle chain is clean and well lubricated. Also gauge if it needs to be tightened or not.
Additional tips: Always carry your important documents, and electronic equipment in a specific waterproof bag. As under heavy rainfall this will turn out to be the last resort in order to keep your valuables from getting wet.