Today is the last day of June and weather forecast says first week of July will be the time when monsoon will be knocking on the doors. This monsoon will bring along all the complications that we face every year in this season. It’s that time when a normal 5 minute ride will take 15 minutes or more, just because at many places there will be traffic jam because of a mini water pool that emerged on the road after a splash of rain. Riding in the rains automatically becomes tricky because of reduced friction and pot holes that appears out of nowhere. So what can be done to stay out of trouble? Just keep on reading and we’ll tell you how exactly you can stay safe on your bike in the rains.
1. Go easy on brakes-
It should of course be the first thing that should be mentioned. Going easy on braking should be the first and far most important thing one can note down when it comes to riding on rain drenched roads. When the condition is slippery, say you’ve got heck of a rain fed slippery mud in front of you, the front brakes shouldn’t even be touched at that time. You have to rely fully on the rear brakes as they may skid but won’t let you fall as you can always control the ride when the rear is skidding but case is contrary when it comes to front brakes. If you have drum brakes on you bike, you can always relieve the pressure on the front brakes, but make sure the brakes should have enough bite to stop the ride or else you will crash anyway.
2. Get a set of extra grip tyres-
Apart from braking, the most common reason why people crash in rains is because their tyres are already gone. Get a clear view on the rubber and see your tyres needs to be replaced and if you think there isn’t enough treads to keep your ride from crashing, change them. Some tyres have less grip on wet condition and some have significant grip on wet conditions, see for yourself and chose the correct set of tyres that will help you ride safe.
3. Reduce tyre pressure-
The more inflated a tyre is, less traction it has. Generally, the recommended tyre pressure holds a perfect balance between traction and fuel economy. Say if a tyre is poorly inflated, it will be more in contact with the asphalt and hence more friction and less fuel economy. If a tyre is over inflated, lesser will be its contact with the road and hence slightly high fuel economy. For rainy season, try keeping your tyre pressure down by 4 pounds and not more than that. Keeping your tyre pressure down by 4 pounds from recommended pressure will give you slightly better grip. Though it won’t make much of a difference but still it will make a difference!
4. Hold your horses-
That’s obvious, try not to lean too much or take sharp turns. You can do that in summers as the roads are hot and so are your tyres and you get impeccable grip but do the same in rains and you’ll crash/slide a long way before finally stopping. So try not to over accelerate your motorcycle on rain drenched roads.
5. Avoid Aquaplanning/Hydroplanning-
It is that horrific moment when your bike is sliding on the road because of a thin layer of water between the road and the tyre surface. Tyres are unable to find any grip due to the water layer and hence tyres do no respond to any input given to the bike, it is that moment when most of the riders panic and slam the brakes and this is exactly when you’ll crash. Aquaplaning in 99% cases happens for 1 or 2 seconds, not more than that and in that time, do not hit the brakes or you will crash for sure.
Note – If you can get yourself an ABS equipped motorcycle there is nothing better than that and always park your vehicle under shed as rain will mess the electricals on your bike. Ride safe!