It is that time of the year- the time when motorcyclists from every nook and cranny of the country flock to the biker’s haven up in the north. With the growing motorcycling culture in the country, every Tom, Dick and Harry is looking to get “Leh’d” this season. You too are probably looking to take your motorcycle out on a long ride. Here are few things to take care of, before heading out with your motorcycle
Your riding gear. There’s not an ounce of compromise you should be doing when it comes to your armour. That’s one thing that will keep you safe from the elements. Invest in
- a good helmet, preferably a full-faced one
- a versatile jacket and pants that has separate rain and winter liners
- a pair of boots that will keep your legs comfy and dry in every weather
- a set of short as well as long cuff gloves, depending on the season and your ride
Next up is taking care of your beloved steed. She’s going to be accompanying you, sharing space on the road with juggernauts and texting zombies at the wheel. Make sure she’s in a good health. How?
- Get her serviced, make sure that she has fresh engine oil, a clean filter and good brakes.
- Your tyres play a vital role in keeping you from kissing the tarmac. Checking their tread as well as age will help you understand their reliability.
- Clean and adjust the chain slack. A healthy chain and sprockets will result in slicker shifts and improve the ride quality.
The pre-ride check
Now that you have your riding gear and motorcycle prepped, it’s time to start planning the ride. Start by knowing the route. That includes fuel stations that will operate 24hrs, garages, restaurants and hotels. This way you’ll be able to plan your stops and complete the ride without spending time on hunting for pit stops.
Have that ‘essentials’ kit ready. First aid packs, tool kit, a puncture kit or an extra tube.
Pack a lot of dry fruits and nuts to keep your energy levels up on the road. Munching on these will keep you from feeling lazy/sleepy. Having a couple of protein bars and ORS packets on you is always a good idea, especially when you are riding in hot and humid weather.
Hydration packs are a lifesaver! On the long haul, staying hydrated is necessary to keep your concentration to the max. Stopping for water breaks cost you time and getting your helmet off every time is damn irritating. Get yourself a hydration pack. They are cheap and will save you a lot of hassle. You can just sip on water while you cruise.
Getting your luggage onto the bike is a big challenge, especially if you own a supersports. Invest in saddlebags. If you plan on strapping regular bags with bungee cords, pack your stuff and do a trial couple of days prior to the ride. If you are carrying multiple bags, make sure that both sides have equal weight and don’t have room to wriggle around. Unequal weight distribution will affect the handling of your motorcycle.
During the ride
All locked and loaded, you are ready to role. Explore the beautiful world out there. But you need to stay alert through the route.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep before starting out.
- Have easy digesting breakfast so that your body doesn’t divert its energy to digest the previous night’s food.
- If you head out early, you can knock off more miles quickly, because of the weather and lesser vehicles on the vehicle.
- Keep your pace consistent. This won’t tire you and you’ll reach quicker.
- Keep a helmet visor cleaner and lubricate your chain every 500-700km.
Lastly, when you are in the lap of nature, pull over, take your helmet off and soak in that moment. After all, that’s what motorcycling is all about!