Tuesday, 13 December 2016

How to prepare for a short motorcycle ride | Article #2

bikes parked near water over a dam

A motorcycle ride is a marvellous experience. It can teach you several things as well as provide some life changing adventures or events. For me and several other people, riding a motorcycle is like meditation. But if not planned and prepared for properly, a motorcycle ride, may it be a short or long one, can turn into a blunder.

On the contrary to the common misconception that, a ride on a motorcycle means just grab a bike and go wherever the road takes you, those who have experience of motorcycle rides know that a considerable amount of effort goes into planning and preparing for motorcycle rides. But for those who need some help in preparing for their motorcycle rides, and aspire to become a “professional” motorcycle rider, here are some important pointers.

In the previous post, we discussed in detail, how to plan a motorcycle ride. In this post we will discuss how to prepare for one.

Planning and preparing are two very different things. Planning is making plans for your potential rides that you may or may not do. Preparing means, you have decided the day and destination for your ride and you want to prepare yourself and your bike for the ride. 

1. Safety gear

Motorcycle riding safety gear is the most important part while preparing for any ride. Helmet, jacket, gloves and shoes is the minimum riding gear that one should wear while riding. we will discuss the importance and further details of each riding gear in a separate article.

2. Check your ride

Your bike is the most important part of the ride (after you, of course!). You will have a great ride only if your motorbike performs well. So, pampering your motorcycle should be your number one priority.

Get your motorcycle serviced from your preferred service station. Give them an idea about your adventurous plans so that they can prepare your ride accordingly. Here is a list of all the basic things that must be checked:

·        Engine oil
·        Brake fluid and coolant (if applicable)
·        Chain lubrication
·        Tyre pressure
·        Working of headlight, indicators and horn. 

Being a motorcycle rider, it’s pragmatic to have a little knowledge about the basics of your bike. Sit with your mechanic while he works on your motorbike, talk to him and ask him a few questions. You’d be surprised by the amount of knowledge you can pick simply by doing this. This can prove to be incredibly useful when you hit the road and you face a problem with your bike.

3. Essential equipment

While preparing for a ride, you must prepare for the unexpected. It’s not that you may require this equipment every time, but it can be really helpful in case of an emergency.

·        Vehicle registration, Driving licence, PUC certificate and Vehicle Insurance.
·        Toolkit
·        First aid kit
·        Flashlight
·        Spare key

Tip – you can make a small pouch or bag for all the essential equipment mentioned above. Just carry that bag with you while riding to have all the necessary equipment with you.

road passing through green scenic landscape

4. Food and water

Even if it doesn’t feel so, riding a motorcycle causes a lot of exertion and perspiration. As a result, a lot of body water and essential salts are lost. So, even if it is a short ride, make it a point to carry some food and water with you. Also always keep a few toffees with you always as they give an instant sugar boost in case of excessive exertion.  

5. Weather

Our country is well known for its variety of climate in its various areas. While some regions are closed for rides in certain areas (like Leh Ladhak in winters), some other regions are may have very uncertain climatic conditions. Hence, always make it a point to choose your riding season carefully.

Also, make it a point to go through the weather condition for you destination so that you can prepare accordingly and the weather doesn’t catch you off-guard.

6. Carry cash

It is understandable that carrying cash around is not always very feasible. While on the other hand, an ATM card is very convenient. But we being motorcyclists may have to deal with certain situations where we might be compelled to use cash, for example getting your flat tyre fixed at an isolated place. So it is always a good idea to carry some cash with you.

Also, don't forget to charge your mobile phones, cameras and all the electronic equipment that you might be using. Once you have prepared according to the list given above, you are all set to leave for the ride and have some great adventures. 

Ride safe! Cheers!

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