Riding your bike on Indian roads during the rainy season could be a nightmarish experience. The way rains play havoc on city roads, including instant flooding and waterlogging, is well known. All this makes bike-riding sessions during rains a risky affair. As much as you try to avoid riding in the rain, there will be times when you will be caught off-guard. Therefore, it is important to take mandatory precautions at all times during monsoons.
To start with, make sure you have a valid bike insurance policy. Do not take your bike out on the road without one. Keep reading to know things you can do to ensure safety while riding in the rain.
Tips for traversing through waterlogged areas while riding your bike:
- Throttle control
When you’re trudging your two-wheeler through waterlogged roads, you must use your throttle judiciously. Avoid situations where your bike’s silencer may get submerged in water. Your bike can get significantly damaged if the water seeps into the silencer. Nonetheless, if you have to make your way through waterlogged roads, then play it safe by not taking your hands off the throttle.
Additionally, check with your insurer if your vehicle insurance covers damage caused due to floods.
- Go slow
Most people tend to ride faster in the rain hoping to reach their destination soon. It is a risky thing to do as the wheels do not offer much traction on wet surfaces. As a result of overspeeding, your bike can skid when you’re decelerating too. You could also lose control of your bike when you apply the brake when on a wet surface. This can result in an accident.
- Avoid waterlogged areas
Avoid flooded areas as much as possible. You may use Google maps to identify the best route to get to your destination. You can also stay tuned to radio stations to get live traffic, weather, and flood updates. If you take the same route to work every day, then you would know about the state of the roads during rains. Hence, plan your travel accordingly.
- Get your two-wheeler monsoon ready
When the monsoons are around the corner, you should ensure that your bike is ready to brave the approaching rough weather. This means opting for regular servicing, replacing bald tyres, and more. Also, keep tracking if your bike’s tyres are sufficiently inflated at all times.
- Avoid following heavy vehicles on waterlogged roads
Many bike riders tend to follow heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks to find their way through waterlogged roads. This may not be a good idea since heavy vehicles displace a large quantity of water while moving. This causes a sudden rise in the water levels around them. So, if you ride behind heavy vehicles during rains, there are higher chances of water seeping into your two-wheeler engine.
- Stay safe
Do not panic if you get stuck in flooded areas. Start by taking a deep breath to help you relax. Now, look all around you and observe how other vehicles are moving. By doing so, you will know what to expect ahead on the road. You will also get a fair idea about the potholes in the terrain ahead.
Proceed slowly and use your legs for added balance when plying through heavily-flooded areas. Even if you must go ahead in a straight line, avoid going zig-zag. Also, if the water level is above the centre of the bike’s wheel, avoid that route. If the water level is up to the exhaust tip of your motorbike, you should remain in first gear only.
Apart from that, try not to shift the throttle input since water can enter the exhaust outlet if you do so. You must also moderate your clutch if needed.
While riding in heavy rains, always switch on your two-wheeler’s hazard lights to increase your bike’s visibility on the road. Avoid taking routes with no traffic. With traffic around, you will at least have somebody to help you if you get stuck in the gushing waters.
If you opt for ICICI Lombard’s Hero Insurance for your Hero bike, then you will get coverage for damages caused due to natural disasters as well.
- Conduct a quick motorcycle inspection
After you have crossed the waterlogged area, you should inspect your bike. Start by checking whether your brakes are working. If water has seeped in between the brake pads, the brakes may not work as efficiently.
To remove the dirt in the brake shoes and pads as well as the disc/drum, you will have to apply the brakes lightly while your bike is in motion.
You must even inspect the electricals but only after letting the bike dry for some time.
Lubing the chain is another important step afterwards since the chain loses its lubrication when submerged in water. You must also check the tyre pressure and ensure they conform to the instructions in your bike manual.
Get an all-inclusive bike insurance policy. Only then, you are truly ready to brave the harsh rains of the monsoon season. Comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policies cover third-party liabilities, accidental damage due to manmade and natural calamities, and more. Rummage through the various ICICI Lombard two-wheeler insurance policies to select the one that’s best suited to your needs.