Road bike trips are always fun, and the adventures that ensue are memorable. The trip is fun if it is safe and you are taking care to ride responsibly. Riding safely on the road involves many factors, and one should always stick to the basics regarding safety features.
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At the same time, it is essential to maintain your bike and ensure it is in good condition to make your road trip seamless. You can do a few things to ensure your bike is in good condition before you go. Let us look at some of the things that can be taken care of.
Tips to take care of on a long road trip with your bike
- Know the capability and limits of your bike – This is especially crucial if you are going on a road trip for the first time. Understand how much your bike can handle. Go on a long drive and understand how it reacts to bumps, even roads, smooth roads, curves, and turns. Please check if the acceleration and pick-up are fine before you leave on the trip.
- Lubrication – Assess how often you lubricate your bike’s chain and how long you wait before you do it again. Learn the basic skills regarding bike chains (lubrication, cleaning, basic maintenance) before you leave on the trip. If you are uncomfortable, you can take your bike to a mechanic.
- Condition of tyres – The condition of tyres should be checked thoroughly. Check the tyre pressure before starting on the trip. If you have not changed the tyres and they have become smooth in a long time, then change them. If they are smooth, you will likely slip on wet roads. It can prevent any mishap from happening. If you have repaired your tyres instead of changing them after a puncture, you should also consider changing the tyres.
- Get the brakes checked – One of the essential parts of the bike is the brake. Ensure it is working properly and check the brake pads, fluid and wires by the mechanic to avoid collisions. Ensure it is not too hard and you are not coming to an abrupt halt.
- Clean out the air filter – The air filter affects the performance of your bike, and any damage should be rectified immediately. The bigger particles stuck around the filter can cause damage over time, and if you go on longer rides, it becomes a big issue. A tear in the air filter also makes your bike much louder.
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- Keep the bike documents handy – When crossing borders of the states, you will be asked for all your paperwork. Keep the registration certificate, original invoice, license, PUC, and insurance handy. As per the law, it is mandatory to have at least third party bike insurance if you are riding your bike on Indian roads. Insurance is essential to ensure you do not have financial liabilities in case of a collision, and the damages incurred by the other party are covered under insurance. It is advisable to store these documents in a waterproof bag that will keep them dry, safe, and intact in case of heavy rains.
- Keep bike essentials handy – When you are starting on your journey, there are a few essentials you should take with you like water, food, a raincoat, a proper GPS system, a towel, and a torch with fresh batteries. You can also carry an electric air pump. Apart from these, don’t shy away from investing in good quality safety gear, which includes a helmet, knee pads, riding jacket, luggage securing system, gloves, and so on. If you are going to higher altitudes, then carry warm clothing.
- Get a thorough check done of everything – Apart from these obvious components, getting every part of the bike checked is essential to avoid a road mishap. Check the history and ensure there is nothing pending or due for the time you are starting your journey. It can include oil change, drivetrain, and all other parts of the bike. Get the electrical connections and battery checked thoroughly and change whichever parts seem worn out. Another essential feature is the headlight, taillight, and brake lights. Proper bike functioning can avoid accidents on the road involving you and a third party and keep everyone safe.
When going on a road trip, multiple things can go wrong and affect you and the other party. If you have third party insurance, the other party involved is covered, but you will have to pay for the damages you incur. This is why it is better to buy comprehensive bike insurance to cover all aspects. With comprehensive bike insurance, you can include add-ons like roadside assistance which is a boon for riders on long trips. You can ensure that the rider, as well as the pillion rider, are covered in case of any medical emergencies. If there is a natural calamity, theft, fire, or any such situation, you will be covered because of the comprehensive bike insurance. Choose your insurance wisely, and enjoy your road trip without any stress.