Roads in India are known for their unpredictability and result in numerous accidents and deaths yearly. Two-wheeler riders are at a much higher risk in this regard, and bike injuries often tend to be fatal.
Accidents happen due to a lack of alertness, poor roads, visibility issues, faulty vehicles, and a lack of safety features. While it is impossible to eliminate the likelihood of mishaps occurring, a few regular checks for two-wheelers can make your riding experience substantially safer.
This 5-point safety guide should provide you with a manual for all future rides. It lists measures that can become a ritual every time you take your bike out for a ride.
1. Checking the Brakes
Brakes are critical for riding safely; therefore, keeping them in top-notch condition is vital.
It is worth noting that effective and responsive brakes can help prevent several accidents caused by speeding, low visibility, and lack of alertness.
Here are some common issues that could affect your brake functioning and how you can deal with them -
- Brake Fade – It occurs due to the inconsistencies in the frictional force applied to the brakes. This happens due to increased temperature in the braking system with continuous use.
- An insufficient amount of breaking fluid affects the smooth functioning of the brakes. It's because the braking fluid acts as a lubricant.
- Jammed brake shoes or defective springs cause brake binding or brake dragging where the brake liner gets bound to the drum and remains applied without the brake lever being pressed.
- Break failures may also occur due to overheating on account of prolonged use and the presence of air in the brake line.
Regular brake checks can deal with such functional inconsistencies. It is recommended to test the brakes each time you start the bike.
2. Checking Tyre Air Pressure
The tyres of the vehicles lose air pressure due to prolonged use. Changes in the atmospheric temperature, a faulty valve, or a bent rim may also result in flat tyres.
Maintaining optimal air pressure in the tyres is crucial for a safe and smooth riding experience. Tyres with less air will cause the bike to drag, possibly resulting in a fall. Low pressure also tends to undermine the efficacy of the brakes.
You can check the air pressure with a pressure gauge or by simply pressing on the tyre's side walls. Maintaining the right air pressure is important during extreme weather conditions like heavy rain and snow.
Read more - All About Bike Tyre Pressure Maintenance
3. Inspecting Lights and Indicators
The correct use of lights and indicators remains vital for safety amid pitched traffic on Indian roads.
Indicators signal the path intended to be traversed by the biker. This can be for oncoming turns or if the rider intends to shift lanes. Many bikers in India either don’t use indicators or have faulty ones that don’t work, making the roads dangerous.
Beyond the indicators, the proper functioning of the headlights is of paramount importance, especially when riding at night. Most riders fail to understand how a minor dip in light intensity could be a problem. However, bright light helps riders see when facing high beam headlights from the oncoming traffic on the opposite side.
Proper functioning headlights also improve the response time among riders, aiding faster reactions and avoiding impending accidents, especially on highways with fast traffic.
4. Ensuring Chain Lubrication
The chain is the most important part of a motorcycle. It is always in constant motion and requires thorough checks and lubrication before starting a journey.
A dry and loose chain is detrimental to the bike’s performance. Therefore, bikers should always be vigilant about the vehicle’s chain lubrication status.
Ensure you lubricate the chain once a week and tighten the loose fittings. It is advised to lubricate soon after a ride as the lubricants will be absorbed faster when the chain is warm.
5. Checking Display Quality
Most modern bikes have inbuilt electronic displays that speak volumes about their features. It works as the bike's control unit, containing the speedometer, travel assistance, and battery strength displayer.
Some displays also show riding time, distance, and the percentage of inclines and declines passed on the road. It is critical to ensure that the display is in proper working condition.The fuel indicator and the speedometer should be working to ensure a smooth riding experience. If there are any additional issues, they should be fixed before starting on a ride.
While alcohol consumption and distracted riding lead to maximum deaths on roads, the faulty parts and inadequate checks on bike controls contribute to the rest. Like most things, Indians are more reactive rather than proactive when it comes to road safety, with only a near-death experience acting as a wake-up call.
Vehicles are human-made complex machines that are vulnerable to pitfalls at any point in time. They cannot always be blindly relied upon. Any monetary losses caused by accidents might be overlooked, but the physical injury or loss of life caused by accidents stands irreversible. Therefore, it is vital to check its functions regularly to ensure a safe, accident-free ride.
You can buy a comprehensive bike insurance package covering all aspects of two-wheeled travel to boost your overall safety. Paytm Insurance offers you a wide range of options from India's leading bike insurance service providers to help you compare and choose the best.