If you are planning a Road Trip to Ladakh or a Spiti Valley Road Trip or any other road trips in India or in any other country, there are certain safety tips for bikers which you should always keep in mind before planning your travel.
Bike riding safety tips are always one of the most neglected parts by many of us. But we always have to keep in mind that if you want to ride long… you have to ride safely.
Travelling is my passion and bike riding is a part of it to explore untouched terrains.
In India and in various other countries like Vietnam, Cambodia where traffic rules are meant to be broken, and people don’t follow rules, it is very hard to ride or drive safe. There are certain factors which are not in our control and there are certain ones which we can control.
So today, with this article I would be telling you eight bike riding safety tips which are meant to be there in your diary, every time you plan a bike trip.
You may also read: Best Tips And Tricks For Your Ultimate Road Trip To Ladakh (Travel Hacks)
Bike Riding Safety Tips (A Gita For Every Biker)
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Always Do Your Research
There are numerous things which might put you out of your well-planned track so one has to be mentally prepared to tackle them. And one the best way to prepare yourself is by reading and by doing research about the route.
Read as much as you can, research as much as you can about the route, petrol pumps, repair shops, where to eat, where to stay, trip meter, distance between point A to point B, time to travel and so on. I always rely on Wikipedia, Google maps and various travel blogs.
Know Your Machine
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During my last trip to Ladakh, I have seen so many bikers riding on one of the hardest terrains Indian subcontinent can offer and that too with little or no knowledge about their bikes.
Really guys, if you are riding through Ladakh or Spiti or any terrain that is not easy to ride or not for new riders, then the first safety tips for bikers is to know your bike.
Understanding your bike doesn’t only mean that you should know how a bike run.
But it means, understanding the basics of a bike like:
- When to use clutch
- Which break to use and when (rear or front)
- Bike condition. Is your bike really ready to conquer a hard terrain
- How much petrol it might consume on that given terrain (approx)
- When to give the bike a rest
- How to do basic repair (like changing break wires, clutches and all)
- When your bike might need a makeover or service
- Engine condition
- Load you are putting in on your bike
These are the basic things, which I think a rider must know before going for any road trip
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My third safety tips for bikers would be to prepare for the ride mentally and physically. If you are going for a terrain like Ladakh & Spiti then preparing your body for this hard road trip is one of the bike riding safety tips which you should always keep in mind.
Oxygen level in places like Leh & Ladakh is very low so always prepare your body for this extreme journey. It is not only about physical fitness but also mental fitness. The key for a successful road trip is to know what you might face during this trip and to prepare for it before hand.
So no one would want to start vomiting or suffering from a headache in the mid of the journey.
Due to high altitude and low level of oxygen, riders from plains sometime face AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) which happens when it is hard for your body to adapt to the height and the weather of that region.
So be prepared for that, drink a lot of water even if you are not feeling thirsty, don’t take any kind of alcohol and put your body under some regular exercise before the trip starts.
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Yes, gearing up is my fourth safety tips for bikers.
When going for a road trip, looking cool is not the top priority. No matter, what is the temperature or how hot it is outside, a T-shirt, shorts and sandals / normal shoes is not a proper riding attire. Even jeans too, don’t provide proper safety if your bike crashes or face an accident. So always go for a
- Proper riding jacket
- Riding shoes
- A good helmet
- Eye gear
- Knee guard
- Elbow guard
- And wrist guard / gloves
These are the must for anyone who is going for a bike ride.
The fifth safety tips for bikers would be to keep an idea about the alternative routes. When you are planning for a destination do keep a check and idea on other routes to reach and leave.
There are two reasons for this: If you don’t like route ‘A’ or when returning back route ‘A’ is closed you can opt for route ‘B’
Staying In Comfort Zone
Knowing your limits is my sixth bike riding safety tips for you.
Always know your abilities and be clear whether the bike you are going to ride and the route on which you will be riding is not more than you can handle. I have seen riders, who used to ride smaller bikes in town and when they ride in Ladakh or Spiti, they choose a bike like Royal Enfield.
Trust me, it is not a good move.
Even if you are choosing a bike, make sure it is easy for you to control that machine.
- You can easily get on and off
- Easily reachable control and handlebar
- Familiar bike
- And if you are riding with a group make sure you follow your own pace not theirs.
Ride With A Happy Mind
Q: What is the best recipe for a disaster?
Ans: If you are riding with a wrong state of mind feeling angry, distracted / not focused or feeling drowsy.
Yes these are the killer options to get killed or to visit a hospital and to end your trip.
When you are riding, the focus should be on the road and if you are distracted there is a good chance of making mistakes which might led you for an appointment in a hospital.
Say No to Pillion Riders
Most of us would like to cruise around with a beautiful girl on the back. Am I right?
But you also have to make sure, that you are comfortable in riding with a pillion and your pillion also knows how to do their part to make the ride safe for both of you.
First and foremost thing is to ensure that your pillion rider has a proper biking gear and he/she also knows how to ride a bike. As there will be times when you might be feeling tired and your pillion will be the one you will be looking at for the next part of your ride.
There is one safety tips for bikers and that is, I would never suggest you to go for a pillion if you are riding on high altitude places as you are putting a lot of pressure on the engine. So do make sure, your bike and the engine is capable enough of this kind of stress.
So these were my “8 Bike Riding Safety Tips” for everyone. For me safety is first, as biking for me is not a day job. That you will do it for a day and it’s done. It’s like a passion and life.
If you want to know more about the things which you should carry for your next road trip, you may go through this article by Christina: Road trip packing list
The list is not over yet. There are some more tips & tricks which I am going to share with you all.
Safety Tips For Bikers: Small Tips & Tricks Which You Shou ld Keep In Mind
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So here is the list of small yet important safety tips & tricks from ThePoorNomad
- When you are exploring a new city or town, try booking a hotel which is near to a restaurant or a bar. So that you don’t have to start your engine to visit somewhere. Give the bike a rest too. Let it sleep J
- Leave early and eat a light breakfast when riding and try to have an early lunch, which would help you in saving time, as you will not have to face the rush during lunch. Not only that, you will have time to select what to eat and there are good chances that the restaurant guy will have ample time to entertain you and to serve you a good lunch.
- Try to eat in local dhabas rather than having food in Mc-Donald’s or KFC. As exploring food is also a kind of knowing one’s culture.
Note: If your stomach doesn’t allow local delicacies with lot of spices then I wouldn’t suggest you this idea
- Try to pack snacks, biscuit, and cakes for your onward journey. As you can’t predict the future.
- Drink water even when you are not feeling thirsty. It helps you to remain hydrated and good for your overall alertness. During any ride, I always start my trip with a frozen ice bottle and try covering it with a towel to keep it cool.
- Never ever drink Coke or Pepsi. Trust me, it is not worthed.
- Try taking pictures and stop if you see a beautiful place. Doing a road trip is not only about riding, it is also about enjoying the ride.
- Keep a map with you but with that also keep an offline map in your mobile with the help of Google maps.
- If you are the one who wears glasses, keep a cheap spare for the trip in case you lost it or misplaced it
- Prone to ear aches? Then use ear plugs. The best medicine to stop entering chilly wind in your ears
- Try to travel with a good amount of cash. As there are certain regions in India, where the ATM’s are very rare and even if there are.. they don’t work. So better keep a backup
- I have found out that our butts can tolerate a ride of 50 – 80kms at a stretch. After that, our butts, neck, and legs need a stretch.
- Always give your engine and yourself a rest. Never think of riding 500kms a day.
- And finally, do keep a medical kit
So here was my checklist or you can say bike riding safety tips.
Hope you liked this article “08 Safety Tips For Bikers Which Every Rider Should Know”
The Poor Nomad
(Your Travel Guide)