For all riders, going on a long ride means peace of mind, bliss, excitement, relaxation, eternal happiness and many more emotions that keep popping in the mind depending on the what kind of a person he/she is. Yup, you read it right, she too, coz even girls ride pretty well these days! But, everything can go for a toss if your bike has a minor issue or isn’t in a good condition. I am pretty sure all of us have recollected that one painful ride we have done which was a nightmare that came true. Now, thinking of it, I remember the silliest mistake I committed that too deliberately i.e. ignoring the small task of inspecting the bike before starting the ride. Yes! Most of us love our motorcycles but rarely care to check it before getting on the saddle. All we do is wring the throttle, shift a gear and disappear. Apparently, people find us at the next mechanic shop!! So, today I decided to write about the small checks one must always do before going on a long ride.
Air Pressure & Tyres: People ignore this the most. Hence i chose to write it at the beginning. For most bikes, it is recommended to maintain 28 PSI in front tyre and 32 PSI in rear tyre. In case you are riding a heavy bike like Royal Enfield with lot of luggage or a pillion, we suggest you maintain 34 PSI in rear tyre. Also ensure that the tyres are in good condition. Afterall, its the bike’s tyres that are gonna bear all of your load. Make sure they are not worn out or have even a minute puncture.
Engine Oil: The bike’s engine is gonna keeping pumping power out for you. So, its important that it is cooled efficiently. Ensure that the engine oil is sufficient and clean. The engine oil can be checked through the small glass window on the sides. It should be between the minimum and maximum mark. Else, you can also use the dip stick to check the same. Please check the grade of oil whenever you change it. As far as my experience is, Motul has really worked well for me. In case you are riding over long ranges, I suggest carry 200 ml oil as an excess with you as a make-up if required.
Chain: The most important power transmission component is chain. We recommend that you clean it first and then lubricate it, instead of lubricating it without de-greasing. We recommend using Motul C1 (Chain Clean) & C2 (Chain Lube), each of 150 ml, which will cost around Rs 450 but its totally worth spending and easy to carry.
Full Fuel Tank: On a long ride, its better to start off with a full tank instead on relying on fuel stations and halting unnecessarily. Guys, you should really try using the Shell Premium petrol. Trust me, it gives an amazing feel. Your bike is gonna love it and so are you. Smoother, faster, happier!!
Brakes: On a ride, most of us cruise over 80 kmph which is a considerable speed. When it comes to slowing down the bike, possibly some other car or bike crosses by all of a sudden, brakes are the only thing between life and death. We are not being pessimistic or trying to scare but it is better to be on a safer side. Always check the brakes and brake oil fluid level before you start your journey. Please note that the brake oil is colourless in most cases. Brakes are crucial to tame the motorcycles.
Cables: This is one thing which I recommend to everyone who have planned to experience the rough terrains. The rough terrains, be it kaccha roads or off-roading or river crossing or any challenging route, the brakes and clutch are extensively used. There can be a chance of breaking of wire right in middle of nowhere. So it is better to carry extra brake cable and clutch cables. The same is applicable for Royal Enfield riders because there have been situations where the clutch cable particularly got damaged.
That’s it guys. It will take you hardly 15-20 minutes to check these points but ensure that you have a trouble-free ride. Also, ensure that you carry driving licence, RC card/book, PUC of vehicle and insurance papers to stay out of trouble. And do not forget to wear your safety gears.