Monday, November 05, 2007

Riding in the Slush

A week or so before I happened to ride my Apache on rain hit roads that were coated with everything other than black top. On some stretches, I even had to ride through recently dug roads which, mixed with rain water (as they were), would easily prove a match for moto cross circuits! I'm not kidding. It was so worse that I couldn't balance the bike on my feet on those occasions when I had to bring the bike to a complete halt. My shoes were sliding the moment I kept it on the road! Horrible sensation it gave. So, here's what can be done to ride safely in these conditions.
  • If your bike is equipped with a front disc brake, don't use it (unless you have an innate feel for the front end of your bike).
  • Use the rear brakes extremely carefully and only when the bike is absolutely straight - not in the curves. Use the gears judiciously to slow the bike down. If you've got a corner ahead of you, brake super early, bring it down to the lowest gear possible and start turning. And even then, don't lean too much. The front tyres may not grip the road at their best possible level. Remember, they (both the road and the tyres) are coated with all sorts of nonsense.
  • If you have to cross the slush at some speed, say, 30 kph, keep the bike in the appropriate gear and keep the throttle opening constant. Appropriate gear, here, means ensuring that there isn't too much engine power available on tap. For my bike, the appropriate gear is, I believe, 3rd gear. Because, if I keep my bike in 2nd gear and if I happen to open up the throttle, chances are that my rear wheel will start spinning. I may lose control in that situation. As a thumb rule, the higher the capacity of your bike, the higher is the appropriate gear. So, the appropriate gear for my brother's P220 might be 4th gear. Keeping the throttle opening constant is tricky business if you've not got a clean stretch ahead of you. In that case, allow a very safe distance - that will save you from having to reduce or increase the speed - ahead of you. Even if the bloke behind honks like hell, keep cool and avoid accelerating.

And, most importantly, remember to wash your shoes after you reach your destination. In my case, they were in horrible condition by the time I made it to the place!

5 comments:

Chandrasekharan said...

anubavam pesudhu !!!

sriram said...

i like to see more article like this from you.it helps me a lot...keep doing it.

S R I R A M said...

Thankyou da. I'm happy that you find it interesting. Suggest some other articles that you would like to see here.

Rajesh said...

Very good Guruji... U have posted a very good article. Especially the remeady was very nice...

S R I R A M said...

Thanks da. Happy that you liked it.