Two-wheelers on the road are cursed by four wheeler drivers every day because they always seem to be cutting ahead, riding on the pavements and getting home so much faster than their four-wheeled brothers. Sure there are reasons to be jealous, but two-wheelers are much more at risk on the road. Chances are everyone you know who rides a two-wheeler has gotten into at least one accident in their years on the road. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are contemplating picking up a bike for easier commute:
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- Protect yourself:
Invest in a good helmet. A lot of deaths happen due to injuries to the head. People have narrowly escaped death because of the smart decision to wear helmets. You should get yourself a sturdy helmet which covers the jaws. Some people wear a helmet just to avoid being fined by cops, but remember that you wear a helmet for yourself. Secure the strap around your jaw. Is it really worth such a big risk not to? Also, if you have pavilion riders, get an extra helmet. Their safety is in your hands. Be responsible. Most of the time, you may not be at fault, but someone else who decides to break the rules and causes an accident. Why should you and your pavilion rider pay the price?
Protect your eyes. Buy a helmet with a plastic face shield which will protect your eyes from rain, dust, wind, insects etc.
If the climate allows, it’s a good idea to wear a leather jacket, boots and gloves as they will protect you against bruises and minor injuries in case of a fall.
- Make yourself visible:
Wearing either reflective bands over your helmet or a helmet that is of a bright colour. Also put reflective bands on the sides and back of your two wheeler.
Make sure that you stay away from the blind spots of vehicles, trucks and buses in particular.
- Maintain a safe distance from vehicles:
Never stop right behind or ahead of a vehicle. Make sure you have enough space to move around. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic.Keep a distance while overtaking parked or moving vehicles or while overtaking other vehicles on the road. Whether you are overtaking a moving, or even a parked vehicle, make sure that you leave plenty of space. Do not try to cut ahead when there is some space between two vehicles. That is for avoiding collisions. Be respectful.
- Look out for obstacles and road hazards:
Garbage piles, speed breakers, oil spills, Pot-holes, railway crossings, dirt roads, stray animals among others can all pose a serious threat if we are not careful.
- Maintain your bike well:
Make sure your bike is in great condition by having it serviced regularly. Also try to check for yourself before each ride. Look out for the condition of the brakes, air pressure, tyre condition, horn, clutch, lights, suspension etc. If your bike is in good condition, it increases fuel efficiency and reduces risks of accidents.
- Make sure you follow all traffic rules. Signal your intentions well ahead and clearly so riders around you know your next move. Do not press the brakes and turn abruptly.
- Remember that your bike will not stop as soon as you press the brakes. This distance increases as the speed increases. Take necessary steps.
- Slow down and stop at every junction. You cannot predict where and when vehicles will come, no matter how empty the roads may seem or how late in the night it is.
- Never overtake on Junctions, Bridges, School Zones, Pedestrian Crossing as well as places marked with yellow lines. Never overtake from the left.
- If you need to pick up a call, pull over and then do so. Never text either while riding.
- Be considerate of pedestrians. Give them way.
Ways To Increase The Mileage Of Your Bike
A two-wheeler makes our daily commute much easier and is the most convenient mode of transport in cities with high traffic density. However, if you use your two-wheeler too often, you might wish to know how to increase the mileage of your bike and save some fuel cost. With right maintenance, not putting excessive stress on your engine, and riding smartly, you can surely save on your fuel expenses. Here are few ways to increase the per litre mileage of your bike or scooter.
- Timely Servicing And Maintenance: Maintaining your two-wheeler properly and servicing it at timely intervals is very important to operate the vehicle at optimum levels. The engine and the gearbox require lubrication to run smoothly. Getting your vehicle serviced as prescribed in the user manual given by the manufacturer can improve the fuel efficiency and the overall functioning of your bike. With the change in oil, optimizing the coolant oil, chain lubrication, the two-wheeler can perform at its best. Also, in case of oil leakage from the engine, the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.
- Keep The Tyre Pressures At Recommended Levels: To increase the efficiency of your two-wheeler, the tyres must be inflated as per the levels as recommended by the manufacturer. Tyres generally have the markings that suggest the right tyre pressure to be maintained. If there is extra weight to be carried on the vehicle, the manufacturer’s user manual can be used for guidance. This would not only increase the life of your bike tyres but also enhance the overall performance and fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
- Do Not Let Engine Running Unnecessarily: Keeping the engine on when your vehicle is not in use will waste a lot of fuel. Whenever you need to wait for more than ten seconds, it is better to switch the engine off than to keep it running. Now with most two-wheelers coming with a self-start button, restarting the bike should not be a big issue. The engines nowadays need not be warmed up and you can use your vehicles with much ease without excessively revving your vehicle’s engine.
- Avoid Overriding Clutch: Most bike or scooter riders tend to override the clutch even when it’s not necessary. By using the right gears, clutch overriding can be avoided in a bumper to bumper traffic situation. This would enhance the longevity of the clutch plate and help you save a significant amount of fuel.
- Proper Gearing: Shifting to higher gears swiftly will help your bike’s engine run smoothly without any stress. The faster you ride your vehicle, the more will be its fuel consumption. Over-speeding your vehicle will bring your fuel efficiency down.
- Use Better Quality Fuel: A better quality fuel can increase the life of your vehicle’s engine in a significant way. Though it may be a bit dearer, it is surely very economical if you consider the enhanced fuel efficiency using the same.
- Avoid Using Routes With High Volume Of Traffic: Well, it’s true that you cannot avoid the traffic completely, the least you can do is to choose the roads that have a considerably low volume of traffic. If you regularly travel to a particular location such as from home to office and back, you should try to find the route with the least volume of traffic. You may use GPS to find the shortest and best route. You may use Bluetooth earphones to get audio route instructions while riding.
- Refuel Your Two-Wheeler In The Morning: The fuel is denser in the morning when the temperature is low. With the increase in the temperature as the day progresses, the fuel starts to expand. You can get more for less if you follow this simple trick.
- Ride Sensibly: Applying the brakes too frequently and suddenly accelerating the vehicle may negatively affect the engine performance. Riding sensibly can help you significantly reduce the fuel consumption of the bike. Throttling the vehicle in a soft manner and riding the vehicle at constant speeds can enhance the performance of your engine and boost your bike’s fuel efficiency.
Fuel economy has always been one of the prime concerns amongst the Indian two-wheeler owners. Riding responsibly and sensibly will not only help you stay safe on the roads but will also ensure that your vehicle performs at optimum levels and gives you the best mileage.