Lets make a Checklist before leaving for a long ride on a Motorcycle.
1) Riding Gears:
Helmet: Always use good quality of Helmet as it is one of the most important riding gears of a biker. Use Helmet which fits your size only, never use over size Helmet. Always ride the bike with your helmet on and never forget to buckle your helmet ever. A good Helmet has provision of proper ventilation and Scratch proof visor (replace the visor if it contains scratches). Use a good pair of sunglasses or a tinted visor if you are going to ride in a sunny day. Riding Jacket: There are many types of Riding Jackets available in the market, use mesh Jacket according to the climatic condition with Chest, Spine, Shoulder and Elbow Guards on. Riding Gloves: Use a pair of good quality Gloves made with breathable material with provision of knuckle protection. Full gloves are recommended as it provides maximum safety but half gloves may also be used in hot and humid conditions provided they are made of standard material with knuckle protection. Riding Boots: Riding Boots are a must for maximum protection and comfort you should invest in Knee guards and Shin guards though riding pants can be considered as optional.
Saddlebags must be of proper size, they should not be over sized and stuffed unevenly on both sides to balance the weight as stuffing unevenly may cause hazard of tipping over of bike. The Saddle Bags should be made of waterproof material. A bungee cord is helpful and must be kept with luggage for tying extra luggage on the rear seat and it proves very helpful in emergency conditions for toeing also. Magnetic Tank bags are also very useful in keeping nick- knacks handy.
3) Tool Kit:
There must be a Tool Kit comprising of every tool that may require to dismantle and assemble every possible part of the bike again. It is a good idea to know basics of your bike's mechanism that can be learnt from your Mechanic, spend some time with your mechanic to get vital information about the breakdowns, their troubleshooting and fixing. Keep your Mobile Phone handy with alternate numbers of your mechanic/ acquaints so that it can be used in case of emergency to seek guidance from him/ them on phone.
4) Spare Parts:
Always keep few spare parts handy, Spark Plugs, Clutch cable, Accelerator cable, Brake fluid (disc brakes), Fuse, Spare Bulbs (Headlight, Tail light and Blinkers), Standard size Nut-Bolts.
5) Puncture Kit:
Not all Motorcycles come with Puncture resistant Tyres or Tubeless Tyres, so in case of Puncture you must carry a puncture repair kit to fix the flat tyre yourself, if you are riding a bike with Tube, don't forget to carry a spare tube with you that can fit into both front and rear tyres and never forget to look for source of Puncture that may be a nail or a bush thorn, always change the tube after inspecting and removing such foreign matters first.
6) Portable Air Pump:
After replacing tube or repairing the puncture you need to inflate the tyre again and to do so you require a portable Air Pump or a conventional Air Pump. A portable one is recommended as it takes less space and it functions on Battery, make sure you have compatible connecting cable or else you can operate the Pump through connecting it directly to the battery terminals. The Air pump is also useful in inflating punctured tubeless tyres or Tuff-up tyres to take you to the safety.
7) Jerry Can and Water Bottles:
Jerry Can or Fuel canister must be kept securely and duly tied with the cord with its lid securely tight. Extra fuel is a must for any tour to the Remote area where Petrol Filling stations are scares. The Fuel Canister must be of good industrial quality. Water Bottle for your hydration is also a must, always keep at least 2-5 liters of drinking water with you.
8) First Aid Kit:
A First Aid kit is not only required for you but it may proved as a boon for other fellow bikers or some other passerby also. Keep Antiseptic Lotion, Sterilized Cotton and Cotton Gauge with pair of scissors. Generic medications must also be kept in the first aid box like Aspirin tablets, pain killers, chlorine tablets for water purification and some medicines used in case of Diarrhea.
9) Cell Phone & Flash Light:
Keep your cell phone always with you with both regular and portable chargers and never miss a chance to recharge your mobile battery whenever you get any. Keeping an additional charged battery with you is recommended. Make it a habit to inform your location back at your Home at regular intervals. This can be proved very useful to track you down in case of any emergency or calamity. Keep a powerful Flash light with you as you can not fully depend on your cell phone's torch.
10) Documents & Cash:
Always keep all the documents of motorcycle with you including Registration card and insurance policy. Documents related to your identity must always be with you, the Driving Licence can be served this purpose. Keep your plastic cards and some cash in hand with you in case of emergency. Hope I've covered all the vital points here, if left any of it, my biker brethren can add with their experience, do share your riding experience with the rest of the bikers community here at BikesIndia. So, Ride Hard and Ride Safe.
By: Farhan Kashif