Beware of the oil on the road; it’s a slippery affair

In most parts of the country, especially on rural roads as well as highways that are frequented by trucks, you sometimes find oil and diesel spilled on the road. Such oil spills are hazards that are all potentially dangerous traps for two-wheeler riders. Riding through the oil, especially when cornering or turning can make the tyres to slip and loosen their grip on the road that can result in a fall.

In order to prevent such an accident, the rider needs to be a bit careful and keep in mind the following tips:

  • If you are passing by vehicle repair workshops, there is a possibility of oil on the road around them. So ride slow and be cautious of such spills.
  • If you observe a broken down truck at a distance, there is a possibility of oil spill around it.
  • In case you are approaching an oil spill or a mud patch, decelerate the throttle and keep handle bar straight. Do not try curving through the oil patch.
  • While passing through the oil or a mud patch or even the stagnant water, maintain the slow speed (do not increase or decrease) and do not push the brakes or change gears.

Flat tyre situation, are you prepared?

Getting a flat tyre can be extremely dangerous while riding. Ideally, you should check your tyres before hitting the road and ensure that it is not balding and has not become vulnerable to punctures. However, an odd nail or a sharp-edged element cannot be avoided all the time and you might fall in a situation where the tyre goes flat while riding.

Here are few quick tips to remember in case you unfortunately get a flat tyre while riding.

  • Do not panic and never apply sudden brakes.
  • Decelerate the throttle, and assess the traffic around you.
  • Slowly bring your vehicle to left hand side of the road.
  • Use front brake smoothly if there’s a puncture in the rear wheel. Likewise, if there’s a front wheel puncture, gently use the rear brakes.

Riding at night? Learn to fight the glare

Riding a motorcycle at night is much more difficult than riding during the day. One of the most difficult night riding obstacles to overcome on a motorcycle is the glare from oncoming traffic.

Here are some tips to keep you safe while night riding:

  • Reduce your speed. With reduced visibility at night, it is recommended to ride slow.
  • Do not look directly into the lights of the oncoming traffic as it can cause temporary blindness.
  • Take the help of the road marking as a guide to your path.
  • Increase distance from the vehicles ahead of you.
  • Be visible by wearing bright reflective clothing.
  • Use the high beam when there is no traffic.
  • Ensure that your backlight is functional.

The art of balancing and cornering a motorcycle

Motorcycles have an advantage over two-wheelers when it comes to treading on to several paths where many vehicles cannot go, especially the uneven and sometimes non metalled roads and sharp curves and corners. However, before hitting such terrains, the rider must learn the art of ‘balancing’ well on the motorcycle.

Here are a few tips on ‘balancing’: 

  • Your riding posture is crucial on these roads.
  • A standing posture helps especially while going on the pothole.
  • Use your elbows and knees to absorb the shock.
  • Keep your weight on both legs.
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Lift your hips from the seat, stretch you back, lean slightly forward and look ahead.

Here are a few ‘cornering’ tips:

  • Cornering requires complete mastering of braking, acceleration and balancing.
  • Learning how to roll the throttle effectively will help you maintain your balance.
  • Keep your head perpendicular to the road surface and maintain your correct riding posture for better control.
  • Always slow down before entering the turn (Curve) and accelerate only after completing the turn.
  • Cornering should never be done at high speeds.

12 actions that make you a ‘Hero’ on road

Well, no. The biking action sequences and those stunts that you see in movies do not make you a hero on the road. On the road, the real hero is the one who is bothered about his and others’ safety, rides with patience, is courteous towards others and, of course, does not break the law.

Here are a few actions of the real riding heroes on road.

  • They observe traffic rules, respect road signs and are as much careful about others’ safety as much as they are for theirs. .
  • They ride in their own lane and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • They are not into hasty overtaking and are patient enough for the right time to overtake from right side.
  • They avoid zig-zag riding or weaving through the traffic.
  • They never cross the yellow line while overtaking.
  • When negotiating a roundabout, they riders do not forget to move in a clockwise direction and make way for the traffic on their right.
  • They indicate (use indicators) well in time before taking a turn and move to the correct lane in advance.
  • They are courteous and halt well before the stop line to allow pedestrians cross the road.
  • They understand the use of the horn and do not honk unnecessarily at traffic intersections.
  • They respect traffic signals and never jump red or amber lights.
  • You will never see a real hero riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • When riding, they never use their mobile phones.

All set to Zoom? Wait, learn to brake as well

Brakes are the single most important safety feature of your motorcycle. Although we all know this, sometimes we can let things slip. To help protect the safety of you and your loved ones, master these braking tips

  • First, decelerate completely.
  • Secondly, apply both brakes together and then gradually increase the force.
  • Third, when you come to a halt, place your left foot firmly on the ground.
  • If you only use the rear brakes the braking distance increases substantially.
  • Applying only the front brake can cause the front wheel to lock and the two-wheeler to flip over.
  • Double riding increases the braking distance. The added weight at the back makes it essential to apply the rear brakes more firmly.
  • The pillion rider should always wear a helmet, sit astride, hold the rider firmly around the waist and grip the rider’s hips with the knees.

Sitting on the two-wheeler, are you prepared?

Ho Ho! It might sound funny, but experience of Hero’s safety experts says that many riders do not know how to ‘get on to the bike.’ It is difficult to believe, but come to think of it, how many times you see different people getting on to the bike differently and look a bit weird while sitting on it.

The right sitting posture is quite significant from both the comfort and the safety points of view. Poor posture can cause fatigue and discomfort while riding and it also leads to poor handling and balance.

Here are some tips to help you maintain a good posture while riding a two-wheeler.

  • Sit in a position that gives you easy access to the handle bar and brakes.
  • Look forward in the direction you are moving to cover a wide range of information.
  • Relax your shoulder and bend your arms slightly.
  • Grasp the center of the grips so that you can easily operate the levers and switches.
  • Your feet should rest on the step and your legs should be comfortably apart, but aligned with the chassis.
  • Be in a slightly leaning forward position.
  • Before riding off, adjust your rear view mirrors and look behind for traffic.

How about getting safety tips from a professional?

There are car driving schools at every nook and corner nowadays, but you rarely hear of a motorcycle riding school. It is recommended that every new rider must take a basic motorcycle safety course.

India, unlike many European countries, you do not require to take a safety course to get your driving license. Yet, a course or training from a pro will give you the best tools to learn both proper riding techniques and safety measures.

Hero MotoCorp runs Traffic Training Parks under its Ride Safe India CSR initiative which is supported by local governing/enforcement bodies.

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The trained Safety Instructors deputed at the parks regularly conduct road safety awareness programmes for two wheeler riders and school/college students where the participants undergo a structured training module and enjoy the world class training facilities including Riding Simulator

At present, Hero’s Traffic Training parks are in Gurgaon, Delhi and Lucknow and more shall be opened shortly.

Beginning the two-wheeler fun – Getting the right gear

Riding gear is extremely important for the protection of a two-wheeler rider. May be the safety gear you choose cannot prevent an accident, but it can surely make all the difference if something does happen.

Here is quick guide on safety gear

Helmet

Your motorcycle helmet may be the single most important piece of equipment you own. You need to find one that protects you properly. A proper helmet fits well, keeps your field of vision open, and provides comfort. Yes, it also shields your pretty face from pollution.

  • Buying the right helmet may not mean you have to get the most expensive helmet loaded with features. If you are a regular rider, keep it simple but make sure your helmet is at least ISI (IS 4151) standard.
  • As for the colour, choose a bright colour, preferably yellow. A full mask helmet provides better protection.
  • Always ride with a helmet properly strapped and insist on a helmet for you pillion rider as well.

Knee Pad, Elbow Pad and Gloves

It is generally not talked about much because it is not mandatory as per the law. However a set of riding knee pads and elbow pads along with proper pair of gloves are quite essential safety features. While helmet will prevent your skull, the pads are for the crucial joints’ protection and the gloves keep your knuckles safe.

Shoes and full sleeve dresses

Wearing a shoe that covers feet as well as a full-sleeves shirt/top is understandably safer than riding two-wheeler while wearing footwear that would make your feet vulnerable in case of a crash. Similarly, full sleeves clothes will provide little protection to arms from bruises, etc.

Beginning the two-wheeler fun – It’s a safe bet

Two-wheeler is a great fun. The best way to learn how to properly ride is to ride in a controlled environment. One must always practice safety first and before taking on roads must ensure that your two-wheeler is in right shape and that you too are mentally prepared.

Here is the checklist of basics that’ll just take two minutes and promise you years of trouble-free riding and enhances the life of your vehicle.

Park the two-wheeler on the main stand and first and foremost, check if you have enough fuel to reach your destination.

Engine Oil

It is extremely important to check engine oil levels from time to time.

  • Fill genuine Hero MotoCorp Engine Oil or as recommended by the manufacturer and top it up to the appropriate level.
  • Check for oil leaks around the engine area.

Wheels

The wheel bears tremendous stress and strain and the condition of the tyre enormously affects the safety and performance of the maneuvers such as turning and braking.

  • Check for correct tyre pressure, cuts, foreign objects stuck in the tyre grips and
  • Spin the wheel to check for wobbling.
  • Repeat these checks for the rear wheel.

Brakes 

Each one of you would know the significance of brakes and how their failure can be fatal.

  • Check the free play and smoothness of the Front and Rear brake levers.
  • Also inspect the brake pads for wear and tear.

Electricals

It is important to check that all the lights are functioning properly.

  • Cap the indicator lights with your hands after turning them on. This helps you check them in daylight.
  • Similarly check the tail light both with the front brake and rear brake.
  • Check the horn and finally the headlight.

Documents and kits

Last but not the least, before you set out for riding; make sure you have your proper documents and necessary kits.

  • Check if you have your valid driver’s license, registration certificate, insurance papers, pollution under control (PUC) certificate, owner’s manual, the toolkit and a small first-aid kit.
  • Do not forget to wipe down your registration plates.
  • So now you have your pre ride checks done.