Highway Riding Tips by Sharat Aryan

Hi everyone. Well, you all may be wondering why I am writing up all these (Though I know I am a very bad writer) instead of shooting it somewhere and posting the photos over here. But off late I have been travelling a lot on highways and I have witnessed a lot of accidents right in front of my eyes. So just wanted to share a few riding techniques which I use while I open the throttle of my red beast.

First of all, let me put down a list of necessary things that you need to carry along with you or check-up right before hitting the highways.

  • Carry all the necessary documents – The DL, Vehicle documents, Insurance papers, emission test certificates, etc.
  • Carry enough water along with you and a lot of tissues (to wipe the helmet visors and more for other purposes.)
  • Carry a basic tool kit and a puncher repair kit if you are riding a tubeless tyre bike.
  • Keep the emergency contact numbers handy, just in case.
  • Check up the bike’s engine oil, breaks, break oils, tyre pressure and all the electricals, including tail lamps, break lights, indicators along with the headlights.
  • Just give a little more attention for carrying a plane visor instead of a tinted one, to get a better road and surrounding detail.
  • Make sure you fuel up enough before hitting the next pit.
  • Mirrors are as important as your eyes while hitting the highways.
  • So you think you are ready for the ride?

Not really..! Here comes the most important thing, Riding Gear. Never ride without a proper riding gear, and make sure you keep yourself warm and ready to accept a shower by proper gear. Well so once you do all these you are almost ready for the most exciting time, Riding Bikes.

Here are few tips which I use and suggest you all to consider it.

  • Maintain enough distance in between other vehicles, specially the lord of the roads, The Trucks, Lorries and Buses. Respect them and never mess with them. Trust me, messing up with them is as good as digging your own graves.
  • Look deep before overtaking. Look what is ahead of the vehicle which you are overtaking and intimate the rider or driver before doing it.
  • Don’t forget to use your colourful and stylish indicators while shifting the lanes. Use it whenever necessary and don’t forget to switch it off once the act is complete.
  • Find shelters..! Well yeah, u read it right. Find shelters behind a car or a heavier vehicle than yours who match you’re riding speed and stay behind them (Maintain enough distance so that you don’t bump into his rear, when he brakes!).
  • Keep an eye on the tail lamps of the vehicles going ahead of you. You will realise it earlier where there are road humps, pot holes or whatever it is. And also make sure, the bigger brother of yours, whose shelter you are seeking, has a tail lamp which works perfectly.
  • While riding in night, accept the fact your head lights are not as efficient as your bike’s engine is and try and follow a car or a bus or a suv, which ever you feel comfortable with your speed. Keep a track of his path and follow it, whenever you see his break lights flashing, slow down. Might save your head sometimes.)
  • Use low beams as much as possible, but don’t be afraid to use the high beams when necessary to have the complete view of the road during night times.
  • Sometimes your horn may not be audible enough for the vehicles travelling ahead of you. Use the head light flickering to indicated them that you want to over-take them. Never do it, without intimating them.
  • In a single road highways, when a heavy vehicles approach, you might have lost your vision. So mark the corners of the road in your mind, shift to low beam, have a clear mind set of the track you are going to take and look there and not into the headlight of the vehicle approaching you.
  • When you have a biking partner, make the best out of it, during the night rides. Share head lights. When you are in high-beam, ask the other to shift for low-beam, or vice-versa, so you have the complete vision of the road.
  • Never ever overtake when there is a gap in the divider. A friend of mine tried it and was too late to realise, he had to get back to his track and bumped into the divider. (Luckily no damage to the rider, but a slight hurt to his ride came as a lesson for him.)
  • Never attack the corners at high speed. Sharing my personal experience, I was doing a high speed test of a Pulsar 220 with a pillion and had to attack the corner at 145kmph when I was sure, there were no vehicles ahead of me in the road. But in the half way, realised there was an old, drunk pedestrian crossing the road. I just had almost zero time to react or even break. Thank god, I managed to pull it behind him and passed by.
  • When you enter the village premises, slow down. You have no idea from where people just block your way.
  • Do not break hard, or accelerate hard, while you are cornering.
  • Do look into mirrors before shifting lanes. And might help you to view a hot gal driving down a BMW, which you just over took, if you are lucky enough.)
  • When you realise there is a road hump and you are too late to break, do not panic. Just stay relaxed, stand up, and keep the handle bars loose and straight. Every bike’s tyre is designed in such a way that it just adjusts to the best position.
  • Don’t ever panic, stay calm, and stay cool. That’s the best approach in any situation.
  • Never push your machine to the maximum it can handle. Ride it in a speed which gives you the best comfort. It won’t strain you much and helps to ride longer.
  • The below guideline is purely for those who ride in groups.
  • Assign yourselves the position you ride in.
  • Have experienced riders as leaders and sweepers.
  • Stay in group and follow design and ride in the same.
  • Never over take the leader and don’t fall behind the sweeper.
  • Leaders use the riding signs and lead the group well.

Hand Signals for use in Trips

– Sharat Aryan