Tips for Riding Motorcycles at Ultra High Speeds

I have rarely found a youngster who has not got the passion for speed! Speed is the only need that can lead you in all senses! Here are some of my tips that I have gathered, of course, from my personal experiences. To attain this high speed, you either have to take your Indian Super Bike to its highest performance level or you need to own a Foreign Super Bike. With Indian bikes this becomes a challenge as you have to concentrate on handling the bike judiciously, at the same time concentrating on the roads and traffic flow. But take it from me, it is a fun! BUT there are few things you need to consider before you kick your bike!

Ultra High Speed Motorcycle

Do you really need to speed up your bike? Speeding up a bike unnecessarily is really a wrong thing. But I would recommend that you practice speed riding in pleasurable conditions, as it may help you in extreme situations where you have no other option than to speed up… After all, one of the purposes of having a bike is ride fast as well… If you are not used to speed biking, then chances are very less that you could drive a bike in a pressured situation safely.

Riding Within Limitations: You should also know the physical limitations of your bike, because the behavior of simple Indian bikes change dramatically when they cross a particular speed! Eg. A Splendour is a very nice bike at low speeds but if you try to push it beyond 70-80 kmph, the engine will start giving out tremendous vibrations which will warn the rider to cool down! I have ridden a Splendour at the top speed of 90 kmph (7.2 bhp version) I have also touched 100 kmph using Hero Honda Dawn which has got a similar engine as the old Splendour, with slightly higher torque. (7.4 bhp). But you certainly feel uncomfortable at these speeds, on these bikes. Tip: whenever you feel that your bike is uncomfortable… Cool down immediately… you never know what it may lead to.

New Bikes: Speeding up even for just a while, may severely damage your bike engine for ever. Especially I would like to tell this to new bike owners. They buy new bikes and start using them at high performance levels. This is not how a new bike is handled.

When the engine is new, the friction between engine parts is also at the maximum. For the initial 1,000 – 1,500 Kms. the bike should be driven at slow speeds. I remember my own 1st Hero Honda bike which was expected to give me average of 60-70 kmpl. But because of my rude riding habits from the 1st day, it still gives me 35-40 kmpl, even after 7 years! Never make this mistake! Tip: Don’t hurry please, if you own a brand new bike.

There are many factors that affect the speed of your bike directly or indirectly.

  • Condition of the road and conditions on the road
  • Condition of your Bike
  • Make of your Bike
  • Rules of Physics
  • State and stability of your mind
  • Luck!

Classifying Speed: By saying Ultra High speed, I am referring to the speeds when the optimum performance of your bike is tested

  • Speeds from 50-70 kmph are normal speeds (for Indian highways for bikes).
  • Speeds from 70-90 kmph are high speeds.
  • Speeds from 90-120 kmph, I’ll call them super high speeds (most of the so-called Indian super bikes do not exceed this speed limit gracefully)
  • Speeds above 120 kmph fall under ultra high speeds.

Road Conditions: Road conditions carries a weightage of more than 50% in your speed riding as you have to drive all the way on the road itself! Unfortunately, we have very few roads in India, which are long, straight, smooth and hassle free enough to have a nice long speedy ride. The best road could have been the express way from Mumbai to Pune, but 2 wheelers are not permitted. 🙁

Required Conditions: While riding, if following conditions are met, you are free to test your high speed riding skills. Tip: If any one is missing from this list, skip the chance of a high speed ride!

  • Road is too good (even surface and straight)
  • Very less or no traffic
  • Road is not wet (by oil or water)
  • Road is not having sand or mud or cow dung on the surface
  • No potholes/speed breakers
  • Bike is in best condition
  • No pillion rider
  • You are in a good mood!
  • No villages or road crossings in between
  • You are wearing all the safety gear!

Now here you go! Gear your bike down to lower gears. Try to attain the maximum speed of every single gear. E.g. On 1st gear itself, reach 30-40 kmph, 2nd gear 60 kmph, and so on. This will help your bike attain ultra high speed easily.

Tips:

  • Your mind should be stable with no other thoughts other than Speed.
  • Reach the highest concentration level ever.
  • If anything seems going wrong first thing you need to do is press the clutch, this will cut the power to the rear wheel.
  • Slow down judiciously seeing that the bike doesn’t skid. Keep your bike in a straight line whenever you apply the brakes.
  • It’s ok if you leave the road and enter the shoulder this process. Better than going under a lorry!

Avoiding a Crash: There are two ways of avoiding a potential crash – Fly or Fight. Fly method tells you to break down the speed rapidly and come out of the scene or stop the motion totally. Fight mechanism tells you to increase the speed and escape ahead of the scene.

Fight mechanism is easier to handle. Using brakes properly is a skill, and you are also unaware of things moving behind you. So as far as possible, go for speeding up ahead.
Use half clutch technique that theoretically doubles your engine speed and practically too, adds torque, which helps you escape.

Half Clutch Technique: While the throttle is open, half press the clutch and release it instantaneously, this will disengage the drive for some time. The engine having no load, will start moving at a higher rate, at the same time releasing the clutch will engage it with the engine drive that is having higher number of rotations! This will definitely give a jerk to your bike. But frequent use of this technique will result in to enormous wear and tear of your clutch plates and also it may affect engine efficiency. So use this technique only as a life saver tip. Not every day! Tips:

  • Be prepared to control direction of your bike when using half clutch technique as chances are there that you may lose control over bike after the torque kicks in.
  • Try to visualize the whole scene from a bird’s eye view and decide your escape point, take it from me, it works!
  • No other thoughts! 1 thought = 1 accident!
  • Sit in an inclined position it will help keep the CG (Centre of Gravity) of your bike at a lower level…
  • Hold the handle bar real steady and straight if your bike enters a rough road accidentally.
  • Obey rules of physics on turns and on low friction surfaces (wet, muddy or sandy)
  • Don’t ride the bike at ultra high speeds for more than 5 minutes at a time.
  • At ultra high speeds, your relative weight with the bike approaches zero, so even a small wind can blow you out of your way, so beware of that! (Even trucks generate strong winds on the highway)
  • At ultra high speeds, never apply the brakes when behind a vehicle, just try to overtake it. This is because, drum brakes or disk brakes, except with ABS, cannot overcome the force that the vehicle experiences because of sheer inertia at those speeds.
  • At these high speeds, even a small insect will hit your body as if it’s a bullet, so see that no part of your body is exposed.
  • Keep all your muscles very tight all the time, this will help if some obstacles like potholes or uneven road surfaces, comes on your way. Keeping your hands tight will give you better control.

Interesting fact: When you travel at a speed of 60 kmph, your body travels at a rate of 80 feet per second! So imagine, if you fall off a bike at a speed of 60 kmph , you will be rubbed on the hard tar road surface for 80 feet in a second! Always keep this math in your head and then drive judiciously and safely!

I own a Custom chopper that weighs 275 Kg! I have attained a speed of 140-150 kmph several times on it! I have never ever had a single accident at high speeds as I have always obeyed all the above tips or Laws of Speed Riding strictly. After all we are doing high speed riding for our joy, so we must make sure that we bring only JOY out of it! So just keep all these things in mind and Kick your Bike! Happy Speeding!

Thanks and regards,
Prashant Kulkarni

P.S. Remember that You are 100% responsible for your safety!

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