07 Jul, 16
Kuldeep Singh/ Image: Arup Malakar
- RELIABILITY: Perhaps the most important aspect of the Bike and often overlooked by riders. Reliability can be said as the ability of your Bike to resist failure. Imagine if you take your Bike for Laddakh tour and any component of it fails on the way leaving you stranded on a secluded highway, you can’t resist yourself from cursing your choice. It is easy to tackle when you are in the city but take it of highest importance when choosing the Bike for long journeys.It is not advisable often to select a newly launched Bike for longer tours as the Reliability is not known over a period of time.
- ENGINE POWER: Why to care for engine power? Don’t understand the weird BHP thing they give to boost their sales? Most of us often look at CC or Cubic Capacity of the engine to arrive at the conclusion how much power the Bike will deliver which is only half true. BHP or Brake Horse Power is the resultant power delivered by the engine which is only the energy that is going to take us ahead! Let us see in more details-
BHP = IHP-FHP
Where BHP means Brake Horse Power, IHP is Indicated Horse Power (Total power produced by the engine) and FHP (Friction owing to rubbing of internal parts inside engine) is Frictional Horse Power.
Now you understand about the power. How to select how much power I need for my tour? Answer: It depends. You need to ask yourself: Am I going to ride uphill? Is there off-road conditions between the route? Bikes need to be driven on these conditions require more power than the Bikes subjected to plain and rosy roads.
- STABILITY: Again neglected by many of the riders often. Stability is the essential feature of the Bike that makes you able to ride your Bike. The more the Bike stable, less the fatigue you feel while driving. Engineers define it from the CG (Centre of Gravity) point of view. As a thumb rule Bikes heavy in weight and size are considered more stable than their lighter counterparts.
- FUEL CAPACITY: Check how much your Bike can carry the fuel in its tank. You will be surprised to know that most of the Road Side Assistance demand comes due to empty fuel on the way. Calculate the total miles you will cover on one go with full tank. Keep the fuel stations data with you before starting the trip. Some tracks like Laddakh need riders to carry extra fuel as there is no filling station on the way after Manali. You must anticipate your fuel requirements. Ask your rental agency to provide with a custom larger tank if possible. There are extra charges, of course!
- MILEAGE: It is all about the mileage we think before buying any vehicle in India. Right? But here we are not concerned about that. You just need to check what mileage your Bike delivering in order to accurately anticipate your fuel requirements. Don’t rent a Bike which is giving too less mileage than it should as it may be the warning of a failure on the way. I am sure none of you want to dial RSA during your amazing trip.
- COMFORT: Do you feel tired after riding a few miles? If the answer is yes, please change your Bike. You should clearly stay away from the Bike which is sick of too much vibrations, noise, abnormal smoke from exhaust pipe or having insufficient stability. All these factors may pose your spine to a considerable discomfort especially during longer rides.
- LUGGAGE CARRYING CAPACITY: The Bike should have sufficient provisions to carry the luggage as per your requirements. You can choose to have some extra accessories for your luggage requirements. Ask your rental agency if they provide custom luggage provisions for the Bike you selected. If you need to tie your luggage, tie in cross pattern to keep it stable while you enjoy riding.
- TYRES: Another very important aspect. Tyres provide the Bike a kind of grip when you apply brake or take turns. You must check the tyres thoroughly against some common defects. It should not be completely worn out. (If you can’t see the Tread, it is to be changed) Apart from wear, tyres are to be checked against cuts, bulging and cracks. It everything looks good, go ahead.
- OFF ROAD CAPABILITY: Check if you are going to have bumpy rides. Normally Bikes with long shock absorbers and robust tyres are considered best to drive over bumpy terrains. It is not necessary to take a pure Off Road Bike, but look out for these features while you select the bike for your tour.
- LEGAL REQUIREMENTS: Check for your Driving Licence. Are letters visible? Are you authorised to drive the kind of bike you are going to drive. Check for the expiry of Registration Certificate, Insurance and Pollution Test documents. And most importantly, the engine and chassis no mentioned on the documents must match with the No as given in the documents.