Can you tour on a commuter motorcycle?
Modified On Oct 29, 2018 By Rommel Albuquerque
Majority of India’s population rides a 110cc or 100cc commuter motorcycle. Not everyone can afford a 1lakh plus motorcycle to go touring on. So does that mean that just because you own a small capacity motorcycle that you can’t go touring on it? Definitely not! In fact recently there was a couple from Chandigarh who rode their Mahindra Gusto scooter all the way up to ladakh. This is just one small example of how no matter what two wheeled machine you ride, you can go touring on it. People even go touring on bicycles. But before you set out for your epic journey, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Service: You need to make sure that the engine of your motorcycle is in tip top condition if you expect it to survive tough conditions. Get the engine oil changed and have a mechanic check the engine valves and piston head just to be on the safer side. Make sure the clutch and brake cables are all working fine and tighten the chain if needed.
Spares: Talk to your service centre mechanics and find out which parts on your motorcycle are likely to give way or deteriorate in tough climates and terrain or long rides. This will give you an idea of what spares you need to carry with you on your trip.
Riding: Now with higher capacity motorcycles you can maintain a high speed for longer distances. But with small capacity motorcycles, you’ll need to be a bit more careful. Don’t keep pushing your motorcycle to its maximum speed or revving it all the way to the red line. Instead keep your revs low and stick to a speed at which the engine feels comfortable. Remember to accelerate smoothly and brake progressively.
Clothing: Keeping yourself safe from harm should be your utmost priority. You never know when you may have a fall while riding. Remember to always wear a good quality full face helmet, a pair of armoured riding boots and gloves, a pair of knee guards and of course an armoured riding jacket.
Braking: It’s a common sight on highways to find motorcycles crashed and parked at the side of the road. In order to avoid being in a crash, work on your braking skills. Learning to look as far ahead as possible helps you see obstacles sooner, giving you more time to brake. Practice emergency braking and remember that the front brake of your motorcycle has the most stopping power. So don’t be afraid to really put pressure on it.