Monsoon maintenance tips. Here are five essential tips to keep your motorcycle and scooter safe during the rainy season.
The monsoon’s upon us and for some, this means parking the two-wheeler and switching to four-wheelers. However, for others, two-wheelers can either be the only mode of transport, or they’re not afraid of a little splash. Whichever the situation, the beloved scooter or motorcycle needs to be in top running condition and to be so, here are 5 essential monsoon motorcycle maintenance tips.
The first and foremost move in maintaining a two-wheeler during the monsoon is to get it away from the rain. Park under a shelter or put a cover over it. Letting a motorcycle or a scooter sit in rain for hours or overnight will damage electricals, cables, upholstery, and a lot more. Also, water can enter the fuel tank or even a carburettor (if an older motorcycle) and refuse to start.
It’s okay to ride in the rain, but never okay to park a motorcycle or a scooter exposed to rain for a prolonged period. Also, if you do ride an EV, take even more care to get it away from water. Also, if situations are such that it has to be parked, park it in a secure place, away from trees and other structures that have the potential to fall. And remember – always park it on the side stand so that the weight is evenly distributed, as the centre stands (if equipped) don’t do a good job in the rain and wind.
There are several things to keep in mind while riding in the rain, as the first step of maintenance is prevention. Firstly, slow down, as traction is less, then ensure that you make yourself visible to other motorists. Look as far ahead as possible to observe road conditions and slow down even more over puddles — a big splash of cold water on a hot engine is a recipe for disaster. It leads to engine seizure.
Also, do not lean into corners as much as you would on dry roads and when braking, be gradual. If the streets are water-logged, try finding another way around, if not possible, cross it gently, keep the vehicle in the lowest gear possible and keep the rpm slightly high and steady, as this prevents water from getting into the exhaust.
What to do if …
In case situations are such that the motorcycle was parked in the rain overnight with no cover, it had to be used through a water-logged street, it stalled in a deep puddle or you went fast over one and a big splash of water killed the power — call a mechanic.
Do not try to start the two-wheeler, instead, call an authorised service centre and get it towed there. Get everything checked thoroughly before attempting to start, check the fuel for water, air out the electricals, brakes, ignition, air filter, and drain the carburettor cup. Explain to the technician what happened and they will do the rest — just don’t try to start and run the vehicle, as it may cause more harm than good.
The best form of care for two-wheelers during monsoon is prevention. Before the monsoon starts, get the vehicle inspected and prepped for the season. Check and replace cables, lube the chain, check the tyres and replace if running on dry weather tyres or if the tread is worn out, fix torn upholstery, check and replace brake pads, and change the oil if necessary.
Also, check all electricals such as lights, indicators, horns, switches, connectors, etc to keep them in top shape. Ignoring these things will lead to bigger damages if water seeps in. If budget permits, give it a Teflon coating or some sort of protective coating to keep water from damaging the paint and metal parts from rusting. This also helps during summer.
No matter what steps you take to prevent damage, the monsoon season is also the time for spills, so keep your vehicle insured. Some damages may be beyond a person’s budget to repair but could be covered by insurance. Some insurance companies may also cover damages due to flooding, a common occurrence these days, so just remember to pay your premium without fail.