Saturday , November 28 2020
Sikkim Road Trip Photo

101 tips for driving safely on Indian roads

There are countless reasons to prefer a motorcycle over a car while going on a road trip. There’s a reason why it’s said that four wheels move the body and two wheels move the soul. With years of riding experience, we all learn many important and sometimes commonly ignored facts about making a successful road trip. Here is my compilation of 101 Things I learned on Road Trips in India.

101 tips for driving safely in India

Motorbikes are faster to get you from one place to another if you enjoy the feeling of wind hitting you. There are numerous advantages of preferring a motorcycle over a car for road trips, especially in India.

  • It gets you out of traffic faster than any other vehicle.
  • It saves you a lot of fuel. Better mileage than any four-wheeler.
  • Cheaper to keep up and maintain.
  • Comfortable enough to ride with a pillion.
  • Enough carrying capacity if you add saddlebags.
  • Feel nature’s vibes with fresh air and uninterrupted views.
  • Takes less space to park.
  • Can go through narrow lanes.
  • Can overtake with the smallest of space available.
  • Cheaper than Cars

Here are the 100 important things I learned while on road trips that come from driving around three different countries in Asia for over 5 years. Surely there are many more important tips to know while driving around especially on a motorbike. These tips, tricks, and road hacks are in random order. Do add in the comments if you find something important missing in the list.

101 tips for driving safely on Indian roads

  1. The roads are full of potholes and assholes, and they’re both out to get you!
  2. Always anticipate the next 10 seconds.
  3. Never twist your throttle with your ego.
  4. Driving slowly is enjoyable than driving fast.
  5. Never drive faster than your guardian angels.
  6. Always check the rearview mirror before changing lanes.
  7. Always use indicators when changing lanes. They are not only for right and left turns.
  8. Buses are the queen of the road and trucks are the king of the road.
  9. Never overtake state buses for fun.
  10. DRL is important for safety.
  11. Never argue on road with random drivers.
  12. Take at least one shortstop every 60km.
  13. Brake lights should be working.
  14. Follow the tires of the vehicle and not the bumper to avoid sudden potholes.
  15. Use pass light while overtaking.
  16. Wear Half face Hemet only if you have half the brain. It reduces safety by fifty percent.
  17. Modular helmets are not as strong as single piece helmets.
  18. Good riding trousers are as important as riding jackets. No legs. No ride.
  19. Always carry water. It can save your life in an emergency.
  20. Carry important medicines and first aid. If not you then you may help someone. Read the list of meds n first aid to carry.
  21. Carry biscuits for strays especially in mountains.
  22. Even if you have a GPS. Carry a physical map or hand-drawn map. It’s classy and fun.
  23. Improvise, but always study the route you take.
  24. Driving in groups makes riding more fun.
  25. Return journeys are always faster.
  26. Try alternate routes while returning to keep it more interesting.
  27. Take tea breaks. Sometimes they give vital information about the roads ahead. Especially in mountains.
  28. Always carry extra clutch cable and accelerator cable.
  29. Carry a tube if you have tubeless tires. If rims bent you can use it for an emergency.
  30. Take frequent stops when a route is scenic. Don’t drive and look sideways.
  31. Use real-time Google location sharing for safety.
  32. Always know about the fuel station locations on your route.
  33. Always wave or salute when you see an army truck pass by. They are working away from family for you.
  34. Always check the depth of water before you cross.
  35. Also, trace your safe path before attempting.
  36. Waterproof riding boots are important.
  37. You are never a pro on roads, you are always learning.
  38. Carry vitamin c drinks.
  39. Black ice is more dangerous than fresh snow.
  40. There’s a blind spot behind which you can’t see in the mirror.
  41. Bikes love cleanliness, especially on engine fins to dissipate heat.
  42. Don’t drive after sunset unless urgent.
  43. Aux lights are important while riding after sunset.
  44. Don’t throw aux beam on to incoming vehicles.
  45. Use hazards in fog.
  46. Maintain sufficient distance from the front vehicle.
  47. Never drive fast in fog. Stay close to the left.
  48. Morning exercise is important, even when away from your gym. Do proper stretch.
  49. Yoga & Meditation improve concentration. Make it part of life.
  50. Don’t litter. Avoid single-use plastic. Dump waste appropriately.
  51. Don’t drink and drive and never do drugs.
  52. Give way, if someone honks from behind driving aggressively faster than you. It could be an Emergency.
  53. Always make way for ambulance and emergency services.
  54. Good gloves are the ones that are safe and comfortable. Prefer breathable gloves for summer.
  55. Always wear a fleece liner in winters. The easiest way to retain heat.
  56. Fruits are as important as proper food. Fibers help avoid constipation and flatulence on long rides.
  57. Don’t forget to enjoy the local delicacies at dinner.
  58. Carry plenty of coin tissues.
  59. Camping at random places may put you in trouble.
  60. Never trust the depth of a water-filled pothole.
  61. It’s a good idea to use reflective safety vests while driving at night.
  62. Put plenty of reflector sticker spots on the bike.
  63. The loud bike exhaust is not appreciated by the majority of people.
  64. Don’t blindly trust Google maps.
  65. Google maps may be more accurate than the local person.
  66. Don’t use earphones while driving. Ambient sounds are important.
  67. Use good quality mounts if you don’t want to lose your phone.
  68. Chances of finding a bad patch on a good road are higher than getting a good patch on a bad road.
  69. Follow speed limits, they are there for a reason.
  70. Wear at least level 2 CE certified body armor for better safety.
  71. Never overtake a vehicle that is already overtaking another vehicle.
  72. Carry your bike cover, it keeps attention away from touch feel people
  73. Better late than never. Never rush.
  74. Sunglasses help you keep a light head.
  75. Chain tension is important for a smooth ride. Not too tight, not too much slack.
  76. Hazards are not disco light, use responsibly.
  77. Clean air filters make bike drive lean. Also clean helmet inner layer regularly.
  78. Rearview Mirrors are not for checking yourself out while driving.
  79. Don’t put oil in hair to avoid helmet odor.
  80. Make sure the pillion understands your riding dynamics. Pillion should not lean when you do.
  81. Travel light.
  82. It’s a good idea to catch your breakfast after riding and not start riding after breakfast.
  83. Leave early in the morning to enjoy the fresh air.
  84. Make a playlist of the songs you enjoy while riding.   (Compile top rider songs)
  85. Know where don’t fly the drones than knowing where to fly.
  86. Take more videos than photos. Carry enough storage cards.
  87. Practice applying both brakes simultaneously and gradually.
  88. Keep ABS on when on good roads.
  89. Pin the stops you take on Google maps.
  90. Populate honest reviews.
  91. Don’t run away from cops.
  92. Carry a tear-proof trash bag to carry your trash. Proudly use ‘Environment-friendly’ stickers on the motorbike.
  93. Respect the mountains. Drive respectfully.
  94. Respect the wild. Don’t tease jungle animals.
  95. Carry a strong pocket flashlight for emergency breakdown after sunsets.
  96. Always use disc locks or chain locks for added bike safety.
  97. Join Community forums to gain more knowledge about routes.
  98. Use your motorcycle, don’t abuse it.
  99. Carry a small diary and make travel notes.
  100. Dream, Discover, and Explore.
  101. Make your own list of 101 Tips for driving safely on Indian roads.

Do you have a tip, trick, or useful suggestion for road trips that you wish to share? Do let us know in the comments and we will update it here.

Ride Responsibly, Ride Safe.

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