Photo credit The Star Publications
Tips on a safe return to riding
The Malaysian Government has planned to end Movement Control Order (MCO) after 12th May 2020. It means it is time to get back to riding.
But that does not mean you can jump on your motorcycle and ride like you did before.
Warm up the engine
If did not already do so, it is now time to get the engine running. First and foremost, listen for any abnormal sounds or noises. Allow the engine to run for at least 20 minutes to let the oil and coolant circulate. Doing so also charges up the battery.
Check the bike first
Check the bike for leaks under the engine, around the forks and brake fluid reservoirs. Check the coolant level if your bike is liquid-cooled. Give your GIVI cases some push and pull. Also, make sure that all the lights and electronics are functioning properly. Any warning light should be taken seriously so do visit the workshop immediately.
Check the tyres
Tyre pressure drops if you have not ridden for some time. Also, check the tyres’ condition and look for abnormalities such as cracks or flat spots.
Service the bike
It is best to service the bike although you may have covered just a small mileage prior to the MCO. Fuel, oil and fluids sitting idly in the bike may have gone through some oxidation. Fresh fluids would do wonders for the bike.
Reprogram the mind and body
Your mind and body need time to adjust to the speed. Your reflexes will also be slower. To overcome this, ride relaxed and build speed up in stages. More importantly, focus on getting your riding techniques back first.
Scrub in those tyres
Tyres that have remained idle for too long tend to be slippery. That is due the compound releasing its oil to the surface. This can usually be seen with sports performance tyres that have been run at operating temperature prior to being idle. Because of this, you need to ride carefully and scrub them in almost like they are fresh. Do not go out there and start slamming the bike into corners. Instead, ride smoothly until you see that the blueish stripes are gone.
Remember social distancing
The Covid-19 virus is far from beaten. Consequently, it is best to limit yourself to solo riding, or riding with your spouse. It is not the best time to organize or join any convoys, yet.
Face masks and hand sanitizer
Remember to also bring along face masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer. You can carry these in a GIVI waist pouch. It is not easy to wear a mask under the helmet, so having masks in your pouch means you can reach for it when you stop somewhere.