Defensive Driving Tips

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
If you aren’t using front brakes, you are missing out on the fun. And no applying front brakes does not mean locking them, it is has to be modulated to ensure that you are using them to just shed the speed.

I am neither the best rider out there nor the fastest, but I not only use front brakes extensively in hills on good surface but also on gravel filled down hills and apart from maybe a handful of instances, I never had any issue. The real benefit of using the front brake is, it helps to straighten up the bike, while the rear really helps change angles/direction a lot more swiftly.

Of course I could be wrong about all this, but frankly speaking, I don’t see any real benefits of excluding the most powerful and effective brake in the motorcycle, while you are riding in hills, especially downhill!
 

rock75

Member
Never overtake on a blind turn on hills, You never know when your luck runs out! Use correct gear to minimise breaking.

Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on road, rarely observed by drivers in India, I've had many times seen, big SUVs flashing headlights almost touching my car's rear and I can't break because of something ahead of me for fear of being rear-ended by these SUVs.

No sudden lane changes, and sharp turns.

Always stop-look-go when joining a main road from side road.

Traffic on right has a right of way on round abouts.

The best safety measure is to keep speed <80 kmph, you have less chance of controlling things that way.

Try to focus on road and not on other things while driving,

Do not look at the co passenger while talking, while you are at the wheels.

Do not indulge in a ego battle on road with other drivers!

Try to anticipate other drivers' reactions and avoid unnecessary breaking. Use engine breaking(coming down to second gear along with breaks), esp when you have to come to a sudden halt.

This one is for pedestrians; use pedestrian pathways and do not walk on roads, if you are three and have to use road try to walk in a column shape and not as if in a row! For god's sake , never walk on the inside of a roundabout, facing traffic!! I've seen many people doing this, the oncoming traffic has no chance of seeing you and it is like committing suicide. normally, walk on the side facing traffic and not on left side, as if driving.
 
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komodo

Abeer Aulakh
But heey, what do I know?
I'm just a woman and a blonde one as well.
Your sarcasm just made my day!:D

1) The thing that I always follow is that I keep on checking my rear view mirror after every few seconds. You don't get any surprises then.

2) I slow down now when crossing a village or town on the highway (learnt it the hard way) and slow down whenever I see a mass of people. People normally tend to lose their intelligence whenever they are in a group. So there is more of a chance of them jumping in front of your car or motorcycle.

3) I always ride with the headlight switched on on the highway. But this is related more to riding because I believe as a biker you are a mere spec to other vehicles. So if the headlight is switched on there is more chance of you being visible to other vehicles.

4) Traffic on the highway is always in waves, a few vehicles driving at almost the same speed and close to each other. So either travel faster than that wave or slow down and let them pass. Chances of a collision increase when you are in that traffic wave.
 
@Yogesh
Of course I apply the front brake on the straights, I was talking about riding corners/bends/turns etc.

Although I'm not a big fan of front break use on downhill if it's not on tarmac.
Usually I start braking with the back brake and join in with the front brake on all roads. Or if a stronger breaking is required, brake simultaniously.
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
I was talking about corners as well, never had problem applying front brakes in turns. In fact normally I use rear brakes for maybe 20-30% of the total braking powers.
 
@Komodo

I also ride like you list in hyour tips.

The only thing is the use of the headlight on the bike. In my countrie the use of the headlight in the daytime is promoted heavily because it increases the visibility.

In several Asian countries I got stopped by police, because I was using the headlight in the daytime.

The first day I rode with my front light on in Delhi, aksked a traffic cop for directions and he told me to switch of the headlight.

What's the traffic law on using the headlight in the daytime in India? Is it punishable?

It's annoying that people point out that you have your light on in the daytime. They probably mean well, thinking I did it accidentally.

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Yogesh

Are you talking about braking in the turn, or before the turn?

Applying the front brake in the turn would make the bike come upright and loose your line.

(ps, I'm navigating on a phone and can't give out any likes at the moment ;) )
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
It isn’t punishable, however since most people don’t know the use of it, they think that you have left it on by mistake and hence ask/signal you to switch it off. Most of us ride with the lights on, while touring.

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Braking before and during turn, if needed. While the front brake does causes the bike to straighten up, fact is, if you are trying to slow down during a turn, then you will likely want to reduce angle of lean as well. Have said that, if you are braking going into the turn, then keeping the pressure applied slightly does not causes the bike to straighten up, though one has to be really careful about the pressure.
 
Usually I'm not riding at speeds were I need to apply both brakes before the turn. Just. slight usage of the footbrake.. But I know what you mean.

Maybe we should give this topic back to the car people now, who only have 1 brake ;)
 

komodo

Abeer Aulakh
@Komodo

I also ride like you list in hyour tips.

The only thing is the use of the headlight on the bike. In my countrie the use of the headlight in the daytime is promoted heavily because it increases the visibility.

In several Asian countries I got stopped by police, because I was using the headlight in the daytime.

The first day I rode with my front light on in Delhi, aksked a traffic cop for directions and he told me to switch of the headlight.

What's the traffic law on using the headlight in the daytime in India? Is it punishable?

It's annoying that people point out that you have your light on in the daytime. They probably mean well, thinking I did it accidentally.
There's no law against using the headlight in daytime. It's just that people can't mind their own business, they will do everything else except for concentrating on riding/driving. From all my trips so far, I've noticed people in Himachal really going crazy if the bike's headlight is on! I've had 2 incidents where about 4-5 people actually blocked the highway so that they could force me to stop just to tell that the headlight is on! So many more of cops stopping me just for the headlight.

Another tip: Since drivers in our country can't/won't follow their line, the best way to figure out if the vehicle will swerve into your lane is to look at the tyres. The tyres are the first thing that move even before the body of the vehicle moves. So a quick glance at the tyres of the vehicle you are going to overtake will tell you if it's going to swerve or turn.
 
I tend to look at the head of the driver in front of me if possible. His head/nose will move to the right before he starts his steering.
Of course I always honk at day or dip at night before overtake. Again looking to see if the head changes direction after my signal.
I have a double horn on the bike which really makes a difference when you want to pass a big/noisy truck.

Did you know that using a horn or dipper is forbidden in Holland and most other western countries? The horn is only to be used when there is immediate danger. The fine is apx R 5.500.
 
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