One of the big reasons for having a bike is to have fun and that can mean engaging in a number of activities when out on the road. Possibly one of the most enjoyable things you can do as a biker is make a water crossing – but only if you take the necessary safety precautions and advice.
Here at We Want Your Motorbike, we want to encourage safe and enjoyable riding amongst all bikers and that’s why we’ve together these ten top tips on how to achieve a safe water crossing.
1. Check The Location
You don’t want to go headlong into something that might damage your bike or put you at risk so check the bottom of the crossing for rocks, slime or other submerged material that could cause problems.
2. Cool Down
You should be in a cool and calm mood when attempting a water crossing and so should your bike! Your bike needs to cool down before you get in the water as a hot engine and cold water can add up to trouble.
3. Remember That Things Change
Even if you have used the same crossing before you still need to make checks as long periods without rain may have increased the growth of slime while heavy rain or floods might have moved new, unseen obstacles into position.
4. Be Aware Of Concrete
Concrete causeways can make things easier but they can also be deceptive. A smooth surface can be treacherous in slimy or wet conditions and the lack of traction can be very dangerous.
5. Research Recent Floods
Flooded waterways mean unpredictability. Rising water levels or faster than usual water flows are bad enough but the risk of a sudden surge can mean even the most simple water crossing is hard to gauge.
6. Don’t Go Solo
You shouldn’t attempt to cross water on your own. If something goes wrong you could get stuck and put yourself in unnecessary danger so always take someone with you or at least make sure you can contact someone in an emergency.
7. Be Prepared To Use Your Feet
When you are sure it’s safe to ride across, go through the water with your feet on the foot-pegs being ready to use your feet if you slip. Never drag your feet along.
8. Cover Your Air Intakes
Remember that if you ride into water at speed a wave may rise up over your front wheel and cause problems with your air intake. Knowing how high your air intake is means you can use a cut-off water bottle to cover it while you cross if needed.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Dismount and Walk
It might seem defeatist to suggest walking the crossing but if you are unsure of the safety of riding across it can be best to get off and walk your bike using first gear whilst working the clutch slowly.
10. Be prepared For All Eventualities
Always carry a tool kit to help your bike recover in the case of taking a dive and a soaking. The spark plugs, header pipe, sump plug and air filter might all need attention to get you up and running again.