YouTube Google+

10 water Crossing Tips For Riders

  • 10 water Crossing Tips For Riders

    Water crossings! The mere sound of these two words coming together is enough to nudge the rider in you.

    We have seen many riders on their off-roading sprees cringe when they have to cross one while for the others, it’s one of the most fun-filled activities on their rides. June being the start of the season to cover the high mountain passes of Ladakh and Spiti, it is also the season when glacial melts come meandering down the snow laden slopes of the Himalayan ranges. We come across rivulets, streams and naalas on our way and the moment we see one our mind exclaims, loud and clear, ‘Water-crossing!” Some in fear, while a few in excitement.

    We should always exercise extreme caution no matter how large or small a water-crossing is because, we can never be larger than Mother Nature, and no matter how experienced we are!

    1. First and foremost, the best way to negotiate water crossings is to go around them, wherever possible. Unnecessarily crossing water tends to slow you down, may cause damage to your bike and even injuries to you or your rider buddies.

    2. Don’t just jump into a water-crossing. Try and evaluate its depth, force and dangers first. You may wait for four-wheelers to pass through it and note the level of water at its tyres. You may let a few more vehicles pass so as to know which side of the water-crossing is safer to cross and if there are any pits and boulders in it. Just in case the road is pretty much empty and you cannot afford to wait for long, take a stick and probe through it.

    3. Always gauge the water level and never make any assumptions even if you have gone through it recently. Landslides, glacial melts and flash-floods cause instant changes in the hills. The pits could become deeper or maybe sleet or moss has formed making the crossing slippery.  This is an extremely important tip for those riding to Ladakh or to the Spiti Valley.

    4. Talking of slipping over, it is quite dangerous to fall in the middle of nowhere. So always be careful, not only on off-roads but on tarmac or concrete too. Sleet tends to form over damp areas of road, when the temperature drops low, which could make you slip quite badly. Same is the case with moss. So, if you do not wish to land up as a big heap on the roadside, be focused. Let your grip be firm, maintain your pace and avoid the use of unnecessary clutch and brake work.

    5. In the high mountain passes of the Himalayas, most water-crossings are the result of glaciers melting. The melting begins after sunrise, as the heat increases and stops around sunset to form icicles, shapes and mounds. Try and cross majority of these water-crossings by noon as the force of water increases by the passing hour.

    6. If you are asked by the authorities, locals or regular commuters not to cross any water body at a particular time, take their word for it and do not venture into it. Doing so could be extremely dangerous and may turn out to be a fatal risk.

    7. Always stay away from flooded water. Notice the flow, it could be awry, strong and fast to rise. Floods bring with them boulders, branches, concrete slabs, poles and wires….even bridges, at times! Never ever try to cross flooded waters even if it seems to be a low-rising flood since floods cannot be predicted, neither their direction nor their strength.

    8. If stuck between boulders in a water crossing, do not panic. Put your bike in neutral, restart and ride over the boulders. Don’t tax your clutch plates and brakes unnecessarily. Leave the levers and let your bike do its job. It is made to take you through this and it will…why hold on to your clutch and brakes?! 

    9. While crossing water, always keep your feet on the foot pegs, ready to touch ground if needed. Never drag them besides your bike as you would be hurting yourself very badly if they hit a rock or any other object.

    10. Even if you need to stop your bike in water, never switch off a running engine by yourself. Doing so will suck in oodles of water through the exhaust pipe and malfunction immediately.

    Just as on all your rides, make sure to carry your toolkit, a set of fuses, a cloth and some oil to top-up, in case you need to check, remove or dry your bike parts. Two very important things you need to carry along with you on your ride are ‘your Spirit and your Cheer!’ Never let any falls or skids hamper your will to ride.

    Take care and always remember to have fun!

    You may also like :

    1. Tips to start a submerged bike

    2. All about ABS

Social Circle

Our preferred partner