Before riding a borrowed bike, run these quick checks

Before riding a borrowed bike, run these quick checks  25th January 2023

Two-wheelers are extremely convenient modes of conveyance. Being easy to control and manoeuvre makes them a popular choice, resulting in the continued exponential growth of the Indian two-wheeler market.

While it is known that bikes are relatively unsafe compared to cars, an experienced rider doesn't face safety issues when following general driving rules. The additional cover provided by bike insurance enhances the safety quotient for riders and protects them from contingent financial losses resulting from accidents.

However, if you choose to borrow a bike, it becomes essential to run some quick checks to assess its condition before taking it for a ride. Whether you borrow it from a friend or rent one from a bike rental, here is a list of basic checks before riding a borrowed bike.

1. Inspect the tyres:
A bike's tyres are essential components that can cause or prevent an accident. Before you turn on the ignition system, ensure that the tyres are in good shape. Borrowed bikes have the possibility of having worn-out tyres, which you need to inspect thoroughly before you ride them. This is to ensure that no issues arise while you're on the road that may leave you stranded.
While a quick look can help identify any significant problems, such as deep treads or punctures, it is ideal to use your hand or kick the tyres to check the air pressure. The tyres' ideal PSI is listed on the body of the bike in case you need to fill up air in the tyres.

2. Don’t miss out on the brakes:
Well-functioning brakes are just as important as tyres to ensure the rider's safety. Depending on the type of two-wheeler, you may not have a foot brake to test. In the case of bikes, engage the foot brake and gauge the force required to engage the brake. Also, check the brake levers near the handlebars to test how much pressure is needed to apply the brakes. Even if you skip some of the other steps on this checklist, this is a non-negotiable inspection.

3. Did you check the side mirrors:
Every rider adjusts their side mirrors as per their convenience. While they may not seem important, they are essential for ensuring complete visibility of the rear traffic to make appropriate judgements on the road. If you have trouble setting them right, use this trick- adjust the mirrors such that the inward corners of the mirrors show your shoulder line on each side respectively. This way, you can have an optimal view of the vehicles behind your bike.

4. Indicators:
Poor indication habits while switching lanes and taking turns are leading causes of accidental grazing of vehicles, which sometimes escalate into massive accidents. This can be avoided by simply locating and checking the functioning of the turn signal controls, also called indicators and testing them before riding the borrowed bike.

5. Gear shifts:
What makes bikes difficult compared to scooters is the need to shift gears. If you have borrowed a manual transmission bike, check its gear shift mechanism to efficiently and effectively switch between gears while riding.

6. Valid driver's licence:
For bike insurance to cover any unfortunate accident while you ride a borrowed vehicle, you must hold a valid driver's licence and not drive under the influence of any substance.

It is legally required to purchase bike insurance for every bike before it hits the road. While the policy can be purchased by either the owner or the short-term user, having valid bike insurance proof is essential. Check if the owner has already purchased a policy. If not, buy one for the short term in case of a rental to avoid legal troubles.

While your friend may have lent you a bike in good faith, it is necessary to check these aspects to ensure your safety. Additionally, inspect the bike's throttle, clutch, display, and the validity of bike insurance to avoid any mishaps and getting involved in unnecessary trouble due to poor maintenance of the borrowed bike.

Click HERE to buy a robust bike insurance.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.