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Riding tips that save lives! In conversation with Rajeev Kapoor

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2020 G 310 G

Riding a two-wheeler is a considerably different experience than driving a car. Along with complete exposure to the natural elements, a biker is also subjected to a lot more risks and dangers than the occupants of a vehicle. While a two-wheeler might seem pretty mainstream, following these tips can indeed extend your lifespan and decrease the chances of accidents considerably!

Although this has been repeatedly emphasised for ages, helmets are surprisingly still overlooked when riding. Helmets help protect the rider in an accident, but they also improve the riding experience. The visor present on a good helmet eliminates any air, dust or other small particles from entering the eyes, thus letting the rider see clearer and farther than while riding without a helmet.

Not just in India, but helmet safety is a global concern. Luckily for us, we have an indigenous brand keen on improving helmet awareness and coping with the lack of helmets in developing countries, Steelbird. Steelbird is credited with being one of Asia’s largest helmet manufacturers and an Indian brand supplying worldwide. Due to its expansive worldwide distribution network, manufacturing capacity, high quality, and affordable range of helmets, the Indian manufacturer and the FIA have collaborated for its global road safety programme. With the support of the FIA Member Clubs’ worldwide network, the programme aims to provide high-quality helmets meeting United Nations Regulation 22.05 in those territories that have faced problems with low-quality helmets in their local market.

In an exclusive interview with Exhibit Magazine, Steelbird’s Managing Director, Rajeev Kapoor, shared some insights about the company’s plan. Among the top priority was providing sturdy, attractive and durable half-face helmets to countries like Uganda, post which its distribution will spread throughout Africa. The company also plans to improve helmet standards in India by increasing its already considerable array of helmet options. Apart from being the managing director of Steelbird, Mr Kapoor is also the  President of the Two-Wheeler Helmet Manufacturers Association in India. He confirmed that the helmet standards would get stricter by the year, and the quality offered to the consumers will drastically improve, leading to more incentives for wearing helmets.

Apart from helmets, there are also some other tips that you can follow to improve your riding skills or stay safe in general. Not every person is a born racer; even professional racers have their share of crashes and broken bones. Hence, it is most important to understand your limits! More than having the financial capacity to ride a particular motorcycle, ask yourself if you have the mental ability to do so. Being overwhelmed and intimidated by your bike can lead to disastrous consequences, as displayed multiple times by crashing videos available on YouTube. These videos also serve as a makeshift premonition, so thou hast been warned!

Batman might look cool on his jet-black motorcycle, clad in jet-black armour. But he is Batman, and he can do whatever he feels like. However, for us, regular folks, that is one of the most disastrous ideas one can come up with. As a biker, night riding is incredibly challenging as the visibility is drastically reduced, and the risk is consequently higher. Even during the day, outside rearview mirrors (ORVMs) of cars have certain blind spots that drivers can look at. Riding in one of these blind spots can be hazardous, as the driver is unaware of your presence and can manoeuvre to your disadvantage. Hence, always stay visible!

Often motorcyclists develop a personal bond with their machines, sometimes even giving them names. While it might seem silly, it is, in fact, a valuable practice. Taking care of your motorcycle and keeping it in prime running condition is of utmost importance. This prevents any major mechanical problems and drastically reduces the risk of faulty mechanics leading to a significant accident.

These tips might not make you the best rider in the world, but they will keep you alive!

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Advait Berde
When not riding thinking and dreaming tech.

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