If there’s one thing that big bike enthusiast Abu Bakar Othman enjoys, it must be cruising along trunk roads on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. In the span of three years, he has ridden his motorcycle across Malaysia and some towns in Southern Thailand.
But before each trip, Abu Bakar ensures he is well prepared for the ride.
“Motorcyclists should ensure their vehicles are in good working condition prior to a journey. When on a road trip, ensure you carry a few basic tools in case of emergency. Always be attentive to any changes in sound (exhaust pipe or engine) of your machine. These measures can make a big difference to your safety on the road,” says Abu Bakar, fondly known as Burn to his family members and friends.
Burn is also a member of the Brothers and Machines’ bikers club, made up of big bike enthusiasts who convoy on excursions. Most weekends, they travel to destinations like Ipoh or Kuantan for meals. These passionate bikers have also participate in overnight rides to Betong in Thailand, Kota Bharu and Kuala Trengganu.
He shares a few safety tips before heading out on a road trip on a two-wheeler.
> Maintenance is key
The engine is the heart of your motorcycle. Ensure it is serviced before a road trip. Don’t forget to check the tyre pressure too.
> Dress to ride, not to kill
Put on suitable clothing on a bike tour. Riding pants, boots, jacket and a full face helmet are essential on a long distance ride. A Bluetooth communicator helps you to converse with travelling buddies.
> Research each destination
If you are planning to ride along the trunk roads, ensure you have a map with you. Download GPS navigation softwares like Waze of Google Maps to keep track of your location.
> Obey the speed limit
While big bikes can cruise at high speed, it is important to follow the speed restrictions on roads. Have respect for motorists and keep a safe distance between other vehicles.
> Rest and relax
Fatigue is one of the main reasons of road accidents. Have sufficient rest before each ride. Recognise the warning signs and stop at rest areas to avoid prolong tiredness. Be realistic about your destination rides.