Just a few days ago I was on my way back to the office on a 200cc motorcycle. Admittedly, it's not a perfect motorcycle but I don't mind its shortcomings too much. After all, how much of handling prowess and power can you really experience when you're cutting across a crowded city through stop-n-go traffic. So far, it has not let me down on my short city commutes.
That day, however, was different. As I turned into my lane, which turns off from the main road into a fairly steep slope, quite suddenly I felt the front end of the motorcycle wash out from underneath me without even the slightest hint of a warning. The next thing I knew the motorcycle and I were sliding down and came to rest at the end of the 10 to 15 meter slope.
My first instinct was to curse the motorcycle's inability to cope with turns, bad geometry, etc, but as my brain stopped racing and my lungs returned to breathing normally, I realized that there must have been some other reason for the motorcycle to have behaved so unpredictably. After all, I turn into that same road once every day and sometimes even more if I use the motorcycle to run errands. And never once before have I fallen, either on this motorcycle or on any of the numerous motorcycles and scooters that I have ridden home over the past few years. What had changed then? Why did I fall so suddenly? Unable to control my sudden surge of curiosity about the incident, the discreet investigator in me took over and I walked back up the slope after picking up the motorcycle and putting it one the stand by the side of the lane at a visible spot but well away from any traffic.
On closer inspection I realized that the reason for my tumble was a large patch of oil that had been spilled on the road. The telltale tire mark on the patch reconfirmed my assumption.
It's really strange, isn't it, that there are so many trucks that ply in our cities without covering their storage tanks with such brazen impunity. It's such a common sight to see a large trucks that leak oil like it's a free substance.
Leaky vehicles that spill oil wherever they stop, even if only for a minute or two. Does anyone ever stop to think what effect such spillage could have in a country where a majority of the working class commute on two-wheels? I think not. Our apathy to the convenience (or inconvenience) of others is indeed legendary.Tag: OilHandlingPerformanceCrashDangerRidingGeometry