Riding a motorcycle in a flood

With years of experiencing riding in some of the most extreme conditions in the world, GlobeBusters know a thing or two about carrying on riding when the going gets tough.

Back in 2013 they were on the Silk Road route from London to Beijing, when they hit some of the worst floods they had ever encountered, as they started the final leg in China. With four or five inches of water covering the road surface, lead rider Kevin picked a line and headed steadily into the water. Half way across, the bike hit the floor after catching an object under the water’s surface, and the force of the pannier hitting Kevin’s ankle left him with a hairline crack. With little choice but to push on, Kevin tightened up his ankle boot, and got help from his support rider to help keep both him and the bike moving.

In the May 2015 edition of RiDE Magazine, Kevin Sanders of GlobeBusters has been giving readers his tips on how to ride a motorcycle through the flood:

  • Take a closer look – Never just ride into a flood. The golden rule is always to look before you leap.
  • Use other traffic – After cracking his ankle, Kevin and the group of riders studies other vehicles to see what lines they took, and how far the water came up their wheels in order to gauge how deep it was. They can also indicate how uneven the ground is. If it is soft, you run the risk of your bike sinking. If in doubt, walk it and find out exactly what you are up against.
  • One at a time – If you decide to ride through a flood, pick an object on the other side, and pick a line to get to it. Don’t set off until your line is clear, and don’t follow other riders, let them get across first.
  • Thumb poised – Make sure you are ready to hit the kill switch at any moment, to avoid having water sucked in to the engine.

Remember that if you’re not 100% confident about riding through the flood, you can push your motorcycle across. If the water is deep enough, it will get into the exhaust or air intake and flood the engine, so make sure you tape up all the holes. Ensure you stay upstream of your bikes, so that if it goes down, you don’t get caught under it.

This year GlobeBusters are completing a number of rides around the world, all on Continental adventure tyres, including the new TKC 70.

Find all the latest from GlobeBusters here.