Reasons Why You Should Not Leave Your Two-wheeler Outside in the Sunlight

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 11/09/2023

Recently, some electric scooters in India caught fire last summer while standing in harsh sunlight. Without a miss, it created headlines across the internet and social media. While those were sporadic and isolated incidents, they surely raised a few questions.

‘Should you leave your two-wheeler outside in the sunlight?’

Here in this blog, we will answer the question with proper reasoning. But before that, we would like to inform you about the insurance policy for bikes - why do you need it, and how to get one.

Having a third-party bike insurance policy is a legal mandate in India, and riding without one can draw you hefty penalties. With that said, one should not buy an insurance policy for bikes just for the sake of it but for its immense benefits. A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy can save a lot of money in bike repair in case your bike is damaged in an accident. It also compensates for stolen bikes or bikes damaged beyond repair.

Now, let us discuss why you should not park your bike in the sunlight.

Why Should You Not Leave Your Two-wheeler Outside in the Sunlight

India has a tropical monsoon climate. The eastern and western regions are humid and hot, and the central region is dry. In the summer, the temperatures get very high, and the humidity makes it unbearable. In this situation, if someone goes out on his motorcycle, he will most likely park it in open sunlight. It is pretty much unavoidable, and that is probably the reason behind the concern. There is hardly any way out. For city dwellers, it is even hard to find shade for parking.

But you should avoid parking in direct sunlight for the following reasons.

Fading of Colour: If you park your bike under direct sunlight, especially in summer, the colour may fade. Fading of colour does not happen in a day but after prolonged exposure. Rain is also a reason behind early colour distortion. It is a big problem because once the colour is distorted, restoring it to its original glory can be expensive.

Tyre Damage: Leaving your motorcycle in the sun for prolonged hours can be detrimental to its tyres. The tyres become soft and lose their strength. Over a period of time, the tyres will start thinning and eventually, they will have a shorter lifespan.

Heating up of the Seat: The most annoying part of leaving your motorcycle in the sun is that it heats up the seat and the handlebar. The moment you sit on your bike and prepare to ride off, the ‘hot seat’ will probably make you jump off. Constant exposure to direct sunlight degrades the seat’s quality and decreases life.

Causing Damage to the Battery: The battery of a bike is an essential component, and leaving your motorcycle in the sun can cause damage to it. In our starting note, we mentioned that electric scooters caught fire while being parked in direct sunlight. The reason behind the self-ignition was the battery, which did heat up after prolonged exposure to the summer sun. We hope those bike owners had a two-wheeler insurance policy to cover their total loss*.

Fuel Evaporation: While many people argue that petrol inside the bike’s fuel tank evaporates while the vehicle is parked under sunlight, the chances of it happening are very thin. There is no arguing the fact that petrol, diesel, or gasoline evaporate at room temperature. And the evaporation is accelerated under exposure to sunlight. But does petrol evaporate from bike’s tank? Probably not. The reason is that the fuel tank of motorcycles is designed to withstand heat and lock in the fuel vapour. The fuel may get significantly warm inside the tank, but it is highly unlikely to leave its enclosure.

Causes Damage to Accessories: If you have bike accessories made of plastic and rubber, constant exposure to the extreme heat of the sunlight can significantly damage them. Cheap plastics and rubber tend to harden after prolonged exposure to rain and sun, and they become brittle quickly.

So, is it bad to leave a motorcycle outside in the sunlight?

Yes.

Direct sunlight can cause irreversible damage to your bike. Therefore, it is highly recommended to park them in the shade.

A Pro Tip:

Sometimes, finding a shaded parking space is almost impossible, particularly in cities. In such scenarios, you can use an age-old method of carrying a long towel with you. Many people cover their bikes with a long, fluffy bath towel from the handlebars to the back railing. It is a wonderful jugaad that works pretty well in keeping the bike’s seat from turning into a frying pan (figuratively). However, this trick is not very applicable to scooters.

[*Total Loss is an insurance term that means the bike is damaged beyond repair or stolen. In a case like this, the insurance company pays you the IDV or Insured Declared Value of the vehicle. The IDV will be mentioned in your policy documents.]

To Conclude

Almost all parts of India witness blazing summers, and it is a terrible time for people commuting on their two-wheelers. Riding the bike in extreme heat is torture, and parking it in the same weather condition is nothing short of a risk. We hope this blog gives you an idea about how to protect your bike from sunlight. Before we close the article, we would like to emphasise the importance of having an insurance policy for bikes. And when buying 2-wheeler insurance online, do not forget to compare two-wheeler insurance on Tata AIG to get the right bike insurance for you.

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