How To Ride a Motorcycle in the Rain

Experience will always be the best teacher when motorcycle riding. And this is never truer than when having to ride on wet pavement. But that doesn't mean with added experience you can ride as fast as or as aggressively as you might normally on dry pavement.

  1. Maintain traffic speed. Never linger in a car driver's blind spots (back left corner and back right corner of their car). Your best bet to be seen is to stay in front of traffic packs. Unfortunately, car drivers are looking for "big blocks" instead of motorcycles -- always keep this in mind.
  2. Keep your distance. Keep a slightly larger distance from the car ahead of you to minimize spray coming off their tires.
  3. Spot to stop. Be aware you will not be able to stop as quickly as on dry pavement so maintain a larger braking distance between vehicles. Always keep vigilant for a place to come to a stop if the need arises.
  4. No sudden moves. Provided you are keeping them up-to-date with fresh rubber when necessary, your tires will serve you well. Street tires are meant to grip in both dry and wet but, just like in a car, the possibility exists of skidding on wet pavement.
  5. Brake before a corner. If you are turning a corner, do all of your braking in the upright position before getting to the corner. When you have slowed down properly, make the turn. Always make sure you are not dragging your brakes -- this pertains to wet and dry conditions.
  6. Trust yourself. Your motorcycle and street tires are designed to handle well in both wet and dry situations. Trust your motorcycle, but most of all, trust your ability. Ride conservatively on wet pavement and use good judgment to make it to your destination safely.

Reminders:

  • Use a spot-resistant cleaner, such as Rain-X, on both your windshield and face shield. This will help to deflect raindrops when you are riding.
  • Carry waterproof gloves in the carrier below the passenger seat in case you get caught in the rain. If you're packing for a motorcycle trip, don't forget these. The temperature will, no doubt, drop and your hands will feel the cold first -- especially if your gloves are soaking wet!

And, most importantly, if the weather is just too much to handle, find a cozy, warm coffee shop, snuggle in until the rain lets up, and enjoy the ambiance as well as a cup of coffee. No ride is worth risking your life when the weather throws us a curve ball. Ride safely and as noted before, "rubber side down."

 

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Comments

Dec
10

A very helpful article and a must read of bikers in rainy regions!

By Akshay Surendran