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7 Guidelines for Riding a Motorbike in the Wet

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by Tony Dyer (subscribe)
I've made it to my life's goal - the old age pension. Now I write for fun. Hope you enjoy reading.
Published August 21st 2014
rainy day, motorbike, riding guidelines
The Garage - The Best Place to be in the Rain


What a day the rain is pelting down so hard I can hardly hear myself think. There's no chance I'll be taking the bike out for a trundle over the hills and dales. I have never found riding a motorbike in the rain to be enjoyable and, these days, as I only ride for pleasure I can't see any point in it.

I have one piece of advice for those who think it might be fun to take their bike out in the rain don't!

Don't ever ride in the rain. You get wet in the most inconvenient and uncomfortable places, you are blinded when your visor fogs up, rain drops sting any part of you exposed to the elements and your bike develops a mind of its own and goes where it wants without regard to your wishes. If you deliberately ride out in the rain I don't think I can help you.

That said, there are times when it is impossible to avoid the rain. It can come out of nowhere and catch you out on the open road or you could ride onto a place where it has already been and left its residue all over the road. When this happens and you can't stop under an overpass until the rain passes then here are seven guidelines to help you get straight home:

1. Keep Calm and Motor On
Once the rain hits relax and ride as smoothly as you can. Try not to grab the bars tightly and keep yourself loose and in your normal sitting position. If you're nervous and rigid the bike will feel nervous and rigid and that surely cannot be a good thing.

2. Keep Vertical
This is good advice at any time on a bike but even more so in the wet. The ride will be much smoother if you are upright when you are doing things. You will be almost as safe as in the dry if you apply the brakes, change gears or accelerate while you have the biggest bit of tyre you possibly can on the road; and that's when you are upright

3. Forget the Wheelstands
Doing things with as much rubber as possible gives you the most traction as possible. Modern bike tyres give good grip on any surface, even wet ones, so slow down, stay vertical and remember to look at where you want to go and not where the bike is on the road.

Be especially careful around pools of water laying on the road or they could cause a complete loss of traction resulting in you and your bike hydroplaning down the highway with no control at all.

4. Skid Row Blues
Riding in the rain can turn you blue; either through sadness or cold. But it can also put you on the skids especially when it's the first rain for a while. All the oily residue left on the road during the dry will be particularly slippery, especially where vehicles are often stationary, such as at traffic lights, stop signs and leading into round-a-bouts.

5. Slippery When Wet
It's good to remember that wet weather makes all road markings and other road infrastructure such as cat's eyes, manhole covers and, if you are in the Carina/Camp Hill area or on the Gold Coast, tram tracks, more dangerous than usual.

6. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Visor
When the rain hits, your first problem will be your ability to see where you are going. If you are silly enough to ride without eye protection then good luck with the rain drops in the eyeballs! Open your visor a crack or it's going to fog up and then get your head in the right position so you have a clear view of where you are going this means you will need to look over your windscreen, if fitted, and not through it.

7. Comfort is King
Rainy weather can be very distracting, especially when the wind chill factor joins up with the cold water seeping inside your clothes.

Even Queensland is not sunny all the time and you will get caught in the rain sooner or later. That's when you want to make sure you have good quality wet weather gear that fits properly and is well maintained. Always carry it with you and keep it handy you don't want to have to empty everything out to get to it.

Whenever wet weather hits and my one riding tip is impossible then stick to my guidelines and get yourself home as quickly as you can. Funnily enough I have been told some people enjoy the challenge of riding in the rain; it takes all types. For these people I have a supplementary tip they are going to need sooner or later; remember, even when the pain is getting unbearable, the paramedics and hospital emergency staff are trying to help!
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Why? Where the cold water ends up can be very uncomfortable.
Your Comment
If you don't ride in the rain, you can never truly appreciate riding in the sunshine. Yes,more care is required but continuing developments in tyre technology, a wide range of effective wet weather gear not to mention being able to filter through the inevitable longer queues of traffic makes wet weather riding not only enjoyable but an opportunity to improve your skills as a rider. Keep your rubber on the road Dude. Paul
by Ptier (score: 0|4) 777 days ago
If you don't ride in the rain, you can never truly appreciate riding in the sunshine. Yes,more care is required but continuing developments in tyre technology, a wide range of effective wet weather gear not to mention being able to filter through the inevitable longer queues of traffic makes wet weather riding not only enjoyable but an opportunity to improve your skills as a rider. Keep your rubber on the road Dude. Paul
by Ptier (score: 0|4) 777 days ago
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