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Thread: Riding in the Rain

  1. #1
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    Riding in the Rain

    What advice from your years of riding do you have for riding in the rain? Are you supposed to not use the front break like when you are on dirt?

    I was out riding today in rain and thought about this.

    Thanks

    Pedro in OKC,OK
    Last edited by dadayama; 09-10-2010 at 02:21 AM. Reason: said rear and meant to say front...

  2. #2
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    First, give yourself more room from traffic in front of and around you. After doing that, I would sum it up as "...everything in moderation."

    -- keep the speed down

    -- go easy on the acceleration

    -- go easy on the braking (I use my rear brake along with the front brake and never had any issues)

    -- go easy on the steering inputs

    -- turn off your cruise control

  3. #3
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Not use the rear brake, like in dirt? In my experience the lower the available traction (rain, snow, dirt, mud), the less you should rely on the front brake. A front wheel that is locked-up, especially in a turn, is very difficult to recover from. A rear wheel slide can be controlled....and fun.

    Artiee gave some good advice. Also watch for areas where there are heavy oil deposits, such as intersections; they are very slick.
    Kevin Huddy
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  4. #4
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    Wear "proper gear"... like a rainsuit.

    ride slower... brake more carefully... ride in the car ahead's tire track, especially in heavy rain....let them squeegie the road way...

    Rinse off the bike before you let it dry ...if possible.. Be careful you don't rub and scratch your paint...

  5. #5
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Got caught in a cloudburst yesterday...1st rain in a couple weeks. All the oil leeched out of the tarmac and the tire tracks looked like suds. After a while it washed away and was just wet. Tires can have a surprising amount of traction on wet pavement, but sewer lids and painted lines can be surprisingly slippery.
    Last edited by 35634; 09-10-2010 at 02:49 AM.
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  6. #6
    RK Ryder
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    PM Dave writes that in rain conditions roads/bikes have about 80% of the traction that they would have in dry conditions. Hence, as stated above, everything in moderation. He also advises that if an region has not had rain for quite some time, be advised to sit out the first 1/2 hour of rain while most of the oil slicks get washed away.
    Paul
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  7. #7
    criminaldesign
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    i got to do a track day on the SRR in the pouring rain. It's nuts what good tires can do.

  8. #8
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Good Lord, Pedro - you might as well start an oil thread!

    Seriously, I'll just throw in my two cents worth and then go make breakfast:

    1) When it first starts raining, take a break - get some fuel (heavier bike & less condensation!), coffee or a snack - that gives it about 10-15 minutes for the rain to flush oil and other crud off the roads. If there's lightning, the 'break' lasts until the lightning is no more - lightning kills.

    2) Put on rain gear before you're soaked (don't ask).

    3) Slow down a bit - while you'll have more traction than you might have thought, it will be less than before.

    4) Minimize lean angles - less traction .... remember.

    5) Open up distances between you and other traffic (in front and behind) - need a bigger safety margain than when it was dry out.

    6) Braking will be affected, so again - slow down, and use both brakes! Also, if you have additional driving lights, illuminate them - you're harder to see in the rain.

    7) Cruise control on wide open stretches with light traffic is OK if just a drizzle. If puddling is occurring, turn off the cruise - you risk hydroplaning.

    8) Relax and enjoy the fact that just because it's raining doesn't mean you're 'stranded.'

    Good Luck and Ride Safe!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  9. #9
    RSPENNACHIO
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    Don't forget your anti-fog treatment on your visor!

    For me any rain, no matter what the temperature = fog and any temp. below 55f = fog.

    I like cat crap but if you can't find it most sporting goods stores that sell goggles for swimming will have some sort of anti-fog drops our spray.

  10. #10
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    I swear by those thumb squeegees. The best motorcycle invention since the crampbuster. Cheap and functional. If I have been riding for a while I sometimes wish for rain so the water and sqeegee can clean the bugs off the faceshield.

  11. #11
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    A common misconception regarding riding in the dirt is using only the rear brake. On dirt, in the rain, all riding, your primary stopping tool is your front brake. No question about it, slippery conditions dictate proper control of not only both brakes but throttle and steering inputs.

    Your primary enemy in rain, providing the roads are in good condition and your riding skills are good, is seeing and being seen. Both those tasks can be difficult in heavy rain and traffic.

  12. #12
    angysdad
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    add a third wheel!

  13. #13
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Ditto all the good advice, and +100 on the painted lines and metal covers!

    That said, in moderate to heavy rain I prefer riding to driving as my GS tires shed water very efficiently and the curved visor of my helmet gives outstanding visibility compared to the flat windshield of my car where the water builds up between the wipers. Light rain, give me the car, but in a deluge the bike excels!
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
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  14. #14
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Your primary enemy in rain, providing the roads are in good condition and your riding skills are good, is seeing and being seen. Both those tasks can be difficult in heavy rain and traffic.


    You think it's hard to see out of your wet fogged faceshield? Think about the cage driver, warm and cozy and sleepy, listening to tunes, watching his GPS, and talking on his phone. He has no freaking clue you're out there.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  15. #15
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Not use the rear brake, like in dirt? In my experience the lower the available traction (rain, snow, dirt, mud), the less you should rely on the front brake.
    Sorry AKBeemer, that was a typo... meant to say front...

    Thanks for all the info so far.

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