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Thread: Rainy Paranoia

  1. #16
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    I have done thousands of miles in the rain, maybe even tens of thousands of rain miles. I have always said, and tell my MSF students, "if you are prepared for rain riding it's not all that bad."

    If you're not prepared, its a riding hell. Much of what is said above applies. Here are some other factors:
    1. Right riding attitude about rain,..sssmmmoootttthhh in all your actions.
    2. Scan/search even more and further down the road. See what you have to plan for well before you get there. This relates very high to traction issues and options. As said above, the painted surface got you more than did the rain. In some cases, dry painted surfaces can be just as slick.
    3. Right riding gear makes ALL the difference. Dry, comfortable and reasonably warm lets you concentrate on the riding, makes scan/search much easier. BUT if all you focus is on how wet/cold/miserable you are, you're not focused on the riding.
    4. Right gear also means right tires/good tread. Traction is the premium, don't do anything to squander it. If you're habit is to ride every last mile out of your tires, down to no tread, you WILL pay very hard consequences if you include rain riding. I found out the hard way and have a titanium rod in my left leg to prove it.
    5. VISIBILITY is HUGE! Do anything you can to improve visibility in the rain, both for you and for others.
    6. Distance/space cushion: back off create more space.

    The actual load per square inch, and tire profile, on motorcycles is actually higher than that of cars on wet roads. So a motorcycle is less likely to hydroplane if that is a fear of rain riding. Doesn't mean you can just blast along, just saying hydroplaning is not as likely as people think.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  2. #17
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 175781 View Post
    I was painted super slick concrete that got me. .
    Some times they get too carry away with finishing those parking lot surfaces. If they get it like a garage floor it's bad news. Sometimes those big arrows or big rectangles at intersects are glued down plastic. Those suckers are really slick.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #18
    advrider.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyGrownup View Post
    You can also practice in the rain as I did a once or twice.

    1) Why would you video that? 2) Did you speed it up to look faster?

  4. #19
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Some times they get too carry away with finishing those parking lot surfaces. If they get it like a garage floor it's bad news. Sometimes those big arrows or big rectangles at intersects are glued down plastic. Those suckers are really slick.
    Gas Station concrete is smooth I suppose to aid clean up...however it is some of the slickest concrete I have ever rolled on wet, even away from known slick spots near pumps.
    Once was with a group of cyclists as we were looking to get out of a lightning storm...four guys ahead of me hit the deck right as we pulled off asphalt road surface...then along I came watching their predicament....and did the same dang thing...twice got up and did it again.
    The metal plates used to temporarily cover excavation areas in roadways are REALLy bad as well...stay away at all costs! Besides being slick, most are an inch thick with a very hard edge transition.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Some times they get too carry away with finishing those parking lot surfaces. If they get it like a garage floor it's bad news. Sometimes those big arrows or big rectangles at intersects are glued down plastic. Those suckers are really slick.
    YES! But it doesn't have to be painted! I entered an inside hotel parking lot in Mexico, last time there and as I rose above the street level & climbed a ramped up entryway, of several feet height the bike went down instantly when I was level, as I had lightly touched the brake after the momentary climb up and BAM! , in an instant I was down at like 2mph. In the righting of the bike I found that it was hard to even stand up in my riding boots & had to enlist a couple of locals to help me. The culprit was a thin layer of dust on a highly finished concrete job that looked innocent at first glance. FWIW, some of the towns there are treacherous just after a rain starts up, due to the many aged & leaky diesel trucks/buses(I think) that are running there.

  6. #21
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    I have done thousands of miles in the rain, maybe even tens of thousands of rain miles.
    In 2009 I kept track of my daily rides on the calendar as to Dry, Rain or Snow. I was just under 12,000 miles of riding in the rain in 2009 alone. For some reason I enjoy riding in the rain. I rode over 100 miles today in rush hour traffic in heavy rain. I just saw the news report that one of the Malls I rode by had the roof collapse because it was raining so hard.
    Dave
    2004 Black LT
    2000 Canyon Red LT
    The Only Vehicles I Own

  7. #22
    Registered User lee510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
    In 2009 I kept track of my daily rides on the calendar...
    What are you, some sort of fanatic?!?
    Lee
    2005 Ocean Blue K1200 LT

  8. #23
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    The only thing that concerns me for rain riding is the poor skills of cagers. I would not commute on a bike in an urban area in heavy rain for that reason alone. Not much concerned by pavement conditions- pretty much seen most of what's possible by this time in my life. (And tracks can be treacherous in the wet just like a city street, especially if its just after a big race weekend that had laid some oil, glycol and rubber into the asphalt)

    But where I live in NC, traffic is light and I've been known to detour into nearby storms just to cool off. Nothing quite as refreshing on a really hot humid day as a few miles in a cold rain and it only takes a few minutes to dry off while riding afterward. Here on the coast, local afternoon scattered showers ranging from light to frog chokers are normal weather in the summer and easily spotted from a distance- often allowing an easy choice of whether to use them for cooling or to avoid and stay dry. Typically they're heaviest over any forest fire area- apparently the smoke increases drop size or something= but so far no big fires in my area this year though we ha a pair last year that burned for many weeks.

    Rain gear of all types is seriously obnoxious when you're already hot and wet from heat and humidity and the 110-120 heat index but probably advisable if the run in the wet is going to last more than 20 or 30 minutes. You can get too chilled from the rain cooling if you ride wet for too long.

  9. #24
    Bill Lumberg 175781's Avatar
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    I'm back on the horse. Last week was the wettest week of 2012 thus far where I live. Day after day, I ducked serious rain, arriving home moments before a couple of monsoons. Saturday, I decided to go to the bank. 2 miles away. Half helmet and oakleys. No rain gear. I was deluged. It rained so hard I couldn't even see much less worry about getting wet or hitting too large of a puddle. No place to pull off, so I just ground out the 2 miles and sailed into the garage.
    R75/6, 2004 R1150RTA.

  10. #25
    Bill Lumberg 175781's Avatar
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    I don't keep track of my rides, I keep track of the days I actually take my truck (except for down the street stuff). Since March, I've only commuted on 4 wheels 4 times, the fourth being today.
    Quote Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
    In 2009 I kept track of my daily rides on the calendar as to Dry, Rain or Snow. I was just under 12,000 miles of riding in the rain in 2009 alone. For some reason I enjoy riding in the rain. I rode over 100 miles today in rush hour traffic in heavy rain. I just saw the news report that one of the Malls I rode by had the roof collapse because it was raining so hard.
    R75/6, 2004 R1150RTA.

  11. #26
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 175781 View Post
    I'm back on the horse. Last week was the wettest week of 2012 thus far where I live. Day after day, I ducked serious rain, arriving home moments before a couple of monsoons. Saturday, I decided to go to the bank. 2 miles away. Half helmet and oakleys. No rain gear. I was deluged. It rained so hard I couldn't even see much less worry about getting wet or hitting too large of a puddle. No place to pull off, so I just ground out the 2 miles and sailed into the garage.
    Good for you!
    I had a very slow high-side in the rain once- it had just begun to drizzle and I was in a city with slick streets. Touched the back brake and the rear end began to come around. Let off the brake and bam. Funnily, this happened right across the street from the HQ of Long Riders Magazine! The guys in the office came running out to pick up my bike and to see if I was OK. Definitely a little humiliated but other than a busted ego, a scrape on my pinky finger, and a broken TS lens, all was well!

    I basically got over my rain thing when I went to England in 2008. We rode vintage bikes (BSAs) over 1400 miles, and camped for 18 days. Needless to say, there WAS most definitely plenty of rain!
    I realized that you can still have traction in the rain, after watching film clips of racing on the IOM back in the day- when these guys would just fly- wet, dry, or whatever. I put it all down to
    A: ability & confidence
    B: tires
    C: faith in the equipment and in The Man Upstairs
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  12. #27
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    I too ride in almost all weather. On some days it isn't the rain that bothers me so much but the white out of the spray. I then worry about just how invisible I am as well as how I can't really see what's happening far up ahead. I also realize that being invisible I must find a lane of traffic that is flowing at a pace I feel comfortable with. Pavement varies tremendously with the different and intentional mixes they use. Some now are very porous so they is little spray. Others leave a ton of water for the wheels to work through. The main part of my commute is one that holds water up on the surface. Once off the mulitlane slab I have had so many enjoyable rides in the rain. There are additional hazards to content with so you adjust.

    I did have a chance recently with CSS where one of the track days was almost entirely in the rain, heavy at times. It was my first time on sport bike so that took some adjustment. It it was running the same tires I usually do so I expected similar road feel. Still there were lots of time when the bike would scoot over a bit with a twitch. Much like running over one stone of gravel. Once the pucker factor was corrected for the ride felt much more comfortable and predictable, even with these twitches. It actually surprised me how much the S1000RR moved around as compared to my far heavier K12RS. Still once I learned the nature of the track when wet and the bike in rain, I could relax, which is what I should I have done to begin with. Then was a chance to work on the drills with some comfort and focus without the wet track being a distraction, just the conditions of the day.

    I do have a question. On those white out spray days when traffic begins to slow some my shield gets misty inside as well as outside. This limits my visibility which I am uncomfortable with. I have used the anti fog products and they work well with fog not developing on the shield. However with the misty whiteout stuff, first my shield gets water coated (I play with the chin vent open and shut to find the best setting for the conditions) but then my glasses start to get coated as well. What do yall do when you find you have to ride in these conditions regarding vision?
    NCS

    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  13. #28
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    When my glasses get wet or fog up, I just throw in the towel , take them off and start looking for a place to hole up.

  14. #29
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    I try to just open my face shield a hair to let some additional airflow in and thru. I also ALWAYS keep my rear helmet vents open in hopes of keeping some semblance of flow going. My Arai has small vents at the top of the face shield, and of course the chin vents. In heavy rain, I figure that some part of me is taking on at least SOME water no matter what. As long as water is not actively blowing directly onto my face, I open the helmet enough to allow airflow.

    I don't recall ever having a problem with my face shield getting too wet to see out of or fogging up to the point of me having to stop a ride, and I've ridden(as I'm sure we all have) in some REALLY heavy rains.

    BTW- tho for some who may be commuting, riding superslabs or other major roadways might not be avoidable, but I try to stay off them in major rain situations. Road spray from other vehicles will get you wetter BY FAR, than just riding solo on an open two-lane road without cars or trucks all around. US highways are often a great alternative to U.S. Interstate highways. But now I guess I'm preachin' to the choir!
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  15. #30
    JoeDabbs
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    My gosh, I learned to ride on wet grass (that's the time I got home from my hight school job, around sunset with dew on the ground), albeit with a little Suzuki step-through kind of like a Honda 50. One mistake, and I was standing there with the bike on the ground.

    I love riding in the rain. Yes, beware of all possible slick spots, whether painted, or those rubber thingies with the raised "dots". Remember that when starting off, you've got cold tires and that can be precarious. Once the tires warm up, and assuming you've got good tread, then all should be good.
    Joe Dabbs
    2011 RT
    1975 R60/6

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