7 Tips for Better Motorcycle Riding in the Rain
The onset of rain can lead a lot of riders to pack the bike away and get in the car instead. And that’s a shame.
If you feel that the motorcycle is a mode of transport for fine weather only, we are here to tell you to reconsider.
Riding in the rain, if you are properly prepared and know what you are doing, can be a lot of fun. And to achieve that knowledge, we have come up with the top 10 tips to better riding in the rain.
See you on the open (and wet) road….
1. Wear the right gear
The first step to enjoying wet weather riding is to be suitably dressed. There’s no fun in being soaked to the bone when on your motorcycle.
However, if you take that out of the equation, you’re in for an entirely different experience.
Make sure that you have a quality waterproof rain suit, with an all-in-one suit being the preferred choice in heavy rain. You will also need waterproof gloves and boots
Depending on the temperature you may also need layers beneath, however, bear in mind that the waterproof nature of the gear will mean you can get hot under all of that.
Thin layers work better than packing into the thick woolen gear as these can be removed as you need. Again, the amount you wear will clearly depend on whether you heading out into a winter rainstorm in Seattle or a summer deluge down in Florida, (and all of the permutations in between).
Your helmet should have an anti-fog visor and breath guard, (again depending on location, sn electric defrost function might also be beneficial).
Riding in the rain is dangerous if you have to keep wiping the visor in order to see where you are going.
- Related Content: 13 Things to Consider Before Your Motorcycle Road Trip
2. Take your time (and do one thing at a time)
Riding in the rain is not the time to bat the hell out of your motorcycle. Your riding should be patient and measured.
This also means doing one thing at a time. Finish one process, such as deacceleration, before embarking on the next, such as turning the corner.
This differs from normal riding where 2 or more actions (often completely unconsciously) can be carried out at the same time.
Taking this approach will help you keep full control of the motorcycle in what can be demanding conditions. It will also help ensure that maximum traction is maintained.
3. Ride smoother and with more intent
Everything about riding in the rain requires a smoother approach. Abrupt actions can lead to trouble.
Your handling of the throttle has to be smoother and made in small increments. You will also need to lean at a less harsh angle too.
Brakes need to be applied with care, slowly and allowing a lot more time than under normal circumstances.
This is where avoiding being abrupt is the most important. Brake too sharply and you could lose control.
- Related Content: Best Motorcycle Tail Bags [TOP 5 FOR 2021]
4. Follow the tire tracks
If you see an opportunity to follow the tire tracks of vehicles in front, do it.
Vehicle wheels, especially large trucks, can act like a plow as they move through the water on the road.
The water is pushed aside for a short while, meaning in your ride in the track lane you have less water beneath your wheels.
Just ensure you do not get too close to the vehicle in front.
5. Be careful at intersections
You need to be careful at intersections, not because of the potential stupidity of drivers in the rain, but because there could well be a nasty buildup of oil on the road.
Anywhere, where drivers might stop while the engine is running is where the road might be slick with oil.
Although these patches are made visible by the rainbow colors on the road (remember, the oil, although diluted may have spread further and wider), it is best to proceed with caution when approaching intersections.
6. Don’t ride while wound up like a clock spring
Yes, you have to be more careful when riding in the rain, however, you should avoid being tense and anxious.
Loosen up the body and arms, gripping the bike with your thighs and the bars with your hand like you squeezing the life out of it will certainly detract from any potential enjoyment.
It will also make you a worse rider. Your movements will be exaggerated, you’ll end up aching and tired and your bike will not move as fluidly as you need.
Relaxing into the journey is definitely the best way to proceed; just keep your concentration levels up and you will be fine.
- Related Content: Best Motorcycle Saddlebags [2021 REVIEW]
7. Avoid shiny, smooth surfaces
Shiny and smooth surfaces can be hazardous in heavy rain. Avoid riding on painted lines, metal grating, manhole covers, and other smooth surfaces on the road that isn’t asphalt.
In fact, anything you know to be slippery in the dry will be a whole lot worse when covered in rainwater.
When on such surfaces, avoid sharp braking or acceleration and follow tips 2 and 3 above as best you can; do one thing at a time and ride smoothly.