17 Tips for Riding in the Rain
Scared of riding in the wet stuff?  There’s no need; with a little know-how and a little preparation, riding in the rain can be just as safe and just as fun as riding on a nice, sunny day. Relax. Pay attention. After all, it’s only water The heavens have opened and it’s pouring. You can’t see very far down the road thanks to the spray coming off other vehicles. Your visor is misting up and you’re not entirely sure how you and your bike are going to handle the rain.  Slow down a bit.. Here’s how to ride a motorcycle in the rain.
There are a lot of things to take into account when riding a motorcycle in the rain, but one of the most important ones is that you have to dress appropriately.  Having your normal jacket and trousers might not be enough.  If there’s a light drizzle, it probably will not be a problem, but when there’s consistent rain, water (usually cold) will seep through your clothes onto your body, and that is not fun!  Getting wet, or at least humid, when riding is distracting and very uncomfortable. So whatever you do, make sure the clothing (jacket, trousers and boot covers etc.) you use during a rain ride is rain proof.  I recommend Frogg Toggs rain gear, they’re lightweight, breathable and they have kept me dry in ALL conditions including absolute downpours.  Also, I treat my riding boots with Mink Oil and I have never had water leak through.  I keep my rain gear in my saddlebags at all times, more than once I’ve started my ride on a beautiful sunny day only to get rained on by the end of the day (better to have the gear and not need it, than to need it and not have it).
Wear proper rain gear, preferably Frogg Toggs or equivalent. It needs to be able to breath but still not allow water to creep in.  Make sure your helmet covers your face, since rain above 30 mph is going to hurt you. An alternative idea: I purchased an extra Frogg Togg jacket, and my wife cut out a bandana size piece of material out of it, folded it over diagonally and sewed a piece of fleese in the middle.  It works absolutely perfect AND keeps my face warm and dry. Make sure your tires are correct for riding in the rain, in other words, do not go out riding in the rain with slick tires. Watch the road. What used to be kind-of slippery is now very slippery. White lines on the roads will have become ice rinks, metal plates/manholes are super dangerous, avoid them like the plague. Watch out for puddles. Yes, it can be fun riding through one, but since the water hides the surface you just don’t know what you are riding into. Can the puddle in fact be a 3 feet deep hole?  Do you want to find out the hard way? When riding and you see a colored rainbow on the ground, watch it, chances are it’s oil. When rain first starts after many days of dry weather is when it’s the most dangerous since there’s a lot of oil and dirt on the road. Wait an hour or two for the rain to wash away the oil/dirt before riding since the road surfaces are at their slipperiest. If it’s just drizzle, then the road will remain slippery. Railway crossing are to be taken as straight as possible.  Remember the railway tracks are metal, and wet metal is slippery.  Straighten your bike. When you need to brake, apply more rear brake than normal.  If your front wheel starts sliding you’re done for, if your rear wheel slides you can easily correct. Do not brake strongly if possible, brake gently.  If you need to urgently apply your brakes, pump them so that you do not start aquaplaning.  Give yourself more space between you and the vehicle in front of you.  Braking distances are much longer in the rain. Relax when riding.  Getting all cramped and bunched up is not good.  First of all you will get tired really quick and it is dangerous.  Relaxed riding is much better. Be visible.  Rain makes it difficult for cars to see you. If you have high visibility clothing, now it is the time to put them on. An obvious advice, but here it is anyway: reduce your speed, you need to reduce speed by some 10-20% when it rains, and there are good reasons for it! Since we don’t have wipers on our helmets you can easily spray something like Rain-X on the visor to help you with your visibility. Rain-X keeps the rain from the visor. When lightning starts up, stop riding.  Head for cover (don’t stop below a tree). Ride behind one of the rear wheels of the car in front of you.  This has two benefits, first if the guy in front of you stops suddenly you will be able to swerve to a side and get a few more feet of braking distance (which you'll need). The second benefit is, the car's wheel in front of you basically acts like a plow pushing all of the water on the road out of the way for a brief period of time.  Take advantage of that (slightly) dryer pavement! While riding at a moderate speed on a straight, level surface, feel for how much traction you have with your rear wheel (not your front!) by trying to lock it up.  You are not trying to do a 50 ft skid here, just a brief test to see how much traction you really have.   
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Riding in the rain will at times be necessary, and you should not stop riding just because it is raining.  Relax and enjoy the ride. You are after all riding a motorcycle and that is fun.  ENJOY IT.
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17 Tips for Riding in the Rain
Scared of riding in the wet stuff?  There’s no need; with a little know-how and a little preparation, riding in the rain can be just as safe and just as fun as riding on a nice, sunny day. Relax. Pay attention. After all, it’s only water The heavens have opened and it’s pouring. You can’t see very far down the road thanks to the spray coming off other vehicles. Your visor is misting up and you’re not entirely sure how you and your bike are going to handle the rain.  Slow down a bit.. Here’s how to ride a motorcycle in the rain.
There are a lot of things to take into account when riding a motorcycle in the rain, but one of the most important ones is that you have to dress appropriately.  Having your normal jacket and trousers might not be enough.  If there’s a light drizzle, it probably will not be a problem, but when there’s consistent rain, water (usually cold) will seep through your clothes onto your body, and that is not fun!  Getting wet, or at least humid, when riding is distracting and very uncomfortable. So whatever you do, make sure the clothing (jacket, trousers and boot covers etc.) you use during a rain ride is rain proof. I recommend Frogg Toggs rain gear, they’re lightweight, breathable and they have kept me dry in ALL conditions including absolute downpours.  Also, I treat my riding boots with Mink Oil and I have never had water leak through.  I keep my rain gear in my saddlebags at all times, more than once I’ve started my ride on a beautiful sunny day only to get rained on by the end of the day (better to have the gear and not need it, than to need it and not have it).
     Wear proper rain gear, preferably Frogg Toggs or equivalent. It needs to be able to breath but still not allow water to creep in.  Make sure your helmet covers your face, since rain above 30 mph is going to hurt you.  An alternative idea: I purchased an extra Frogg Togg jacket, and my wife cut out a bandana size piece of material out of it, folded it over diagonally and sewed a piece of fleese in the middle.  It works absolutely perfect AND keeps my face warm and dry.      Make sure your tires are correct for riding in the rain, in other words, do not go out riding in the rain with slick tires.      Watch the road. What used to be kind-of slippery is now very slippery. White lines on the roads will have become ice rinks, metal plates/manholes are super dangerous, avoid them like the plague.      Watch out for puddles. Yes, it can be fun riding through one, but since the water hides the surface you just don’t know what you are riding into. Can the puddle in fact be a 3 feet deep hole? Do you want to find out the hard way?      When riding and you see a colored rainbow on the ground, watch it, chances are it’s oil.      When rain first starts after many days of dry weather is when it’s the most dangerous since there’s a lot of oil and dirt on the road. Wait an hour or two for the rain to wash away the oil/dirt before riding since the road surfaces are at their slipperiest.  If it’s just drizzle, then the road will remain slippery.      Railway crossing are to be taken as straight as possible. Remember the railway tracks are metal, and wet metal is slippery.  Straighten your bike.      When you need to brake, apply more rear brake than normal. If your front wheel starts sliding you’re done for, if your rear wheel slides you can easily correct.      Do not brake strongly if possible, brake gently.  If you need to urgently apply your brakes, pump them so that you do not start aquaplaning.       Give yourself more space between you and the vehicle in front of you.  Braking distances are much longer in the rain.      Relax when riding.  Getting all cramped and bunched up is not good.  First of all you will get tired really quick and it is dangerous.  Relaxed riding is much better.      Be visible.  Rain makes it difficult for cars to see you. If you have high visibility clothing, now it is the time to put them on.      An obvious advice, but here it is anyway: reduce your speed, you need to reduce speed by some 10-20% when it rains, and there are good reasons for it!      Since we don’t have wipers on our helmets you can easily spray something like Rain-X on the visor to help you with your visibility. Rain-X keeps the rain from the visor.      When lightning starts up, stop riding.  Head for cover (don’t stop below a tree).      Ride behind one of the rear wheels of the car in front of you. This has two benefits, first if the guy in front of you stops suddenly you will be able to swerve to a side and get a few more feet of braking distance (which you'll need). The second benefit is, the car's wheel in front of you basically acts like a plow pushing all of the water on the road out of the way for a brief period of time.  Take advantage of that (slightly) dryer pavement!      While riding at a moderate speed on a straight, level surface, feel for how much traction you have with your rear wheel (not your front!) by trying to lock it up.  You are not trying to do a 50 ft skid here, just a brief test to see how much traction you really have. Riding in the rain will at times be necessary, and you should not stop riding just because it is raining.  Relax and enjoy the ride. You are after all riding a motorcycle and that is fun.  ENJOY IT.   
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