Five Tips for Driving Your Motorcycle in the Rain
Friday, May 8, 2015
Few bikers actually enjoy driving in the rain. But sometimes it may be unavoidable. If you’re on a long trip and the skies open up, you may not have a chance to take cover right away. It’s important to know how to react when riding in wet weather on a bike. Common sense tells you to keep a wider distance between you and other vehicles, and drive slower. In addition, keep these five tips in mind:
- Dress appropriately. Consistent rain will seep into your clothes making you cold and miserable. It will be difficult to concentrate and your hands and feet will be sluggish on the controls. Don waterproof gloves with gauntlets that run under your jacket to keep the rain and cold out. Wear waterproof boots and wool socks. Rainproof jackets with neck and cuffs that cinch tightly work well, but the best option is a one-piece suit.
- Make sure you can see. Visibility is a major problem in the rain. To prevent your visor from fogging up, use an anti-fogging insert. Clear visors work better than dark ones, and clear yellow shields aid vision by increasing contrasts in poor weather. Spray your visor with a product like Rain-X, which actually repels water.
- Break smarter in wet, slippery weather. When you need to brake, apply more rear brake than normal. If your front wheel starts sliding, you will lose control, But if your rear wheel slides, you can easily correct it. Try to brake gently. If you need to urgently apply your brakes, pump them to avoid aquaplaning.
- Avoid all surface changes if you can. Ride around large puddles of water (you don’t know what might be in them or how deep they are), drains, white lines, metal plates and manhole covers. Everything that is usually slippery will now be like an ice rink. Rain after a long period of dry weather makes the roads more dangerous because the water washes all the oil, fuel and brake fluid from leaky vehicles all over the roads.
- If you see lightening, stop riding. Lightening can be very dangerous to bikers. Find shelter (not under a tree) as soon as possible.
If you feel unsafe at any time, pull off the road and wait it out. Rest up, stay dry and continue your journey later.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 9, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy.
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