How to ride a motorcycle in the rain?

 
How to ride a motorcycle in the rain? Riding in the rain is a common and potentially enjoyable part of the whole motorcycle riding experience. Sure, we’d rather ride in dry, comfortable weather. But sometimes we can’t avoid getting caught in the rain. Your ability to stay safe and dry and get the most satisfaction out of riding in the rain comes down to these two things… Control and Clothes… You’re safest when you ride in control…and you’re most comfortable when you wear the right clothes to repel wet weather. 


Ride smart, smooth and in control on wet roads Riding smart and in control on wet roads starts with you being a smooth, cautious driver. Actually, though, before you can drive in control with confidence, you must have good tires.  Don’t head out into wet weather with bald or otherwise questionable treads remaining on your tires.  

  1. When you’re riding in the rain…
  2. Give yourself lots of space to stop or slow down…
  3. Be smooth and gentle with the clutch, throttle, steering, and brakes…
  4. Avoid sudden or jerky actions or reactions…
  5. Continually survey your surroundings with your eyes and mirrors…
  6. Remain aware of what the road and other drivers are doing…
  7. Make sure drivers around you have time to react to your moves…Here are some specifics…
 
  • Turning…
  1. Initiate turns gradually…
  2. When entering a turn, downshift early and engage the clutch smoothly…
  3. Avoid braking when leaning into turns…
  4. Gradually and steadily roll on the throttle when exiting turns…
  5. Don’t make sudden or extreme speed changes…
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  • Braking…
  1. Smooth is the word when it comes to braking…
  2. Leave lots of space between you and other vehicles…
  3. Stay in your speed comfort zone to avoid panic stops…
  4. Engage the clutch smoothly when downshifting…
  5. Keep your tires perpendicular to the road when braking…
  6. Focus on not braking while leaning or turning…  Even though your front brakes provide nearly 90 percent of your braking power, apply gradual, even pressure at the same time front and back. Locking the front wheel when the tire is even slightly cocked could bring you down.  If your front tire is perpendicular to the road when it locks, you can ease off the brake and remain in control. Occasionally squeeze the brake lever with slight pressure to dry wet braking surfaces….
  • Accelerating… 
  1. Don’t accelerate suddenly. Stay smooth. Gradually roll on the throttle…
  2. Similar to braking, only accelerate when your wheels are perpendicular to the wet road surface…
  3. If your rear wheel loses traction while accelerating, roll back on the throttle to regain stability…
 
  • Standing water ahead … 
Look out for standing water in the road and avoid riding through it at any speed.  A flooded road or standing water could… 
  1. Cause you to lose control…
  2. Short-circuit an electrical connection…
  3. Hide potholes and dangerous debris…
  4. Soak your brakes and make them temporarily ineffective…
  5. Drench you completely…  
  • Puddles in the road or on either side…
Don’t ride through puddles in the road or on the edges. 
Puddles may hide potholes, rough surfaces or debris that can wreck your tires, bend your rims or cause you to lose control. I made the mistake of riding through what I thought were shallow puddles on the side of the road when I pulled over to put on my rain suit.  They turned out to be deep water-filled ruts that swallowed my front tire, jarred the handlebars from my grasp and knocked me over. 
  • Changing Lanes… 
When changing lanes, signal early, check your blind spot and give yourself plenty of room to make your move. Then remain perpendicular to the road when proceeding smoothly left or right. 
  • Avoid metal road surfaces… 
Go around or otherwise avoid riding across metal surfaces such as manhole covers, road construction plates, railroad tracks, and bridge gratings.  If you must cross or ride across such surfaces, don’t brake, lean or accelerate abruptly. Don’t go across railroad tracks, cattle grates and similar surfaces on an angle. Cross them straight and perpendicular as if you’re crossing a “T.” Don’t put either foot down for support when riding on a metal surface, such as a grated bridge surface.  If you lose control, your extended leg won’t hold you up or help you to regain your balance. And, most likely, you’ll break your leg or foot.


  • Riding on ice… 
Don’t ride on ice if you can help it.  If you must cross a small patch, keep your bike straight up. Don’t lean. 
Don’t apply your brakes on ice. If you want to slow down, back off on the throttle.  Engage the clutch when you’re barely creeping along, then coast in neutral until you roll to a stop or reach a surface where you can apply your brakes. 
  • Tar snakes… 
Avoid tar snakes—those long, slippery tar-sealed cracks or patches on a road surface. If tar snakes are all over the road, treat them like slick pieces of metal. Don’t lean into turns. Drive as straight up as possible. Apply your brakes smoothly. 
  • Painted roadway lines… 
Treat painted roadway lines as if you’re riding across tar snakes or a slick metal road surface. If you must pass another vehicle, cross a slick center line smoothly and without leaning. Go slowly when crossing an intersection that contains a painted pedestrian crosswalk. Watch out for painted lines when turning.  Go slowly and smoothly. Don’t lean. 
  • Oil on the road… 
Oil can appear anyplace on the road, and it is especially slick and dangerous when rain is just starting. Slow down and don’t lean into turns. Steer clear of rainbow-colored oil pools decorating the wet road surface. 
Oil dripping from cars builds up most in the middle of lanes.  So, don’t ride in lane centers or stop in the middle of the lane at intersections. Stay close to toll booth when going through or stopping in a toll lane. Oil accumulates in the center of toll lanes.  You might be able to stop okay on this oil, but your foot can slip when you put it on the ground when paying the toll.  Try to plant your foot on the un-oiled curb in front of the toll booth. 
  • Wet leaves… 
In the fall or during a windy rainstorm, wet leaves may cover the road. Slow down, watch out for laves in your path and focus on smooth cornering and careful braking.  Riding on wet leaves is like riding in ice or oil. 


  • Rocks…
Unless you’re pulling off the road, don’t ride on the edge of the road where rocks and gravel accumulate. Stay alert for large rocks that rolled onto the road during heavy rains.  If you spot one, focus hard on where you want to go, not on the rock.  Staring at the rock will draw you to it. 
  • Water blasts… 
Don’t ride too close the center-line or the median separating you from traffic traveling in the opposite direction. Oncoming vehicles, especially big rigs, throw up huge blasts of water that can give you a physical jolt and impair your vision. 

Wear effective rain gear to stay dry and comfortable

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