15 Tips for Riding in the Rain - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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15 Tips for Riding in the Rain

15 Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In The Rain

In all the years that I have been riding a motorcycle, I can honestly not remember one biker who loves riding in the rain. I do not think that thereís anyone out there who, when looking out the window and seeing a downpour, will say ďohhh great, itís raining, letís go for a bike rideĒ.

However I do know a lot of bikers who flatly refuse to go out riding when it rains. Personally, I think that is a mistake. Rain is nothing but water, and as long as a) itís not raining very hard, b) falling horizontally (in other words a strong wind) and c) you wear the proper clothing, then the ride will be fine.

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 thereís a light drizzle, it probably will not be a problem, but when thereís 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. Itís also when you will get a cold, or worse.

So whatever you do, make sure the clothing (jacket, trousers and boot covers) you use during a rain ride is rain proof.

This is the most important tip for riding in the rain, all other tips are more or less common sense. The clothing doesnít need to be a diverís suit you use for deep sea diving, but it needs to keep the water away.
  1. Wear proper rain gear, preferably Gore-Tex 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Watch out for puddles. Yes, it can be fun riding through one, but since the water hides the surface you just donít 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?
  5. When riding and you see a colored rainbow on the ground, watch it. Itís got nothing to do with the gay movement, chances are itís oil.
  6. When rain first starts after many days of dry weather, itís when itís the most dangerous since thereís 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 itís just drizzle, then the road will remain slippery.
  7. Railway crossing are to be taken as straight as possible. Remember the railway tracks are metal, and wet metal is slippery. Straighten your bike.
  8. When you need to brake, apply more rear brake than normal. If your front wheel starts sliding youíre done for, if your rear wheel slides you can easily correct.
  9. 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.
  10. Give yourself more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Braking distances are much longer in the rain.
  11. Relax when riding. Getting all cramped and bunched up is not good. First of all you will get tired real quickly and it is dangerous. Relaxed riding is much better.
  12. 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.
  13. An obvious advice, but here it is anyway: reduce your speed! In many countries legally you need to reduce speed by some 10-20% when it rains, and there are good reasons for it.
  14. Since we donít have wipers on our helmets (well, maybe some do) 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.
  15. When lightning starts up, stop riding. Head for cover (donít stop below a tree).
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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post #2 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 12:27 PM
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Rain-X has a tendency to fog plastics (craze?) over a long term application. Not sure how well it will work on motorcycle visors. Visors are cheap(ish) but I would like mine to last a year or so before replacement.
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post #3 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:00 PM
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The manufacturer says that Rain X should not be used on polycarbonate visors.
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post #4 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:13 PM
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Aerostitch Vee Wipes. Thumb/finger squeegees to wipe your face shield with left hand. Wonderful things!


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post #5 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumper View Post
The manufacturer says that Rain X should not be used on polycarbonate visors.
Plexus could be used, and seem to have the same repellent effect.
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post #6 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:34 PM
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"Honda Cleaner/Polish" No called Original Bike Spirits cleaner and polish also helps shed water.
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post #7 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:37 PM
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I would agree with all listed points except 9. On any surface if improper application of front brake causes a front tire lock up, resulting in a slide or washout, immediately release the front brake and allow the wheel to regain its proper inline track. It is not difficult if you relax but something that has to become a normal reaction. The easiest way is to practice your stopping techniques under all conditions. Getting to know what your limitations are, as well as your bikes, will help you avoid over braking. Like any other situation you may face the lack of preparedness and skill achieved with parking lot practice could result in a panic situation.
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post #8 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downs View Post
Rain-X has a tendency to fog plastics (craze?) over a long term application. Not sure how well it will work on motorcycle visors. Visors are cheap(ish) but I would like mine to last a year or so before replacement.
+1

Visor proof works really good for me.
Nikwax | Visor Proof - Spray-on rain repellent for visors and goggles

Also, another tip I have learned from many, many hours of riding in the rain...tuck your gloves inside your jacket. In other words, cuff over the gloves. I know that it seems like the rain would come in through the sleeves, but this has worked very well for me, even in very heavy rain. With the gloves over my sleeves, my hands *always* get wet.

Glove proof helps too.
Sponge-on waterproofing for gloves | Glove Proof

-rodney

2012 G-Strom - White
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post #9 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:50 PM
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I mentioned that to a fella at a gas stop the other day who was emptying his gauntlet glove. When I asked if they didn't act like a funnel he just gave me that look we all have had at some point like "Why didn't I think of that?" I wish all "my" teachable moments could have been that easily fixed.
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post #10 of 49 Old 08-16-2013, 01:55 PM
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I dont know any solution to stay hand dry after hours riding in heavy rain except this type of glove:

Firstgear Rubber Rain Gloves - Street Motorcycle - Motorcycle Superstore
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