StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am PARANOID when it rains. :shock:
I don't know why, but I am deathly afraid that the wheels will slip out from underneath me.
The weird thing is that somedays I commute by bicycle and can be traveling with those skinny tires through torrential downpours and think nothing of it. But maybe that's because I know if I do go down, it's gonna hurt a hell of a lot less than if I go down on the strom in the middle of an intersection of on the freeway.
Any advice? :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
43 Posts
Just take it easy. Modern tires can deal with water dispersion fairly easily. Just don't be in a hurry to stop or turn as your ability to lean into a corner is diminished on wet pavement. And by all means stay out of the center of the lane as this is where all the oil and antifreeze from the cages leaks out and collects. A little rain is often worse than a downpour as with alot of rain it washes away most of the contaminents. But learning to deal with all kinds of road conditions makes you a better rider. No WFO starts and no locking up the brakes! Just go slowly until your confidence builds. Kinda like a new girlfriend. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,500 Posts
Trust me.....what you are feeling isn't one bit abnormal! Better to be on the side of caution, then feel like nothing could happen to you. The actual dangerous time of riding in the rain...is when it "hasn't" rained in a while, and all the oils/fuels grease and grime gets mixed up with the fresh rain. As soon as it rains for a bit, things begin to wash off and allows you more traction and stability. The painted yellow and white lines are the REAL dangerous critters in the rain. Just be sure to stay out of the center of the lane, and keep to the left or right. I have been riding in the rain MANY times, and it is actually pretty amazing how much traction you do have with good tires. Like you mentioned about riding your bike in the rain.....just remember that you have more rubber on the surface with your motobike. This may sound dumb, but go out and take a few quick rain rides. You will work into that comfort zone, and will get to know your Strom even better. You learn by doing, not reading about it! Best of luck! :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,948 Posts
d2mini
When I first got my lic. and took the msf course the navy base we took the test on, wet the parking lot w/ a fire truck the 2nd day and kept it wet. for 3 hours we rode in the rain on a sunny 85 deg florida day they had fogging spray for us to practice turns, starts & stops & emerg stoping drills . when I got back into bikes 6 years ago I took a refresher training and the next rainy day i headed for a big parking lot ( out away from the major stores is usually pretty empty where i live ) and re-did the drills. I felt better after a few turns .....and my buddy who never took the MSF even tried the drills . I thought this might help you . :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
I'd suggest some practice. Go out on a rainy day and ride. Rather than being forced to ride your daily commute in the rain, go out in the rain on a free day and experiment. Pick quiet, secondary roads and get accustomed to what the bike can do and what you can do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Exactly what I tell my students after they have taken the course on a sunny weekend. I've gone out to ride with friends who were nOOb riders in the rain 8) Lots of fun if you have the right attitude

Heavy said:
I'd suggest some practice. Go out on a rainy day and ride. Rather than being forced to ride your daily commute in the rain, go out in the rain on a free day and experiment. Pick quiet, secondary roads and get accustomed to what the bike can do and what you can do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
I really enjoy riding in the rain. Its one of those "man vs nature" things. Get your gear all buttoned up tight and head out. Its different than a clear day. I feel more alone or isolated. Kind of the intrepid voyager. Its cool. 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I always rode in the rain and never gave it much thought.
This year I have been lucky but the two years before I had
a couple of thousand miles in the rain.
The advice everyone is giving you is good advice.
A good long ride in a soaking rain is good for the soul.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Things I've heard or read--you still have 80% of your tire traction when the road is wet, verses dry. Also, adding a couple of psi to your tires actually improves traction by making the tread a little stiffer and thus giving a little better bite to the road surface when it is wet. These things can be disputed, but you have to believe in something when you lean over at speed. Also, avoid speed changes when crossing over cattle guards. Wet metal is always slippery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
Strangely enough, New Mexico has been really stinking wet this season, so I have gotten a chance to ride in the rain.

Now, bear in mind that the VStrom is my second bike, and the first one was bought back in May of this year. Between the two bikes, I have about 9000 miles of riding. And I've ridden in every kind of weather. (well, that summer will offer anyway...)

Basically, it really stinks to get caught in a storm when you didn't bring any gear. Sloshing through the gears with standing water in your boots is not as fun as it might sound. On my first bike, a '89 Yamaha XT600 (looks like a dirt bike with headlights), I had -very- knobby tires, the Pirelli MT21s. I didn't get to go offroad much with them, but I will say, in the rain, they were.... different. You could feel the bike didn't have as much bite going around a corner. You didn't really slide or anything, just... it didn't seem to track the corners as well as when it was dry. I swapped these tires over to a set of Avon Gripsters, and things changed. But I have yet to try them in the rain...

But on the Strom, with the stock Trailwings, I have never felt that way. I'm always pretty conservative in the rain, giving myself plenty of room to stop and etc, and take it easy around corners, but it has yet to feel any different in the least to me. One of the big challenges in the rain, at least to start with, is gaining cornering confidence. When you go around that first one, your arms will be stiff and you'll have a death grip on the bars, and the bike will feel strange, which gives you a negative feedback. Try to relax, take the corner slower than you would dry, but do lean like normal and don't stiffen up! The saying I've heard is that 'if you have traction to stop, you have traction to corner'. Say that to yourself before you go into a corner.

That said, good rain gear sure makes a difference. The setup I have now allows me to ride in pouring rain, 40 degree temps, and smile the whole way. I've done this a few times now. Get there, all warm and toasty and dry. It is quite fun.

Besides, it's sometimes fun to be the only bike on the road ;) I'm gonna try to stay riding through the winter, we'll see how that goes. Ice scares me, but then I said that about rain not too long ago as well... although I think the ice might actually be a lot worse :p

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys... all great advice. :D

I guess I'm gonna have to go out in the rain. But maybe get me some crash bars first. :p
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,804 Posts
I think all the suggestions above are really good!

In addition, I think once you have gotten past the actual riding of the bike you have to keep in mind visability (seeing and being seen, especially after dark) and on a ride of any distance the effects the cold can have on you if you don't have rain gear on. If you get wet on a longer ride you can lose a lot of heat and that can have a serious effect on your ability to handle the bike and on your judgement.

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
d2mini,
All good advice. So I won't reiterate what's already been said.
I've ridden in all types of weather for over 40 years.
I usually cut my speed down by about 30% or so.
If your riding when it first starts raining, pull off and let it rain 5 or 10 minutes before proceding if possible.
Add 100% to your awareness of what the cages are doing around you.
Increase your following distance times three and anticipate.
Don't let yourself be tailgated, pull off and let them go around if necessary.
Ride in the snow if you have the proper tires and you're crazy.
Motorcycles and ICE do not mix. It WILL put you down. I don't care how good you are.
Just my two cents worth.
Best,
Jim

P.S........If you get in a situation that you are uncomfortable with, pull off and let it pass. Better to get there late.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
68 Posts
I ride in most types of weather and I just take it easy in the rain an allow more room for braking and take things a little slower.

I have been riding since I was 13 1/2 in 1964 and have ridden a lot of different bikes. The Strom is my only modern bike. I have been riding a 1981 Suzuki GS750, a 1984 Honda Sabre, a 1983 Honda GL650 Silver Wing, a Kawasaki Vulcan 500, or any of a bunch of trials bikes around the house. I think the Wee Strom is by far the best handling bike of the lot and it does well on wet roads. I haven't tried it in the snow yet but I have been caught by storms at work on other bikes and ridden home in the snow so I'll probably get around to that too.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Rain and hail pounded me and my DL1000 (the K5 and the K6) on the first day of riding both home from the dealership, although the dates were nearly a year apart. I never go into a storm if I don't have to, but am always prepared.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
593 Posts
I've spent a good part of my active bike life in the rain. My dad, also a motorcyclist, used to say - "nothing sudden, nothing stupid" meaning relax, brake sooner and less heavy, lay off early - mid corner downshifts or any sudden movement that could break traction. Bascially think it's really slower and smoother here - like other posts. I'd also add pull off and relax for 5-10 minutes when the rain starts - . Years ago learned that the first few minutes of good rain washes away the road grime /' accumulated oil/gas exhaust deposits that make things slippery. Works for me....so far. Above all -get good gear and go riding - the V-Strom is excellent in the wet IMO.

Safe riding

bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
All good advise above...............

Most important is to go slower and leave more space.

You must be able to see and be seen too! In very heavy dounpours think about where you are positioning the bike (esp. on multi lane roads)

This is a favorite topic of mine and has not yet been metioned so I toss this in here.................

When traction is or may be compromised (wet, wet leaves, loose gravel, etc.) it is possible to reduce the lean of the bike and in effect reduce the needed traction to make a turn, by shifting your body weight more to the inside of the turn.

The more you weight the inside of the turn, the more upright the bike will be at a given speed in a given turn, thus require less traction at the tire contact with road.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
I forgot to mention an important point.

PLEXUS!

I use Plexus on my windshield and face shield. It sheds water like you wouldn't believe.

Its nice to be able to see.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
68 Posts
I rode home yesterday in light rain. The Strom never felt bad at all in the rain. I took it easy because of the comments about Trailwings in the rain.

 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Another tip: ride in the wheel tracks of the vehicles in front of you. They've already squeegeed most of the water away, thereby increasing the traction available to you.
Probably the nicest thing cagers will do for us bikers.
Cheers,
Tony
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top