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Riding in the rain

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New (used) Vee owner out for a ride w/ my daughter on the back. Returned home just before the sky opened up and got to thinking how long it's been since I road in the rain (previous bike, long time ago). It appears to me, based on some of the travels I've read about on this forum, that many of you don't give 'the rain' a second thought. Aside from the riding gear and prudent speed, Please pass along any tips regarding your wet weather riding technique.
I'm bound to get caught in it...

If this is previously covered material, feel free to pass me along to that thread.
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New (used) Vee owner out for a ride w/ my daughter on the back. Returned home just before the sky opened up and got to thinking how long it's been since I road in the rain (previous bike, long time ago). thread.
Come visit the Pacific Northwest... The best single tip is prevent getting wet. That leads to cold and really sucks. Everything is in support of staying dry at all costs. That nice jacket that looks cool? Not so nice if water drips down your back. I wear a 3 season 1 piece suit and in the Summer, I have a mesh jacket and carry frog Togs
 

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Increase following distance. Treat outside of face shield with Raincoat. Inside with FogTech. The latter rarely fails me, but I got into one of those "...given enough rain over enough time..." situations where the only good idea was to finally get off the road. And that in itself is a good tip...know when to stop. Oh, and no cotton clothing. Given enough rain over enough time, nothing is waterproof. And once wet, cotton is rotten.
 

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I don't give rain a second thought.

Before my Roadcrafter I use Frogg Toggs Road Toads with great success. They breath and for me were completely waterproof when put on properly. I have had a Roadcrafter two piece for the last year and a half and about 40,000 miles. Much of my riding has been in rain.

Synthetic materials are good as underlayers. Leaking is one issue (that I generally don't have) but also because they are very comfortable (for me!) in humid conditions. My Boots are waterproof (Alpinestar Web Goretex) and these are comfy in almost any condition. My Roadcrafter does a super job of keeping me dry (with one exception, I have lost weight since i got it so that I can't snug up the neck enough and water can get in there if I am not very careful on how I do up the neck). I can wear a suit and tie under it, ride to work in torrential downpours, and arrive dry.

I have learned that none of the waterproof gloves i have tried really work that well. Some moisture inevitably gets in and then when you take off or put on the gloves the lining gets pulled out. To combat that, I wear whatever gloves would normally suit the temperature and have Aerostich triple Digit rain overgloves with me all the time. If I looks like it will rain while riding I put them in a jacket pocket and can put them on while riding if I need to.

As far as riding goes, being smooth and gentle is the rule. Smoothly accelerate, watch out for oily spots on the roads, and be very wary of painted lines as these can be quite slippery. Brake smoothly as well and as has been mentioned previously leave lots of room so that you can avoid having to stop suddenly. Apart from that, it is pretty much a normal ride for me.

..Tom
 

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Depending on the conditions, I sometimes don't even bother with raingear. I might stop and throw my wallet and paper money in the topbox and head on down the road.
 

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If it hasn't rained in an area for a while, follow the ten minute rule - pull over, spend that time putting on rain gear, etc. It allows time for the rain to wash a lot of the accumulated crap off the road surface. Your tires still have 80% of their dry traction. flip side is they have 20% less. Be smooth, watch for diesel - particularly on hills where it seems that overfilled tanks are more likely to spill. Be aware that visibilty - for you and cagers - is reduced by rain and road spray.
 
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Your tires still have 80% of their dry traction. flip side is they have 20% less. Be smooth, watch for diesel - particularly on hills where it seems that overfilled tanks are more likely to spill. Be aware that visibilty - for you and cagers - is reduced by rain and road spray.
Absolutely essential to be smooth!
I think you have to be very patient as well. Try not to hurry any directional changes. Take your time and ride within your limits.
Another hint or two...
You should be able to smell any spilled diesel or pools of coolant even if it's not in your lane. (depending how bad the local smog is)
Also beware of tow trucks moving wrecks. A lot of times the wrecked cars are hemorrhaging oils from broken coolers and/or oil pans. Nothing against tow truck drivers but they can't always stop the leaks before moving off.
 

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You mean some of you get to ride when it isn't raining?!?! :green_lol:

I actually enjoy riding in the rain, although I'll take a beautiful, warm, sunny day over rain every time. I just carry a rain suit that I can put on over my normal riding gear in my tailbag. My boots are Alpinestar Scout Gore-Tex, so they are just fine, no matter what weather. I've also got some Olympia cold-weather gloves that are waterproof. Since it's *never* warm up here when it's raining (I've lived up here for over 20 years, and I can't think of a single counter-example), they are fine for me in the rain, but people in warmer parts of the country probably wouldn't like them.

As far as technique, as other said, slow down, anticipate what you are going to do long before you need to do it, and even more than usual, expect others not to see you. And +1 on caution going over paint lines. I nearly lost it on my previous bike (a CB550SC) my first year riding by spinning out as I crossed over the stop line in the rain.
 

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...allows time for the rain to wash a lot of the accumulated crap off the road surface....
That's a biggie. It started raining once on my way home, and when I went to make a right turn, I had zero traction. I slid all the way through the intersection. Fortunately, I had the light. Going on to the next light, I tested the brakes. The slightest touch would initiate a skid. No tire or mechanical issues. Just a wet oily road. Scary stuff. :yikes: Next bike will probably have ABS.
 

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Oil-filmed road surface, traffic lane decals, metal bridge grates et. al. are always a consideration, but what bothers me most is reduced visibility through a rain-spattered, road-spray-grimed, and/or fogged (in cold weather) faceshield.
 

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Road spray worsens drivers visibility of motorcycles. Use your hi-viz vest, all the lights, etc.

Pledge furniture polish causes the rain to bead up & roll off windscreens and face shields for a coupl'a days.

Except for warm summer rain, wet gear leads to hypothermia. Truly waterproof overgloves and other rain gear is essential.

Face shield and eye glass fogging is serious. Cracking the shield open may just let spray inside. Find what works for you.
 

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As I am retired, I have the luxury of never HAVING to go anywhere on my bike. If it looks like rain, I don't take the bike. You can say what you like about avoiding the deisel, motor oil, antifreeze and paint, but I can't see it once the road is wet, and if I can smell it, it's too late, I'm in it and it's on my tires. Riding the bike under dry conditions is at my limit of risk management. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
 

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I use the rear brake even less, don't have abs and mine is just too easy to lock up anyhow.
Actually, I'm the opposite. I treat wet ground like dirt... slow down, more rear brakes since a rear wheel sliding is much more controllable and less nerve wracking than a front wheel slide, leave lots of following space, and I also crack my visor a notch. Helps keep it a little clearer. Obviously, hazards in the road become much more hazardous as already noted, (rail crossings, painted lines, cager drippings, etc.)

As for riding gear, nothing really changes for me. I've spent the past wo days here out riding in the rain and have stayed perfectly dry. I wear a Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket and overpants and Alpinstar Tech2 boots, all of which have reamined totally waterproof so far.

As uncommon as it is, common sense is your friend.
 

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I dont mind riding in the rain "at all" and I enjoy the looks from folks in cages too. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become, actually makes you a much better ride IMHO. Moto's are much less likely to ever hydroplane than a cage, our tires are not flat and have grooves for really moving the water.
 

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Just did a big rain ride yesterday coming back from Key West. Had on 100% nylon fishing shirt and 100% nylon fishing pants. No protection but it was 95 degrees and 95% humid. Got wet 3-4 times and dried off witin a few minutes.
I had rain gear but ... it was 95 degrees. Sometimes it is better to just get wet. Throw the wallet and cell phone in the saddle bag and ride.
 

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If it hasn't rained in an area for a while, follow the ten minute rule - pull over, spend that time putting on rain gear, etc. It allows time for the rain to wash a lot of the accumulated crap off the road surface. Your tires still have 80% of their dry traction. flip side is they have 20% less. Be smooth, watch for diesel - particularly on hills where it seems that overfilled tanks are more likely to spill. Be aware that visibilty - for you and cagers - is reduced by rain and road spray.
this is very good advice, but I would double it to 20 min. if you're in Florida
 
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