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Riding In the Rain Is Unavoidable, So Here's How To Do It Right

Riding Your Motorcycle In the Rain

Riding Your Motorcycle In the Rain

If you’re a serious rider, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to ride in the rain at some point, and when you do, you’ll need to keep your mind on the task at hand and know a few tricks of the trade to keep you upright and get you home safe.

So how, you ask, can I do that? We’ve put together list of tips to help you down the road when the weather turns ugly and the road stretches out in front of you like an asphalt skating rink.

I don’t mind riding in the rain. I generally wear goggles, and they keep out the water in a way sunglasses can’t. I also ride in a waterproof jacket all the time, and that helps me stay comfortable when I ride through a brief shower. The critical element in enjoying a ride in the rain is good rain gear. It’s doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to work and it helps if it’s easy to carry. If it’s easy to carry, you will, and you’ll be glad when you do.

A hard, cold driving rainstorm might persuade you to go with a full-coverage helmet, but I find them annoying, so I go with goggles a do-rag to cover my mouth. At 65 mph, riding through the rain can feel like getting sand blasted in a cabinet, so cover your face. Ditch the dark sun glasses in favor of goggles or clear lenses. I keep a pair of safety glasses on the bike for just that purpose, and they work well for nighttime riding as well.

At 65 mph, riding through the rain can feel like getting sand blasted in a cabinet

Watch out for road features that, while they might be relatively benign in dry weather, become serious hazards when wet. Metal fixtures like manhole covers, bridge gratings, painted areas of the road, and places where oil and grease build up like gutters and low spots are nasty when wet. If those conditions are present, you actually have a surprising amount of traction on asphalt and concrete.
It’s not a bad idea to lock up the rear wheel a couple of times when you come to a stop to get a feel for what kind of traction you can expect given the current conditions.

Turning your bike on slick surfaces requires you be smooth like butter. Stabbing on the brakes or making a sudden moves will put you over the high side. A conservative approach to speed and handling, downshifting and engaging the clutch smoothly and avoiding quick throttle input will keep you out of trouble. Stay with a taller gear than usual to keep even forces on the rear tire and give the drivers around you lots of time and room to react to what you’re doing.

Above all, ride in a way that’s appropriate to the conditions and you’ll ride safer, and that’s the critical element in getting home safe – not necessarily dry – but at least safe.
Bad things can happen to you and your bike, and your insurance needs can get complicated. We’re here to help…

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