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Old 10-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
robfilms OP
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so who rides in the rain on pavement & what can you teach me?

after 33+ years i'm back on a motorcycle.

it has been approx 45 days since i have my M license.

i have logged about 750 miles, all on pavement.

i obviously have not taken any long trips. the furtherest i have been is a drive from nyc to southern conn. i do mostly local stuff. i have been in manhattan a half/dozen times.

my experience is very limited.

and now it is rainy.

but i still want to ride.

so who rides in the rain on pavement & what can you teach me?

thanks in advance for any info you care to share.

be well.

rob
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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Watch out for shiny things, like tar snakes painted lines manhole covers etc.
Always leave extra following distance
Remember cagers visibilty is limited even more when it's raining, and they aren't looking for you anyway.
Hope this helps
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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1. When it's just started raining or has only been raining lightly, that's when the roads are slickest as all the road contamination (oils, anti-freeze drippings, etc.) have been "activated" in a sense to create a slick as snot surface.
2. Regarding # 1 , be vary aware where these drippings accumulate. (stop signs/lights, city streets, high traffic areas etc)
3. Be aware of shit that gets washed into the roads. Stones from driveways and cinders left over from the winter along the shoulders of roads, etc.
4. Storms also like to deposit tree limbs and leaves in the road. Be cautious (as you always should be) when going around blind turns.
5. Use the tire footprints from cars in front of you (where their tires have already displaced water) to your advantage to resist hydroplaning.

6 + ...about 10 million other things that can go wrong, like increased braking distances, acceleration away from areas where road surface contamination is heavy, lowered visability, etc.

B.T.W. Visor treatments with plexus and turtle wax express shine does wonders for shedding water from your line of vision.
Note: if you have lightly tinted (almost not noticible) polarized lenses, they help show you where oil sheen is on the roads surfaces.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
Jnich77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
5. Use the tire footprints from cars in front of you (where their tires have already displaced water) to your advantage to resist hydroplaning.

.

I live by that.. and do it almost daily!
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
uraberg
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Unless you're a very aggressive rider, there is no reason to change anything about how you ride. Stay smooth, and all is well.

But,

My experience is that because some people on the road slow way down, while others continue to go way faster than they should anyway, the speed differential between vehicles increases a lot, which potentially causes a lot of problems.
So, while I don't think there is a lot of danger of slipping and sliding in the rain while riding normally, the chance of necessity for an emergency maneuver increases, at which time you may find the limits of your traction.

You will have to be even more aware of other traffic than you normally would be. Also, visibility will be reduced, meaning you will see less, and you will be seen less as well.

One more thing to keep in mind, is that increasing your comfort level (physically, staying dry) is good to keep you from being distracted by you getting soaked through.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
Yossarian™
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uraberg View Post
Unless you're a very aggressive rider, there is no reason to change anything about how you ride. Stay smooth, and all is well.
This is the best advice. Smooth on throttle, smooth on brake, smooth on steering input.

It's not just for riding in the rain.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
Bollocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uraberg View Post
Unless you're a very aggressive rider, there is no reason to change anything about how you ride. Stay smooth, and all is well.
What he said and modern tiers are freaking amazing in the rain now a days.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bollocks View Post
What he said and modern tiers are freaking amazing in the rain now a days.
+1 I am in love with the Michelin Anakee II's, they are the most awesome tires for rain I have ever used. I ride all year (no car) in Vancouver, and they handle everything our "wet coast" throws at them.

Get some good tires on, some good gear on, and ride smooth and cautious and you will do fine - have fun even! There have been a few crazy storms I've ridden through laughing like a loon.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
dwoodward
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Smoother is always better. The smoother your are, the more you can get away with, wet or dry.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Everything has been covered from good modern tires to smoother control technique. I'll emphasis dry and warm clothing and an antifogging helmet system.

I ride in rain a lot, so all my outer gear is high quality gortex and I wear heated glove and jacket liners. Sometimes it rains so hard I simply pull over and let the squall pass. Visibility can get very bad in those things.


If you think it's tough now, wait till the spring with all the sand that collects in the intersections!

BTW, I am a re-entry rider as well, but I never rode the streets much. I found it takes a couple seasons to really get comfortable in traffic, so give it some time to regain your skills.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uraberg View Post
Unless you're a very aggressive rider, there is no reason to change anything about how you ride. Stay smooth, and all is well
Yes, to a point. However, there IS a significant difference in the painted lines in my town, and they often paint GIANT arrows right at the point where you'll be tipping the bike in to turn. I'm talking slick to the point that pedestrians crossing over them have slipped and you don't want to put your foot down on them. Also, there will be sections (especially in construction zones) where that red clay is spread all out over the roads. In the dry, it's not so bad but in the wet, that stuff turns slick as snot. This holds true regardless of whatever tire you feel is the best and greatest. I'm a smooth rider regardless of the weather, but I do adjust my riding style a bit to suit the wet...there's no reason not to and it's not some admission of over-aggressiveness if you do.

In my experience, you have a helluva more traction than you think at some points, and a helluva lot less traction than you think at other points. Best to use good judgment...like with everything we do on a bike.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opmike View Post
Yes, to a point. However, there IS a significant difference in the painted lines in my town, and they often paint GIANT arrows right at the point where you'll be tipping the bike in to turn. I'm talking slick to the point that pedestrians crossing over them have slipped and you don't want to put your foot down on them. Also, there will be sections (especially in construction zones) where that red clay is spread all out over the roads. In the dry, it's not so bad but in the wet, that stuff turns slick as snot. This holds true regardless of whatever tire you feel is the best and greatest. I'm a smooth rider regardless of the weather, but I do adjust my riding style a bit to suit the wet...there's no reason not to and it's not some admission of over-aggressiveness if you do.

In my experience, you have a helluva more traction than you think at some points, and a helluva lot less traction than you think at other points. Best to use good judgment...like with everything we do on a bike.

I agree with that riding in the rain 90% of the time you've got more traction than you think you should, but sometimes you've got allot less than you did 5 feet ago and if it's just started raining pay lots of care approaching stop lights and intersections until it's had time to wash some some of the oil away.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
I agree with that riding in the rain 90% of the time you've got more traction than you think you should, but sometimes you've got allot less than you did 5 feet ago and if it's just started raining pay lots of care approaching stop lights and intersections until it's had time to wash some some of the oil away.
And in some regions you'll encounter pavement that is glassy smooth, and gets incredibly slippery in the rain.

I started riding in the PNW. It rained a lot and it wasn't a big deal. Other than getting wet. But if you live in a place with different pavement, your experience may be much different.

If the pavement looks glassy smooth, if it feels smooth to the touch, it's probably gonna be really slippery when wet.

Other issues in the wet include tar snakes, steel plates, wooden road surfaces (fortunately rare), train tracks, painted lines, gore points etc. And standing water.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #14
LittleRedToyota
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a few things:

1. slow down.

2. be extra careful crossing painted lines...they can get really slick when wet.

3. slow down.

4. look for rainbow colored streaks or pools and avoid them. that is oil, fuel, etc. floating in the water. it's slippery.

5. slow down.

6. when it first starts raining, the water lifts oil, fuel, etc. that has been spilled onto the pavement and make it slipperier. eventually, if it rains hard enough, the rain washes all that crap off the road and actually makes the road surface sticker. however, when it first starts raining--or if the rain is just very light--it makes everything slipperier. so, be especially careful if it has just started raining or you are riding in a light rain.

7. slow down.

8. be careful of manhole covers, bridge expansion joints, and anything else made of metal. metal get very slippery when wet.

9. slow down.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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I'm sure there are tons of folks waiting for the first sucker to comment so that they can pounce on his suggestions...

1) Make yourself Highly Visible. We're hard to see in normal conditions. Harder with wipers running on the cars.

2) Give yourself more time for stopping and more spacing in front of you.

3) Passing 18 wheel trucks is more difficult because of the amount of spray they put out. Just be prepared for it and not surprised by it.

4) Don't run your racing slicks in the rain. Good tread is needed for good traction. Worn tires are more likely to hydroplane.

5) Invest in a good rain suit.
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