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Old 02-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
c3eh OP
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Is Riding in the rain Really that dangerous?

Maybe this isn't the right place for this question but its a rainy day in st louis and it came across my mind.

I am probably a noob I'll admit that and I have never ridden in rain (drizzle, downpour whatever) so I was curious how dangerous is it really to ride in rain?
All that came to mind was losing traction in a corner
So just in general or if you have a personal story either one really I was just curious.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3eh View Post
Maybe this isn't the right place for this question but its a rainy day in st louis and it came across my mind.

I am probably a noob I'll admit that and I have never ridden in rain (drizzle, downpour whatever) so I was curious how dangerous is it really to ride in rain?
All that came to mind was losing traction in a corner
So just in general or if you have a personal story either one really I was just curious.
How rainy?

Drizzle?
Rain?
Downpour?
Deluge?
That Ark that just went by, I wonder if he knows something I don't?


Your biggest threat is from poor visibility - other road users are somewhat impaired by the rain on their windshields and spray, you'll face similar issues with the possible addition of a fogged helmet. The standard warnings apply - increase following distance, plan ahead for brake and turn maneuvers, try not to ride on painted/taped lines (they're somewhat slicker when wet).
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
Grinnin
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Not all that dangerous.

Gentle on all controls is all it takes.

I SHOULD have pulled over that one time about 7 years ago when the road was running deep with water and every car coming from ahead threw up a wall of dirty spray. I continued on and survived, but that's the most dangerous rain that I've been in.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
c3eh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Error View Post
How rainy?

Drizzle?
Rain?
Downpour?
Deluge?
That Ark that just went by, I wonder if he knows something I don't?


Your biggest threat is from poor visibility - other road users are somewhat impaired by the rain on their windshields and spray, you'll face similar issues with the possible addition of a fogged helmet. The standard warnings apply - increase following distance, plan ahead for brake and turn maneuvers, try not to ride on painted/taped lines (they're somewhat slicker when wet).
Just in general normal rain, not sprinkle but not a hurricane. Or whatever experience you have had.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #5
JensEskildsen
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Doesnt feel dangerous to me, just wet =)
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
Twilight Error
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3eh View Post
Just in general normal rain, not sprinkle but not a hurricane. Or whatever experience you have had.
Nope. No threat.

The worst rain I was ever in happened in Oklahoma. It was raining so hard and fast, the noise kept the VOX mic in my helmet keyed until I found shelter in the carport of a house with a for sale sign in the front yard.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Motorcyles are dangerous. You can curb some risk factors. Rain just adds a couple factors of increased risks. Poor visibility, decreased traction. These arent just to you, the cars get the same thing. So another factor for us is idiotic drivers.

I try to never ride in the rain because I deem it to risky.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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I have ridden in the rain a lot. Increased danger in my opinion comes from the cages. Outside of being extra causes of other vehicles, yon need to be extra careful of momentum changes - starting, stopping and turning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c3eh View Post
Maybe this isn't the right place for this question but its a rainy day in st louis and it came across my mind.

I am probably a noob I'll admit that and I have never ridden in rain (drizzle, downpour whatever) so I was curious how dangerous is it really to ride in rain?
All that came to mind was losing traction in a corner
So just in general or if you have a personal story either one really I was just curious.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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Like most other activities which involve risk, danger is dependent on
many factors, some but not all of which can be controlled by you. I think
it is important to make sure you have done everything in your power to
be as sharp as possible so you are better able to deal with the factors
which are not under your control.


Often the cars and trucks you will share the road with won't allow for increased
stopping distances which may ( will ! ) be required in the wet. This can make for
hairy situations if you are unable to maintain a safe buffer space between you
and all the other vehicles. If someone in a car or truck is on your tail and you
crash they are probably going to run over you. So it's worth doing whatever it
takes to make sure you have a safe buffer zone of empty road around you.
This would in my opinion include getting of the road and waiting for less traffic or less
rain; judgement is important here. You need to be able to make a quick decision
to wait it out under a bridge or in a cafe and not feel bad because you "wimped out".


Lots of aircraft have crashed because pilots were intent on getting to their destination -
this is so common there's a name for it. It is called "get-home-itis". Better to arrive late
and alive than die hurrying to arrive. This is of course obvious, yet intelligent people
still die in airplanes and vehicles because they are impatient and want to "get home".


Manhole covers are slippery. It is known to most riders that the oil-soaked center
portion of the lane which is often found at intersections makes that part of the road
best avoided, especially in the wet.


If it has not rained in a while the road can be a LOT more slippery when the
rain first begins than it will be if it has rained for days on end.


It is worth practicing braking in the rain so you have an idea of how your bike
reacts if you need to stop quickly. This is best done in a deserted parking lot or
other area where you won't need to be concerned about other vehicles. If your
bike has ABS it will behave differently from a bike without ABS, but in any case
it's worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with how your bike behaves in a
wet stopping situation. Some track instruction if there is a wet "skid pad" available
could be time and money well spent.


.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 02-10-2013 at 11:43 AM
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:30 AM   #10
dan0
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No big threat, just take it easy. I encountered rain my first time within a month of starting to ride. I was a little freaked out but just took things slow and never had any sort of problem.

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
Craneguy
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Slow down.

All good advice above.

Don't be afraid to pull over. If it's really bad, be prepared to be blinded by assholes driving too fast in both directions and sending up walls of water.

I drove through a downpour a few weeks back and the drainage for miles was overwhelmed. Apart from the other vehicles, my biggest concern was what might be hiding under the 18" of water on the road. An unexpected rock or pothole can really ruin your day.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Craneguy View Post
Slow down.

All good advice above.

Don't be afraid to pull over. If it's really bad, be prepared to be blinded by assholes driving too fast in both directions and sending up walls of water.

I drove through a downpour a few weeks back and the drainage for miles was overwhelmed. Apart from the other vehicles, my biggest concern was what might be hiding under the 18" of water on the road. An unexpected rock or pothole can really ruin your day.
Manhole covers are sometimes forced up and out of position by water, the front wheel finding that hole would not be a good time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #14
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Getting caught out like in the video above, is when it is the most slippery. It's just water. Don't try to rush out of it.

Good tires. Watch the paint. Watch the sewer covers. Toll booths are like ice sometimes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AwFTvRVZY8

NBD.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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Wet Roads: It ain't for everybody!

43 yrs. of street riding here. There are a lot of variables to your question including tire tread and compound, speed and road conditions. But IN GENERAL, I've found most tires to be more adhesive than the average Rider is willing to test.But it only takes a little oil, soap or grit in one spot to have that little surprise.
Your ability to see the road, and particularly on Interstate, other Drivers ability to see you, is diminished. And braking adhesion is diminished at speed.
Examples of things done in the past; up to 100 mph(but mostly 80-90) on I-40W in pouring rain on a loaded FJR, weaving in and out of left-laners. Never spun once, but visibility was a big issue. Heavy Rain!
75 mph on a curvy wet 2-lane posted for 50 mph. It was not raining. And I was on a Valkyrie Tourer. My Wing has done similar speeds on wet roads. And several instances with various SportBikes in steady rain where I could roll 70 mph in straight-aways and back down to 60-65 in curves. AND I've slipped and slid at every little turn or braking with near bald tires. Will I push those limits ever again? Doubtful!
But if you do enough riding(of any distance) sooner than later you'll roll thru some rain. OR you can be one those guys that tell me "I never ride in rain!" Bike-owners! NOT Riders!
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