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Old 10-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
robfilms OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: riverdale, ny
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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.

2009 suzuki dl650 wee-strom Le Grande Orange~
2006 kawasaki z750s black-gone~1974 yamaha rd350 maroon/white racing stripe-gone
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:01 AM   #2
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Location: NEPA
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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
SOTGMOTT Some Of The Gear Most Of The Time
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #3
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
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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, 09:06 AM   #4
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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.


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, 09:06 AM   #5
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Location: Pittsburgh
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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, 09:08 AM   #6
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Location: Eastern NC
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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.
Trip Rodgers
Rocky Mount, NC
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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Get a pinlock faceshield. Being able to see makes riding in the rain fun.

I only got one 6 months ago; some of the best money I've ever spent.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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I commute almost daily on a bike and rain doesn't change a lot except for figuring out how to keep the visor from getting wet on the inside. Riding at speed keeps you drier than slow riding and keeps the outside of your visor clean.

Find a suit that is waterproof without a liner and learn to layer.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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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.
Successfully surviving motorcycling since 1976.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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When the rain gets too heavy, don't be an ADV hero.

Even if you're the best rain rider in the world, always remember that you share the road with the lowest common denominator. When the rain gets so heavy that you can't see ten feet beyond your front wheel, accept that no one else can, either. Hit your flashers and pull over under an overpass or stop for some coffee. The road will still be there when it clears up!
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Around me it's kind of choosing between two evils while riding in the rain.

Where car tires have worn out the road into 2 channels in the road, there is no oil contamination, but standing water.

In the center of the road, there is no standing water, but alot of contamination.

I ride in the middle of the lane, because I like a slippery surface instead of constantly hydroplaning.
Current fleet: '82 Toyota Pickup 4X4, '99 Suzuki DR650, '97 Yamaha Zuma, '86 sears-craftsman racing lawnmower (guinness world record mower).
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #12
Isn't that dangerous?
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Providence, RI
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Be smooth. (You should be practicing this as a general rule.) Wet roads will amplify any bad form/habits you have while riding. Be smooth with your throttle input and your lane changes, stopping and going etc.

Get good gear. It doesn't have to be expensive, it has to work. If you are dry and warm you will be able to focus on riding.

Give yourself some extra time and space. Stopping distance will be increased in the wet, also you need to account for all the other knuckleheads out there and additional time and space gives you more options if you need to adjust your line/speed.

Be careful and have fun!!!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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Leaves (especially WET leaves) are NOT your friend! Stay away from them.
2009 KLX 250S
If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why!
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #14
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You know that thick white paint used for crossings? Don't put your foot down on them when it's wet. You will have your foot slide out. And you will be picking up your bike in front of an audience. DAMHIK.
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” - William Gibson
"Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste." - Bonnie Raitt
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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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.
Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
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