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

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by robfilms, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. robfilms

    robfilms Been here awhile

    Mar 20, 2011
    riverdale, ny
    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.

  2. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Mar 18, 2012
    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
  3. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Feb 27, 2007
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
    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.
  4. uraberg

    uraberg whosaberg?

    Apr 21, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    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.
  5. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Apr 1, 2011
    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.
  6. Goldburg

    Goldburg Been here awhile

    Mar 24, 2009
    Eastern NC
    I'm sure there are tons of folks waiting for the first sucker to comment so that they can pounce on his suggestions...:D

    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.
  7. Laconic

    Laconic Cognitively Privileged

    Sep 28, 2007
    In a Gilded Cage
    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.
  8. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

    May 11, 2009
    Spotsylvania, VA
    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.
  9. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Jul 9, 2007
    the 'Ha
    This is the best advice. Smooth on throttle, smooth on brake, smooth on steering input.

    It's not just for riding in the rain.
  10. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

    Oct 6, 2011
    Washington, D.C.
    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!
  11. craftsmanracer

    craftsmanracer Been here awhile

    Jul 3, 2011
    Englewood, FL
    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.
  12. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

    Mar 30, 2008
    Providence, RI
    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!!!!
  13. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2011
    Northern Utah
    Leaves (especially WET leaves) are NOT your friend! Stay away from them.
  14. Gitana

    Gitana A work in progress

    Feb 12, 2009
    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. :bluduh
  15. Bollocks

    Bollocks Farts with an Accent™

    Oct 14, 2005
    Watauga lake, 10-E-C
    What he said and modern tiers are freaking amazing in the rain now a days.
  16. robfilms

    robfilms Been here awhile

    Mar 20, 2011
    riverdale, ny

    thank you each for the thoughtful and obviously experience earned insights.

    by the time i could break away from my desk, the rain had stopped.

    the road was not really wet, more like damp.

    i managed a thoughtful 70min on the kawasaki zee running errands and riding thru a local park.

    i noticed no lessening of traction.

    i steered clear of all manhole covers, metal construction plates and anything that looked "slippery when wet".

    i'm not sure my gear was at all tested.

    i imagine i will know what i need when i return with wet undies and puddles in my boots.

    and even with all of the above concerns, i got off the bike with a really big grin.



    yup yup.

    be well.

  17. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

    Aug 12, 2004
    Not the best advise... saw the aftermath of two HD riders that got smashed (thnakfully they were ok ish when they were hauled away), parked under an overpass in a downpour. I was told the "driver" didn't see them as she was pulling under the overpass.
    I try to avoid this now and just keep on rolling much more aware of my surroundings. In Floriduh it's usually clear in a few miles anyway.

  18. Mangle

    Mangle Adventurer

    Sep 4, 2012
    The first few guys got just about everything I would tell you, and someone touched on this but I'll emphasize two points:

    1) Tunnels, under bridges, and toll booths -- places that the rain never washes away the oil. Well, enough water gets in there to make things remarkably slick.

    2) Whenever you put your foot down at the light, do not assume that it'll hold. Understand that there is a possibility that your foot will just slide away because you put it in an oil puddle.

    But yeah, all the normal stuff about paint, tar repairs, and any metal surface.

    Ride slow, be seen, avoid cages. Don't be ashamed to run your hazard lights if you don't think people can see you. Your headlights will get lost in the glare.
  19. car94

    car94 What's this Box for?

    Sep 1, 2010
    West Central Missouri
  20. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

    Feb 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    What the rest have said about the riding but, dress warmly and stay dry, cold is not your freind and put decent quality road tyyres on the bike, not the latest track tyres but good road tyres.

    Enjoy yourself and watch out for deep puddles, when you hit them at speed the water jets up under the front and goes straight up into your nose, DAMHIK. :D