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Discussion Starter #1
So I have rode many years in my life and have never had a close call of any sorts riding in the rain...but for some reason I cannot seem to 'relax' when the road is wet...

Not really talking a damp road but active, rain falling, water on the road situation.

So just how normal am I? I am not fond of riding tense, I feel that is a prime way of making a mistake.
 

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I'm a beginner. But being careful and alert, and a bit nervous, will probably serve you well when the road is wet. I've yet to ride in the rain so I know I will be nervous as heck. I'll be nervous in dry conditions for a while. Better safe than sorry!!!
 

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For a period of about 1 year all I had as a means of transportation was a motorcycle. So rain, shine, sleet or snow I had to go. Had a 1 hour drive each way to work. I'm not going to say I got comfortable, but I got more familiar with it. Since I knew the road very well, I knew what areas to avoid when raining (i.e. where water would pool/stand). I will say the one thing you will NEVER get used to is the people changing lanes in front of you. Cagers don't realize how far back the spray their tires throws up goes and if you spend any amount of time riding in the rain, you will get sprayed at least once. I NEVER found a solution to keeping my visor clear on my helmet when it was raining. So, typically, I just rode with it up. What was even more fun was riding to work in the rain in 30 degree weather.. The only thing that saved me was my Carhart Artic Coveralls (water proof and wind proof) my Georgia work books (water proof) and gloves.. I actually NEVER found a pair of gloves I liked that kept my hands warm and didn't make them tired. So, take it from somebody who spent a lot of time driving in the wet cold rain. If you don't have to, don't. The cagers will piss you off to no end by keeping you wet and almost blind and having to do it on unfamiliar roads will drive you crazy constantly adjusting speed for unknown situations.

GL!

eGo
 

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Hi Phil,

As eGo, I used to ride in all weather, and essentially the main precautions are to be prepared for the weather from a clothing perspective, and from a cagers' perspective and all stuff they throw at you (both lterally and metaphorically :)).

A motorbike has the advantage that under normal conditions you don't get aquaplaning, essentially becaue the tires are round rather than flat - that is quite reassuring to start with :).

This doesn't mean you should or can drive at the same speeds as you would normally do, however. Visibility of irregularities on the road and visibility in general is rather impaired, and quite a few surfaces become slippery with water on it, and braking distance gets longer as well as a result.

These days I prefer not to ride when it rains, but I will if it happens while on the road, or if it si just a minor drizzle. It is just one of those things. And I recently got some rain gear, just in case - easy to carry with the bags mounted :). Over gear rain pants and a rain jacket do not take up a lot of space.

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Started riding in 1971 so I have seen my fair share of wet weather riding. I found that running premium tires and not running them to the wear bars was important and changing my riding style by backing down a notch was important. Also having more breaking distance and wearing Hi vis helped. Try to stay relaxed as riding tense can cause you to make mistakes
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Three years back I took my newly bought Strat to Myrtle Beach and on the way back I ran into the storm from hell. I was going across a bridge and the wind gust pushed me 2 lanes right and onto the breakdown lane...on the damn bridge! I made it two more miles and took surface streets to the house. The water was 5" deep in many areas due to the 'flash flood' effect. Cars passing by slowly hit me with so much water cast off it would knock me, pushing me across my lane...It was insane and of course not typical. I ended up seeking refuge under a bank drive through although I was only about 4 miles from the house. I was in full rain gear and soaked to my bones.

Since then, only showers.

Tuesday this week I was riding back from Myrtle Beach again and coming through Asheboro, a smallish town along hwy 220. The highway is two lanes but full of hills and semi sharp turns (for a highway) with on/off ramps not only on the outside lane but also in he center divide.

Evidently just before I came into Asheboro a heavy rain storm rolled through because the sun was out but the roads were soaked with standing water in places.

The problem is I ran up on this in a narrow section with concrete blocks (construction type) right on my left and an 18 wheeler on my right....car on my ass and an car coming down the on ramp to my left from the center divide....I have no idea how long it rained, I am in a curve, no idea if oil is still a factor, I have the trucks tandems on my high side to the right and to be honest, wasnt sure if I should swap the tire tracks from the inside, where I was to the outside, further away from the truck.....

So I decided to just screw it...if its my time its my time. I stuck to my tire track right up against the 18 wheeler, forgot the asshole on my rear fender and just eased off the throttle and never overtook the car coming down the ramp to my left.

In a dry situation, no problems..but the water made me second guess everything, turned a semi normal event into potential death everywhere I looked....remove the wet road..no biggie.

The description is weak but I may pull a map view of the road later to help you understand the situation.... But this is the reason for my post.
 

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I don't ride in the rain unless I'm caught far from home on one of my day rides, when it's absolutely necessary. Having said that, I pay special attention to road snakes which can become very slippery when wet. The same can be said for the paint they use to mark lanes, crosswalks, no passing zones, etc. That paint becomes slippery when wet and all of the above are even more dangerous right after it starts raining because the water will float the oils, etc. on the road to the surface, making the asphalt slippery as well. If I'm going to have to ride when it rains, I always pull over or stop and wait a few minutes before continuing when it starts. Stay relaxed and don't tense up too much.
 

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Only caught in light showers on my Deluxe. Not too bad. Windscreen stays visible. But, on my old '79 KZ650SR (I really did love that bike) I had a Windjammer fairing with lowers and rode in whatever weather that allowed my invincible self to arrive at my next mortality challenge (yeah, I was much younger). And, if a girl was involved, I might not have worn a helmet. Wet hair is easier to comb that helmet head.
 

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I live in the Pacific Northwest... or Northwet. If you don't ride in the rain here, you don't ride much at all.

I'm not saying I enjoy it - I don't - but riding in the rain isn't that much more difficult if you have good tires and rain gear. Just take it slow and easy with your inputs, and assume that you need more room to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Chances are I can trust my grip/bike/road much more than I do but after years of riding I figured it would have came by now...just cant seem to shake the thought that bad **** will happen.
 

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I'm not a fan of riding in the rain. Let's put it this way, I won't start out in the rain if I can help it. If I get caught, which I occasionally do, that's a different story. I will slow down and use more caution and get out of it as soon as possible.

That's just me. I also had a philosophy when tent camping that, I would never pitch a tent in the rain. I have had to take a few of them down in the rain though. :) Augie
 

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No problem riding in it, its like driving a car in the rain really, smooth, smooth, smooth. I just avoid it because I hate the mess it makes of me and especially my bike. I'm not into spending hours cleaning with a paint brush and toothbrush, I like riding it more. :)
 

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i've been caught in the rain too many times to count, especially this year with how much rainfall we've gotten in this part of the country. i don't care as much about being wet as i do about losing visibility. if i'm lucky, i have my windshield on my bike. the water that collects on it cuts down visibility. if i'm wearing my goggles, they tend to fog up and require frequent wiping, inside and out. then there is the general decline in visibility due to all the water coming down around in heavy rains. that's lower visibility for cars as well, cars who already can't see motorcycles as well even in perfect weather. so that's what puts me a little on edge. wuddya gonna do?
 

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My major lessons on riding in the rain happened a LONG time ago. A buddy and my now wife headed for California from northern British Columbia in early may. Our thought process is that we wanted to ride the coast highway before the we're a lot of motorhomes and tourists on it. Well in Oregon and Washington we found out why they call it a rain forest. We were on bikes with no windshields. My gal and I were on a Yamaha 750 twin and my buddy was on a Honda 750. Both bikes had drag bars. We found out just how wet you can get and that with really good tires you can still have fun in the curves in the rain. The trick is to be smooth in everything you do. I rained on us on that trip for 8 days straight. We still had a blast and still talk about it some 43 years later.
 

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For me, it comes down to one word. Tires. Good tires and the rain doesn't seem so bad. Tires that are getting hard/dry or are low tread...well then the rain really sucks. I hate riding in the rain but it happen...
 

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Riding in the rain doesn't bother me but riding on back country roads when they get muddy due to the rain really sucks.
 

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Just so happens I got caught in a rainstorm yesterday. I was coming down an unfamiliar, winding mountain road from the Blue Ridge Pkwy. At one point, realized I was clenching my teeth. It's never comfortable but if you ride, it's inevitable. Just take it easy and be smooth as others have said. If traffic backs up, find a place to pull over and let it pass.

Invest in good tires and a good rain suit. I definitely need to do the latter. And remember, the feeling when you drive out of that sucker and find the sun and dry pavement is real nice.
 

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Nothing like riding 8 days and at least 400 miles a day in heavy rain to make a guy appreciate it when the sky's turn blue and the sun comes out. It makes a guys soul sing.
 

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So long as you have decent tires on the bike, it doesn't perform much differently... you just have to be aware that the different road surfaces have much less grip in the rain.

Ride a little slower because of reduced visability, and be ready to brake early because the cages LOVE to SLAM!!!! on brakes in the rain.

oh... and be ready to spend an hour cleaning off your bike :D

Tires matter a great deal... back when I first started riding, I think this was on my ninja 250, going along an 80km country road, intersection infront of me, light turns yellow - I attempted to stop the bike....... with what I thought was plenty of room, skidded right through the intersection. That was probably the scariest experience ever on a bike, that same day I went and found the best tires I could... a night and day difference. Kawi should not be allowed to sell bikes with wooden tires.
 

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I don't mind riding in the rain - as long as it's not freezing.

Like Bevo said, my problem is visibility. For me, a full face will eventually fog up.

I've found a 3/4 with a bubble shield works decent and doesn't fog, but still not perfect.

Tires play a big part. When I first got my 1100, it came with the factory tires. These Bridgestones got decent mileage, partly because they were a tougher compound. When these tires wore out, I switched to Shinko Tourmasters.

The Tourmasters are known for getting poorer mileage, because they have a softer compound. I noticed in general, and especially in the rain, the bike seemed to have much better traction. But once again, this comes at the cost of mileage (Which i've gotten about 4000 miles out of them and still have at least 60% tread, pretty decent).
 
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