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Motorcycles: wet riding

Eventually you are going to have ride in the rain

  1. Mouth
    Motorcycles: wet riding
    By Peter Barnwell

    Motorcycles and wet weather are not a good mix due to the fact that bikes are...
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  1. MouthMouth I got caught in this today. As a learner with less that 20 hours under my belt it was an interesting experience. Something that wasn't mentioned in the article that would have been useful for me today was 'how DO you keep your visor clean when it's raining?'

    I was on the tail end of some stinging slanty rain, visibility was atrocious enough without the waterfall running across my visor and I alternated between flipping it up and putting it back down when I couldn't stand it any more. Added to that I had to do the dreaded 100 kpm stretch of dippy country road to get home and the wind was a worry as well. I managed a top speed of 80 kpm and was fortunately enough to have a driver behind me who was either a rider or just very considerate because he kept a huge distance between us.

    So I've been searching the forums and found your article, but would really like to know how to keep the visor clear. I had enough airflow that it wasn't fogging up so that wasn't the issue. The intensity of the rain was.

    Looking forward to hearing that there are teensy little wiper blades that can be retro fitted to a helmet :) 23 Feb sm.

    • Like Like x 2
  2. Good question - one that riders are always trying to solve :)
    It generally boils down to 4 options;
    1. Apply a wax like product to your visor that helps the water 'bead' and slide off quickly. Eg. "Rain X"
    2. Have some wet weather riding gloves that have a little wiper blade on the side of your pointing finger so you can wipe the water off
    3. Do the "visor gap juggle" (like you did) between opening it slightly and closing, rinse and repeat.
    4. Pull over and wait it out, hopefully at a cafe with good coffee
    Of course, there's option #5 too which is never to let your Ducati out of the garage if the weather man even suggests there will be rain someone in AUS today or tomorrow, or the sky isn't blue without the slightest bit of cloud :)

    Take a look at these below threads for some advise on visors and rain riding ...


    I always suggest riding (safe distance) behind another vehicle too, if you can, so that you can watch their tail lights for upcoming corners and clearly/brightly see their braking lights for upcoming lights/hazards, etc.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. When you get to about 20km the rain drops flatten out and become much more see through and any fogging should clear. By luck this is about the speed at which drops fly through and hit you in the face. So when you stop, open your visor. As you speed to the point it becomes annoying close it and you should always be able to see reasonably well.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Thank you very much gents. This is very useful, especially option 2. Will look for said gloves!

    MouthMouth when I get my Ducati I will consider option 5. :D
  5. Is it really that hard to see out the visor? While you will get raindrops, it shouldn't really be an issue.

    Try rain x otherwise, I've never needed it on my bike, but it works wonders on car windscreens.
  6. BjpittBjpitt , it was an issue. It was a big issue and I was scared.
  7. Hopefully rain X helps you out then.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. GoldenberriGoldenberri - i hear you - i just use my left hand and swipe the little buggers off (but they keep coming back) - but now that you've done it once - next time should be easier - I have found that once you have faced something unknown or that you weren't expecting it isn't perhaps as big a deal the next time it comes around :happy:
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BjpittBjpitt ......me too. When I get a few more k's under my belt I won't be so precious about it, but I'm still so new everything is scary. But....having said that I was proud of myself for doing a few things right today. Open/close visor, head shake and managing to get home in one piece.

    PeonyPeony I'm sure as time goes on it will get less scary. Sheesh, it wasn't that long ago I was terrified of pulling out onto the main road. But I got there!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I would leave my visor down unless fogging becomes an issue.

    When the rain ( or spray off the cars in front ) becomes hard to see through I turn my head a little to the side so that the air pressure changes from blowing straight at you ( and spreading the rain on your visor ) to blowing across your visor.
    It pushes a lot of the water from the centre of your visor towards the side ( ears ).
    When that side is mostly clear then I turn my head towards the other side and repeat.
    It doesn't work at low speed, like below 60, but at 80 and above it works well.

    It's worst when you're stuck behind a lot of traffic as it's mostly spray off the cars ahead and not clean. When it's full of road grit and dirt then it really screws with your vision. Then you have to do the glove wipe.
    Many of the wet weather style gloves come with the rubber strip mentioned by MouthMouth above. You just need to practice using them to keep your hand at the best angle to clear the water and grime away and not just smear it across your visor.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. Great effort GoldenberriGoldenberri. Love the photo. I have a pair of Dririder Storm gloves, thick gloves, keep your hands dry and warm for a while, and have a rubber blade on the left index finger (I think). Also found if you turn your head to the left or right, (being careful about it) wind will blow the drops off. Gloves cost about $90 at Peter Stevens.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. PetesulPetesul my gloves were a freebie when I bought my kevlar jeans and don't have the magical rubber blade so I will invest in a pair.

    When I stopped for the photo a man comes around the corner to take a photo of the oncoming storm, looks at me, looks at the bike and says "The radar is black over Melton...." so I skedaddled to a friends carport and planned to wait it out, but it just wouldn't stop.

    I'm glad I had this experience and it's going to be a really steep learning curve for me as my trusty old 4x4 did a head gasket last week and my bike is now my only form of transport for the moment.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. GoldenberriGoldenberri, for rain protection, buy some overpants, they are lightweight and great. I alos bought a light rainkjacket. Here are the gloves I bought, there will be others around too.
    Storm Gloves_12012013. Storm Pants_12012013.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. PetesulPetesul thank you. I feel another shopping spree coming on as I did come home a bit soggy. Gloves are still a bit damp which means I will have cold hands today. :grumpy:
  15. The edge of the left index finger of a leather glove held vertically and wiped once, from right to left across a visor works wonders to clear the vision if it gets grotty. Yep, Rain X is helpful, as is turning the head (but it's all been said)

    A simple and inexpensive gadget which might help and avoid the cost of getting gloves with a "wipe stripe" would be a thing called a "SKIGEE" yep, ski gear - it's a goggle squeegee with a ring. Can be worn on the index finger of motorcycle gloves and provides a soft wipe of maybe 35 or 40 mm wide. Easily fits into a pocket of the jacket for when it might be needed.

    Any ski shop should be able to sell you one for a small number of dollars. It's not as wide as the gloved finger wipe, but overall, more effective than the "wipe stripes" on Winter gloves. You only need to clear the area you actually look through anyway. NB. the wind can "tug" at the little flap at higher speeds which can be a little annoying, but not as annoying as not being able to see clearly when you want to. Handy for when road grime is a problem.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  16. jstavajstava, the skigee sounds like exactly what I will get, because I really like my gloves. They fit....well....like a glove! I'd rather invest my dollars in the rain gear that PetesulPetesul mentioned.
  17. GoldenberriGoldenberri, these are my gloves. They are an investment in winter gloves, which you'll need, as I know your part of the world P2240001.JPG P2240003.JPG P2240004.JPG . They are thick, so you have to get used to them, but I have found them to be very warm, and dry. Obviously over long distances, nothing is waterproof. The blade is on the left index finger and works well, although not quite straight.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. PetesulPetesul if you know my neck of the woods, you'll know what I really need is one of those ice sweepers in front of me come winter.

    Now there's a question...... how do you ride in black ice? I'm guessing that the answer is 'probably best not too.'
    • Like Like x 1
  19. GoldenberriGoldenberri probably best to avoid the black ice scenario - stay inside with a good book and whatever tipple takes your fancy ;) - drove on black ice when i was in Ireland - didn't actually realise what it was until i was on it - scariest 200metres of driving I have ever done - no traction whatsoever - as soon as I realised i just eased of the accelerator and went with the flow
    • Like Like x 2