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ewww wet stuff on the black stuff...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by chicken78, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. I know its going to happen, and I know that I have to do it, learn how to do it safely and with some degree of confidence..

    But today was the first time, I had to ride in the wet with some high winds...not far...but far enough that it was scaring the crap out of me..

    I went the long way, low speed zones, minimal traffic...But, the rain certainly bought me down a peg or two..maybe even three. Capabilities and skills in the dry mean jack $%$%^ in the wet it seems, whole differant ball game to learn..so now im madly searching threads on wet weather riding to get some confidence and smarten up a bit about the whole saga.

    Even in a stupid straight line I felt completely unsafe :(
    Just another learning curve... and further proof you are learning all the time, and should never stop learning
  2. one word.......... relax
  3. be smooootttthhh
  4. Yes you have to relax, even at the thought of crashing. Otherwise your tension will create an unstable feedback in the controls.
  5. Once you're over about 50 km/h
    Turning your head one way will clear half your visor, and turning it the other will clear the other half :)

    Provided you're sensible there's a lot more grip on a wet road that you think there is.
    Though watch for oily sections especially if it's a while since it last rained.

    For what it's worth... losing traction a couple of times on the rear wheel in the wet made me more confident when riding in the dry since I worked out small losses of traction weren't a big deal.
  6. The relax part, just wasnt happening, wasnt to worried bout a little traction loss in the rear, its more the front that scares me..

    But first rain in week or so, I could see alot of oil patches etc....but relax and stay smooth? ill try this on the way home :D
  7. yep, no sudden inputs, smooth on the brakes, smooth on the throttle, smooth when tipping in. And be very aware of things like the oil in the middle of lanes at intersections and white lines are also slippery when wet. you would be surprised how much lean you can get in the wet, but it's better not to try...
  8. I was nervous as hell when I first started riding in the rain. But 'Relaxing' is crucial. Dont think 'oh shit! Its wet, slippery & dangerous. What if...?'. Just be wary & alert. Start humming a tune or something (I do to soothe my nerves). Ride slow if you are nervous. I've to be more careful as I wear vision glasses so they also fog up along with the visor. :D

    Excellent advise here from mike_dnhm
    The 3 Saturday sessions & the 2 group rides (First one had rain, cold, fog & twisties all thrown in) I've been to have given me a lot of self confidence as well. Relax. Ride Safe! :)
  9. Hang in there Chicken, not so long ago I remember my first ride in the rain and being scared stiff. I commute though, so there was no point trying to avoid it. It does get easier, the more you get used to it.

    All the other advice is spot on. The only thing I would add (without wanting to overload you with advice) is that the wheel tracks are generally the cleanest, least 'greasy' part of the road when it's wet - so if I have any significant braking to do in the wet, I try to have my wheels on the wheel tracks rather than on the greasy black stripe in the middle of the lane.


    After my little whinge I rode home :D with all that advice in my head, and must say although still a little tense, it was a much more comfortable ride :D trying hard to plan ahead etc all practice
  11. One of the best things I ever did was a HART day in the rain. It was a great environment to test the limits a little, and yes, what people say is true, the bike has more grip than you think (except for tram tracks where grip doesn't exist at all) and be smooth (relax).
  12. As everyone else has said, stay relaxed and ride within your limits.

    The other thing is to be even more aware of what cars are doing. When the road gets wet, drivers tend to do one of the following.
    Stay relaxed and continue like normal (ok)
    Stay relaxed and ease off the pace a little (also ok)
    Drop 20km/h or more and choose stupid lanes or lane positions (try to spot these ones before you catch them and pass with care)
    Accelerate and change lanes without indicating or looking to get around the slow drivers, tailgate and try to make up for the time lost by driving in slower traffic (really look out for these ones and make sure you stay out of their blind spot).
  13. You'll be ok mate just keep getting out there. Honestly if you learn to ride confidently in the wet, maintain the same smoothness and discretion in all conditions and you'll be a great rider. I don't ride much differently on a rainy day to a sunny day to day (expect on the track and hard mountain riding). It's bad practice being ham fisted with the controls in the dry just because you can get away with it, the moment the conditions are worse than they look you'll be sliding down the road blaming everything under the sun for it (you see it on here all the time). Always aim to operate every control as smoothly as possible and don't dial in any more brake/throttle than you need for the rate of acel/deceleration that's taking place (hard to describe!)

    The other day on the way to a wet track day I thought I'd test the traction and see if she'd do a wheelie, resulted in 100kph+ power skid. That's by purposely being ham fisted in the wet.
  14. My third week back on a bike after my off last november, on a more upright ride then my last commuter with more torque and oomf too, saw the wet road as I walked outta my building and thought, ahrr farkitt and go easy. I did go easy, I down shifted more, touched the brakes instead of grabbing, changed lanes slower and smoother, [it wasnt raining, but havent been on wet for yonks] in the end, rain only wets you!! I believe you have to be able to ride in the rain, if you dont go out and do it, and avoid it like the plague, come crunch time one day, you'll be so worried about all the what ifs, and you're bound to make a mistake. As everyone said, go slower, be smoother and as when first out on a bike IN THE DRY, first ride is GO SLOW,and build on the experience, now I shall take a leaf out of my own mouthful ready for tomorrow morning on citylink.!!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I know that tyre tread disperses water. The less tread the tyre has the less water it disperses. Whether or not this has an effect on grip I'm not 100% sure, but it makes sense that it does.
  17. #18 kneedragon, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    That's part of the story. As the tyre wears, the rubber ages and gets harder, and that reduces the grip - especially in the wet. Also, as the tyre wears, the tread layer gets thinner, there's less rubber to rub against itself to warm the tyre up - they get more and more difficult to get warm, and that directly impacts their wet grip. Also, as they wear, certain oily parts of the rubber compound evaporate, sweat out of the rubber and wipe off, and that's not a good thing because the rubber stops being like rubber, and becomes more like hard plastic. That soft rubbery-ness thing is vital to wet grip.

    The better they were when new, the more noticeable the loss of cold and wet performance is as they age and wear. I have a Pure on the front now that's worn out. It was bl00dy magic in the wet when new. It's quite frighteningly bad now.

    Can't believe how hard this is to find. Still not what I'm looking for but getting closer.
  18. WoW thanks for all the info guys I really appreciate it :D
  19. what i want to have a go on is that ride and slide bike CSS in the US have.... that would be awesome :D