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First ride in the rain!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by doozerberry, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. A friend got her learners two weeks ago, and so we took the bike out somewhere quiet for her to have a little practise... It started spitting, and before we knew it, is was bucketing down. I have never ridden in the rain before, and I was packing myself. I was so surprised I didn't have skiddies in my undies when I got home. Of course, I wasn't prepare for rain either, so I was drenched from head to toe...

    I was just wondering what hints or experinces others can share about riding in the wet.

  2. Get yourself some wet weather gear and get out there and practice.
    You can't concentrate if you're wet and cold so gear is a must.
    Then just take it easy and ride smooth smooth smooth! The road is usually at its slipperiest when the rain has just started, especially after a dry period.
    Oh, and take extra care in traffic. Don't know if its just me but car drivers seem crazier than usual in wet weather and their visibility is reduced too.
  3. Thanks for the tips :) Luckily I was on a road near home, straight, and not a heap of traffic. I know roads are at there most slippery when it has just started raining, which made it scarier I think. Also the wind seemed to blow me a couple of inches over every time a decent sized car went in the opposite direction, or even just a decent sized gust.
  4. Hi doozerberry
    One of the really rotten bits about riding in the rain i've found is at night when the rain is coming straight at you. It gets pretty hard to see anything at all , what with the lights of cars and the rain water on the visor. Best here I have found , to date, is to pop the visor just up enough to still offer some protection from rain above , and a really good pair of night time riding glasses ( mine are yellow - not a good colour for me but its night and its raining so who cares). This combo seems to handle the glare of nightime car lights and rain the best, but I would be really interested in hearing how others handle the rain on the visor , especially at night.

    I actually quite like riding in the rain. It just makes that hot shower after, all the better.
  5. Doozerberry, One of the mosts important things to do is relax - you can't ride properly if you are tense. After that avoid the middle of lanes, especially at traffic lights and intersections and roundabouts where oil and muck collects. Be especially careful of tram tracks, bridge joining strips, metal manhole covers and the metal covers used as temporary road repairs and concrete kerbing (if you are trying to mount a kerb) - these are all very nasty when wet. The white and other types of painted lines on the roads will also be slippy. One of the better places to try and ride is the right hand wheel track of the lane, but of course roadcraft demands that you alter this to keep as far away of vehicles as you safely can. Realise that mad people in cars (sjestory is correct they do go mad in the rain) will perhaps not leave the appropriate braking distance watch your mirrors and the road ahead carefully, especially watch your mirrors at lights and if possible plot an escape route to utilise in case you have to, I don't put my bike into neutral until i have at least two stationary vehicles behind me, if of course there are any other vehicles in coo-ee.

    Clearing your visor, I just use my left thumb and swipe it across the visor every now and again. You get used to seeing through a rainy visor. Some people use Rain-ex I have given up. Also as has been stated wear the appropriate gear. My Husband hated his rainsuit over thingy and refused to take it with us on a ride up to Bateman's Bay. I took mine, even though I hate the thing more if possible than he does and it absolutely persisted down. I relented and put the wretched thing on and was dry and he was very wet and very cold and was sick for three weeks afterwards.
  6. Rain gear...never leave home without it.
  7. Your bike will handle the rain quite well if you let it. It's important to remain lose and relaxed - no death grip on the bars, otherwise you will be fighting the suspension and you will have far less control.

    One has to more or less "feel" the bike under you, use smooth control inputs - don't be too aggressive on the brakes or throttle. This is correct for dry weather riding as well, but it is paramount in the wet.

    Visibility is alot worse with rain on the visor....a good way to get rid of that if you are at a decent enough speed is to turn your head side on to the air-stream on both sides...this will wash the water off the visor. Or you can wipe it with the back of your hand, if you are'nt travelling fast enough for that to work.

    And practice, practice in the rain...I go out in the rain on purpose as winter approaches, since the riding style is different to the way I have spent all summer riding...it helps to get my mind in the right place for the winter period and wet weather riding.

    No use getting out there without the right gear though...you'll just get cold and miserable and that will distract you from improving on your wet-weather skills.
    I might add...such skills are very important, because we have no control over when it rains and need to be prepared for it does, as much as we can.

    Oh...and don't forget...the same dimwit cage driver that might not have seen you in the dry, is unlikely to see you in the wet, so give yourself plenty of space around you, and to stop/slow down.
  8. mate you got it down pat there and i dont think anyone could improve on that one :grin: :grin:
  9. I was out there today, riding around in the Yarra Valley, running the engine in.
    Knowing about the rain, I was making tracks to get back to Melbourne. Thankfully, I bought heated hand grips. While my gloves were wet it was great that my palms were warm.
    I'm testing the heated hand grips out. I had previously been using KTM Barkbusters and Crumpler bags for riding in the rain and snow, but if these are good enough I may not re-install the BB and C bags. :)
  10. Apparently riding in the left or right tire tracks of the car ahead of you is the go, as all the oil etc. tends to congeal in the centre of the road.
  11. So many REALLY good tips there. As soon as I can afford wet weather gear I'll be investing in some. I will have to do a search on this thread and reread all these hints before I decide to practise in the wet.

    For now, if I happen to get caught in the rain, I will try to focus on relaxing a bit more, and making sure I ride properly, and keeping an extra eye out for those nasty cagers.