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Purpose suited Wet weather bike ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by VladTepes, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Well today the weather here in Brisbane is bloody horrible. Very heavy rain, lots of standing water on the roads. And so on.

    Let’s assume you have a naked style bike for daily use / weekend scratching and that you ride most of the time.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ‘safer” / more suited bike for atrocious wet weather conditions.

    Got me thinking – what would be the ideal specifications for a “wet weather bike?”

    A fairing, obviously, keeps the rider more comfortable which is very important in stressful conditions / where you really need to concentrate.

    What else?

    Power plant – Are some better than others e.g. smooth power delivery curve. ?
    Braking system – ABS ?
    And so on.

    And are there any reasonably priced road bikes (esp second hand) that might tick all or most of the boxes?


  2. Older BMW RTs of various flavours tick most of those boxes.

    Fairings are good enough that, if you keep the speed up, you don't get all that wet.

    Panniers are waterproof when new and still give you a good basis for waterproofing your luggage when a bit worn.

    Gentle power delivery (although that's cancelled to some extent by the very direct shaft drive) and smooth throttle action, at least on EFI bikes.

    No real handling vices likely to catch you out. Paralever/telelever equipped Rs are superb handlers capable of going a lot harder than you might expect, despite their bulk. The weight helps a lot in high winds too.

    Good quality materials and finish which won't dissolve too quickly, even if neglected.

    Bosch electrics ditto.

    Effective ABS on most bikes post about 1990.

    Surprisingly cheap to buy and run, with old K100RTs in useable condition going for well under 3k (although a fair bit more if you want something later with ABS) and ex-plod early R1100RTs in the $6-8k bracket if I remember my last peruse of Just Bikes correctly.

    100% spares availability at prices comparable to Japanese bits (oh yes :D), easy maintenance and useful engine life measured in hundreds of thousands of kms, which counts if you're commute is a bit long.

    Not hugely exciting I'll grant you, but hard to go past as a foul weather hack.

    Or you could just buy a bargain bag of Hyundai Getzes and forget the bike when it's really horrible out there :D.
  3. No such thing as a wet weather bike...
    Any bike with wet weather tyres and the right weather proof riding gear is as close as you'll get.

    If you want a truelly wet weather bike where you the rider is basically protected from it, then that would be a "Car". :)
  4. If you want to be safer, drive a car.
  5. Although a naked my Shiver has a "rain" setting that reduces the power output.

    Heated handgrips on my guzzi were a godsent when I road back in a deluge from Adelaide without my waterproof gloves.

    And a vespa with a heated nanna blanket should never be ruled out in particularly cold weather no matter how much of a man you think you are.
  6. get some better wet weather gear


    they make excellent (read custom made) gear that is really waterproof

    Im going for a guardian suit that is garrenteed (spell) to be waterproof

  7. Buy a WR450 and good wet gear, enjoy the slippery conditions.
  8. Genuine LOL @ the suggestion that a gigantic BMW tourer makes a good wet weather bike. Nice try grandpa.

    Nothing beats a motard in the wet. Light, nimble with grippy grooved wets ahh they're a thing of beauty. Much lighter, so you can stick a leg out if the bike starts to slide and if you do crash it. Usually only cheap stuff breaks.

    I'm considering one as a second bike as an 1125cc vtwin is not the best bike for commuting on when the roads are slippery.
  9. Like, like, like!!!

    Maybe you need this...
  10. Sidecar.

    A stable bike with all the qualities Pat describes - maybe that's why so many all-weather everyday all-year-around riders have repeatedly chosen them :)
  11. :Shrugs:

    Depends on the mission. Sure, if you're bright, fresh and only going a few kms, maybe through heavy traffic, looking for a bit of adrenalin and with the promise of somewhere dry and warm at the end of the journey, sure. Go for the 'tard.

    If, on the other hand, you're already cold and tired, have a coupla hundred kms or more to go in pissing wet darkness and the only dry stuff you're likely to own at the end of the run is what's in your luggage if you're lucky, the big tourer (from any manufacturer) wins hands down. Even tank range counts 'cos it's a pain in the arse delving through layers of waterproofs for your wallet at every fuel stop.

    Given that my wet weather riding experience has tended more towards the latter than the former, and my bikes have always represented serious all-round transport rather than toys, I know which I'd go for if I could only have one of them.
  12. ^This.
    I know I certainly want to own a sidecar someday for rainy days and, more importantly, days of heavy frost and/or snow (cold doesn't bother anywhere near as much as the black ice does).
  13. get one of these:

  14. I ride every day rain, hail or shine and I rarely see BMW's on my commute. Way more sportbikes, work horses (GS500s) and of course couriers on old dirtbikes like the trusty KLR650. All far more suited to slippery roads and traffic (which is what the OP was pointing towards) than a 250kg behemoth.
    Sure on the open straight road a tourer is great but anywhere else they're just a huge pain in the arse. Certainly forget lane filtering which should be priority #1 on those wet days.
  15. Tell that to the Gixxer Thou pilot who I was lapping twice in a 10 minute session when I took my old K to the track :D. It might have been a huge pain in the arse for him, but flinging my antique, shaft drive tourer with cast-iron tyres round his outside was huge fun for me, however unsuitable my "250kg behemoth" might have been for the task at hand.

    I never had any problems filtering my Beemers until the going got really tight. As in tight enough that noone else was game to try for the gaps either, whatever they were riding.
  16. I ride every day and thought along the same lines as the original post.

    So I bought a multistrada and just flick it to "urban" mode when it's pissing down or the road is greasy. Softer suspension and lower ride height, ABS, more traction control.

    When it's sunny again I turn it back to sport.

    I like that about the bike. If I want to I can always use sport mode in the wet and urban in the dry.

    My purchasing criteria went along the lines of "I want the most awesome bike I can find for all purpose everyday riding" and I ended up with the multistrada after looking at and riding things like the B-King, K1300R, Streetfighter, S1000R, GSXR, Speed Triple.

    The wet weather confidence was a (big) bonus.
  17. As per Matt B try a Ural. 3 wheels, and every conceivable combination of wet weather / dry weather / hot weather and cold weather gear in the trunk. Helps when you live in Melbourne :)
  18. Got one thanks :D.

  19. What... The Multistrada actually runs in the wet?? :bolt: