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Still struggeling in the wet

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by oohsam, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Hey all.
    Been ridin a little while now 5 months-ish. I ride every day, all conditions. Dont really care. But I am still a chicken in the wet.

    I have this strange feeling that as soon as i lean the bike will slip from underneath me and send me into a gutter.

    Whats the best way to tackle this...Just lean as far as I can until i eventually fall and say "yep..thats the limit" or what!

    Some advice would be great. coz im really not leaning more than 5 degrees in the wet at the moment....I look like a real b!tch...
  2. Move your ass/weight off the seat in the direction you want to turn, you will turn more with less lean.

    Dont stress not finding the limits of adhesion, unless your planning on racing in the rain. Just go slower.
  3. Ok. I'll give that a crack.
    No matter how much I've read on this. Im still chiken.
  4. If you are getting home every day when it rains without damaging the bike or yourself, you are riding O.K in my books............

    Regards, Andrew.
  5. I'm a VIP member of the 'scared to lean in the wet' club. Ls since Feb this year.

    It happened after I came very close to coming apart while in a roundabout during peak hour. Luckily I was going slow enough where I was able to put my foot on the ground to push back up against the slide out without any issues.

    Been avoiding the rain like the plague since... cluck cluck!!
  6. I try to get an idea for the grip-limits with some heavy braking while sitting up - I recall someone else here refer to it as 'grip-sampling' or similar.
    It seems to give me more confidence in the wet :)
  7. +1 Karl
    Be on the lookout for oil on roads ( rainbow type residue ).
    Food for thought : after it's been raining a while ( say 10 min of decent rain ), the road is actually not that slippery at all. Once all the oils and crap is washed away, grip is almost 80% of what it would be dry.
    Avoid taking off if its just started to rain, especially after a dry spell. Best to wait a while, gives the rain a chance to do its job of cleaning.
  8. Yeah, all bets are off in the rain. Roads become a nightmare, with the surfaces varying so much more in the wet that you can't rely on anything.
  9. Thats not very encouraging...

    sure the wet changes things on a bike as it does in a car, pushbike or when walking, ride to the conditions, keep a better eye on traffic (they see less when it rains) and have fun!
  10. Hey........i dont have much experience in the wet myself but have heard some good advise that makes me not so nervous wen i do. Basically just take ur time.....try n be really smooth with all ur controls like throttle and brakes........u can still lean a surprising amount(although this is determined by factors such as tyres etc) but just take it easy and dont throttle on whilst still leant over like u might in the dry.

    also as mentioned by VCM watch out for the first 10-20 mins of rain as it brings all the crap to the surface.........and allow bigger gaps between cars etc
  11. Sorry .. I don't agree with you there. Riding for the conditions will get you to your destination safely in 99.9% of the time.
  12. It sounds to me like you are doing just fine, you have not crashed and you are gaining experience every time you ride. The wet is not a time to find your limits as thing happen a lot faster and are less predictable, just stay smooth and listen to the feedback the bike is giving you :wink:
  13. +1.
    Strangely enough, I haven't felt that uncomfortable with traffic or wet roads. The wet is a great time to hone your roadcraft abilities.

    I don't lean much in the wet, but my bike allows me to take corners pretty much upright, just seems natural to move weight off the bike in the wet.
  14. So, what are you going to do when you are out on a good weather days ride and the weather changes to rain?

    Yes the roads become less predictable, and they are more slippery.
    Just ride to the conditions, have decent tyres with correct pressures, be smooth on the controls, give yourself more space, and time to get places.
    Seriously...you will have a slip here n there if you get caught out, but that will happen less and less as your exposure to those conditions increases and you gain the necessary amount of judgement.

    It NEVER means that you won't crash...but it does mean that you are far less likely to.

    Meet the challenge and overcome the fear, bonkerrs ol' bud. :)

  15. oohsam, i've been trying to pm ya. did it go through?
  16. I feel that riding in the rain is the best thing I did to improve my riding skills.

    You learn how to be fully focussed of your surroundings at all times, you learn about grip and how to maintain smooth control over your bike whilst cornering, braking, gear shifting and taking off. I know for a fact that after much practice in wet conditions I can say that I am a more confident and skilled rider in the dry. I once had a fear of riding in the wet, now I've grown to look at wet weather as a great way of improving your riding.

    Make sure you have the right wet weather gear. Being cold and wet will not allow you to ride smoothly in the rain.

    Make sure you have good tyres, this is vital and a well worn tyre will make riding in the rain like riding on ice.
  17. My point being that yeah, the bike will feel very different and you are correct in being cautious. I had actually written a lot more than just that line but edited it out and perhaps shouldn't have.

    Five months isn't a lot of time for your body to grow accustomed to riding. I find that I consiously have to counter the instinct to tense up in the wet, which is a natural response to concerns about traction and stability.

    Fortunately, wet weather riding is a great oportunity to observe our automatic reactions and poor responses. Developing mindfulness of all the things which arise to cause riding errors can become an excellent tool for learning.

    Oh yeah, +1 to ramjet's post.
  18. Relax, if your all tense while your riding your arms will be locked and youll hardly be able to steer the sucker. This also makes it feel like the bikes going down as soon as your leant over.

    Just relax, take it easy, ride smoother, do things deliberatley. If you plan on going round a corner, do it.

    You need to do everything you plan to do in the wet. If your in-decisive youll have issues that will ultimately lead to the stiffness coming back.

    Wet weather is no reason to be scared. Cautious yes, but not scared.
    Your bike will perform as it does in the dry if your not pushing hard.

    Dont worry too much about oil and grime on the road, be aware that grip is reduced when there is oil and what not on the road, but you dont have to make drastic changes to combat it.

    Your tyres may lose traction from time to time, its amazing how quickly a modern GOOD tyre regains traction in wet conditions.
    By the time you start to think "Oh crap", its sorted itself out (Usually).

    Relax mate, its not so bad.
  19. Good advice by all. thanks for the info. I dont let the rain deter me from riding...I enjoy riding in the rain. I will give these techniques a crack and let ya know ho I go. Thanks guys.
  20. This is mostly true, doing nothing will often be the best thing you can do but only if you were doing the right thing in the first place and something has caught you out. Be aware that this is only true "if" you were doing all the right things and the conditions caught you out. Most diesel spills will be in the outside wheel track on corners due to centrifugal force and the fact that most are caused by over filling the tanks, just a thought.