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Wet Riding

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Barton1991, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. I was wondering how I would go about learning properly in the wet, I live in South NSW. I've recently come off in the wet and I'm a little intimidated by rising in the wet, would love to really get over that.

    I was thinking an advanced rider training but wouldn't know really where to start when it comes to the wet.

    Should I just start off slow and on streets I know or?
  2. Whereabouts in South NSW?
  3. Mate I don't think anyone enjoys riding in the wet but unfortunately it's one of the challenges we face in the pursuit of our passion. There's hundreds of things you can do to help youtself, like stay away from white lines and white bars on ped xings, stay away from man hole covers too. Look out for diesel trails on the road and stay away from them too. Make sure you've got got tread depth on your tires and don't over accelerate coming out of corners. Don't tighten up with fear as soon as you get going as that'll make your riding worse, just relax and breath. No doubt others will add to the list too. Hope this helps you some
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  4. Avoid riding close behind trucks / vans etc that produce a good amount of spray... Your visor becomes very hard to see through with a constant coating of water.

    Give yourself extra room to stop etc..

    I ride in the rain quite frequently and the one thing i've noticed is that the weather itself isn't much of an issue, however people get frustrated at the slower traffic etc so they change lanes quite and tend to take chances. You need to be extra alert in heavy traffic with lane swappers.

    Rain at night can be tricky as the light reflection on the road can hide / mask potholes etc..

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  5. Basically its experience. Slow down a bit, brake more gently and earlier, run gentler lines through corners and don't hang on to the bars tightly. Check your tyre pressures. I try and force myself to think further ahead than normal so I don't have to do anything suddenly. Its that cliche "be smooth".
    Remember Poms do it all the time and we are better than them. Did I mention check your tyre pressure. I've found touring rather than sport tyres are usually better in the wet.
    Sounds like you are a new rider and might have some flaws that the wet amplifies? Sometimes its worth being in a higher gear so the rear is less likely to spin up but if you are new you are probably already in a high gear.

    This book might help

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  6. Relax then relax a bit more for good measure, it's easy. Be smoother and sometimes slower paying even more attention to bullshit on the road(paint, manhole covers, debris etc.) Don't panic if a wheel slides; if it's the front add some throttle, if it's the rear relax and let the bike do it's thing.
    Hah I find the rain/wet a relaxing and enjoyable environment, it's quite a different albeit sometimes slower experience to dry riding. I revel in the unique sights, smells and feelings.
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  7. Ride slow on quiet and familiar streets when they are wet. Then when you are comfortable ride them when it is raining, it is a good way to test out your raingear at the same time. The only way to get comfortable doing it is to do it.
  8. Before you hit the streets, a safe place to learn is on Youtube. Roadcraft Nottingham has videos that helped me a lot. It's mainly about hazard identification and set-up. He also has a video on wet weather riding. Don't forget not only your abilities are reduced in the wet, but also the truck driver behind you and the car driver about to pull out in front of you.
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  9. If there's some twistys near by that you know like the back of your hand hit them when it's raining but 10-20km/hr slower than usual. I recently did one of my favourite ride in heavy rain, by the end of it I was much much more confident in the wet. Stick to a road you know well though
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  10. In order to develop your felling for existing grip on wet conditions and gain some confidence, try to use some controlled conditions (closed car park, driver training...) where you can repeat the same maneuvers (braking, cornering) over and over again, very slowly increasing your limits and finding the limits of adherence.

    Most drivers (especially 4 wheeled ones) do not understand the real difference in grip that exists between dry and wet tarmac, not even counting all the other traps (painted lines, manhole covers, tram lines, oil pulled to the surface) that rain accentuates. That is the only explanation for the fact that they keep the same speed and distance to other vehicles when it is raining, with all the consequences that the news outlets keep reminding us of.

    Other things you can do to gain this feeling and the associated skills are to drive in low-grip surfaces (gravel, dirt) and even riding a bicycle in the wet.

    Make sure you use adequate protection while you do all this please. Good luck.
  11. + 1, for checking tyre pressure. Just for peace of mind that tyres are at their optimum.

    Other tip is to look slightly left, to let the wind blow the rain off your visor, then repeat to the right.

    Visor up a crack, if you are fogging up.

    Keep your mobile phone somewhere as dry as possible! I've killed one when my gear soaked through after a long ride.
  12. Like nihilil, I also like riding in the rain, I'm actually going to be disappointed if the coming rain passes before I head home from work tonight!
  13. Sussex inlet, south of nowra.

    I ride an XVS650, I've been riding for just over a year now, have low sided twice, once from gravel and the second from under estimating my speed in the wet, both times I would like to think I've learned something new, but still a little jittery in the wet.
  14. Do you have access to trail bikes? If you get confident on the dirt, it will help you get some confidence in the rain, dirt riding is very much about the surface ahead, and feeling the bikes level of grip.
  15. All of the above.

    Ride as often as you can in the wet. If you're home and it starts raining, put your wet weather gear on and go for a ride and practice, practice practice.
  16. Agree with the above. Key take outs for me are:

    Reduce lean angle a little but not as much as you think
    Easy on the throttle and brakes
    Look out for frustrated drivers lane swapping
    Sit back and enjoy watching the traffic and get to read it
    Enjoy being toasty, warm and dry assuming you have decent gear (if not, get decent gear)
  17. Hi Barton,
    Seeing as it's an XVS it's a relatively heavy cruiser. As mentioned, make sure your tyres and pressures are good.
    Be really gentle on the back brake.
    Have you locked up the rear in the dry ? You might know how easy it is in the dry, in the wet it's probably 5 times easier. If you need to use it, be really gentle.
    Otherwise, as per all the other posts, just take it a little easier than you would normally, and relax.
  18. That's rough that you have those offs... Good to hear that you still want to overcome these experience! IMO you mostly have more grip than you anticipate in the wet in general.
    With the gravel - did you come across it mid corner? And with underestimating speed do you mean you went too slowly?
  19. Another good one is if it has just started raining, try and wait 10-15 minutes (maybe more) for the rain to wash oil etc off the road.

    Road pavement works like a sponge. During dry periods oil seeps into the 'sponge', when it rains and the 'sponge' fills up, as oil is lighter than water,the oil comes to the top, then washes off to the gutter.

    But yeah, I enjoy riding in rain now I figured out how to stay dry. You have a lot more grip than you think.

    In your low sides, did it drop due to a lack of speed, or slide out cause too much speed?
  20. I've actually never locked up the rear brake before, or maybe I have an not noticed.
    I was going a little to fast into a corner, with the gravel it was whilst dodging some stupid cat that ran out in front of me :(

    I just did a little wet weather rising yesterday, I had recently got my bike back from the shop for repairs. I took it easy still was a bit iffy on corners though, need to get my confidence back.
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