With the weather pattern of the last few weeks, or as long as I’ve been a resident of our great Lower Mainland, it seems that riding in the rain is required if you want any time on your motorcycle.
I’ve always been a fair weather rider due to two main reasons; 1) rain hurts and 2) cleaning my old bike for hours takes away from riding time when the weather is good. But then, I bought a dual-sport and the proper gear for riding in any weather condition.
So, now that I have the gear and a bike that frolics in any type of weather it’s time to venture into this wet stuff falling from the sky.
Well, shoot, lets cover a few things of what do I need to watch out for riding in the rain?
1) Rainbows. I’m all about the bright colors, and glimmering goodness of rainbows. If they’re in the sky, on clothes, stickers, etc that is brilliant. On the road or near stop lights, I avoid them like the plague because they indicate a slip-n-slide for your tires.
2) Relax. It’s easy to tense up when riding in wet weather because you have 12 bajillion more things to watch out for, but don’t. Or at least try to remain as at ease as possible.
3) Tires. If you’re determined to get every last kilometer of wear out of your tires, don’t ride in the rain. Slick tires are of no use to stay on two-wheels in wet weather.
4) Puddles. We all love puddles, or at least did at one point or another. Try to avoid them if you don’t know what lies beneath.
5) Railways. Take railroad crossings as direct as possible. The metal is wet. Wet metal is extremely slippery. Don’t go sliding on wet medal, its bad.
6) Braking. Try to not brake severely or suddenly. Also, attempt to use your rear brake more than your front brake. If a sudden need for brakes is required and you start to slide, it is easier to recover from a rear slide vs. front.
7) Gear. Waterproof gear is essential if you want to stay dry. A breathable material like Gore-Tex is highly recommended, since it also keeps water out.
8) Helmet. Full-face. Rain hurts. It really hurts when hitting your face going 80kmh.
9) Space. Don’t tail-gate. It irritates you in good weather; it’s just more dangerous in bad weather.
10) Lightning. If it starts streaking from sky to ground, or sky to sky, hide. But please don’t hide under a tree. This would be a good time to stop for a rest and to grab a bite to eat or a coffee.
If you love motorcycles and live in the Pacific Northwest the chances are high that you will ride in the rain. Just relax and take your time. Enjoy the ride!