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Rain, rain, rain!!!


Thumper

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Dodging semis, ladies on cell phones, succulent women - - - nothing causes me to sweat more than "RAIN." Tell me it is a none issue, or tell me when I need to shut it down and get wet by the roadside!

 

Alan dopeslap.gif

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1BMWFAN and I came back from the Hill Country Ride in a Biblical rain storm. I mean it was wet out there. It vanquishd my fear of riding in the rain. Not saying it was like riding in dry conditions and we had a guy go down the day before because of a slick corner. But a good portion of my fear was just mental and not the weather

 

Kaisr thumbsup.gif

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Stan Walker

Tell me it is a none issue

 

It's a non issue. Just slow down to the speed limit, take it easy on turns, and get inside if there is lightning.

 

I don't mind riding in the rain, but lightning just scares the poo-poo out of me. My recent round trip to the east coast had me hiding under an railroad overpass until the lightnig quit. First time I've ever done that.

 

Stan

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I actually enjoy riding in the rain. Sometimes the kids will ask to go out for a ride when it's raining just because I've poisioned their minds. smirk.gif Drive the conditions and enjoy it. I love the smell after the rain. cool.gif

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wrestleantares

It is pretty much a non-issue.

 

EXCEPT - if your visibility is impaired or there is road flooding. If either of those occur I pull over and wait. Here in the Southeast we can get some doozies. They are usually short, and seem to happen when I am on my way home (cooling at the end of the day). I pulled over once last year because I really could not see past my bike much.

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If you are in rain prone areas Please keep a eye on your tires (make sure they are good) and just slow it down.....

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With adequate tread depth it is a non-issue - that means more than above the wear bars - 2mm is my minimum. Good tyres on wet blacktop will give you 80% of the grip they do in the wet. I have touched down feelers in the wet. Find a quiet stretch of tarmac with no traffic and try out your ABS. See how much grip there really is out there. I live in the UK - if I didn't ride in the wet I might as well sell the bike.

 

Andy

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Alan,

 

For me, it's hard to see the sunny side of riding in the rain. Visibility is impaired (both yours and others), traction is diminished (again both yours and fellow travellers) and then you get wet. Having said that, rain riding is (imo) a necessary part of motorcycle travelling; to say this differently, I don't advocate waiting it out on the road side or in a mickey d. Dressing for the weather helps; being dry fosters a dettached attitude with fewer negative feelings; then frugality with traction (you have less of it), moderation in accelerating, braking and turning is needed. Apart from that, there are small benefits of rainbows and breaks from summer's heat.

The only rain riding I enjoy are the localized summer showers out west; brief rain cools and makes double rainbows. Day long, week long rains are endured, not enjoyed.

 

Wooster who like the song Camelot, would prefer rain only after sun down

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I actually enjoy riding in the rain. Sometimes the kids will ask to go out for a ride when it's raining just because I've poisioned their minds. smirk.gif Drive the conditions and enjoy it. I love the smell after the rain. cool.gif

 

Ditto. I like riding in the rain, as long as I don't have to lane split through traffic since I end up sliding around on the slipery bot dots and painted lines. Like previously stated I just take it a bit easier and all is well. With my Aerostitch suit I stay almost as dry as in my car. Love that fresh smell of rain.

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another David

To everything else that's been mentioned thus far, I'd add a few other items:


  • the road is slickest just after the start of a rain, before the accumulated grime/oil/schmutz has had a chance to be washed away
  • if the road surface is rutted, try to stay out of the tire ruts -- they can fill with standing water and the bike can hydroplane pretty easily, especially at highway speeds
  • be smooth on the throttle (but you're doing that anyway, right? wink.gif
  • use caution at gas stations (oil and water, etc...), toll booths (even your foot can get away from you...), and intersections -- any place motor vehicles spend time idling
  • if you expect to be riding in rain, a coating of RainX on the visor is a beautiful thing. Stuff really works.

Hope this was useful.

David

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Rode in it for years in the U.K.

When it rains, make sure you have a good rain suit, slow down and keep your bike as upright as possible, hanging off the bike if need be wink.gif

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Non issue. Living in the rain soaked PNW it is just a fact of life. I am extra cautious about the thick painted white lines though. went down last year doing 70 when I contacted one with both tires on a turn.... Did make for good sliding thought clap.gifclap.gif

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Lineareagle
To everything else that's been mentioned thus far, I'd add a few other items:


  • the road is slickest just after the start of a rain, before the accumulated grime/oil/schmutz has had a chance to be washed away
  • if the road surface is rutted, try to stay out of the tire ruts -- they can fill with standing water and the bike can hydroplane pretty easily, especially at highway speeds
  • be smooth on the throttle (but you're doing that anyway, right? wink.gif
  • use caution at gas stations (oil and water, etc...), toll booths (even your foot can get away from you...), and intersections -- any place motor vehicles spend time idling
  • if you expect to be riding in rain, a coating of RainX on the visor is a beautiful thing. Stuff really works.

Hope this was useful.

David

 

100% with David.

I would add another caveat.

When riding on a two lane road that is slightly rutted you need to expect the splash from oncoming traffic. In some cases this can be quite significant and forceful.

 

+1 on looking out for stopping in gas stations even if it is dry your soles are wet, nasty surprise if you are not careful.

 

Otherwise gear up, slow down and focus on smooth riding and all will go well. thumbsup.gif

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To everything else that's been mentioned thus far, I'd add a few other items:


  • the road is slickest just after the start of a rain, before the accumulated grime/oil/schmutz has had a chance to be washed away
  • if the road surface is rutted, try to stay out of the tire ruts -- they can fill with standing water and the bike can hydroplane pretty easily, especially at highway speeds
  • be smooth on the throttle (but you're doing that anyway, right? wink.gif
  • use caution at gas stations (oil and water, etc...), toll booths (even your foot can get away from you...), and intersections -- any place motor vehicles spend time idling
  • if you expect to be riding in rain, a coating of RainX on the visor is a beautiful thing. Stuff really works.

Hope this was useful.

David

 

+1 on all of this. Plus I would add to also be smooth with the brakes and make sure all of the braking is done straight up and down. Cherio smile.gif

 

Misti grin.gif

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I gotta say this thread makes me feel better about it. I'm waiting on my jacket before I venture into the wet... hopefully in a few weeks.

 

The one thing that still strikes some fear in me is the hydroplane talk. The freeway I take to work has good ruts from the trucks that collect water quickly, and the left lane has a tendency to create large puddles in certain areas. How do you handle pools of water at 40-60mph? Same as anything else - relaxed yet firm grip on the handles, don't force anything just let the bike find its way or what?

 

I guess I'm not worried about the skinny front tire plowing through water, but that fat rear tire seems like it would be rather buoyant and eager to float.

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Non issue.

 

Back off a bit, just like you would in the cage. Put your rain-gear on BEFORE you get wet (if you can), and always carry rain gear.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I lived in Florida, I just rode in the rain. It was a welcome change in August when the humidity and the temperature were the same.

 

The cages scared me more than getting wet.

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Dodging semis, ladies on cell phones, succulent women - - - nothing causes me to sweat more than "RAIN." Tell me it is a none issue, or tell me when I need to shut it down and get wet by the roadside!

 

Alan dopeslap.gif

 

 

Alan, it isn’t non issue as there are things that can go wrong while rain riding.. But the same can be said about night or fog riding..

 

If your bike & equipment are in good order & rain proven, your rain riding experience is good, & you really stay up on the bars it will be a low worry situation.. I actually like riding in the rain (I’m an all weather commuter so do so frequently)..

 

Probably the best advise I can give you (I’m sure you already know the obvious) is to change your route or roads to fit your rain riding experience & ability.. The most uncomfortable feeling in the rain is to HAVE to ride faster than you feel comfortable to not be a hindrance to traffic or get run over.. If you don’t feel right riding 70-80 mph in the rain then don’t ride the freeways as you will either have to ride faster than you want or become a target to faster vehicles that will have to pass you, swerve around you, brake sharply when they don’t see you till the last second, or plain want you out of the way..

 

Just watch the slick spots & hidden tar snakes & plan your moves well in advance & you will grow to not be bothered by a little rain..

 

Twisty

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"if the road surface is rutted, try to stay out of the tire ruts --"

 

I'm not sure about this one.....the center area in where all the oil and slime accumulate.....add water and it get worse. I would rather splash around than slide.

 

YMMV

 

Whip

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99.999% non-issue.

 

I ride on many many days where it is "supposed" to rain, but never does. I gamble on whether I'm going to get wet, or not. It usually pays off, but I *do* end up riding in the rain. Visibility is the key. If you can't see the manhole covers, painted surfaces, and tar-snakes... they're going to be damned exciting! Ditto transitions between wet and dry. We have a number of turns under overpasses here, and when the rain has long washed away the slick stuff on the main surface areas, the "tracked" moisture underneath the overpasses is still awfully slick.

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We're new to this. Lots of good info here, thanks! May help prevent an accident.

 

We never rode our cruisers in the rain, did catch a few swirls of snow when shuttling them in to the shop in the winter... but no rain and even in the snow, basically dry road.

 

So, on the RTs we were pretty nervous when on our first long day ride, a 280 mile jaunt around to Bear Lake, we got caught in a thunderstorm at something above 8000' elevation.

 

We did have our rain gear, but we could see sun on the other side, and did not see lightening. We did just as one of the first responses suggests, slowed to the speed limit and rode on through. We had some very strong gusts. Those were probably the most dangerous aspect, especially combined with reduced traction and degree of uncertainty about what were doing. There was a significant chill, but we figured warm and sunny on the other side. We ran the twisties at about 60 mph and had 3 miles of very heavy rain. Bikes seemed completely stable, no hint of hydroplaning. Dryed off in short order on the far side. Now, after reading all this I see we really had newbie luck on our side.

 

Then on our Denver trip July 4 we got in several hard squalls. This time we felt more confidant, and ran them too.

 

Lessons learned and questions from our ride:

 

With the gusts we gripped the bars tight. One of the responses here suggests staying loose on the bars. Any thoughts?

 

We lowered the windshields to see over them until the bugs were washed off, then raised them. Initial visibility was poor, but it improved dramatically after the windshields came up.

 

The RTs provided incredible protection. Really did not get too wet in any case. Hands got wet, other parts were damp. Had any of the rains lasted longer (worst was about 10 minutes in Colorado) we would have gotten cold and wet. If you stopped you could get a real soaking in a hurry.

 

Did have the wet painted stripe experience. Lucky not have gone sliding. That's one you learn the first time!!!!

 

Generally I would continue to ride through when it seems to be just an isolated cell. More pervasive rain will be a new biking experience for us when it happens. We'll see how it goes.

 

Jan

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Tell me it is a none issue

 

It's a non issue. Just slow down to the speed limit, take it easy on turns, and get inside if there is lightning.

 

I don't mind riding in the rain, but lightning just scares the poo-poo out of me. My recent round trip to the east coast had me hiding under an railroad overpass until the lightnig quit. First time I've ever done that.

 

Stan

 

thumbsup.gif +1

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shinyharley

 

Lessons learned and questions from our ride:

 

"With the gusts we gripped the bars tight. One of the responses here suggests staying loose on the bars. Any thoughts?"

 

Yes - although it's hard to do sometimes in stressful circumstances relaxing your grip on the bars/not locking you arms/gritting your teeth etc. in my experience makes you feel more relaxed. Consequently your concentration improves, your observation gets better and you ride more smoothly.............and you'll find over time you ride faster too!

 

I've been riding in the rain for 22 years and the only time I've ever fallen off a bike it was bone dry! I never completely enjoy riding in the wet but do get as sense of satisfaction from doing it as well as I can.

 

The worrying thing is that most people in cars have no understanding of what your bike can and can't do in the wet, and it's them that tends to make it stressful!

 

Keeping the rubber side down is always good too! cool.gif

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I can't really add more to this thread although my saying is, "Riding in the rain still beats a good day at work."

Good Rain gear is essential, particularly with reflective materials, if you're dry it not too bad, I try to adjust the windsheild so the windstream blows the water off my face sheild and keep going.

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I remember a Sunday morning going to look at a used car with my gf on the back of my Concours. A big fast thunderstorm just opened on us. We did have leathers but no rain gear. We onlt were going a 20 miles round trip. Anyway the roads were full of water and a car going the other was on RT 20 in Auburn, MA and it hit a big puddle. I saw it coming and I yelled lookout while laughing. We were totally sprayed and dumped on. I was laughing so hard I got water in my mouth.

 

Bill P

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll add one point I think several people have alluded to, but no one explicitly mentioned.

 

Wear your rain gear because hypothermia is a real risk any time of year.

 

I was riding from Baltimore back to Dayton, OH after the 4th of July holiday. I encountered a driving rainstorm on I68, just east of Morgantown West Virginia. I did not have my rain gear(never again) because the weather forecast did not indicate rain.

 

Even though the temps were in the high 60s/low 70s, I rapidly found myself suffering from violent shivering and a generally poor disposition. There's no place to pull off on that stretch of highway; not even any overpasses to hide under.

 

What saved me were the heated grips on my R1150RT. I turned them on full and they pumped out enough heat to stave off the effects of being soaked to the bone at 55 mph.

 

I'll also add that you need to watch out for people pulling over in heavy rain. On this same occasion, I was nearly struck by a red pickup truck that had pulled over because of the rain. Despite the red bike, high beam lights and flashing hazard lights, the truck pulled into the right hand lane and forced me to swerve onto the broken line; splitting the lane with the traffic to my left.

 

I don't know that pulling over in heavy rain is such a great idea, unless you can get off the road completely. I think hiding under and overpass, on the shoulder, could get you killed just as readily as staying on the road.

 

Riding in the rain by itself is no problem; as others have mentioned. It's the cars around you that are the real problem.

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shinyharley

I think you make a number of good points thumbsup.gif

 

Additionally I believe that everyone's visibility drops by at least 10% when it rains - and people seem to have enough trouble seeing bikes at the best of times....

 

...and that's not counting the ones that haven't had their eyes tested/aren't wearing their glasses!

 

Defensive riding......assume everyone is out to kill you and you'll not go far wrong.

 

Of course in the UK it currently rains so much that it's easier to travel by boat! lmao.gifcool.gif

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