Tips for riding in the rain - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for riding in the rain

Traction
One of the most overlooked improvements in the world of motorcycles over the years is the performance and quality of the tires on which we depend. Todayís touring tires are marvels at accommodating all the various surface, high-mileage, intense-heat, and wet-road conditions that weíre continually up against. Despite all this, they still canít give you the same degree of traction and confidence on a wet road as they can on a dry one. How you deal with this difference will determine your success in the wet.
Rule number one is, simply, slow down. Generally, your braking distance is increased in the wet. A lower speed will help offset this, plus it reduces your lean angle in turns, which is where wet-road problems often pop up.
Which leads to rule number two: keep it upright. Now donít get silly on me here. Iím not saying that you slow to the point where turns are taken at a parade pace, but keep in mind the more upright you are, the more weight that is applied perpendicular to mother road, thus increasing the amount of traction available to you. Avoid last-second turns, unnecessary swerves and rude imitations of bad road racers as these will do nothing but impress the EMT with your stupidity.
Rule number three in wrestling with the wet is, read the road. The worst rains of the season are the first ones. As the oily scum has yet to have been washed off, the surface can be particularly treacherous, all the more so at stop signs, tollbooths and in parking lots as these locations are often large drip pans for leaky cars. Subsequent rains serve to wash the surface a bit affording improved traction, but rules number one and number two still apply.
Watch carefully for standing water, those nasty pools that can lead to hydroplaning, which occurs when a layer of water sandwiches between your front tire and the road, resulting in zero traction. Reducing your speed reduces this possibility. (Are we noticing a thread here? Slower is better in the wet.) Rain also has the bad habit of spreading gravel and dirt around where you least enjoy it; watch for this stuff, particularly in rural areas. The best strategy is to assume that every turn is dirty, and ride accordingly.

Visibility
If the rain youíre riding in is overpowering the windshield wipers of passing cars and causing bow waves to form, stop, as the only view youíll have is a very distorted one through a sheet of water. Get safely off the road and wait it out. The ďenjoyable, rewarding experienceĒ I wrote of earlier does not apply here as these conditionsare just too dangerous on a motorcycle. The most common visibility problem is one of a fogged faceshield and/or glasses. The cause of this is, simply, the difference in temperature between the outside air and the inside of your helmet. Your body is a 98-degree heater. Ride in, say, 45-degree weather and that 53-degree difference can mean instant fog. Usually this problem is at its worst when you first start off because the air is still. Get moving and the airflow will usually dissipate the fog. However, that time between still and moving can be dangerous. Combat this problem by using any of the various anti-fog solutions on the market (be sure to also treat the lenses of your glasses), leaving your faceshield slightly open until youíre moving, and waiting till the last moment to put on your helmet.
Once the rain has stopped it doesnít always mean that the problems have disappeared. Wheel spray from cars and trucks can make it seem to be raining as hard as ever. Continue to keep your distance from other vehicles, and watch for those large puddles that offer up mini-tsunamis.



Comfort
Anything that distracts you is potentially dangerous. In rain conditions that distraction often takes the form of a trickle of cold water that leaks past your collar, chilling your whole body. Make sure that your rain gear fits properly and is in good shape. Cold is a huge distraction and, carried to its extreme, can cause hypothermia that dulls the senses and slows your reaction time. Finding the right combination of rain gear, including a warm jacket and proper pants, boots and gloves can be a hit-or-miss process that requires a bit of experience. Finding out that youíve made a wardrobe mistake when the rain starts to fall is not fun. Road test your full cold/wet weather gear for fit and comfort in the sun. Part of this test is to have someone turn the hose on you (from above, simulating rain) to check for clothing leaks. The sweat you work up will be worth it.

Properly managing these three factors allows you to concentrate on the road and appreciate the fact that youíve added another skill set to your riding. Thatís when it really becomes an enjoyable, rewarding experience.

Tips
1.Choose a rainsuit that incorporates a breathable membrane such as Gore-Tex, Reissa, Hipora or similar material.
2. Pack your rainsuit on top, not at the bottom of your saddlebag.
3. Watch windshield wipers of oncoming cars to see if itís raining ahead.
4. Put your rain gear on before the rain starts.
5. Wear bright colors for increased visibility to others.
6. Transfer wallet, keys, and other essentials to waterproof outside pockets.
7. Your windshield should be low enough to look over, not just through.
8. Use four-way flashers in heavy rain or fog.
9. Increase your following distance, and watch for tailgaters.
10. Avoid standing water as it can hide potholes and debris.
11. Check tire pressures periodically. Underinflated tires are more likely to hydroplane.
12. Tap rear brake in advance of normal braking distance to alert followers.
13. Gently apply brakes periodically to wipe rotors of water/mud/debris.
14. Watch out for painted lines, arrows, etc. as they can be particularly slippery.
15. After the ride, donít pack your rain gear away until after itís dry.
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Last edited by 2k14; 04-21-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 04:05 PM
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Good post. People think I'm crazy when I say the best thing to do on wet roads, is to get your body (azz, shoulder/elbow) off the bike in a curve. This helps keep the bike more upright, and on the meat of the contact patch of the tires, for better stability/traction.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 04:17 PM
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"FroggToggs" are pretty awesome rain gear, light, breathable and top & bottom can be had for $50 together.
http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle-rain-gear#v2-facets[]=72&page=1&page_size=96&sort=price_low&tab=all
I got the basic ones with no pockets, can't see what I was thinking riding in the rain without them before.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 04:37 PM
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Nice copy/paste job from the O/P , the original page it was lifted from is here

http://www.ridermagazine.com/motorcy...-the-rain.htm/


Next time you copy/paste something from another website, please put a reference to where you found it & dont steal others work
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 05:08 PM
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this is a motorcycle forum not a history paper, does it really matter?



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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 05:16 PM
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I commute to work and back everyday.I normally do all the following when I get caught in the rain.BUT I end up riding with the visor open coz I can't see a damn thing through it and that causes water to hit your face and throw you focus off a lot.you're constantly twitching and blinking every time water hits your face.and big drops feel like stones.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LQLovesToRide View Post
this is a motorcycle forum not a history paper, does it really matter?

so if someone stole your work and your info you worked on and posted to this forum and it appeared somewhere else with no credit to you, you would be ok with that????
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 06:06 PM
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Someone forgot their references
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 06:23 PM
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Way too many bad vibes in some of these threads.I'm sure all new riders and possibly old appreciate the tips no matter who it comes from.even if he rewrote the whole thing in his own words,it would still help people and mean the same.its not like he just stole someones lifes work and became a millionaire from it.so maybe he gets 5 extra( thanked) to his name.is that really a crime?his intentions were good
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizin View Post
so if someone stole your work and your info you worked on and posted to this forum and it appeared somewhere else with no credit to you, you would be ok with that????
+1

Can't steal others' work regardless of whether this is "just a forum"

If you had taken the time to write all of that out and somebody else cut and pasted it to a different forum you'd want them to provide a link or at a bare minimum give credit where credit is due. It has nothing to do with someone checking your sources.. same goes for stealing peoples' pictures.

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