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Author Topic: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads  (Read 2100 times)

MrktStrtMyhm

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Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« on: July 10, 2013, 12:10:12 PM »
So chances are I'm going to have to ride in the rain since we are getting scattered storms almost every day. Is it really that much more dangerous? I feel like it's similar to driving a car (reduce speed,  no sudden turns..) but of course it's a bike so I'd be happy to hear wet riding tips?

Also, by bike has stock tires on it. I'm not going to replace them yet but I'm looking at the Avon Distanzia on/off road tire as it seems like it will give me best traction on a wet surface (and I could ride through the fields back home in Central Pa  ;) )
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gremlin

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 12:17:01 PM »
wet roads can be slippery.  drive smoothly.
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REdmonton

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 12:46:23 PM »
I like this video on how to drive in wet conditions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv8cVOkfvTI&feature=share&list=TLK0mb-QfxU0I

Rich Mintz

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 01:01:41 PM »
I'm a new motorcycle rider (8 months, 5000 miles, plenty of rain; 30 years car driver). All your common sense thoughts are probably right. (For instance: ease onto the brakes, don't jerk; ride slower; lean more gently so you don't undermine your traction; etc.) But I'd add one more:

Rain aside, physics keeps a motorcycle upright when it's moving (someone else can explain it, but you've probably noticed that tight maneuvering is harder when you're going slower). When you slow down for rain, be aware that if you slow down TOO much, physics will no longer be helping you.

The only time I ever took a spill on my bike was when I slowed down TOO much when riding over a rain-slicked steel plate in the street. The side-slippery forces became stronger than the bike's forward motion, and the bike slipped out from under me. Specifically: the rear wheel started sliding to the right, and then the bike fell toward the left and spiraled forward counterclockwise on the ground out from under me. Neither I nor the bike was seriously hurt but it was really embarrassing.

Since then I have taken extra care to proceed steadily and loosely (not too tight a grip) in slippery weather, as well as slowly.

But don't psych yourself out. A bike in good repair, with good tires, handled responsibly, can ride adequately in the rain. Just practice in low-traffic conditions, and be attentive.

Craig McClure

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 01:50:57 PM »
DONT SPEND ALOT ON AVONS.  Majority of riders here agree That DUNLOP K70 TIRES ARE EXCELLENT ALL AROUND CHOICE. 3.50 rear, 3.25 front. You will save money, & not regret the choice, they are very good in rain, & most other conditions, Tarmac to Highway & somewhat on dirt.
Check out Bike Bandit on tires line. then sell your "TAKEOFFS" on Ebay I was surprised at what mine re-couped.
Best Wishes, Craig McClure

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 03:24:37 PM »
The first 15-20 minutes of rain are the most dangerous, especially early in the season.  During this time all the oil on the road comes up and makes it extremely slippery.  Pull over and wait this out, then head out cautiously.

Scott

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 04:01:00 PM »
They pretty much said it.  The K70s on mine are very grippy in the rain and tremendously better than the stock tires.  I'm more concerned with visibility in the gray drizzles or hard pouring rain than I am with traction.
Common sense stuff.  Slow before curves and turns avoiding braking in turns if you can, but not old lady slow, avoid slick spots when you see them and obvious things like puddles, man hole covers, pot holes, and steel repair plates.  I tend to ride to the left of center to avoid the major oil trail on the streets.  It doesn't take any hard maneuvering or braking if you leave a little extra space between you and the car ahead, except the idiot that turns with no signal or has no brake lights.
 And slow when you know there is sand in turns over blacktop.  It can just let go on you.  I've been caught in the rain every time I've ridden the past month or more except for Monday night and a nice afternoon.  Rained so hard Sunday I sat at church and drank coffee with the weirdos until the storms passed. (No old timers, strange people, not the band  ;D)

One more thing.  Don't get a death grip on the handle bars and tense up your body!
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High On Octane

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 04:07:03 PM »
I've ridden in all kinds of weather, including snow (wasn't intentional), the most important thing is to stay alert and drive with caution.  And by "caution" I mean use common sense, not "overly paranoid death grip on the handle bars" caution.  "Common sense caution".  Like Scotty said, avoid riding for the 1st 15 minutes or so, do not over accelerate in corners and turns, avoid riding thru large pools of water,in don't exceed 55 mph on the highways, and most importantly NO HEAVY BRAKING!!!  Make sure to give yourself plenty of room and time to brake for traffic, intersections and stop signs/lights.

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barenekd

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 04:39:20 PM »
The stock tires offer very little traction in the dry! They really should be replaced as soon as possible.
Do Distancias come in small enough sizes for an Enfield? I had a set of Distancias on my Triumph Scrambler. They weren't nearly as terrible as the stock, but they still had their problems. I would get a lot of head shake crossing seams on the freeway. I finally put a set of Bridgestone Spitfires on it and they were much better. But then I traded it for the  Enfield, got rid of the Skidmasters and as much happier!
I did run the Skidmasters for 2500 miles until they finally managed to pitch me off a cliff!  They were gone after that! A set of K70s improved the days after that considerably! Until I put some Pirelli MT66s on it, and they were the best!
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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 04:41:55 PM »
As mentioned above, wet steel is slick as ice.  That goes for plates, manhole covers, train tracks, whatever.

Scott

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 04:52:46 PM »
I took my second driver's test in the snow.  First time I put my foot down like an idiot.  Back in the '70s you had to have an appointment and be accompanied by someone with a motorcycle license at MVA.  I followed my brother down, both on leaky Sportsters.  He took it very easy for me, but did the speed limit.  A cop on a dresser passed us just before we got to MVA.  I went inside and low and behold, he was to give me my test.  He said he should postpone for clear weather, but since he followed me for a couple of miles in snow and traffic, he only made me do the U-turn (which I failed the first time) and cones.  I lucked out I guess 'cause I'd never ridden in rain before, much less while it was snowing.
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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 05:10:13 PM »
Something else I should add is that cold rain/snow has a bad tendency of fogging up your eye protection on your warm face.  If you plan on spending a fair amount of time in the rain then I HIGHLY recommend using some RainX anti-fog on your eye protection, whether you use goggles, glasses or a full face helmet with a shield.  You can't be safe if you can't see.  Also, invest in a motorcycle rain suit.  If you're soaked inside and out, you will become miserable quite fast, and that can take away from your concentration and ability to remain in control of your bike.  I have a Bike Bandit rain suit that works VERY well.  So well, that I've worn it in torrential down pours and the only thing that got wet was my hands and feet.  Speaking of which, make sure your foot wear is water proof as well.  Your feet will soak up everything splashing up from the road.

http://www.bikebandit.com/bikebandit-com-two-piece-motorcycle-rain-suit

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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 05:19:09 PM »
I got one of these for the rainy season a few years ago.  It works so well and is so comfortable I've never bothered to take it out, even when the weather is good.  It works better to prevent fog on my face shield than anything else I've ever tried.

http://www.respro.com/products/racing/road-racing/foggy_mask/

Scott

barenekd

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Re: Riding in the rain/on wet, oily roads
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 05:20:51 PM »
Rain-X is NOT recommended on plastic! There are other defoggers out there, including spit and dishwashing liquid
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