Author Topic: Riding in the rain  (Read 3244 times)

Offline Outlaws Justice

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Riding in the rain
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:34:51 pm »
I always find that many people have a fear of riding in the rain. What would you do if you are caught out in the rain while riding or are forced to ride through rain for any one of many reasons? What can you do?
 
You need to practice. I find when teaching that riding in the rain is one of a rider's biggest fears. One of the reasons I don't mind teaching the BRC or ERC in the rain is that it really helps the students out so much more than when learning in sunny weather. They learn right at the start that riding in the rain can be controlled. So find that parking lot, and get to work! (On a rainy day of course!) When you first start to practice in the lot there should be little to no traffic but it will still help you rebuild your confidence. As you get more comfortable, work up to residential areas where you will have some traffic and so on.
 
Now you may be saying: "Yeah, sure, but the feeling I have is that wet surfaces don't give any warning. One moment you've got grip, the next it's gone. How then, can you practice ...?"  You must realize that cars can hydroplane much more easily than a bike with good tires. The rounded profile and carefully designed tread patterns on modern motorcycle tires really limit hydroplaning- you would be down in a second if they didn't. Car tires with lots of the right kind of tread will resist hydroplaning, but as the tread gets worn, cars can hydroplane pretty easily. Being on the verge of hydroplaning creates the feeling that the vehicle isn't "planted" anymore whether in a car or on your ride. When this phenomenon happens, fear can rear its ugly head.  You can ask just about anyone that has crashed on a motorcycle about fear. What ever caused them to go down, sharp right hand curve in a downhill, decreasing radius turns etc, fear will cause them to be uneasy for a while when encountering a similar situation again. Just hang in there, practice, and practice and you will be fine.
 
First and foremost you have to get past the fear. It takes over your brain and does not allow one to make proper decisions and take corrective actions. I ride in the dirt as well as on the street and it can be firm, loose, slippery etc. You have to ride the bike, look ahead, think of what you want to do and do it all without fear. If you are scared you are not doing the many things that riding the bike requires.
 
Typically a bike will hold traction much better than most of us can ride it! Even in the rain!! You need to trust your tires. Try using your rear brake when it's wet to test how much traction you have available. Keep in mind that your mentality can be your worst enemy. You should be relaxed and be as smooth as you can on the throttle and brakes. Trust is a learned behavior so if you acquire some experience with the available traction in the wet then your trust of your tires (and your bike) will improve.
 
When riding in the wet, explore available traction with the rear wheel primarily, and only with the bike straight upright. You can test the rear brake to its limit as well as perform acceleration tests to investigate the limits of wet traction you have (in a controlled environment of course). I was impressed one time when I was able to loft the front wheel in the wet, not that I was trying... but it's just a testament to the grip of good tires these days. Of course I have spun up the rear as well when assessing traction in the wet, but this is all part of the learning experience. This is where you will build confidence in how much traction is there. Good tire tread depth is also very important for those of us who ride in the rain!
 
Other than working with some trainers and performing some practice there is not much else I can advise you to do. Keep in min though when you are out on the road and it's raining, don't let the drivers behind you "push" you out of a comfortable range of speed. I'd rather be slow and safe than appease the person behind me by speeding up.

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 02:00:58 pm »
Good Post.  :n21
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Offline Marid2apterbilt

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 05:48:23 pm »
Thanks for posting. Many don't realize u can ride almost as hard in rain IF u got good tires. The more worn they are the less traction available.

A newish pair of pilot powers will let you drag a knee but be easy on the gas while doing so.
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Offline emd513

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Re: Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 06:10:46 pm »
This is what I need to wrk on. Now I have heard a good pair of track slicks are just as good to run in the rain as a pilot power. Any truth to this

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Offline bumpfire

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 08:05:23 pm »
do what ???

Offline emd513

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Re: Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 11:19:54 pm »
If your meaning what I said then its because of the soft rubber used. This is what I have heard from a few people that the softer rubber actually grips just as good as a standard street tire

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Online IanC

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 12:49:29 am »
Track slicks generally don't have the grooves designed to siphon off water making them bad for wet riding.

I don't mind riding in the rain, just more cautious. As my dad told me, "Rain is the great equalizer."
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Offline Deuce

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 03:03:41 am »
Track slicks generally don't have the grooves designed to siphon off water making them bad for wet riding.

I don't mind riding in the rain, just more cautious. As my dad told me, "Rain is the great equalizer."

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Offline Marid2apterbilt

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 06:21:49 am »
Donald..  Do not believe everything you hear..

Before you try race SLICKS in the rain you better verify your full coverage insurance is up to date..
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Offline emd513

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Re: Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 09:45:51 am »
It is. I won't if there's a slight possibility to wreck my bike.

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Offline Kfilly

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 05:12:59 pm »
Quick question...Have you ever been in a bad wreck while riding in the rain? If so, how did you cope with it?

Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 05:42:35 pm »
Quick question...Have you ever been in a bad wreck while riding in the rain? If so, how did you cope with it?


I had an old 750 four chopper that didn't handle wet weather very well, as I discovered on my ride home from work one evening. how did I cope with it? I bent the handlebars back into a fairly straight(ish) configuration, jb welded the side casing and rode home, slowly. very, very slowly.

im not a high speed rider, with the exception of a little slab running (broke my speedo between exit 12 and 15 on I 81), but I do slow way down and I just cant bring myself to put much lean into it in the rain.
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Online IanC

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Re: Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 06:12:37 pm »
I've never been down in the rain but I'd imagine it would be more forgiving with a slicker surface and less chance to high side. I have no stats to back this up but it makes sense in my head.
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Offline Deuce

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 09:00:38 pm »
Quick question...Have you ever been in a bad wreck while riding in the rain? If so, how did you cope with it?

Does dirtbike wrecks count? lol
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Offline Kfilly

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 09:35:16 pm »
Yup.

What I am looking for is actual experiences. This thread is meant to educate and I cant think of anything better than people telling their stories about how they felt, what they did, how they overcame their obstacles. Sometimes its a bit more than just getting back on and just doing it. At least it was for me.

Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 11:15:23 pm »
Yup.

What I am looking for is actual experiences. This thread is meant to educate and I cant think of anything better than people telling their stories about how they felt, what they did, how they overcame their obstacles. Sometimes its a bit more than just getting back on and just doing it. At least it was for me.


okay then, how did I feel? I hurt like hell and was absolutely terrified of my bike. what did I do? manhandled my bike back into a ridable shape. how did I overcome my obstacles? I got back on the bike and rode.


I was more afraid of my bike after the wreck in the rain than I was after I laid my Harley chopper down on dry pavement.


it really isn't more complicated than that. really. if you truly want to ride, you will.
What does "riding season" mean?

Offline Deuce

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 03:09:31 am »
Again I'm speaking of off road experience. But, I agree with Rick. I always got up. Wiped off the mud and/or blood. And, rode home slow as hell thanks to my bumps & bruises (confidence and ego included). I rode home once with a wheel bent so bad it rubbed the forks...lol. Sure I was slow & careful (scared) for a while after. Soon enough I would be back up to speed and dumb as ever.  :happyrider
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Offline Kfilly

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 08:37:16 am »
Thank you for the respnses.

There is a logical reason I wanted people to talk about their experiences. Its so easy to say, suck it up and get back on. however...in reality its much harder than that for some. .i just thought that maybe if people told their stories that perhaps their experience or way of dealing with it might help others who are going thru the same thing. Little tricks or thought processes.....Call me silly, but i honestly thought it would be a learning thing and a way to help each other out.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 09:50:09 am by Kfilly »

Offline Deuce

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2013, 03:12:28 pm »
It makes sense. But, for some people it really is as simple as get back on.
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Offline Kfilly

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Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 03:20:19 pm »
True, and I am not argueing that. :)

Offline emd513

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Re: Re: Riding in the rain
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 06:39:54 pm »
Yeah my wreck was just get back and go again. Damn motor casing kept that from happening.lol

adrenaline rushing speed demon. insane? yes!!
03 Zr1000. Totalled
04 Zr1000. Traded
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