Is it Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in the Rain?
While many riders put their bikes away on a rainy day, others find that rain riding is a great experience, as long as you have the proper gear and use extra caution. Knowing what to expect will help your preparation. Let’s look at some things to remember before you start your wet ride.
The Best Motorcycle Rain Gear Makes the Difference
A waterproof rain suit, boots, and gloves are so well designed these days that even a full day of rain can’t manage to soak you. Staying dry is the most important element that will allow you to enjoy a day riding in the rain. Most waterproof gear also provides extra warmth, but more layers may be needed to keep comfortable. Try multiple thin layers that can be removed one at a time as the temperature dictates.
When rain riding, your helmet should be outfitted with a breath guard, and a visor that is anti-fog or equipped with an electric defrost option. Because the sky is dark during a storm, and the winter nights are longer, make sure your helmet shield is clear.
The best motorcycle rain gear will not infringe on your mobility while riding nor cause a distraction. While it can be nearly impossible to safely work your bike’s control when your fingers are frozen, so too can bulky gloves impede your ability to access the controls safely. In the same vein, a neck warmer may limit your ability to turn your head. Be sure to test your dexterity and mobility when you shop for poor weather gear to find the balance between comfort and safety.
If you intend to commute to work during winter weather, leave a change of clothes at the office just in case.
Ride Smarter and Smoother
When conditions are less than ideal, the way you handle the motorcycle must be adjusted. Throttle changes should be made smoothly and incrementally. Employ less of a lean angle. When braking, apply them early and gradually. You do not want to be forced to stab the brake lever at the last minute.
Use Extra Caution at Intersections
Anywhere on the asphalt where cars stop and idle will have a higher concentration of oil on the road, and thus, areas near intersections will be especially slick in the rain. Slow down as you approach all intersections, and do not run yellow lights. Any scenario in which you are required to abruptly turn or quickly apply the brakes will increase the odds of encountering a traction issue.
When you are stopped for a red signal, stay on the lookout for cars that could slide into you from the rear. Along these same lines, double your following distance because vehicles are more likely to come to a sudden stop in rainy weather.
Beware of Manhole Covers
Wet manhole covers are slippery, no-traction traps in the rain. Scan the road for them and see if there is an easy way around them. If you have to go over them, do so without braking or aggressively accelerating.
If There’s a Dry Line, Ride It
This may seem obvious, but if an area of the lane is dry, use it. Dry pavement will provide better traction and maneuverability. Make sure you are situated in the driest portion of each lane you travel.
Using these tips to be well-prepared, you may find that a rainy ride does not always need to be avoided and can actually be enjoyable.
Watch the YouTube video: a rider cautions others to know their limits during a rainy ride.
Benicia Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Thank you for visiting and reading our Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in the Rain. I’m Ed Smith, a Benicia motorcycle accident attorney. If a negligent driver caused you to suffer injuries in a motorcycle crash, call us at (707) 564-1900 to speak with a case manager or injury attorney. We will be happy to offer free and friendly advice. If you are outside the Benicia area, dial our toll-free number: (800) 404-5400. You may also reach out to us via our online contact form.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/motorcycle-auto-vehicle-motor-3566686/
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