Motorcycle Riding In The Rain
Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be tricky. Almost a quarter of all crashes happen in bad weather, especially on wet pavements. Luckily, there are many steps a rider can take to make a wet ride a safe and enjoyable one.
Tips for Riding in the Rain
From a slight drizzle to a torrential downpour to freezing rain, here are some safety tactics that a rider should know:
Make things easy on yourself and wear a full-face helmet. The shape of the helmet is more aerodynamic than goggles or glasses, and water will naturally flow off the surface of the helmet’s visor.
Avoid making turns on painted road surfaces as they tend to be extra slippery when wet. If a turn can’t be avoided, make sure to keep your center of gravity over the tires of the bike.
In drizzle, it’s best to treat it like real rain- because roads will be just as slippery.
You can always wait out a downpour under an overpass if you’re lucky enough to find one.
When Riding in the Rain is Most Dangerous
The most dangerous rain is usually the first one of the season. Drivers haven’t gotten used to the road conditions, and accumulated oil will rise to the surface and create extra slippery pavement.
Thankfully, roads are somewhat less slick once the oil and grease has washed away -- leaving only water to contend with your tire’s traction.
To improve traction, try to ride in the paths left by the tires of the four-wheeled vehicles on the road. Generally, a rider will have a little more traction in these paths because some of the oil and water on the road has been forced outside of the path.
Also, less water/oil will be flung upwards by your tires -- a huge benefit for riders on bikes with shorter front and rear fenders.
What Kind of Waterproof Motorcycle Gloves Do You Need?
Are you prepared for the wet season? It might be time to get out the waterproof motorcycle gloves.
And if you’re in the market for a new pair, here’s what you need to know:
All reputable waterproof motorcycle gloves will keep water out -- when made well, they will have sealed seams, and a reliable waterproof barrier. The real difference is in degree of breathability.
A good bet is a glove that’s both waterproof and highly breathable, with the addition of a barrier like Gore-tex. Your hands won’t sweat, a big plus for comfort.
Look for gloves labeled Gore-tex, Aquatex, Dri-lock … all will keep you dry.
Here are some other tips for choosing motorcycle gloves for rain:
Look for a glove with a squeegee feature built into the left thumb or forefinger, a nice feature especially at slower speeds. It can wipe away water that might obscure the view of the road.
Spraying a surface water repellant on gloves will not do the trick -- the only reliable waterproof, glove is one with a liner constructed into the gloves. It has to pass the "stick your hand in a bucket" test!
- For wet and cold conditions, choose waterproof gloves with insulation.
Do you have some motorcycle riding in the rain tips?
Let us know, and help keep your fellow riders safe and dry!