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Thread: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

  1. #91
    Junior Member HalB's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Dale: great video of the rain racer. thanks

    I live in Vancouver where one does everything whether it is raining or not, so rain riding, is just part of what may happen on a day ride. I can live with it, and of course all the usually obstacles mentioned, white lines etc, road snakes, bad.

    I did have an experience a month ago. The weather forecast was for bad to worse, so we decided to cut our losses and just make a run for home on the slab (coquihalla and hwy 1 to vancouver). Ok it is one thing to ride in the rain, fine. Another to ride at night, not my favourite. But honestly to ride in the rain at night is a nightmare. You just do not know what is on the road a foot in front of you. I try to keep lots of space, but cars just keep filling it up. Huge semis with double trailers, passing me or me passing, the spray. We made it as you can see, but I was in PTSD for a couple of days. I made a promise to myself, that I would never do that again. find a motel and hole up, and if I ride the rain, do it in the daytime. The huge irony was, the 100% chance of rain for the next day turned into 100% sunshine (how typical BC). if I waited, I would have had one more glorious day of riding.

    that's my story.

  2. #92
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by m0t0-ryder View Post
    Having lived in Oregon for 17 years I have experienced rain.

    I will echo some of the wet riding advice above...

    1. Slow Down.
    2. Add some following distance.
    3. Suit up to stay dry
    4. Be sure your running decent tires. (know why they got the name "slicks"?)
    5. Antifog your visor... and expect it to still fog up.
    6 Watch out for painted or metal surfaces. They can be quite slippery.
    7. Avoid fording any running water deeper than your axles. (unless on a dual sport)


    And I will add one I haven't seen (yet)...

    Be more gentle with your front brake than normal.
    On dry pavement the front brake should be used as much (if not more) than the rear brake (excepting in loose surfaces or when leaning over hard).
    On wet pavement modulate the front brake and use a little less force than you normally would.
    Back tires breaking loose are breathtaking.
    Front tires breaking loose are butt puckering.
    Avoid the pucker.

    I use a one piece rainsuit. This eliminates one more possible leaky spot... the gap between the jacket & pants of a two piece.
    This is a really helpful list to a newbie (like me).

    One question I have: how do you anti-fog your helmet? My shield doesn't have anti-fog chemicals built in, but it has anti-fog vents. Is there something out there that helps with this?

    Also, the guy at the bike shop sold me a can of "Original Bike Spirits - Spray Cleaner & Polish". It can be used on everything except your grips, tires, brakes and fabrics. He said it repels water, provides UV protection and in the rain helps the water bead and move easily off the visor.
    Last edited by derekd; 10-17-2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Just wanted to add that I finally finished reading this ENTIRE thread!

  3. #93
    Kinda new round here Mike Philippens's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    I haven't read all the postings, but I saw some reactions on the first page which said to avoid riding in the rain. I disagree totally with that. Unless you religiously follow weather forecasts and don't go out even if there's a 10% chance of rain...

    Rain can (and will) surprise you. And when you're afraid of it and never ridden in the rain, you'll be scared. And fear is not a good riding companion. You'd better try it once in a while to get used to it. Some years ago, when I just bought my K1100RS (second bike) I went on a trip to the mountains in Germany with a group. The group leaders were motorcycle police instructors. And...you might have guessed it: it rained one of the days. The instructors were riding K1100LT's so practically the same bikes as me. And they went through the corners (hairpins and all) like it was dry. That gave me confidence and I went a bit faster too. I didn't go as fast as them, because I believe you have to go as fast as you're comfortable with. So don't go around a corner at 60mph just because Valentino Rossi can...

    The instructors say: the road is not slick when it rains. Your grip is a bit less, but it is not like there's oil on the road. You'd have to be very carefull when it was dry for a long time when it starts to rain. Then the roads do get slippery because of the dirt/dust/oil and grease. You even see bubbles on the surface. But after about an hour of good rain it's gone.
    And then you can drive like you normally do, just a bit slower, brake a bit earlier etc. Just use common sense.

    I don't like rain, but I don't hold back for it. That is: when I planned a pleasuretrip for the day and it rains and it doesn't look like it's going to stop, I stay at home. But when I'm on a trip, I just put on my rainsuit and go on. I crossed through a monsoon in France and Spain which lasted for a whole day. We were like a group of scuba divers and the rain was torrential...but we stayed on the road.

    Don't be scared of the rain. Practice it, so you'd know what to expect.

    As for gear: I have a one piece rainsuit, a BMW ProRain2 and a special balaclava for cold/wet weather, with a windstopper/waterproof piece that covers the neck and chest. Also, good waterproof gloves (duh!) are essential. Not the leather ones which will take a day to dry. Shell out the money for goretex.

  4. #94
    SFC, US Army Reserves ;-) XJ650RJ's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by derekd View Post
    This is a really helpful list to a newbie (like me).

    One question I have: how do you anti-fog your helmet? My shield doesn't have anti-fog chemicals built in, but it has anti-fog vents. Is there something out there that helps with this?

    Also, the guy at the bike shop sold me a can of "Original Bike Spirits - Spray Cleaner & Polish". It can be used on everything except your grips, tires, brakes and fabrics. He said it repels water, provides UV protection and in the rain helps the water bead and move easily off the visor.
    Helpful hint - DO NOT USE on your seat unless you test it on a small patch beforehand and make sure you let it dry. Nothing worse than using something like ArmorAll on your seat and have it turn into a skating rink...

    Don't ask me how I know this...

  5. #95
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    I try to avoid the rain. I od love riding through the creeks and mud off road but usually don't take the bike out onto the road if it's raining. If I do get caught up in the rain, I throw on my rain gear and take it slow. I will give one word of advice and that is not to be afraid to pull over and wait for the rain to pass. If it's coming down in sheets and you're having a hard time keeping control of the bike or even being able to see, pull over and take a break. Grab a bit to eat or just sit at the rest stop and wait for the rain to ease off. It's better to be late than never show up.

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  6. #96
    Roads Scholar deaconblues's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    OK.. so I notice no one's really talked about what happens to roads when it rains, especially our favorite kind, squiggly mountain roads that don't come with things like gutters or curbs.

    A good rain will result in a lot of runoff, which can create a small creek across your favorite road. When that creek goes away, it'll leave behind a skiff of gravel or sand, and because water chooses to flow downhill, banked curves and chicanes can end up with a nifty little bike trap right in the middle.

    If the rain's strong enough to wash the road clean, it's also strong enough to make a mess. Ride accordingly, even after the clouds have parted and the sun comes back out.
    ---- PASHNIT NATION SCOUTING CORPS ----

  7. #97
    Paleontological Member WIRE's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Resurrection of a great old thread! Whatever became of XJ650RJ?
    I suggest you consult Steinbeck or Huell Howser, because I have no answers for you.

  8. #98
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    If possible , try to ride in the wheel tracks of a car in front of you. The car tires my have already dispersed away some of the water, mud , or debris. This way your cycle tires have less work to do, and more contact with the street surface.

  9. #99
    SFC, US Army Reserves ;-) XJ650RJ's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by WIRE View Post
    Resurrection of a great old thread! Whatever became of XJ650RJ?
    You talking to me?? I'm usually working or


  10. #100
    ->Live2Ryd2Live<- m0t0-ryder's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by derekd View Post
    This is a really helpful list to a newbie (like me).

    One question I have: how do you anti-fog your helmet? My shield doesn't have anti-fog chemicals built in, but it has anti-fog vents. Is there something out there that helps with this?
    Way late to reply to this question.
    But... BLTN!

    If it's chilly outside and wet as well your warm breath as you breath out tends to create a fogging of the shield.

    There's numerous methods to reduce the fogging of the visor in your helmets.
    I've tried many of them with varying levels of success.
    The fog city plastic insert seemed to work the best at keeping fog off. BUT... it also introduced a starburst type glare when used at night in oncoming traffic. Especially once it had begun ageing.

    I've also ued Fog-X (a product made by the rain-X guys) with some success.

    What seems to work best is to keep airflow on the inside of the shield.
    By barely cracking the visor open the fog disperses quickly. Some rain may make it in but a little wet sure beats a little fog blinded.
    Sometimes it takes a whole tankful of fuel before you can think straight!

    Ride as if your life depended on it!

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