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Old 09-20-2007, 07:58 AM   #11
demenshea
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.AJ
So, its like sticking your finger into the fan. Ya gotta try it and once you have, you probably won't do it again unless you have to.... Mr AJ
I believe this to be true. Most riders say that it is simply a necessary evil of touring...avoid it if you can and get over it if you do. Having gotten "caught" twice now, I will be more prepared on the next occasion and at least have some rain gear so I will have less rain fear.

I agree with Syd...the biggest problem is visibility, both in being visible and seeing.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:43 AM   #12
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.AJ
R

Personally, I don't hose off my bikes. All are hand washed with a damp cloth. My point being and I got the info from a number of mechanics, bikes don't like to ride in the rain. Water gets into places they don't like either. It can cause electrical problems that never go away. Kinda like why you don't want to go nuts steam cleaning you car engine.

So, its like sticking your finger into the fan. Ya gotta try it and once you have, you probably won't do it again unless you have to.... Mr AJ
Wow, your bikes and/or your mechanics are wimps. It may be true with older, pre '80s bikes regarding the electrics but I would say it is not true now. The only exceptions I know to this are Triumphs up to the Hinckley era and Ducatis up to the '90s.

I have ridden all my post '80s bikes in the rain for hrs at a time with nary a problem.

While I may not start out in a down pour, unless I know it is going to be short lived, I'm not going to let it ruin a ride or delay me while on the road.

I will go along with the don't use a pressure washer advice though.

As to advice for rain riding...........Good tires, good gear and common sense will take care of you.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:01 AM   #13
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

I gotta agree with Vince about the effects of rain on bikes...older ones perhaps, but what I notice is it doesn't make them cleaner, but it also doesn't cause any problems...the FJR has an obvious advantage with a fairing and windscreen, and the instruments have rubber seals etc...the electrics/switches/relays/sensors etc., are all covered at the connections...

As for riding in the stuff, I got caught out in it yesterday from Lake Berreyessa to the Yolo causeway...a hard driving rain with some mixed hail at first while I was up near Monticello Dam...
I slow down, giving myself more time and distance to react to changing conditions.
I don't lean the bike as much or enter corners as quickly. In fact I start out much slower and progressively add speed as I feel out the available traction from the surface I'm on, until I am at my comfort level.
On the freeway in the rain, I don't keep up with the flow as I would on a dry road.
I become hyper-vigilant for cars etc. changing lanes and driving too fast...having a car spin in front of me after it hydroplaned is an experience I will not soon forget!
My 'stich is usually enough for any short term rain storms, but if it is a daylong rain ride, I will probably avoid it and stay home, or lay over for a day...

Now, let's talk about riding in the rain at night
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

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.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:09 AM   #15
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnsfxr
Wow, your bikes and/or your mechanics are wimps. It may be true with older, pre '80s bikes regarding the electrics but I would say it is not true now. The only exceptions I know to this are Triumphs up to the Hinckley era and Ducatis up to the '90s.

I have ridden all my post '80s bikes in the rain for hrs at a time with nary a problem.

While I may not start out in a down pour, unless I know it is going to be short lived, I'm not going to let it ruin a ride or delay me while on the road.

I will go along with the don't use a pressure washer advice though.

As to advice for rain riding...........Good tires, good gear and common sense will take care of you.
VINCE... Good advice for good gear, good tires and common sense, but in the L.A. area, little counts due to the idiots that fill our roads. You can only count on the fact they will not use common sense and half will have a cell phone in their ear and the conversation is worth more to them than your life. In the country where you live, I would probably ride in the rain too. It is just too crazy down here.... Mr AJ
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:48 AM   #16
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Good post and timely!

Tires need to be in good shape, if you are close and rainy season is coming...get new rubber. Remember unscrubbed new tires are MUCH more slippery when it is wet.

Wet gear; I have a real tough time finding rain stuff that will go over my protective gear. Normally the rain comes with the cold and so I decided to get Winter gear that is rain resistant (nothing is rain proof). Until just recently Joe Rocket Ballistic pants and jacket were the set up that worked great. Now I have the Motoport kevlar pants with liner. I'll see how it works soon enough.

Slow down and ride smooooth (in every aspect) is the common tip here and it is a good one. The middle of the lane is where cage oil gathers, stay off of it. Pick your lines with care, maybe even hit a parking lot to hone your skills when it rains. I don't seek out rain to ride in but won't let it stop a planned ride. If there is a planned ride and it is raining, I'm there. It's fun but then I'm wierd...
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #17
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

well -- just a couple more words of advice

if by chance you find yourself - hydroplaning -- don't do anything, keep the throttle constant, don't grab any brake front or rear, and don't try to countersteer -- let the bike do its thing and hopefully pull it self out of it -- the moment you change the balance by closing the throttle, grabing brake, countersteering - you are invariably going down --

one question was asked about the speed through corners -- more than likely, you will be able to take the corner at the posted speed -- but then again depending on the conditions, you may not.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:12 AM   #18
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

thank you for the posting, its always nice to be reminded of how we need to be safe and respect mother nature.....
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:51 AM   #19
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast_Far
Now, let's talk about riding in the rain at night
Just did a 800 mile trip up to Oregon 2 weeks ago, and I can say riding in the rain unprepared is not fun. A rainsuit is a very good idea, but don't plan on them being perfect. I bumped into a few groups of riders with and without suits. They all said the same thing...riding in the rain is wet. I didn't plan for the rain, and got bit. Yes I know my old scoutmaster would have slapped me on the wrist...

On the trip I rode through almost every weather condition: Rain, Snow, Sleet, Sunny, Windy, Cold, and Warm. I also rode through almost any road condition too. Ice over mountain passes first thing in the morning will definitely keep you awake.


A few things I learned:

1. Glad my GS has waterproof luggage. Test yours before a ride.
2. A set of heavy "Construction Grade" overalls works really well for the lower
half and if you buy large will fit over all your gear!!!
3. Waterproof doesn't always mean waterproof...
4. Cold wet feet suck
5. Cold hands are worse
6. Layer!!!!
7. SLOW DOWN
8. THINK about your maneuvers first!!
9. You can actually enjoy riding in bad weather. Try it, you might like it (At lest not Hate it.)


I rode the superslab back home, and I can say riding at night in the rain at freeway speed definitely keeps you on your toes. I would recommend taking the time to soften up your rear and front suspension, as it helped me greatly on the GS in the rain. My
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:54 PM   #20
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Well, in deference to my previous post in this thread, I got a great chance to break in my Tourmaster Senteniel rain suit today. I went to the eye doctor yesterday and was told I need a new prescription. Surprisingly, a little lower power, not surprising, I need bifocals. Either way, the eye doc here had a bunch of frames in stocl but nothing that really caught my eye. The few that did, the price tag on just the frames was nearly $200

Being a frugal minded rider, I decided I should take a road trip to Beale AFB, near Marysville, to pick up a set of Pilots sunglasses from military clothing sales. Cost for 2 pairs of sunglasses, $50. Toook them into the optical shop and they are gonna send them off to have the prescription lenses put in the sunglasses frames.

I get up this morning and its a little cloudy, about 47 degrees, and starting to drizzle a bit. I figure it's only gonna get worse and the cold and wet together will really eat up the strength reserves. I start to gear up. Thermals, wool socks, long sleeve shirt, jeans, Tourmaster pants, boots, turtleneck fleece, leather jacket, Tourmaster Rain jacket, gloves. Glasses and face shield instantly start fogging up and I really can't turn my head. Stop for gas before leaving town and everything is so fogged up I really can't see. Now I'm starting to think this might be a bad idea, but I decide to try to press on. I ride out of the gas station slowly and my vision starts to clear. And it starts raining a bit harder. Now its a steady but light rain.

By the time I get to Oroville, its still raining but now its a bit harder. By the time I got into Marysville is was a one of those good steady soaking rains. I got on base and made my stop at clothing sales and the optical shop. I decided I was more then warm enough to lose the fleece. That cured the neck turning problems! Finished my business on base and started to head for home. I know I need to get gas and as I head for the gas station on base, I realize the gloves I wore down there are so soaked, there is no way I'll be able to ride home with them on and not freeze my fingers to the bone. Luckily for me, I took the precaution of packing my spare, heavy weight winter gloves in my tank bag.

Same rainy pattern going home as I had on the way down ther. After getting home and removing my rain gear I discovered my torso was completly dry and my pants were only silghtly damp. Best rain gear I've ever used.

However: The pants were a bit difficult to put on in my living room so I'd be hard pressed to put them on, in a hurry, while on the road. The jacket, brightly colored yellow, works well, but I believe to be better suited to summer riding over a mesh jacket. It was just too snug with my leather jacket underneath it. I do have a Teknics heavyweight rain jacket I feel comfortable riding without having a second jacket on under it. I really do like the intergrated hood in the Tourmaster jacket that goes on before you don your helmet. It did a superb job of preventing any water from running down the back of my neck .

Overall, I highly recommend the Tourmaster Senteniel rain gear.


Ray
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