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Old 06-07-2006, 08:22 AM   #1
Chocoholic
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Rain & Riding

I have never ride when it rains. How do you handle this? What gear is a must to have? I like to go to Oregon but with unpredictable weather (almost raining 3-4 days a week), I am afraid to ride. perhaps you guys can share your experiences (good and bad ones). Maybe an articles can help too.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: Rain & Riding

A rain suit of course. I have used Frogg Toggs. Very reasonable price, and stayed dry in a Kansas thunderstorm.

Waterproof gaiters or waterproof boots. Waterproof at 60mph, not waterproof wading through a puddle on the sidewalk. At hwy speeds water will be driven into places it would not normally go.

Waterproof riding gloves. The least water on your hands will make them prune up and be very uncomfortable if you ride with damp hands for any length of time.

Test your helmet ventiliation. A fogged face shield is not fun to deal with at speed.

With the right gear riding in the rain is quite pleasant, just remember that traction issues (pine needles, oil or fuel on the road, etc) are magnified.

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Old 06-07-2006, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: Rain & Riding

One thing I would like to add. It may not be as important in your area, but if or rather when you start touring around to different parts of the country, it will be. A really good thing to remember is that in the first few minutes of a rain storm, that is when the roadway is the most slippery. The accumulation oil and grease on the road is covered by a small amount of water and its like being on ice. After its been raining a while, most of that junk is washed away and its okay. You just have to slow down and adjust to the conditions you're riding in.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: Rain & Riding

I just got back from Oregon. I go every year and yes it does rain each time I go . Usually only for a few hours a day. We just ride inland and usually ride out of it. I have a cheap Stearns rain suit I bought at walmart over my 2 piece leathers. Once you understand how the bike will handle in the rain it is all good fun. The bast time to go to Oregon to avoid the rain is July and August.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:12 PM   #5
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Re: Rain & Riding

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonixayu
I have never ride when it rains. How do you handle this? What gear is a must to have? I like to go to Oregon but with unpredictable weather (almost raining 3-4 days a week), I am afraid to ride. perhaps you guys can share your experiences (good and bad ones). Maybe an articles can help too.
Watch out for debris in the road more carefully, and when cornering, keep the bike's lean angle to a minimum. If you have to, slide off the seat, almost like for aggressive cornering, but this time to keep the bike as upright as possible. Practice this on a bicycle. It'll help. And give yourself at least triple the braking distance, always looking out for escape routes away from the cagers. Riding in the rain also depends on how good or bad the bike itself is, in the wet. My bike is not good in the rain at all, mainly I think because of the tires. My bike twitches and squirms like crazy in the wet, so I don't go out in the rain! Your 650R should be fine in the rain, because it's equipped with sport-touring type tires. Best of all, on a rainy day go out into a quiet area and see how your bike behaves, away from traffic. Work into your bike's capabilities in the wet gradually, and you'll be fine.
Hope this helps!
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: Rain & Riding

Hey Fenny --

I ride 365 days a year, and after this last winter I can tell you that I'm pretty fed up with riding in the rain too!! However you've gotten some excellent advise so far - The only thing worse than being wet on a bike is being cold and wet, and once wet you will soon be cold, so definatly invest in a good set of waterproof sometihngs - I have gortech stuff for winter riding, and frog toggs for summer, and I wear cruiser works boots - solid waterproofing there too. So gear up - that's first.

As far as riding when its raining, well it can be as enjoyable as riding on dry roads - for the most part you should have about 85% of the same traction when on wet roads as dry (after the goop runs off - Don't test that limit! ), just stay off painted surfaces on the road, and avoid the Tar Snakes as best you can, and finally SLOW DOWN. They say it to cagers all the time, it's even more important for the rider.

Cheers!
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:19 PM   #7
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Re: Rain & Riding

what everyone else has said, plus my two cents (along with AstroBlue)... dont ride in the rain untill you feel comfortable & confident riding dry ... experience helps... take a few small rides around the block when it's raining to get used to the nuances of wet riding. venture out a little farther each time & work in some light to moderate traffic after a little more comfy with wet riding.

Most of all. .. even experience wont save you from the perils of riding...Never get too cocky riding, period. you always have something to learn. The road can bite even the most experienced riders...

I had 2.5 years of daily riding (rain/shine) under my belt when i laid down my bike ... luckly was coming out of a p-lot onto main road & was only doing 5 mph, (heard the engine rev & next thing i kno i'm layin on my side staring at my headlight. bike was facing wrong way in lane i was moving into ) i was wearing a ski jacket & luckily only had a huge goose egg on my left elbow from the impact. bike: tweaked the front fender a little, scraped up the bar end & tip of exhaust (exhaust pissed me off most cuz was most conspicuous & now my chrome was flawed... )
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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Re: Rain & Riding

Everyone here has some great advice. Do like I always tell any new riders I run into and put it all together to make what works for you. I've been down a few times and can honestly say that I have never been down while riding in the rain, knock on wood. I rode the first 7 years I had a drivers license on a motorcycle 365 days a year. I even rode through the floods of Napa in 1986 in mud at least 6 inches deep. It takes a very careful throttle manipulation to keep it under control. I try my best, unless out on the road on a ride, to stay off the pavement after the first rains because of oil buildup on the roadway. That's when it is most dangerous. Be careful and have fun, it can be quite the experience if done safely and correctly. Good gear goes a long way in making the adventure worthwhile.

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Old 06-07-2006, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: Rain & Riding

What everyone has said here is truly good.

In braking, feather it. Don't grab a handful, and use the rear ever so lightly if you can. A stomp on it will have your rear end become your front, and the pavement become your next sitting spot.

Don't death-grip the bars, that reduces your control AND feedback. Relax the grip and be alert for wiggling and wallowing when it ought not happen. Ride it first, brake second. Not the other way around.

While approaching controlled intersections look for where you want to stop-- staying away from grease-oil spots. Be ever so more attentive to side traffic wanting to enter the roadway. They want to, and WILL, enter the road at the worst time-- in front of you. So.... what they say.... slow it down.

Strangely enough, wet sand in mountain riding isn't near the concern that dry sand is on dry pavement. Wet water on paint? Like grease.
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Old 06-16-2006, 06:23 AM   #10
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Re: Rain & Riding

Just putting my 2 cents worth in...years of riding in the rain snow and ice has shown me that a very smooth riding style is the way to go. At all times, on street corners in town keep the speed down, use the throttle smoothly and accelerate gently. It's worked for me for the last 35+ years. Having said that, I now live in a warmer place and in the last 8 years haven't had a bad days ride. (Just hot).

Let me know how you go!

Fair winds and calm sea's...

Dave
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