If you have been riding for a long time, then for sure you must have encountered it during any of the rides. Whether you are riding to another state, or just doing a weekend ride, rain can occur anytime, any day. As we know, weather is unpredictable, especially during spring and monsoon seasons. It becomes hard to ride with certain precautions. Although, riding in the rain is not impossible if you follow the below-mentioned tips. Here in this write-up, we are providing an ultimate guide to safely ride a motorcycle in the rain.
A perfect Guide To Safely Riding A Motorcycle In The Rain
To start the guide, we are starting with providing you a checklist that you must consider before you ride.
A Checklist Before You Ride In The Rain
- You need to ensure your tires are inflated properly and must have appropriate tread depth.
- Always check your brakes before you hit the road in the rain, as wet conditions need proper traction and brake control.
- Before you start riding, check your oil and fuel. Ensure there is no oil leakage.
- Always consider routes that have some shelter while it is raining.
- Must know anti-fogging treatments and wipe your windshield and goggles when required.
Wear Proper Riding Gear For Riding In The Rain
Before you start your ride, you must protect yourself from the rain with perfect riding gear and dress. Always remember, you will find two types of clothing, waterproof and water-resistant. When we say waterproof clothing, they are those clothes that do not allow penetration unless there are extreme weather conditions. Whereas water-resistant clothes help in shedding water from clothes and allow water penetration only if the rain continues for a longer time. While you are looking for weatherproof gears, you must note the type of water prevention the clothes need.
- Waterproof or Water-Resistant Clothes– These clothes include jackets, and pants that are specially designed for riding in the rain. For protecting your body from rain, you must wear waterproof or water-resistant clothing and the key to protection is overlapping. As wet clothes and a cold body can reduce your level of ride and do not allow you to perform better.
- Waterproof Boots and Gloves – They are a must for deterring water penetration. Ensure you buy waterproof boots that can fit over your pants tightly and waterproof gloves that can come over your jacket.
- Additional Dry Clothes– Always prefer carrying a small backpack and keep a pair of extra clothes in it to meet the circumstances of wet clothes in the rain.
- Goggles– For further eye protection, get waterproof goggles and a helmet that protects your head and face from the rain. You can also go for Goretex layered goggles that sheds water to keep your face and eyes safe.
- Plastic Bags– Always keep plastic bags to keep your essentials dry during wet conditions.
Inspect Your Ride
Before you hit the road, there are few things that you need to inspect to get prepared for wet conditions in the rain.
Along with you, your motorcycle tires need to be prepared for rain and must be ready to channel water. It clearly means they must have tread to have a smooth ride in wet conditions. It is essential to check your tires’ pressure before you start your ride. Make sure they are properly inflated. Always remember underinflated or overinflated tires will react differently in wet and dry conditions.
Your motorcycle’s brakes must have sufficient brake pads to have appropriate brake material to stop in the wet conditions when required. Always check the wear and tear of brake pads before you start your ride.
- Oil and Brake Fluid
You need to be sure that there is no oil or brake fluid leakage. If there is any leakage, it can cause slippery situations in the rain.
Prepare Before You Ride In The Rain
Once you have inspected your motorcycle and have all essential weatherproof gears, here are some considerations that you must keep in your riding plan.
- Plan Your Route
If the rain comes in your way, and there is no option to move ahead in the same path, always have an alternative path or make a stop to take shelter and then move until conditions get better. You must mark some restaurants and stops in your maps, where you can get them easily when required.
- Anti Fogging Treatments
The main concern that persists in rain or wet conditions is fogging. Fogging takes place when there is a humidity or temperature difference. Your windshield, goggles and helmet visor can easily fog up in the rain. Before you move, wipe the things with anti-fogging treatments. When you wear a helmet, don’t forget to open the visor for ventilation and prevent it from fogging up. If you face a situation where fogging is inevitable, remove such gear until the condition gets better.
Beware of Wet Riding Conditions
For a motorcycle rider, wet roads are dangerous and can lead to accidents. Though roads may appear clean but they may contain oil or other residue on the surface. Be aware of the fact that there are different hazards that rainfall can leave on the road.
- Reduced Traction
Rain unveils oil which causes slippery surfaces in wet conditions that reduces traction of tires. When there is a heavy rainstorm, the very first hour is the most dangerous time of the ride, as this is the time when the oil is raised on the surface of the road and it has not been washed away. If you can stop for a while, then this is the time. You must wait for the storm out or until the rain has washed the oil that has been raised on the surface or anything else that is on the road which could be dangerous for riding in the motorcycle. Once the rain has lightened up, it is recommended to ride on the tire’s tracks, as they already have washed away some water from it and allows a rider to have better traction.
No matter how good your tire tread is, a heavy amount of water can cause hydroplane Hydroplaning is a situation when a layer of water prevents direct contact with tires and road. To ignore the situations of hydroplaning, it is not recommended to ride on painted lines, tar snakes, or metal crossings as they reduce the gripping power of tires. While you are riding in the rain, it is advisable to slow down your speed, squeeze your clutch and hold on to your puddle. In case you are riding at a higher speed, avoid changes and try to ride at a constant speed. Abrupt changes in speed can reduce the traction of your motorcycle. Also, keep in mind the types of tires your motorcycle has. All-weather types of tires are best to handle water whereas sports tires may not work as a resourceful option.
- Decreased Visibility
Wet conditions and wet surfaces come with many challenges, but the real challenge starts when you can’t see in the distance, it is a real obstacle while riding a motorcycle in the rain. Visibility plays an important role whether it is off or on road. You must get gears that have reflectives or are of bright color, such gears are a must for riding in the rain. Especially in dark scenarios, reflectives work best as it keeps you and your motorcycle visible to other vehicles and saves you from accidents. Also, it is important to keep your motorcycle’s headlight on until the rain stops, it reduces the chances of mishappenings.
- Braking Distance
Braking conditions are different in both wet and dry conditions, it varies from surface to surface. While you are riding your motorcycle in the rain, you must know there should be increased braking distance, and also cornering of the bike has to be slow and steady. It is recommended to ride as vertical as possible, which helps your tires to have a better contact patch and can also help in whisking away the water with the help of treads of your tires. While you apply a brake, you should also apply a little application on the front brake.
Do not take risks, if the lighting is accompanying the rain. If such a scenario happens, just get out of the road. Lighting can only help you to seek tall objects, but the fact is it has to go in the ground also. If you are wet and everything is wet, your tires will not insulate you from the electricity that travels along the road.
If you have planned a motorcycle ride next weekend, you can definitely avoid it after seeing the weather forecast of rain, you can simply plan ahead and avoid wet conditions. But if you are planning a long route, you can expect rain anytime during monsoon or spring season, don’t worry, you can prepare yourself after reading the above perfect guide on riding on a motorcycle in the rain. The above tips will help you best to have a smooth ride in the rain.