Riding a motorcycle in the rain is considered a safety hazard; it's hard to be noticed in clear weather, and mixing in the distraction of bad weather makes that problem even worse. However, modern tire advances have dramatically improved motorcycle traction in rainy weather, making it slightly safer. Sometimes, the weather strikes, and you won't have any other option but to press on. So the motorcycle enthusiast must be prepared and practice in different weather conditions. Here are some tips on making your experience a bit safer while riding in the rain.
1. Make sure your motorcycle's lights work well and have clear visibility.
We recommend regularly checking your lights to ensure you aren't "left out in the rain" without proper lighting. Then, you can take your motorcycle to our dealership in Valley Harley-Davidson. Our technicians are happy to look over your bike and ensure that all of your lights are working appropriately and that there aren't any shorts that could potentially become hazardous introduced into rainy weather.
2. Inspect Your Brakes, and learn to brake more smoothly.
Another vital thing to check is your brakes, and it can be potentially lethal to ride on bad brakes in good weather, let alone rainy conditions. Therefore, you should regularly bring your motorcycle to our service department to get your brakes inspected, catching issues before they become life-changing.
It's also important to practice breaking smoothly. Throttle adjustments need to be smooth and in small increments; by practicing gradually applying brakes, you'll get any breaking done with plenty of room to avoid accidents. You should give yourself even more additional time and space when riding in rainy weather because situations are even more unpredictable, and you'll have less traction to work with.
3. Make Sure Your Bike Is Outfitted Properly
Experienced Riders will tell you, there are few things more miserable than riding in the rain with an underequipped motorcycle. As you accelerate the rain can whip into your body giving you the sensation of being pricked by hundreds of needles. Plus your motorcycle can become waterlogged if you don't have the proper filter covers to deal with an incoming rainstorm.
4. Make sure you are wearing the proper gear.
ATGAT: Or "All The Gear All The Time" is a phrase you should have burned into your brain as a safety conscience motorcycle rider. But unfortunately, in most fatal and life-changing motorcycle accidents, the rider involved wasn't following ATGAT. So if the radar looks like there is any chance of rain, of course, ATGAT becomes even more critical.
The unfortunate reality of motorcycle riding is that you may be involved in an accident of no fault of your own. And the odds of that happening increase dramatically in hazardous weather. But you can make your ride safer by following ATGAT.
It's essential to wear the "RIGHT" gear, with added rain protection. Visit our motor clothes department, and they can help you get fitted out with the perfect riding gear to handle all weather situations. Consider adding a full-face helmet to your riding wardrobe.
5. Find a place to park
Sometimes the safest option is to find a place to park. If possible, stop for lunch or dinner and wait for the rain out. Try to wait at least 20 minutes after the rain starts before getting back on the road. It seems counterintuitive because you'll essentially be letting the roads get soaked, but there is a good reason to wait it out.
It almost immediately transforms the roads into a slip 'n slide when rain first starts. The rain will lift all the oil and grease from the center and spread it across the street. If you wait for the gunk to get washed away and keep your tires in line with the tires of cars on the road, their tread pattern will remove a lot of the oil and grease, providing sightly better traction.
6. Check for Thunderstorms
It's paramount to check the weather for any sign of a thunderstorm. If you see a warning, you'll want to hop off your motorcycle as soon as possible. Unlike a car, motorcycles offer no lightning protection, so you are at extremely high risk for a lightning strike.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Sometimes the best way to mitigate risk is by practicing in safe, controllable environments. For example, many riders will take the opportunity to practice in a parking lot during short sprinkles or showers, allowing them to learn how their motorcycle handles under these different conditions.