New and veteran riders alike often shy away from riding their motorcycle in the rain. Riding in the rain can produce some significant challenges. But, by exercising proper care, and following the tips highlighted below, you can feel more confident when riding on rainy days.
Bikers often choose to drive their cars rather than ride their motorcycles on rainy days. It can be uncomfortable to ride in the rain, especially in heavier, stormy conditions. Reduced visibility can present a significant challenge, and rain can combine with oils and dirt on the road to create slick surfaces. If you find yourself riding on a rainy day, follow these tips for safety.
Can You Ride a Motorcycle in the Rain? Important Tips to Follow for Riding a Motorcycle in the Rain:
1. Remember that road surfaces are very slick. Rain combines with dirt and oils on road surfaces to create a super slippery mess. Generally, road conditions are worst when the rain first begins and the oils and dirt are stirred up. After some steady rain, much of the debris washes off the roadway. If you are riding when the rain first begins, consider pulling off to the side of the road for a few minutes to allow some of the sediment to clear off the roads. Waiting just a few minutes to ride can result in a significant reduction in oils on the roadway, and can mean safer riding conditions.
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2. Braking distances increase in wet conditions. Although we all know this is true, few of us recognize just how significant the difference can be. In rainy conditions, braking distance can increase by over 50 percent. This can mean the difference between easily coming to a stop and slamming into the vehicle ahead of you. Do not take any chances! Leave extra distance between you and the other vehicles on the road.
3. Visibility decreases under rainy conditions. A light sprinkle will produce some raindrops on your helmet, but probably won’t interfere with visibility too much. But a heavy rain can make it difficult to see anyone else on the road. If a heavy rain strikes, the safest thing to do is to pull off the road and wait for the worst of it to pass. If there are not any convenient places to stop, look out for overpasses and bridges, which can provide shelter from the rain and give you a safe place to wait out the storm.
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4. Make sure your helmet covers your face. When you are riding a motorcycle in the rain, even a light sprinkle can feel like needles pricking the skin of your face when you are traveling at speed. Be sure to wear a full face helmet. Also, you may want to spray your helmet down with a defogging agent to help keep it clear.
5. Wear a waterproof, breathable jacket. No one wants to be saturated in rain, and when on a bike it can be downright uncomfortable. Wear a waterproof but breathable jacket to keep you warm and dry inside and keep the rain off your skin.
6. Watch out for standing water. Puddles are not a good time on a motorcycle! In fact, they can be downright dangerous. Be aware of puddles and standing water on the road, and avoid them if at all possible. Water can mask potholes and can be very dangerous for bikers.
7. Careful with your brakes! Brake gently and avoid strong braking whenever possible. If you need to apply your brakes quickly, be sure to pump them to avoid aquaplaning. Remember, too, that braking distance increases significantly in wet conditions.
8. Reduce your speed. This common sense tip is often enough to keep you safe in wet conditions. Ignore those around you who may be traveling at high rates of speed. Slow down, take it easy, and relax. No sense rushing when conditions are poor.
9. Never ride in lightning. Take cover someplace safe until the storm passes. You never want to be riding in a thunderstorm.
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With proper precautions, motorcycling in the rain can be done, and although it might not be the most pleasant ride of your life, you can rest assured knowing you will remain safe if you follow proper care. If you have been in an accident in rainy conditions or even on a clear day, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. At Kass & Moses, our lawyers are bikers, too, so we understand just how eager you are to get back on the road. We will do everything in our power to help you recover after your crash. Contact us today at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE.