Most motorcyclists don’t relish the opportunity to ride in the rain, especially when it happens unexpectedly. When you are out riding and encounter a storm out of nowhere, chances are, you don’t have the right gear with you to protect you from the weather, and you probably aren’t ready to deal with everything else that comes along with riding during a downpour. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you during that first moment of panic when the rain starts coming down. Keep these things in mind for the next time you are caught in the rain.
1. Slow Down
This tip isn’t just applicable for motorcycle riders. Rain reduces visibility and traction on the road, therefore, it is a smart decision to slow down a bit to give yourself enough time in case a car in front of you brakes or you need to avoid an oil slick.
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2. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
The first day of rain (after a period of dryness) is dangerous because there is going to be excess oil, gas, dirt, and water on the road. Some experts say that the first 15 minutes of rain is the most dangerous for motorcycles. Oil slicks make the ground slippery and can cause you to go sliding off the road. If you are already out riding when the rain hits, you won’t be able to quickly change your mind. Adjust to the conditions and pay extra attention to the road.
3. Turn Your Lights On
As mentioned before, rain reduces visibility for drivers and cyclists. As soon as it starts raining, if your lights aren’t on already, be sure to turn your lights on to increase other drivers’ awareness of your presence.
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4. Be Patient
Sometimes you can’t avoid riding in rainy weather conditions and “the show must go on.” That’s fine, as long as you are patient on the road and don’t try too hard to get to your destination in a hurry. You will need to use your brakes gently, balance, and watch your turns while driving in adverse weather. If you are jumpy and tense, it is much harder to ride comfortably, let alone safely.
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5. Prepare for Future Rides
So say you’re out riding one day and you get caught in a rainstorm, but you are able to make it to your destination safely and without too much stress. How would you prepare for another situation like that? You should definitely invest in appropriate rain gear. This includes a jacket, pants, and helmet with face shield. Most shields don’t come with wipers, but you can put some Rain-X on the glass and it should help repel the moisture.
Mother Nature is unpredictable and you never know when you may run into an unexpected storm. It’s important to keep these tips in mind if you have little experience driving your bike in the rain.
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