10 Tips for Riding in the Rain
If you’ve done much riding at all, you’ll have done it in the rain. Here are a few tips to make riding in the rain safer, more comfortable — and drier.
- Purchase and carry high quality rain gear. Look for clothing that:
- Fits properly over your other gear, without being too loose. Flapping causes premature wear, ineffective protection and it’s not at all cool.
- Packs down easily and takes up minimal room.
- Is highly conspicuous.
- Is breathable. Gortex is ideal and will help keep you warm and dry.
- Fits snugly around wrists and ankles.
- Has a high collar that fits under your helmet so water doesn’t seep in.
- Remain calm if it starts to rain. Allow extra distances for stopping and reacting. Smooth moves are more important than ever and be more attentive to making one maneuver at a time – i.e. braking, turning, leaning, shifting.
- Pull off the road if necessary and wait it out, especially if you find yourself hydroplaning or unable to see where you’re going. I know it sounds logical but trust me, it doesn’t always happen. It’s a good idea to wait out the early part of the rain when roads are their slipperiest. If you need to pull off to put on your gear, make sure you’re well out of traffic. It’s a lot easier to do it ahead of time than once the roads and you are wet.
- Wear extra layers in the cold. Warm and wet is better than cold and wet. Even if the rain gets through your gear, extra layers will help keep you warm and deter the onset of hypothermia.
- Avoid painted lines, metal covers, grates on the road and of course oil or gas spills. All can be slippery.
- Double check your tires to make sure they are in good repair, there is lots of tread and they’re properly inflated.
- Ensure sure your indicator lights and headlights work properly. It’s always important but even more so when visibility may be impaired.
- Wear a full face helmet or at least have a face shield. Make sure your visor is clear, and free of scratches.
- Carry extra apparel so you can change into dry clothing if necessary.
- Make sure your luggage is waterproof. If not, have plastic bags on hand to stow clothing and/or fragile items.
Bonus: Be prepared. The weather can be unpredictable and even a day that starts out sunny might have raindrops later on. If we’d have stayed home every time rain was predicted, we’d have missed some nice riding opportunities.
This is so helpful. I’m 63 and didn’t start riding until last year but wish I had began the journey many years ago! It is absolutely the love of my life now and tidbits like this are always helpful. Thank you!
Thanks Carol! I guess you’ve got some catching up to do! 🙂
Need advice. Pulling over to the right shoulder of the highway during a storm is as frightening as staying on road. How do I position motorcycle so that I don’t drop it to the right side because the kickstand is on the same side of the elevated side of shoulder? I am embarrassed to admit I just can’t figure it out myself…lol…thanks
It can be tricky and tough to make the right decision.
The best thing to do is avoid the situation if you can. When you see the storm approaching, consider the road you’re heading into and what your options will be. It might be best to wait it out or take another route. Your own safety is always the first priority. I don’t like to put on rain gear until I need to but it looks pretty likely that I’m going to need it and there’s going to be no safe place to stop, I’ll put it on ahead of time.
However, we can’t always avoid it. Weather can get worse than expected and/or beyond our skills to navigate, making pulling off the road the best decision. The shoulders can be eroded, angled, soft, deep gravel – you never know. Sometimes there is no shoulder. You always have to make the best decision at the time. Look for the safest place to pull off. I’d sooner be picking up a tipped bike from the side of the road than getting run over or running into something. And a good Samaritan will always be by to help.
Thank u Liz