Nothing beats a ride under clear skies with sunlight glinting off your bike. But if the sun disappears and it starts to rain, that doesn't mean you should rush to get your motorcycle back in the garage. In fact, there's no need for experienced riders to stay in during a less-than-favorable forecast.
Any biker can ride a motorcycle in the rain if they use caution and make smart decisions. Here are a few tips to be safer and more confident in wet weather.
Riding your motorcycle in the rain is a miserable experience if you're getting soaked to the bone. Enough cold drizzle could even result in you contracting hypothermia while on your seat.
An insulated waterproof suit is where you should start. Whether it's one-piece or two-piece, look for a coating designed to repel moisture off the fabric. Include weatherproofed gloves and boots, too, as your feet and fingers are essential in controlling your bike — both at speed and at rest. A helmet with an anti-fog visor is a must.
You might insist on wearing black most of the time, but you may want to make an exception depending on the weather. It's wise to consider apparel with bright, high-visibility colors or reflective stripping to stand out to other drivers in gloomy conditions.
ABS and Traction Control technology have helped riders immensely with reducing spills, but you're ultimately in charge of your safety. Opt for small increments rather than getting aggressive with the throttle on wet pavement. Also, practice greater following distance with the car in front of you so you can go easier on the brakes and prevent sliding.
When you shift body positions on your motorcycle, slow down to keep your balance. Take each turn with a gentle lean and arc rather than a snap.
Reduced grip is one thing, but road hazards are another. The trickiest spots on a wet road are tar snakes, road paint and metal surfaces like manhole covers, steel plates or bridge expansions. Your traction might as well be nonexistent on these, so you can try leaving off the throttle if you can't avoid them — just let your wheels coast across as perpendicular as you can.
Oil slicks are going to be everywhere since they lift up to the road surface when wet. You'll see those dangerous rainbow-colored patches most often at intersections where oil drips off of stopped vehicles.
When possible, take advantage of dry lines that other tires leave on the pavement.
Watch out for your electronics when out in the elements. If you haven't bought a dependable, rugged case for when your phone or navigation device is on its mount, it's a good idea to do so before you're caught in a shower.
Audio and dash systems are important components too. Fat Head Cycles offers Harley-Davidson audio bundles for your dash, complete with weather-proofed screens and buttons, bright displays and wireless links to wherever your device is stowed. Plus, doesn't everyone need some quality tunes to keep their spirits high when it's grey out there?
For more information about our plug-and-play audio packages, contact us today.