Hold on for dear life.
Not the words you want to hear when asking for tips on riding your motorcycle in the rain and if that were the case you shouldn't hit the roads anyway on two-wheels.
Rain indeed offers a bigger challenge to motorcyclists. However, if you have just started the adventure of riding take the day off, until you have much more familiarity with your bike and before weathering the storm, so to speak. Once you have gained some experience and confidence as a rider, don't let rain keep you from mounting up. Neither snow nor rain nor heat forces some riders to their cars.
Don't be surprised though if you find the rain more annoying than treacherous. Eventually, riding in wet weather becomes more of a grind then anything but some people enjoy it. Therefore, if you want to head out on slick city streets check out some of our tips to make the transition from dry to wet a smoother process.
Tips for Riding in the Rain
1. Slow Down
Slowing down should come naturally in the rain but some motorcyclists act like most motorists and continue with regular speed, and sometimes more, all the while pretending a slick road doesn't apply to them. Take extra care on corners and remember what happens when rubber tires interact with oily water.
2. Wear the Right Gear
We all love a good shower but not while riding. Even a light sprinkle gets you thoroughly soaked if you don't wear the right gear. You need the full waterproof set-up including jacket, pants, boots and gloves unless you enjoy being cold, wet and just plain miserable. Even then, don't expect to arrive completely dry. Water somehow finds a way through the smallest openings.
3. Prep Your Helmet
Motorcycle helmets do not have windshield wipers for the shield or visor but thankfully the curve of the shield acts as a natural repellant to help sweep water to the side as you ride. We also recommend coating your shield with RainX or a similar water repellant treatment for an added safety measure. If you continue to have issues with visibility, try wearing gloves with a built-in thumb wiper.
Additionally, visors fog real quick in the rain so install a Pinlock insert to prevent this from happening. If you helmet does not accommodate a Pinlock use an anti-fog spray on the inside of the shield.
4. Avoid Puddles
Splashing through puddles sounds like a fun time until you ride into a hidden pothole. You also cover yourself in dirty, oily water and risk the chances of hydroplaning. Now is not the time to summon your off-road spirit.
5. Avoid Wheel Tracks
Over time, cars create a type of road rut allowing water to accumulate in the center left and center middle of lanes. And, if your state allows the use of studded tires during winter months these grooves grow deep and wide allowing the formation of small ponds. Avoid this section of the lane and travel on the paved knoll.
6. Pull Over in a Downpour
If the heavens unleash their fury, pull over. Do not ride in a downpour. Visibility drops, road spray from cars adds an additional hazard and hydroplaning conditions increase dramatically.
Riding motorcycles already comes with inherent dangers and the rain adds to or increases these risks. Drivers have a hard time seeing riders in good weather and the slippery conditions usually make for a more harrowing day rather than an enjoyable experience. Sometimes you have no choice but if you can avoid it, leave riding for another day.