If they can help it, most motorcyclists will avoid traveling in the rain. While the rain may not provide ideal conditions for riding, precipitation does not need to keep you home. By wearing the proper gear and taking the necessary precautions, you can learn to ride safely in the rain.
1. Wear rain-friendly clothing
If it is raining any harder than a light drizzle, you will need to wear more than just your regular street clothes. Make sure you have on a waterproof jacket and a helmet that will shield your skin and eyes from powerful wind and rain. If at all possible, invest in some waterproof riding pants and boot covers. This extra gear may seem like a hassle, but it will keep you safe and dry while on the road.
2. Do not ride during peak danger times
If you can avoid it, do not ride your motorcycle immediately after the rain begins. If it has been dry for several days or weeks, there will be a buildup of oil, dirt, and debris on the road. Give the rain an hour or two to wash some of these dangerous elements away—otherwise, the road will be incredibly slippery.
3. Keep an eye on your tires
You should never drive with bald tires, but doing so becomes increasingly dangerous in the rain. If the roads are slick and your motorcycle meets them with tires that no longer have enough traction, you may lose control of your bike. Never risk your life by driving in dangerous weather with poor-quality tires.
4. Brake gently
When you apply your brakes, be careful not to use too much power. Apply the rear brakes more aggressively than the front brakes, as your back wheel will be much easier to correct and guide if you begin to slide. Pump your brakes slowly rather than applying significant force all at once.
5. Avoid riding on shiny, smooth surfaces
As the rain falls, naturally-slippery surfaces will become even more perilous to cross. Use extra caution when riding over things like man hole covers and train tracks, as well as painted arrows, lines, and symbols on the road. Remain on plain, black asphalt whenever possible.
6. Slow down
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but many motorcyclists do not adjust their speed to match weather conditions. Failure to slow down in the rain can literally become a matter of life and death. Ride only at speeds where you are in full control of your bike—otherwise, the rain can take control very quickly.
7. Do not be tempted by puddles or large areas of water:
Water can completely cover a surface, hiding what is underneath. What seems like a shallow splash pool may actually be water resting on top of a hole or ditch that is several feet deep or filled with hazardous materials. While on a motorcycle, you become extremely vulnerable to the elements. Do not endanger yourself by intentionally “testing the waters.”