Editor’s Note: The following article about Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in the Rain is the fourth in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at vikingbags.com.
Rain Riding Tips: Introduction
Look, we all know that motorcycles are not ideal for riding in the rain as they can be unsafe. You may not always plan to ride in the rain but what if it suddenly starts on your way back home? In these unfortunate situations, you must know how to ride safely in the rain.
Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be fun but if you don’t want it to be a nightmare, make sure you are prepared. Read this article to learn the top 15 tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain.
Slow down if it starts to rain while you are riding a motorcycle. Your motorcycle can slip and lose traction, resulting in a motorcycle crash. Motorcycles can also slip in the rain if you are riding at slow speeds, but you can save yourself from serious injuries. Even if you are riding a modern motorcycle, equipped with ride-safety features including an ABS and traction control, you still need to twist the throttle gently. Abruptly accelerating or decelerating your motorcycle in the rain can increase the chances of losing traction.
Many riders hurry to reach home as soon as possible to avoid getting wet in the rain which can result in motorcycle crashes. Make sure to take a stop to evaluate the situation and then decide whether it is safe to ride in the rain.
1.2 Apply both front and rear brakes gradually
Applying brakes forcefully to stop the motorcycle immediately can be dangerous, especially if it is raining. The best way to stop your motorcycle while riding in the rain is to decelerate, and gradually apply both front and rear brakes together to avoid sliding. If your motorcycle slips due to losing traction in the rain or you’re involved in an accident, The Biker Lawyers are there to help and answer your questions.
1.3 Keep your motorcycle upright
Keep your motorcycle upright as much as possible to avoid getting slipped even while turning corners. The wet roads provide less traction to the motorcycle tires. You should decelerate, apply both front and rear brakes gently, and then turn the corner while keeping your motorcycle upright.
1.4 Keep a rain suit
To be prepared, always keep a rain suit while you go for a ride. A two-piece rain suit is better for riding in the rain as it provides more coverage.
1.5 Carry Ziploc Bags
If you are a regular motorcycle rider, you must carry Ziploc bags to keep your essentials safe from getting wet in the rain. To carry useful stuff such as a rain suit, Ziploc bags, and extra gloves on a motorcycle ride, you can install good-quality saddlebags available at Viking Bags.
1.6 Be visible
1.6.1 Wear Bright Colors
The rain can drastically decrease your visibility. So, wear a bright-colored rain suit to be more visible in the rain to avoid getting hit by other vehicles.
1.6.2 Switch on your headlight
You must also switch on your headlights to see clearly what is ahead of you and to make yourself more visible to the vehicles approaching you from the opposite direction.
1.7 Use water-repellent sprays and anti-fog coating
Riding in the rain can cause visibility issues as the water droplets accumulate on the visor and it becomes foggy from the inside. You can use silicon-based water repellents on the visor’s outer surface to avoid water droplets sticking to it. Using anti-fog coating also helps to avoid fog build-up for better visibility while riding in the rain. Keep your visor down during the rain because if it gets wet from the inside, it becomes difficult to get rid of the fog.
1.8 Ride in a dry lane
While riding in the rain, make sure to look for a dry lane on the road and ride in it. It reduces the probability of losing traction and hitting a pothole.
1.9 Avoid riding on the edge of the road
Avoid riding on the edge of the road and roadsides if it is raining. The dirt and gravel start accumulating at the edges and can cause your motorcycle to lose traction.
1.10 Avoid Slippery Areas
Shortly after the rain begins, the worst area to be in is the center of the lane. That is because the rain activates oil dripping from vehicles, and the center of the road is ultra-slick until there has been enough rain to wash the slippery oil away.
1.11 Check your motorcycle tire pressure before the ride
Make this a habit to check your motorcycle tire pressure before you go for a ride. Riding a motorcycle with an under-inflated tire can be dangerous, especially if it is raining, as the ride becomes unstable and you may lose control of your motorcycle.
1.12 Avoid wet patches
Avoid wet patches and small puddles on the road while riding in the rain as you might hit a pothole and lose control of your motorcycle.
1.13 Wear waterproof riding gear
Related: Click the image above to see our top 5 picks for the best gear for riding a motorcycle in the rain.
Keep yourself dry by wearing waterproof riding gear, including a waterproof vest, all-weather boots, and gaiters. Investing in waterproof riding gear depends on your riding habits. If you ride your motorcycle consistently and love to go on motorcycle tours, it is good to carry waterproof riding gear.
1.14 Stay Alert
While riding in the rain, stay alert at all times and look for all the threats that can cause you to fall off your motorcycle.
1.15 Keep distance
As it is unsafe to apply sudden brakes while riding in the rain, make sure to keep your distance from the front and rear vehicles. In dry conditions, a three-second safety zone in front and behind you is the minimum. In rain, you should double this distance if possible.
2. What to Do After Riding a Motorcycle in the Rain?
When you reach home after riding a motorcycle in the rain, make sure you inspect your motorcycle for any damage and clean it with a dry microfiber cloth to avoid rusting. Store your motorcycle in a warm place if possible.
Riding a motorcycle in the rain is challenging and can be unsafe. Only experienced riders should consider riding in the rain, and even then, dial up the defensive riding techniques a few notches.
The 15 tips mentioned in this article can help you be safe while riding in the rain. Though you need to make sure that you are prepared and are carrying a rain suit, extra gloves, Ziploc bags, and waterproof riding gear.
Special thanks to our friends at Viking Bags for this guest post.
If you’ve enjoyed this article about what it takes to beat rider fatigue, click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags:
Editor’s Note: The following article about things to consider when buying a motorcycle is the second in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at vikingbags.com
Summer is in full swing, and it is the best time for you to buy a motorcycle. Buying a motorcycle is not just about choosing a vehicle for your commute. For many, motorcycling is a lifestyle and a personal statement. For this reason and many more, there are several things to consider when buying a motorcycle.
Through their bikes, hardcore riders define who they are. This is the reason why many motorcycle manufacturing companies are launching stripped-down bikes with minimal aesthetics and accessories. These motorcycles provide an untouched canvas that riders can customize according to their needs, preferences, and riding style.
Whether you are a novice rider who has just acquired his riding license or an experienced rider looking to upgrade to a bigger and heavier bike, taking the decision to buy a bike is a huge step. Before you make the purchase, you should consider multiple factors, including your budget, riding skill, the type of motorcycle you can handle, engine displacement and outputs, and preferred styling.
Never impulse buy a motorcycle because you like the paint job, are attracted to its leather saddlebags and stylish plastic bodywork, or are impressed by the engine power.
If you are unable to control the bike, sit comfortably, or make the long-distance trip you always wanted, the bike will cause disappointment and become a burden on your finances.
This article aims to help you determine whether you are into racing, touring, or want a motorcycle to hone your skills, before you buy a bike and join the motorcycle community.
Any bike that looks good to you, is within your budget and fits you comfortably is the perfect bike for you. For example, if you are into motorcycle camping, then a Harley Davidson Road King might be your perfect bike.
On the other hand, if you prefer a lightweight, high-performance bike designed for urban power cruising, then Harley Davidson Low Rider S might be the best choice.
To find the perfect bike, also check whether its ergonomics suit your build. We recommend that you take a test ride and see if:
The forward and foot controls are within easy reach
You can touch the ground easily at a standstill
Your arms are bent but not strained as you grip the forward controls
The seat is comfortable. Perforated seats ensure breathability for summer rides.
Also, consider if:
The fuel tank should not feel uncomfortable against your knees
The footpegs or floorboards make for a comfortable footrest
You can drag the bike and stop it from toppling over easily
The engine does not feel intimidating
Speed is controllable
You can easily hold your motorcycle upright.
2. Determine Your Budget
Photo Credits – Dreamstime
When buying a bike, most riders focus on the bike’s retail price. But you should also consider the maintenance costs, insurance costs, and the cost of safety gear. Oftentimes new bikes that cost low do not come with many essential accessories, such as fairings, windshields, crash bars, and passenger seats. You should also add these costs to your payment plan.
Many riders do not have immediate cash to pay for the bike and end up getting loans. While you can easily find financing options, make sure you research thoroughly and visit multiple local moneylenders and banks to get the best financing plan.
As soon as you ride your bike out of the dealership lot, your motorcycle starts to depreciate.
In the first two years, a bike depreciates about 5% and up to 27% by the end of the second year of your ownership. On average, the bike loses at least 5% or higher each year after that. The rate of depreciation depends on the demand for the bike, the type of bike, the condition of the bike, and your location.
Some bikes tend to retain their resale values better than others. Make sure you research the market trends.
You can also calculate the resale values of different motorcycles at online platforms such as Kelly Blue Book and J.D. Power.
If you find two or three bikes in a similar price range having similar features, then choose the one with a better resale value.
4. Consider Customizability
Photo Credits – Thunderbike
It is great to have a bike that offers everything you need, such as an Indian Roadmaster or Harley Davidson Street Glide. These bikes are decorated with a stereo system, stylish fairings, tall windshields, motorcycle luggage, infotainment screens, heated grips, and plush seats.
However, after spending a fortune on these bikes, there is little room for customization. If you enjoy customization projects, then look for a bike to which you can add unique accessories.
Something as small as fuel tank decals can give your bike a new look. So custom accessories are something you should consider when buying a bike.
5. Consider a Secondhand Motorcycle
Photo Credit – Bikesales.com.au
If you are a novice rider looking to upgrade to a cruiser or a sports bike after riding a standard bike, it is recommended that you buy a used bike instead of a brand-new one. These bikes don’t come with the baggage of initial depreciation and if you maintain them, can be resold. Especially if you realize that the motorcycle does not suit your style or needs.
As soon as you get the keys and possession of your new bike, make sure to go for a celebratory ride. Buying a bike is a memorable moment. You can make it even more special by spending quality time with your brand-new bike.
In the beginning, ride in deserted streets to familiarize yourself with brakes, acceleration, and other controls to prevent getting into accidents. Make sure you invest in a DOT-certified helmet to ensure safety.
Many riders prefer to ride their bikes on long distances. When doing so, make sure you read the owner’s manual to not exceed the weight and storage limit of your bike as overloading your bike can damage tires, engine, and other mechanical parts.
Special thanks for this guest post by Viking Bags
If you’ve enjoyed this article click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags: