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Motorcycling In The Rain



When the weather turns foul
by Michael Murray

Motorcycle in the RainFor those of you riders who don't have experience riding in the rain, I thought I'd offer you this...

When out for a half-day or longer ride, at the very-least, bring a rain jacket with you on your ride. It might not rain on your ride, but if it does, a rain jacket is the minimal you'll want.

If you think you might be taking some long-distance rides, you might want to consider getting a pair of motorcycle "over-pants" to wear, or to bring with you. They're not only good rain protection, they also have padding (armor) and made from extra tough material. They look baggy (like ski pants) so they're not at all sexy, but they'll save your butt in more ways than one.

Also, bring a few small zip-lock baggies with you to protect your iPod/phone/wallet/watch/etc from the rain.

And if you already have ankle-high boots, cool - if not, rain will find it's way into your socks and make for a very cold and uncomfortable ride home. Either way, bring an extra pair of dry socks - it's always a good idea.

A few safety tips...

When it first starts to rain, oils from the road tend to rise to the surface making the road sometimes a bit slick - in heavy rains, the oils tend to get washed away after a while, but you'll still need to be careful of your own hydroplaning. When the rain is heavy, it's best to pull over and wait it out.

If you decide to ride in the rain, whenever possible, stay in the wheel tracks of other vehicles, rather than in the center of the road, where cars and trucks tend to drip slippery oils, etc.

And be extra careful around painted markings in the road during and after the rain - they can be slippery as ICE. Avoid the yellow lines in the center of the roads, and the cross-walk markings, etc. Railroad tracks and steel construction plates can also be slick like ice when wet.

When braking in the rain, it's likely your discs will be wet, and not have the same stopping power as when dry - when approaching a red light (or any stop) it's a good idea to "ride" the brakes lightly beforehand, just briefly to let them get warm and dry before full braking.

Riding in the rain is all part of the adventure - and a little preparation goes a long way.


Is there anything you can add to this article on

Motorcycle "Riding in the Rain"?

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Ride on!

Michael Murray
Owner | Rider | Enthiusiast

Michael Murray, Cameraman for the Road Less Traveled motorcycle documentary, and owner of

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