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  #11  
Old 27th September 2018
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I will never forget the first day I bought a street bike. It was a 1994 Suzuki Katana 750. I left the dealership with the bike and it started to rain on my way home. I was scared out of my mind, I had never ridden in the rain. I was backroads (neighborhoods) all the way home and I think I did not go over 20 mph. I did make it home, but I learned a lot about rain and my bike. We did not have as much internet then as today, so I actually learned from friends and practice.
I wish I had the videos and the advice you have gotten from here it is awesome stuff.
I actually had to ride my Softail from Ocala, FLorida to Pasco, Florida in a moonson rain on I-75 South with zero rain gear about a year or so ago. I was doing about 70 in a nice smooth and careful line. That is a big difference from when I started, so many years ago. I have learned and become confident (not cocky) about riding in the rain, yet I am still weary and avoid it.
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  #12  
Old 27th September 2018
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Riding across metal grates on bridges used to rattle my nerves. As far as rain goes, those Avon tires worked pretty good. Myself, I avoid it, bike is a real pain to clean afterwards. I didn't spend $100s of dollars on chrome and paint to have water spots to deal with Hahahaha
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  #13  
Old 27th September 2018
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Stay out of the middle of the lanes, that's where most oil, antifreeze, etc. from automobiles will be, be particularly aware of the middle of the lane anywhere they might stop or slow down, like intersections with stop signs, signals, etc., not to mention the oils that come up on a hot day from the asphalt. The paint for the turn lane arrows, lane dividers, etc. are pretty slick sometimes, also. I very seldom ride without getting at least a little rain or wet roads and usually it's a monsoon in the afternoons here in South Florida during the rainy season. Last Thursday I rode my last 15 Miles home in a heavy heavy rain.

I would think it would be fine to start out in a parking lot and some quiet back streets. It really doesn't have to be raining, if it's plenty wet it will do as a starting point. Most important is to remain calm and relaxed as possible and be confident.

I don't have rain gear and do not avoid riding in the rain. Though I may grab some leather chaps at some point just to protect the front of my jeans, they get heavy when soaked.
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  #14  
Old 27th September 2018
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It's a good 60 miles RT to work for me and the weather in Beaver County vs. Pittsburgh can be vastly different...so no matter how much I try to avoid it, rain is sometimes a factor.

Allow me to add two more items to the threat list.

Bridge and overpass expansion joints are typically either fingered or solid metal surfaces and they can be slippy even on relatively dry days.

Gravel wash-outs can appear from driveways during a hard rain and the gravel can be difficult to detect when combined with a swift flow of water. Also anticipate these after a good rain as it takes a while for traffic to distribute the gravel back to the sides of the road.

Throttle back when approaching these and take as straight of a line through as you can...lay off the brakes and wait until you negotiate the threat if you need to further reduce speed.

I will also offer that if you get good and soaked, be mindful of hypothermia which can seriously impair reaction time and overall cognitive function.
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Old 27th September 2018
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I've done a fair amount of riding in the rain on my trips. To summarize what many have said, anyplace you see something other than asphalt or concrete assume it is going to be slippery. Besides what was listed beware of painted lines, railroad tracks, etc. Also roads get slippery right after it starts raining as the rain floats the oil off the road but it hasn't been washed away yet.

I went down on an off ramp from an interstate in the rain. It was like riding on glass when I hit it and I kept the bike up as I was coming around on the ramp but when I got to the top traffic was stopped and the second I touched the brakes I was on the ground.

Moral is - be careful with your braking as stated and also with curves.

For riding gear, I had the HD riding gear for a long time and it served me well. Expensive but I stayed dry. I now wear dedicated riding gear that is also Gortex so it is waterproof.



Note that the riding pants I am wearing in this photo came apart on me because the zipper in the one leg broke and they flapped around and got torn up. I have since replaced them with a good quality pair of riding pants.
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  #16  
Old 28th September 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywolf View Post
The main problems in rain is brakes. Gotta be easy on the brakes.

Another bad problem is stop signs and stop lights. The rain floats the oil that has dripped there from stopped cars up and when you release the clutch the rear tire just spins sideways.
Agree
I would add gotta be easy with the throttle as well... with the way EVO's deliver torque and no TC, even a stock bike, like mine, can have some drift and spins when you open the throttle...

to wrap it up
in a rain environment or simply on wet... like a fall or a winter morning...
IMO, you have to ride carefully, smooth and softly on brakes and throttle, even when you will have achieved confidence with your bike...
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  #17  
Old 28th September 2018
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Also look out for:-
- fuel spills especially diesel, which can look iridescent in the wet
- tar banding, once had a long right-hander to get to my house in the 70's to 80's and it was impossible to ride the corner without hitting tar banding at some point through the corner. Could feel my Honda 250 sliding easily.
- white lane lines
-manhole covers, particularly if they are mid-corner
I try to avoid riding in the wet but last week I took my 883 for a service and MoT (UK) and bagged another Sportster to while away some of the wait. It started to rain during my ride and I had no rain gear as the weather forecast said "dry".
Best advice is to stay sunny side up.
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  #18  
Old 28th September 2018
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I grew up in Fleetwood near Blackpool & learned to avoid tram lines in the wet.Quite a few places in America still have trams so take care
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Old 28th September 2018
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There are now cities in England that have trams, Nottingham for instance as well as many European cities, Basel, Frankfurt, Brussels, etc. Even driving a car in the dry on the Brussels tram lines can result in the steering being pulled if you are not aware so a bike in the wet??? I haven't been there and don't really wish to find out.
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  #20  
Old 28th September 2018
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Working on the principle that all car drivers are out to kill me, I remind myself that - in the rain - it will take twice as long to avoid such killers AND they won,t see you even more than normal!
My advice …. drive slower, further away, use your rear brake more, AND use good waterproofs because being uncomfortable makes you less attentive !
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