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Old 05-10-2010, 08:50 PM   #11
JMcDonald
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You might even try, at very low speeds, rolling over some painted surfaces and locking up the back wheel just to see how much traction is lost. Compare that to normal wet pavement, as well as dry pavement, and it might help you get a better idea of what kind of traction issues you are dealing with.


I ride a bicycle to school every day (every single day, including snow storms), and use that method (as well as visual cues) to determine how slick the surfaces actually are. I also do the same thing when driving in icy conditions (though that is just as much for fun as for educational purposes :P ). It has definitely helped, especially when I am not expecting it to be that bad and the roads are worse than I expected.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
mugwump58
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It's all been said. Get some more time under your belt. But then.... the more you ride in the rain the better you are at it. Besides it's a good way to wash the bike.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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I'm as wet behind the ears as you can get regarding motorcycles. I only became road legal today and still have some major problems to correct before I'll even become comfortable enough to hit some roads that actually have other cars on them. So no rain for me thanks.

But, I have ridden a scooter in Maine, through the winter, as well as through any level of rain... so... my advice is:

If you don't feel comfortable, don't do it. I feel extremely comfortable in the rain on my scooter. And I've written home in blizzards. My scooter has CVT (continous variable transmission), just brakes and throttle. I just got road legal on my motorcycle today, and for the first time went into gear above 2nd. I wouldn't DREAM of going out on that bike even if it was just lightly drizzling.

I wouldn't think twice of it on my scooter.

Until you feel comfortable with your skill, your machine, and your handling, I wouldn't recommend throwing any other factors that work against you into the mix.

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:02 AM   #14
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I went out for a little while during a lull in the rain. The roads were damp but not bad (somewhat dried from traffic) and no rain was coming down. I started in parking lots, then down a small stretch of empty roads, then I hit the road. I stayed within about 5 minutes from my apartment so I could get back if the rain started again. On my way home I rode home in some drizzle. It wasn't bad, but I do want more wet weather practice before extended rides in real rain (I also need to buy some rain gear first- I was in my leathers and bright orange visibility vest). If we get a break in the rain in the next few days I'll do the same, but I don't think I'll go out yet in a full rain (and it is supposed to be rainy through Friday, luckily the weekend is supposed to be nice with only a 10% chance of rain, but then it is supposed to rain again Monday through Wednesday next week ).

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff10236 View Post
I went out for a little while during a lull in the rain. The roads were damp but not bad (somewhat dried from traffic) and no rain was coming down. I started in parking lots, then down a small stretch of empty roads, then I hit the road. I stayed within about 5 minutes from my apartment so I could get back if the rain started again. On my way home I rode home in some drizzle.
Excellent start to the practice! It's always good to have a game plan when practicing new skills.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:31 PM   #16
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Question - someone mentioned they take a lighter bike out when it rains... now, true, I only have experience w/ cars/trucks, but it seems the lighter the vehicle the easier it would be to hydroplane? Please explain the logic.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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What you could do before you start driving in the rain is to find a parking lot and do some testing, might be safer than doing it on the road for the first time
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:11 AM   #18
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OK, I'm getting close to 500 miles in the saddle. About 25 of those miles were many hours in parking lots. I'm thinking I may go out and buy some rain gear in a week or two (depending upon how much I have to spend, and if I buy online, I'll have the rain gear soon but worse case I'll have it in 2-2 1/2 weeks) and then try some riding in the rain. I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable, especially around town (my only concern is that I may be too new and it may be false confidence). So, it is a fine line between fighting being overconfident while still allowing myself new experiences which will let me grow.

So, the plan is, possibly this week, go out if it isn't raining too hard (I don't have rain gear yet- the best I can do is put in the rain liner in the mesh jacket I just bought and wear some pants that need to go in the laundry anyway) and just get a couple miles. Then, after doing that a few times, get a rain suit and try riding in a real rain. Of course, for both types of conditions, I'll start with 20-40 minutes in a parking lot to get acclimated to the conditions.

Once I get some rain experience, more time on bridges (especially those with a metal grating), and get some saddlebag supports so I can install my saddlebags, I'll be ready to make my motorcycle my primary transportation and my car my secondary transportation . Maybe even a short weekend trip (preferably a camping trip) by mid-summer.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:45 AM   #19
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Well, on the way to work today I got some minor rain practice. When I left it was just a little foggy (just a light fog, I would not have gone out in a dense fog) and the weather report was not calling for rain (just the usual 10-20% chance that we pretty much always have around here this time of year). A few miles from work the fog turned into a minor drizzle. Not enough to really get some rain experience, but enough to soak the front of my motorcycle (especially the windshield- and I just cleaned it yesterday) and the front of my pants below my knee (of course it would be one of the few days I didn't wear my leather overpants when riding to work, so I'm in wet pants all morning until they dry). The windshield did a good job of keeping my midsection dry. My hair was pretty wet too. No real control issues, though I was particularly careful (staying aware, sticking to the speed limits) at stops and curves.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:29 AM   #20
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Since you plan on touring, you might want to buy some squeegees from Aerostich.

They fit over your finger (or thumb) and are a miniature windshield wiper.

I keep one in my jacket, one in my tankbag, one in my backpack. I live on the Gulf Coast, where "If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes." So I've been caught in precip several times over the years.

Rain itself isn't bad. The water (and mung) on the roads is the bee-atch. Add an 18-wheeler, and things get ugly fast.
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