blank 09/25/13 11:22AM Motorcycle Safety, Ridin in the Rain

Riding in The Rain: Be Free, Be Safe

Guest Post by Jack Payton

 

Riders who get used to the rain usually do so out of necessity. Living in the Pacific Northwest itís about as common as it gets. For those in their first year riding on a motor with two wheels it can be little scary to ride out in traffic on the wet roads amidst the showers and wind. This is most likely why you see fewer many riders out in the northwest and northeast this time of year. For some people going for a ride is more than just transportation, itís release, therapy even. However, as things start to get wet it is important to be more aware of the road and more so the condition of your bike. Here are a few tips for those new to riding long distances in the rain or for those who just live in wet areas this time of year:

 

Respect the Surface

A lot of commercial parking areas are paved with slick concrete surfaces. Be careful as you enter a local mall, stadium, or large business parking area. Do your best to ride slow and straight up into the lot. Too aggressive an entry on slick, wet surface can you put you down in a second. Steel surfaces such as manhole covers and railroad tracks are a motorcycleís worst enemy in rainy weather. Avoid make sharp turn over them. Slow down and try to straighten out as much as you can before passing over them. The same thing goes for grated bridge crossings and metal plates. Also be aware of oily surfaces. Keep in mind that after four or five dry days a lot of oil and dirt will be lifted in the early stages of rainy weather. If it starts to pour on you for the first time and while, consider pulling off the road for a little break.

 

Painted Lines

Along with general parking areas, be careful riding over painted. Diamonds in the HOV lanes and lane lines on the freeway can be hazardous if you take them at the wrong angle. The diamonds in particular are shaped so that you just slide across it with both wheels. Be mindful of this and donít try to change lanes as youíre passing over one.

 

Tires

Give serious thought to the type of tires youíre riding on. We all want to save money by buying longer lasting tires but these most of them that are designed for mileage tend to have less traction when the rain pours down. Winter and wet motorcycle tires do look tacky but they really make a lot difference on a wet surface and could very well save your life.

 

Pot Holes

Most riders never forget the first time they encounter a pot hole in the rain. Youíre riding along and just a second too late you realize itís coming. Be on the lookout for them because depending on how deep they are you might get a rude ďhelloĒ jerk or you might go down and be TKOíd by the combination of man-made roads and mother nature. A little fact for those who live in Washington, on average the state only reports having enough funds to fix around 60% of the potholes every year.

 

Riding in the rain can be fun but it is without a doubt more hazardous. Take precautions, drive slow, and be safe out there.

 

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