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Discussion Starter #1
Riding in the rain is just as fun as in the dry. It's really not hard and traction is good enough for a good pace. If your weather is rainy but not necessarily stormy, riding is still possible.

Some differences to consider: reduced traction only means that you can't lean as you would on dry roads, but moderate leaning is still possible, and hanging off can really let you carry speed in turns. This style of riding suits tight roads better than fast sweepers, and part of the fun is figuring out the line between patches of debris and mud, where to apply brakes and where to accelerate so that riding becomes pretty technical. With some practice riding in the rain can become just as exhilarating as in dry conditions.

There's much to discuss but briefly--
Gear: textile will work only for moderate showers, for rain you need a nylon rain suit the biggest size you can find, wearing it over your leathers.
Gloves: gortex, finding ones that have good protection can be challenging.
Boots: gortex or nylon boot covers over your leather boots.
Visor: rainx and rainx-fog.

Riding style: hang off to keep the bike as straight as possible, apply brakes and throttle only on clear pavement, and use the rear brake to smooth it out; cross debris, mud, tar snakes, paint and man-holes in perpendicular lines, stay in the clean tire tracks. Beware of black ice in high places. Be extra smooth and watch for moss in shaded areas.

Maintenance: clean your chain with WD40 immediately after the ride. Clean mud as soon as possible. Tires should have plenty of tread left.

So if you want to experience some incredible winter scenery, have the roads to yourself and learn a lot about traction, start out easy and have a little adventure. 8)
 

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Good points and I agree about the pleasure aspects of getting out in the rain, although I don't jump at the chance to do it these days. I don't run for cover when it starts raining on me, either. In years past I had to do it as a bike was sole transportation for me. Over on the f650.com forum they poke fun at people who post about not being able to ride because it's raining - it's all part of the fun for them. And with rain gear and proper techniques, you are right, it can be fun and different.

I learned the same lesson about boating when I was in the Coast Guard running search & rescue in Miami back in the early 80s. Most people are fairweather boaters. But once I had to go out and work the boats in rain, I found a whole new world on the water. Colors looked different, no other boat traffic, rain actually beats down aggravating chop, and rain gear makes it confortable fun. I got to where I liked to take my own boat out in the rain for many years after that.

It's interesting how many activities that are associated with dry weather are also fun in the wet - and motorcycling is one of them.
 
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I liked riding in the rain. I never had an instance of hydroplaning (thankfully). If I had better wet weather gear, I'd probably have ridden in the rain more often.
 
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Heck just throw on some rain tires....

My first race school was completed in a puring rain... It was fun passing the instructors on DOT's

Rain tires are just too cool!
 

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Good points.

I do like dry better - but since I lived in Dublin for about 4 years, I can remember only a handful of completely dry riding days, you would get a sprinkle or find a bit of wet road somewhere. I am still not a good rider - but some wet days taught me something about traction and trying to keep better lines.

The proper gear is key to keeping it enjoyable - but I never could find a way to keep the water that rolls off the back of your helmet off your neck.

And I never did buy goretex gloves - never liked the bulk - I just suffer it out with cold wet hands in leather.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
About tires: there are two variations of wet surfaces, damp and standing water. When riding over standing water, hydroplaning can occur, in which the water lifts the tires off the pavement. This is why deep tire tread is important so the grooves can channel the water sideways. Sport tires can go over standing water with no problem, if you slow down and stay smooth. In damp conditions, sport tires still have good traction because of their soft compound and quick heating characteristic. I'm inclined to think they will work better than touring tires because of this but have not tried the latter. I know that rain tires not only have a lot more rain grooves, but are very soft and heat up fast. This also causes them to wear out fast, especially on dry roads. Sport tires are usually enough for moderately fast riding and most riding occurs over damp surface with only sporadic puddles.

It is generally thought that Diablo's have the best groove pattern for displacing water for s sport tire, but in my experience Pilot Powers work very well too, again keeping in mind that most of the time it's the tire compound, more than the tread pattern, that determines wet traction.
 

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without the proper gear riding in the rain sucks big hairy unwashed ass. being cold and wet isn't a good time for most people.

that being said, when you get caught in the rain enough to acceopt that you should get the proper gear it isn't so bad.

all i have to add is watch the painted lines on the roads as they get very slick in the rain, be ready to "ski" as you are starting out, and to keept he water run off from your helmet out of your jacket, get a rain jacket with a high collar that can be tucked under the back of your helmet. it won't stay there, but it will still keep the water (or at least most of it) from running down your back.
 

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KnightofNi said:
....sucks big hairy unwashed ass.
;D ;D ;D

nice!

I a hate the rain ... unless I'm on a dirt bike OR a bike w/ a giant fairing.

Also, the water bakes road grime onto your front cilender head that is impossible to remove.
 

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How about some freezing rain riding...rain freezing up covering every blade of grass and every twig on every tree....the weather here sucks
 

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gnew said:
How about some freezing rain riding...rain freezing up covering every blade of grass and every twig on every tree....the weather here sucks
, yeah, but then you get frozen to the seat, and that's not fun. how are you supposed to set up for the turns properly? :)
 

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I have to say I worry more about frost in shady mountain corners more than rain.
 

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I hit some black ice in Peru on a winy mountain road and went down HARD!
Thankfully, after sliding 60+ feet, I had slowed down enough not to go over the edge!

Otherwise this baord wouldn't be benefiting from my wit ;D
 

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If you are going to be a good overall rider you have to learn to ride in the rain. Riding at night in the rain is very challenging. Good tires, slowing down and being as smooth as possible and practice.
 
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