Motorcyclists have to deal with unsavory road conditions on nearly every trip. From road debris to inattentive drivers, riders can find themselves in danger at every turn. Due to the lack of safety equipment, bikers need to remain constantly aware of their surroundings to prevent serious accidents.
One of the most often overlooked road hazards is perhaps the largest hazard of them all – the weather. No matter the season, the weather can turn bad in an instant. Whether it is rain, snow or high winds, the weather can impact the safety of everyone on the road. Motorcyclists, however, tend to be affected more dramatically than those in other vehicles.
While most riders will have put their bikes in storage over the winter, there are still numerous bikes on the road during the spring, summer and fall. During these seasons, being caught riding in the rain is a very real possibility. For most veteran bikers, riding in slippery conditions can become second nature. For novices, though, riding in the rain can be a dangerous proposition. Motorcycle Central offers some helpful tips.
- Cover up and stay visible: A rider’s first line of defense lies in choosing the right protective gear. Bright colors and a rain suit can help bikers stay visible and dry while riding in the rain. Additionally, a full-face helmet can help keep rain drops from directly impacting a biker’s face and eyes.
- Stay calm: When the weather turns bad, some riders instinctively slow down and become more vigilant. It is crucial to pay attention to road hazards such as manhole covers, train tracks or even thermoplastic painted lines on the road.
- Braking: It almost goes without saying that brakes will not be as responsive on wet roads. It is wise to overestimate the time that it will take to stop in traffic or at an intersection. Don’t ride faster than you feel comfortable and if you feel like you can’t control the bike, reduce your speed.
With more practice, bikers will become more confident while riding in harsh weather. Do not hesitate to take a ride around your neighborhood in the rain to begin learning the differences between riding a motorcycle in wet conditions versus dry.
Source: Motorcycle Central, “How to ride your motorcycle in the rain.” Accessed June 29, 2015.