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21 Tips For Motorcycle Riding In The Rain

Let’s face it … riding a motorcycle in the rain isn’t much fun, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. We’d all prefer riding under clear blue skies. 

Before you brave the next storm on a bike, make sure you’ve got the proper motorcycle rain gear ready and you know how to ride safely when the heavens open up.

Here are 21 suggestions to keep in mind when you find yourself riding in wet weather.

21 Tips for Riding In The Rain

  1. Check your tires. Underinflated tires increase the chances of hydroplaning or losing control. Never ride in the rain with slick.

  2. Reduce your speed. Slow down! It’s tough to stop quicker than you normally would on dry surfaces.

  3. Sit more upright than normal. That means less lean on turns and curves in order to preserve your balance. Which also means lowering your speed to decrease your leaning.

  4. Increase your following distance. If that car in front of you loses control in the rain, you’ll want as much space as you can to take effective action.

  5. Ride in the “tire tracks.” Position your bike so that it’s riding behind one of the rear wheels of the car in front of you. The vehicle’s tires will displace much of the water and sludge on the road before it reaches your front tire.

  6. When it comes to rain, first is worst. Roads are slickest during the first 10-15 minutes of rain and/or the first rainstorm of a season. The oily mess than sits on dry roads is your worst enemy. It hasn’t been washed away yet. Thus, making road surfaces even more treacherous. It is smart to wait out the first onset of raindrops.

  7. Watch out for smooth surfaces. They tend to get slicker in inclement weather. Manhole covers, railroad tracks, bridge grates, and even lane markings fall in this category. 

  8. Look for rainbows… on the road. Rainbows are a golden hint of oil or a similar petroleum-based substance. If you see rainbow colors in a spot of liquid, watch out.

  9. Drive carefully through (or completely avoid) standing water. You don’t know how deep that puddle is. it only takes a fraction of an inch of water to cause the beginnings of hydroplaning.

  10. Don’t accelerate, turn, and/or downshift simultaneously. This is usually fine in good weather, but combining these actions in rain increases the odds of your bike losing traction.

  11. Rely more on your rear brakes. Rear wheels are easier to correct than front wheels in wet weather.

  12. Tap your rear brakes before stopping.  The driver behind your bike appreciates a warning that you’re about to stop. That car will have enough trouble braking in time in the rain without being surprised by your actions.

  13. Use four-way flashers in heavy rain. Be considerate of the other cars’ visibility. This will help other vehicles see you better. Motorcycles are hard enough for other motorists to notice in dry conditions; imagine how invisible they are in a severe downpour.

  14. Lightning is your stop sign. If lightning becomes more frequent, get off the road entirely. Do not wait out the storm under a tree!

  15. Cover your face. Use either a snap-on face shield or a full-face helmet (and take some anti-fogger with you if necessary). Raindrops at speed are painful.

  16. Invest in products with reflective piping. Rain suits that are highly visible to other motorists are best. Waterproof neck gaiters are popular as well. Reflective piping is beneficial to increase visibility.

  17. Opt for waterproof boots. Boots that cover ankles are best. Water does not seep into them from the top.

  18. Wear riding gloves designed to be waterproof and wind resistant. Gore-Tex is a well-known waterproof, breathable material that minimizes perspiration and maximizes comfort, but Aquatex and Dri-lock are other options. Liners are best when tacked to the inside of the glove; otherwise, the liner can stick to your skin, and your glove will be inside out when you take it off.

  19. Even “fair-weather” gloves can be waterproofed temporarily. Applying riding gloves with a product like Nikwax will help them repel (light to moderate) rainwater for a short time.

  20. Don’t forget about your gear. Make sure to bring tail packs, dry duffel, saddlebags, or sissy bar bags in which to pack clothes, accessories, and other items.

  21. Wash up afterward. When the weather breaks, hose down your bike to keep it looking good. Rain doesn’t wash away dirt and mud that gets kicked up after a wet motorcycle ride. 

Always remember the Cardinal Rule of motorcycle riding in the rain: Crashes may be more common, but they still hurt just as much as those in dry conditions.

Ride safe, especially in slick weather conditions!

Motorcycle Rain Gear for Cold and Wet Conditions …

We make 18 comfortable, dependable and high performing waterproof gloves, and Our sister company (Olympia Moto Sports) makes a great line of rain suits.

To learn more, read about the differences between Goretex, Aquatex or Dri-lock waterproof gloves, visit a local dealer or our online store.

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