Imagine, cruising along the highway without caring about the world because you are warm, dry and comfy, even though in a heavy downpour. You see people desperately hiding for cover, but you are unfazed.
Chugging along empty roads, as if you were a knight in shining armour, one which the rain can’t penetrate. With a destination to reach, and many a mile to go.
As amazing as it sounds, but riding under heavy downpour is a tricky affair. There are a few things that you should be wary about so that your weekend ride doesn’t become a ride to the hospital ward.
Here are some useful tips on how to ride your motorcycle during rain.
1. Inspect Your Ride
A rainy day isn’t the best day to try out the new pair of tyres that you bought for a track day. Racing tyres are smooth and have fewer treads. So, you should check your tyres beforehand.
Water acts as a lubricant between the tyre surface and the road. Treads help to remove the water from under the tyre surface by acting as a channel for the water to flow out. Thus, increasing friction.
Other necessary inspections such as brake pads, oil and brake fluids level, etc. are a must before any ride.
2. Choose the Perfect Water-proof Riding Gear
Even the most expensive riding jackets and pants cannot protect you from rainwater seeping in if the fit isn’t perfect. The key is overlapping the seams such that, there are two layers of clothing wherever there is a gap.
The zipper should have a flap over it that completely covers the zipper. Sleeves of the jacket should be long enough to cover your gloves and ‘Velcro’ or button over your gloves.
One-piece overalls are better because you don’t have to worry about water slipping through the between your jacket and pants.
Choosing the right size helmet is also important. So, water doesn’t sip through your collar. You can also use a ‘Balaclava’ that goes under your jacket and over your neck for extra protection.
3. Stay Clear of Obstacles
It is very tempting to speed over a puddle of water, well at least for me. But do not attempt it. You never know what is hiding underneath that innocent-looking puddle of water. More so, if you are riding in India.
Indian roads can become very unpredictable, with water-logging and pothole. A pothole can seriously damage your wheel if you cruise over it at high speed, let’s hope you manage to keep yourself from tipping over.
Open manholes become undistinguishable due to waterlogging, as if like a death trap in waiting. It’s better if you tread carefully and stay clear of suspicious-looking paths.
4. Brake Earlier Than You Would Normally
You should never use only the rear brake for braking, as applying a little too much pressure on the rear tyre will make it skid. The ratio should be 60% front to 40% rear. Ideally, front brake gives more feedback, because you can feel the brakes better with your fingers than with the soles of your feet.
But, even if you are excellent at braking on wet surfaces, the person behind you might not be. If the car behind you panics by seeing you brake too fast, he might slam the brake lever hard causing it to skid. An uncontrollable car can hit you from behind, or even worse.
Hence, it is advisable to brake earlier than you would usually do.
5. Stop If Things Get Worse
There is a limit beyond which you should not push until it is an emergency. If the downpour gets heavy to the extent that it affects your vision, then you should take shelter and wait for things to clear out.
And while waiting, a cup of hot tea from a roadside tea stall should definitely be on the cards. Right?
Enjoy every little aspect of a rainy afternoon, with your precious machine.
One Thing You Should Definitely Avoid
Lots of vehicles run on the highway. Lots of them leak oil on to it. And oil floats on water. When it starts raining, oil gets washed out. Being lighter than water, it floats on the water surface.
It becomes a slippery layer between your tyres and the road surface. Which is why you should avoid riding just when it starts raining. Wait for the rain to wash all the oil off the road before you hit the road.
So, you should wait out the first 15-20 minutes during a downpour.
That’s it, folks!
I hope you enjoyed reading and furthermore, you found out things that will be useful to you in your future rides. For more riding tips visit Bikers Blog Keep riding!