To ride or not to ride in the rain.
Is it safe to ride a motorcycle in the rain? I see a lot of riders asking this question.
To be honest, riding in the rain has always been thrilling for me. Many riders avoid riding in the rain because they think it’s too dangerous. For such riders, rains are a nightmare.
But you know what? You don’t have to be that rider. I am not that rider, and I don’t want you to avoid riding motorcycles, just because it’s raining.
So, I’m going to share some tips for a safe and fun ride in the rainy season.
12 tips for riding a motorcycle in the rain »
Tip 1» Don’t grab the brakes, squeeze them.
First off, whether it’s raining or not, you must always squeeze the brakes instead of grabbing them. But squeezing becomes more important when it’s raining and you’re riding your motorcycle. On slippery roads, tyres are more likely to lock and skid if you grab them hard.
I’ve seen riders crashing badly just because they panicked and grabbed the brakes in rain. So, you don’t have to grab the brakes and fall, you have to gently squeeze them and stop.
Tip 2» Decrease a little air pressure in the tyres.
When it’s raining, there’s less traction between the tyres and the road. But you need a lot of traction when it’s raining. So, what can you do now?
You reduce the air pressure in both the tyres. When you decrease the air pressure, the contact patch increases and tyres find traction on wet roads. Simply put, the tyres hug the road better when there’s less air in them.
Tip 3» Watch out for rainbows on the road.
The colourful rainbows you see on the road are formed when oil gets mixed with water. These rainbows are really nasty and if you ride on them, your chances of skidding increase dramatically.
You may be thinking where does the oil come from? Well, old dusty vehicles leak oil. Sometimes new ones too.
Next time you see a rainbow on the road, Watch out! It’s dangerous & slippery oil.
Tip 4» No matter what, keep your body dry.
Riding a motorcycle in rain doesn’t mean you have to get all soaked in water. Believe me, it’s irritating to ride when you’re soaked in water. So waterproof yourself from head to toe. Invest in a water resistant riding jacket, and other gear.
But how will it make you the safe rider in rains? It’s simple, the more protected and prepared you are, the more confident you will feel while riding your motorcycle in rain.
Tip 5» Glide over potholes effortlessly.
Look, I know potholes are dangerous. And they’re even more dangerous if it’s raining. Then why am I asking you to glide over them? Well, I want you to avoid potholes as much as you can, but when you can’t. Don’t brake. Stand up, and let your motorcycle glide over them.
Image: DNA India
I’ve seen accidents occur, simply because riders brake in panic when they see a pothole. When you brake in a pothole, your chances of falling become high. There’s loose gravel, stones and there’s slush if it’s rainy. Braking in potholes is too big a risk to take. If you let your motorcycle glide over them, you won’t fall.
Tip 6» Don’t be too sporty in the corners.
Riding with a calm demeanour is wise when the roads are wet. Don’t attack the corners because the contact patch decreases when you lean your bike. And when the roads are wet, less contact patch means, you fall.
Your bike can lose traction and you may even miss one of those oil rainbows, I talked about earlier. Enjoy cornering on a dry sunny day.
Tip 7» Put the hazard lights to use.
Visibility decrease drastically when it’s raining heavily. Keep your hazard lights on when riding in the rain so that other people on the road can see you. Always choose yellow light over white light when it’s rainy or foggy. If the lights are flashy, it’s even better.
Tip 8» Don’t get touchy with other vehicles.
Keep a significant distance from vehicles all around you. Whether they’re ahead of you, behind you or on your sides. Braking performance decreases when you’re riding your motorcycle in rains.
You may have the top spec brakes and they may drop anchor fast, but you don’t know about the other vehicle. So, it’s safe to maintain distance.
By the way, if you need a good horn so that people make way for you, check out this one on Amazon, I was surprised to see how less it costs.
Tip 9» Ride in the rain, not in Thunderstorms.
Light rainfalls to drizzling are good to enjoy a motorcycle ride. Don’t be a hero and ride when it’s hailing. Heavy rainfalls are not great for enjoying motorcycling and it sucks to get stuck in bad weather.
Tip 10» Dress bright and flashy.
Orange, Aquamarine and Lime are the three colours which will make you stand apart while riding a motorcycle in rain.
Mostly, riding gears are dark in colour like all black and brown, so make sure you have something flashy in your wardrobe to wear on a rainy day.
Tip 11» Be wakeful.
When it rains, the weather gets lovely, and the air becomes cool. And if you’re someone who’s always cooking up thing in their head, then stop. Don’t be lost in your trail of thoughts and focus on the road.
The more wakeful you are, the more you’ll enjoy your ride and remain safe in rain.
Tip 12 » Don’t be too cautious.
My last piece of advice for you is to not be too cautious while riding in the rain. You may wonder, why have I given these tips then? When people ride in bad weather, they become over cautious and stiffen up their body or hold on to the handlebars tightly.
You don’t have to do that. Just remain calm and ride a well maintained motorcycle.