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I'm new to riding.... actually to be honest I havent' even bought my first bike yet... but as the subject line says my question is about riding in the rain... I'm in the Air Force and expecting orders to Europe:D ... unfortunatly I can't take my truck... The Air Force won't allow me to ship a vehicle (due to my rank) :finger: :finger: but the cool thing is they don't consider a bike a vehicle :confused: :rolleyes: All the better for me I guess....:D anyways I've come to the realization that I'll have to do some riding in the rain.... I know that it gets extreemly dangerous for a bike when it rains but it's something I'm gonna have to do untill I can afford a little beater european cage.... I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what to watch out for or some tips to make it a little less nerve racking? I was also wondering if there are any tires that are designed for wetter (if that's a word) weather? if so are they really any better? Oh... I'm looking at a Zx6R (a friends bike) if that makes any diffrence in the tire..:confused:


Thanks in advance for any help...
:cheers:
 

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Ebbs15 said:
I'm new to riding.... actually to be honest I havent' even bought my first bike yet... but as the subject line says my question is about riding in the rain... I'm in the Air Force and expecting orders to Europe:D ... unfortunatly I can't take my truck... The Air Force won't allow me to ship a vehicle (due to my rank) :finger: :finger: but the cool thing is they don't consider a bike a vehicle :confused: :rolleyes: All the better for me I guess....:D anyways I've come to the realization that I'll have to do some riding in the rain.... I know that it gets extreemly dangerous for a bike when it rains but it's something I'm gonna have to do untill I can afford a little beater european cage.... I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what to watch out for or some tips to make it a little less nerve racking? I was also wondering if there are any tires that are designed for wetter (if that's a word) weather? if so are they really any better? Oh... I'm looking at a Zx6R (a friends bike) if that makes any diffrence in the tire..:confused:


Thanks in advance for any help...
:cheers:
before making any recomendations ..we would need to know how much street riding experience you have..?

Let's assume you've been riding for at least a year on the street..the first thing is to stay very relaxed in the wet( rain)...any sudden input on the bars can put ya on your head real fast...Brake EARLY, and smoothly, same with getting on the gas..
Re: tires...you want a tire with lots of silca in the compound, like the Michellin Pilot Sports, they also have a good tread pattern for sheeding water...and follow the tire makers recomended air pressure..Riding in the wet takes some getting use to, so if possible, practice in a area that doesn't have a lot of traffic..

If, on the other hand, your a new/newer rider...I'd suggest a bike other than a 600 sportbike...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
before making any recomendations ..we would need to know how much street riding experience you have..?
Sorry about that... I've ridden my friends zx6r (the one I'm looking at buying) for the last couple months... six to be exact....(he's in the desert and is letting me barrow it.) other than that I have no other experience... I'm only riding to and from work and on back road to get used to it...( I have my motorcycle indorcement but haven't taken the safty course yet)...I'm taking it very easy I'm not intrested in doing any wheelie's yet... intentional anyways;) I know that the Zx6R is a big bike for a new rider but I really can't pass up the deal... It's a 01 with 1500 miles on it.. he bought it for his wife and she won't go near it so I've actually been the one putting on those miles.. anyways he's asking 1500... he owe's me some money so he's just wanting enough to pay it off!!! :twofinger :twofinger

Thanks for the reply though
:cheers:
 

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Ebbs15 said:
Sorry about that... I've ridden my friends zx6r (the one I'm looking at buying) for the last couple months... six to be exact....(he's in the desert and is letting me barrow it.) other than that I have no other experience... I'm only riding to and from work and on back road to get used to it...( I have my motorcycle indorcement but haven't taken the safty course yet)...I'm taking it very easy I'm not intrested in doing any wheelie's yet... intentional anyways;) I know that the Zx6R is a big bike for a new rider but I really can't pass up the deal... It's a 01 with 1500 miles on it.. he bought it for his wife and she won't go near it so I've actually been the one putting on those miles.. anyways he's asking 1500... he owe's me some money so he's just wanting enough to pay it off!!! :twofinger :twofinger

Thanks for the reply though
:cheers:
Well, if do nothing else....at least take the MSF course, you'll learn a ton from it...:thumb:
 

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Don't make any sudden moves in the rain. Stay off the painted lines, and realize that you're just trying to get from point A to point B in one piece. Make sure to give the car ahead of you pleanty of extra room so if he stops, you can come to a gradual stop, and so can the car behind you. Just be mindful that there is oil all over the road, and bikes don't handle too well in it.
And buy some rain gear.

I've got caught in thunder storms dozens of times. Other than the fact that you're all wet, it's really not that bad.
 

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Ride in the tire track of the car in front of you. The car tire moves some of the water out of the way....and slow down...ie don't ride fast...watch out for the "wake" from other cars and trucks (if you know its coming it is not much of a surpise)...
 

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Holy Crap!

If you don't buy it for $1500, I will!

Riding in the rain is just like anything else in the rain--there is less traction, you have to be smoother to stay hooked up and you have to ride more conservatively. Certainly can be done.

Buy that bike regardless of whether you want it or not. If you get it shipped over to Europe (for free?), you could always sell it and make a killing!

Otherwise, send me an email and I will do it!
 

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Good tips up above & all of them are so important. You are going to have to slow down your regular pace & not bank the bends in the same manner as when the roads are dry. Let the cages go by you & above all drop farther back of tall cages like trucks, vans & SUVs till you are behind a low car doing your pace. Remember not only smooth appliance of the brakes, but their gripping is not as good.

Anyother important factor is to have a scratch free helmet visor that has been waxed/polished & in that way one can roll head to left & right to roll off part of the rain & road crap. Yet one should be carrying some clean cotten cloths & some plastic protective so they can stop & clean up the visor to continue on.

Just that I shudder on someone new to riding doing it on a sportbike for that is close to three strikes against you.
 

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Smitty said:
Anyother important factor is to have a scratch free helmet visor that has been waxed/polished & in that way one can roll head to left & right to roll off part of the rain & road crap. Yet one should be carrying some clean cotten cloths & some plastic protective so they can stop & clean up the visor to continue on.
I would say the biggest annoyance to riding in the rain for me is keeping my visor clean. The rain itself isn't bad and just rolled off. It's all the mist/spray from other vehicles that just sticks to the visor, turning your field of vision into bathroon glass. Just don't panic, and as Smitty says, keep something handy to wipe off/clean with. Otherwise, the advice above is all good. :2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice... I was wondering.... for my visor... I use a product called Rain X for my truck's winshield... could I use that for my visor?? has anyone else used it? I love it for my truck... most of the time I don't even need to use my wipers...and it's especially nice when it's not raining but you get a splash from a puddle or something it just runs off really quickly... it also helps with the bugs... I don't need to scrub off the bugs as much they just seem to come off with the hose...

Thanks,
:cheers:
 

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Ebbs15 said:
Thanks for all the advice... I was wondering.... for my visor... I use a product called Rain X for my truck's winshield... could I use that for my visor?? has anyone else used it? I love it for my truck... most of the time I don't even need to use my wipers...and it's especially nice when it's not raining but you get a splash from a puddle or something it just runs off really quickly... it also helps with the bugs... I don't need to scrub off the bugs as much they just seem to come off with the hose...

Thanks,
:cheers:
Not having used that product, I would guess that if it says it is compatible with the material of construction of your visor, it's worth a shot. Just make sure it won't scratch, blur, weaken, etc. the visor.
 

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Unfortunately Rain-X is only for GLASS & not your plastic visor. You can use everyday Armor-All, & Pledge. The latter being a wax & can be used on the rest of the helmet. I use Pledge indoors (since when I come home I go inside & CLEAN/POLISH my visor each day I have finished riding, but not out in the hot weather as it tends to form into wax to soon. There are so many others like Slip Streames, PLEXUS on all parts of the bike beside the visor, 303 & so many of the Plastic Protectant sprays.
Thing is to find some decent cotten & tear it up into decent 12X12" or larger squares & ONLY use them a few times for washing them is so simple. True one can use soft paper BUT it really scratches the plastic. The bubbles of many choppers use to be polished/cleaned with Pledge & lately they have shifted to Plexus.

Above all if a lot of road crap on the visor then use water to rinse it off to where there is no grit THEN use the above. All I can point out is that one of my Shoei helmets houses a 6 yr old plastic face shield & the other Shoei has a 4 yr old visor ------they can last that long IF taken care of. I have the money to own one Shoei with Dark Smoke Visor & another with a Clear. Still I am fussy on what I must look through & probably more so then most riders since my left eye is almost shot for any focusing & so depth of preception is greatly effected. So natch if a few bug splatter on the right of my visor they will hamper my only good eye & must be cleaned off. I figure in a normal summer day I clean my visor some 3 or 4 times on a 3 to 6 hr run PLUS one more time when home.
 

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I just rode today in the rain... HATE IT

I've used rain-X on my visor but it does blur and fog bad so I wouldn't recomend it. I've used all the stuff Smitty mentioned but haven't found them as good as Rain-X on glass :(

When cleaning my visor and the bike, I use cloth diapers. They're soft and don't scratch it. They've got at most auto parts stores for a couple of bucks. Make sure you wash them first due to whatever starch they use when they package them...

Once you get to your duty station, find out who the MSF officer is, so you can take the class and check out who's shipping out to find that sweet deal on a european beater cage.....


Thanks for your service!!!!!:thumbs2:
 

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Rain

Personally I would rather not ride in the rain,but sometimes you just havtado it. I've seen this little finger squeegy that goes on your finger so you can wipe off your face shield. This was a european sportsbike mag so maybe only in europe is it available.Look like a pretty cool little idea.
 

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since my bike is all i have....i ride in all kinds of weather down here in so cal. just the other day it was raining. i love riding in the rain. especially if i'm prepared for it. besides having the appropriate rain suit, invest in some good rubber boots as well. if all you ride is a bike then you probably have a backpack, or saddle bags, or a tank bag to stuff it in. always bring an extra pair of socks. you never know when your feet will need to be warmed up after you get to your destination.

i use a 25 or so dollar 2 piece rain suit that works great. it's lasted many many years, and is just now starting to show decay. i've definitely gotten my money's worth out of it. with the rubber boots on and the suit...i barely get wet at all. remember to buy one that is a lot bigger in size than you're used to, to fit over the clothes and the jacket that you'll be wearing.

as far as keeping the visor clear...any scuba divers out there? i just thought about it...but that stuff you put on your goggles might work real well to keep it from fogging up there are many brands, so choose one at your local sporting goods store. i'll try to remember to give it a try during the next storm.

when you start to hydroplane, remember to relax and to go with the swaying motion. don't try to over correct the swaying feeling, cuz you will end up on the deck. just go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

be cautious passing big rigs. they can kick up enough of a wake to knock you off the bike if you're not ready for it.

when turning corners at any speed...avoid painted lines and arrows like the plague and the turtles (bots dots) as well.

happy riding and enjoy...
 

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You've already gotten a lot of good advise, DON'T use rain-x, you cant see anything in a light rain/mist with it. I enjoy riding in the rain if it's not to cold, just take it easy and enjoy it. Do look out for large trucks/vans, as they throw up a blinding amount of spray. Stay out of the center of the lane as it gets really slick with oil, and stay clear of the paint. I at times go for a joy ride in the rain, but then again I only have bikes for transportation, no cages, so I'm pretty used to the rain. Look out whenever you pull out of an unpaved location, you will have sand and or grass stuck to your tire. Go really easy on the gas until you've gotten up some speed to sling it off, I've crashed do to the combination of mud/trash on the tire, and a little to much gas in a turn.

James.
 

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Re: Rain

HAVTADO said:
Personally I would rather not ride in the rain,but sometimes you just havtado it. I've seen this little finger squeegy that goes on your finger so you can wipe off your face shield. This was a european sportsbike mag so maybe only in europe is it available.Look like a pretty cool little idea.
those little squeegees have been around forever, and these days, you can usually get them free with the purchase of a pair of ski/snowboard goggles.. they have a ring on them so you can fit them on your thumb, over your glove..

along with a thumb squeegee, as the above posters have suggested, apply a liberal coat of wax to your visor (I use Maguires) and above all else, SLOW DOWN!!

living in WA, if I dont ride in the rain, I dont ride :)
 

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jeffcali said:

i use a 25 or so dollar 2 piece rain suit that works great. it's lasted many many years, and is just now starting to show decay. i've definitely gotten my money's worth out of it. with the rubber boots on and the suit...i barely get wet at all. remember to buy one that is a lot bigger in size than you're used to, to fit over the clothes and the jacket that you'll be wearing.
Where did you get that rain suit from? I'm looking for something cheap and temporary for those few rainy days we have in SoCal, I don't expect to stay perfectly dry, but dry enough so that I can perform at work.
 

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...i've had that thing for so long i can't remember. i want to say i got if from either target or k-mart. i've also seen pretty cheap 2 piece versions at grant's for guns and outdoor supplies on harbor and just before 19th on the left side.

they also have the nicer ones that cost like 50 bucks. i think they only came in yellow or green though.

wish i had my crappy weather gear with me on saturday. i had no idea it was suppose to rain...and while working down in laguna niguel it started to sprinkle. thought it would get better, but i didn't. so i had to ride home for 20 minutes in the rain.

no biggy though...as long as you know you are going some where warm...

good luck and happy wet weather riding to all...
 
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