Taking the motorcycle on rainy days is a risk that we must avoid, although that is not always entirely possible. There are days when, due to our routine and circumstances, we are forced to drive in the rain or the rain has already caught us on the road.
In addition to the discomfort of driving wet, the grip of the tires decreases between 20 and 30%, which forces us to take preventive measures.
The balance is one of the key points for safe driving our motorcycle/bike rain. Regardless of the maneuver, you have to do, your motorcycle should be as straight as possible to avoid unexpected slipping. Whether we are braking, turning, or crossing through a flooded area, we have to do it completely perpendicular to the asphalt.
Always use the rear brake if you drive in the rain
When braking a motorcycle with the road wet from rain, you must remember the three safety rules: anticipatory, smooth, and progressive. In this regard, the rear brake gains prominence since it is the one that will provide us with more controlled and effective braking. The front brake, having to support the force of braking and our weight on the wheel, is more likely to tend to skid.
The best combination for braking with adherence is to use the clutch and the engine brake at first, to finish and stop using only the rear brake. Despite the fact that the front brake is the most used by motorcyclists, in this case, it is riskier and we must get used to relying more on the rear.
The safest thing is to maintain a safe distance twice the normal, about 100 meters, for two reasons: to gain time to react well in advance and to avoid being shaken by the water from the wheels of the car in front of us. If we are facing a curve, the recommendation will always be to break anticipating to slow down before reaching it and never do it when you are already turning or changing direction to catch it.
Facing wet asphalt and tar: do not lean the bike
Much of our safety on a motorcycle is based on the condition of our tires and the condition of the road. On wet asphalt, our tires lose some grip, although the biggest enemy in these circumstances will be tar and road wear.
The stains oil, along with heavy rain, are difficult to locate (and avoid) at higher speeds so driving preventively and low and stable rates can help not lose concentration. The asphalt is made up of a cluster of stones and fragments of other materials which, with the passage of time, will refine and compacting. In this way, the water is not adequately drained and that reduces our two-wheel drive.
For all this and as the most effective solution, the best way to improve our grip when it rains is as simple as not leaning our motorcycle excessively. The greater the surface of the tire in contact with the ground, the less the probability of falling.
How to cross puddles with the motorcycle
Whenever possible we will try to avoid driving our engine over a puddle. When a raft of water presents itself before us, we never know what we can find underneath: potholes, grates, culverts, or holes that exceed the size of our mount. Remember that the size of a puddle does not determine its capacity.
But if there is no other option, let’s try to keep the bike as vertical as possible, holding the handlebars tightly and without changing the speed of our gear under any circumstances. Accelerating or braking in the middle of a puddle will increase the chances of hydroplaning, which greatly destabilizes our motorcycle.
One of the measures that can increase our motorcycle safety when it rains is to have the correct equipment. In this sense, visibility and protection must prevail over comfort. There are special one or two-piece water suits, although we can find waterproof jackets and gloves that perform the same function.
In any case, our clothing must have protections, since the probability of suffering an accident in the wet is higher than in the dry: back protector, knee brace, lumbar girdle, breastplate, and foam for the hip and coccyx, etc. In addition – and to guarantee that the rest of the user sees us – we must integrate enough reflective elements.
Let’s look for water-repellent helmet screens that prevent them from fogging up. For this, it is essential to install a pin-lock system or, failing that, use a product kit to apply on the screen. If we also want to arrive at work more or less presentable, we recommend the use of a skirt (exclusively for scooters) that, apart from keeping us dry, will protect us from the cold.
What are motorcycle rain tires like?
Motorcycle maintenance is always essential, but on wet terrain is where its importance stands out for all to see. The latest advances in active motorcycle safety (ABS, traction control, Rain engine maps) can guarantee us some peace of mind, but the protagonists are the tires.
A tire without a tread does not have the capacity to evacuate water no matter how much it carries the right pressure, and vice versa. You never want to stretch the life of a tire or brake pads to save some money. These two elements (along with the brake fluid) are key to driving the motorcycle in the rain.
On rain tires, the shape of the tread and the compound influence. The optimal ones for water should be elastic and soft, with a deep pattern that effectively drains the path where you step. They offer us its range for rain with great ratings and excellent results in grip before inclination.
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