The spring rainy days have finally arrived in the Twin Tiers, so it’s a good time to talk about riding in the rain. We all get caught in wet weather, but not every rider knows how to stay safe.
- Cover up and be visible: You want to stay as dry as possible, which won’t be easy riding in the rain. Even the most expensive rain suits will be put to the test in heavy rain. Invest in some protection if you like to go on long motorcycle rides because no one likes to get wet. Use a full-face helmet because it will keep the rain from hitting your face. Visibility is also important. If you can find a reflective rain suit, all the better. Bright colors work well, too. You want to be seen at all costs because of decreased visibility in the rain is one of the main reasons for accidents.
- Stay calm: Whether the roads are wet or dry, you need to remain calm on your motorcycle, and not be tense or stiff. Sit down in your regular riding position, rest your hands on the bars like you normally would, and make sure your elbows, shoulders and neck are free to move around. It’s important to keep loose in dry conditions, but even more important in wet conditions. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for painted lines, manhole covers, train tracks, puddles and any other obstacles that may cause you to break traction. Take it easy on and off the throttle and brakes, but balance your grip. When you’re riding in the rain, aim to complete your turns before you accelerate. The more you ride in wet conditions, the more your confidence will grow.
- Be smart about braking: Brakes aren’t as responsive on wet roads, so it’s important to stop at a safe distance when it’s raining. Also, take your speed into consideration – you want to be able to slow down at a dependable time when the roads are slick. Ride at a speed that your brakes can handle and always overestimate the time it will take you to stop. An important tip is never apply only the front brakes because it will cause your front wheel to slip. If your rear wheel slips, you can control it, but once your front wheel starts skidding, you’re in trouble. If you can apply a braking ratio of 60 percent rear brake and 40 percent front brake, you will be fine. Make sure to squeeze and not grab your brakes, as sudden shocks of force can break traction.
The best way to stay safe while riding in the rain is to just do it. Practice will make you more confident and safer. So the next time it starts to rain lightly, go for a quick spin and build your skills and confidence!
Thanks for reading.
ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901