One of the most dangerous and tricky conditions you could encounter while riding is rainy conditions. It does a double whammy by making the roads really slippery and reducing visibility. This all might seem like the worst conditions to ride a motorcycle but it is actually the opposite. If done right, few things can feel as fun and as enjoyable as riding in the rain. There are a few things to keep in mind while doing so. While being fun, it can be incredibly dangerous too if you do not take the necessary precautions. Here is a set of guidelines that will help you ride in the rain without being in a position that endangers your life and your well-being.
The braking distance will increase:
Your braking distance depends on two things. The friction between the brake pads and the disk or drums and the friction between the road and the tires on your bike. Both reduce by huge amounts during a rain. This means that you will have to brake earlier than you would in the dry. This means that you need to change your normal instincts. The first time you ride in the rain, it is best to do so at a lower speed. This will give you a greater reaction time and will help you avoid lose grip. Once you ride a few times in the rain, you will get the hang of it and you can ride just as nonchalantly in the rain as you would in the dry.
The grip will reduce massively:
This is another very important aspect of riding in the rain that you have to keep in mind. The grip between the tires and the road is at its highest when it is dry and the tires are warm. This means that during a rain, the tire loses both these properties. The cold reduces the stickiness of the tire and the water reduces the coefficient of friction resulting in the tire being unable to stick to the road properly. This will cause the tire to slide around instead of rolling like it normally does which makes it incredibly difficult to control the motorcycle. Thankfully, modern tire manufacturers have added grooves on to the tires for this specific purpose. They allow the tire to still grip the roads a bit so that you have some semblance of control over the motorcycle.
The motorcycle might move around a bit:
The above mentioned reasons will mean that occasionally you will run into a situation where the motorcycle slides around a bit. The important thing to understand is that this isn’t the end of the world for you. In fact it is great fun to ride a bike that is sliding around a bit. The trick again is not to panic but to learn to steer the motorcycle. It is similar to a car and you have to steer into the slide but the difference is that this steering is not done by the handlebars but by your bodyweight. Gently lean away from the direction the motorcycle slides and the slide can be controlled. With time it will also become second nature to you and before long you will be riding like a pro even if the motorcycle steps out a bit.
Things to avoid:
To make life easier, here are a few things to avoid while riding in the rain. This will allow you to ride safely and enjoy the rain like you are supposed to instead of being terrified by it.