Every motorcycle driver knows that navigating the road on a bike takes intense focus, discipline, and attention. Now take the skills needed during an average day and complicate the matter with a rainstorm. By following these helpful suggestions, you can get to your destination safely even during the rainiest season.


Become a Gear Head

motorcycle riding in rain

Image via Flickr by Martijn.Munneke

If it's raining and you're wearing only sweatpants and a thin t-shirt, you won't be a happy camper. Invest in a good set of durable waterproof gear. A waterproof suit with bright colors and reflective materials is an invaluable investment that will ensure that you are easily visible in a downpour.

Waterproof boots and gloves are essential for riding safely in the rain because they provide constant grip in even the slickest road conditions. And if you can't see through the rain, you're in real trouble. Invest in a clear anti-fog face shield to give you a clear view of the road in difficult driving conditions. 

Increase Braking Distance

When it is or has been raining, the most important thing to remember is that bike tires have significantly less traction on wet pavement. Drive slower and give yourself more time to brake in soggy conditions. When it's raining, consider riding between 8 and 10 seconds behind other cars so that you have enough room to make emergency maneuvers. 

Check Your Tires

Get into the habit of checking your tire pressure before going on a ride, regardless of whether or not it's raining. You may be surprised to learn how quickly you can lose tire pressure. If you're planning to go riding in the rain, warm up your tires with a bit of stop-and-go riding. 

Be Aware of Hidden Obstacles

In rainy conditions, pay particularly close attention to the road's surface. Uneven pavement, potholes, and manhole covers can be especially hazardous when the road is wet. Brake well in advance and approach slowly and steadily. Braking more slowly will also help clear your tires of accumulated dirt or debris, which can compromise the functionality of your tires. 

Stock up on Supplies

Plan ahead for a sudden downpour and make sure that you are prepared with the right materials. Pack waterproof clothes in your side saddlebags or strap them safely to your bike with a bungee cord. Use a small waterproof box to keep things such as your wallet, phone, and keys dry and protected from the elements. 

Pull Over 

When riding, know when to say when. If rain is coming down in sheets, pull over under an overpass or hang out at a rest stop until the weather clears. Not only is it nearly impossible to see in a torrential downpour with even the most advanced goggles, motorcycles are also practically invisible to cars and trucks. 

As a motorcycle driver, it is inevitable that you will end up riding through some dodgy weather conditions. However, with a little bit of planning, you'll find it easy to make smart decisions about when to ride and when to wait. Above all, drive safely. 

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