Tips for a Rainy Road Trip
Heavy rainfall usually arrives in the spring, right before summer. Despite this, you shouldn't be afraid of taking your motorcycle out of storage and enjoying those weekend rides. Riding in the rain has its challenges (especially when it happens unexpectedly), but with the right preparation and knowledge, you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature sends your way!
Before you get on your bike, it's important to wear the appropriate riding gear for rainy conditions. Invest in waterproof gloves, boots and other gear for better protection. This will help keep your body warm and dry so you can stay focused on the road. Consider wearing reflective or brightly-colored gear to increase your visibility. If you have a long ride ahead of you, it wouldn't hurt to bring an extra pair of clothes in a plastic bag. Consider wearing anti-fog goggles for eye protection if you have an open-face helmet. Otherwise, invest in a full-faced helmet for maximum protection.
Once you're ready for the ride, make sure your motorcycle is, too. Inspect your tires, brakes, oil and brake fluid to make sure everything is functioning properly. Next, map out your route so you know exactly where you're going and where the rest stops are in case you need to take shelter.
Now you're ready to start your adventure! While you're on the road, you'll need to switch up your technique a bit in the rain, but it's nothing you can't handle. To ensure a safe ride, just remember to do everything you normally do, but a lot slower. Instead of combining accelerating, shifting and trail braking all at once, do them separately to help provide better traction on the wet roads. If you see puddles, avoid them as much as possible! They may look harmless, but they could be giant potholes.
It's crucial that you reduce your speed and give yourself extra space between the cars around you which helps increase you braking distance. Riding slower also lowers your chances of hydroplaning.
If you start to see lightning, get off the road as soon as possible! Riding a metal vehicle during a thunderstorm is extremely dangerous and you should never risk it.
Lastly, remember to stay calm and enjoy yourself. You wanted to go on this ride for a reason, so don't let the rain ruin your groove!
All of these tips should help you feel more confident the next time you're on the road during the rain. With that said, it's always a good idea to check the weather ahead of time to make sure there are no surprises during your trip. Stay safe and ride on!