Riding in the rain, need some advice. - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Riding in the rain, need some advice.

Hey guys, long time no see.

I am still riding, believe it or not. I intended to sell my bike and had an accident before I could sell it, so now that it is fixed up (and in better condition than I bought it in) I can finally sell it! Should be sold on Saturday. I have a general riding question though, as I do plan on owning a bike when I move to Japan and would like to know for the future.

About my accident by the way... well, it sucked. Basically I was at an intersection and as I was coming to a stop (slowly, using the rear brake) someone rear ended me and I fell. I was fine except for a few scratches. To my great annoyance, while I was down, the car kept accelerating (very slowly) and pushing my bike along the pavement. He was watching TV and didn't really clue into what was going on. When I banged on his hood and realized what happened, he started beeping and swearing at me while I was picking up the bike. If I knew where he lived he wouldn't have a windshield or not-slashed tires anymore, although his kind of behaviour is the norm unfortunately.

The fairings were broken on one side as was the blinker, the rear brake pedal was bent into the frame and the rear view mirror was busted. I barely got it home without dropping it again, actually.

Anyway, all fixed up now.

My question is about riding in the rain. I generally avoid it but the other night I was at a friend's house in a different city and decided to head home a few hours after a light drizzle. The pavement was only a little bit wet and you could only tell by looking at the colour. It was a bit darker than usual. I didn't even notice until I was already on my way.

On sharp turns my rear wheel slid quite a bit. It made me extremely nervous considering how bad that trip is under normal conditions (downtown traffic, a freeway with a minimum speed of 70mph, tunnels, having to use off-ramps, etc.)

On the way home I had to swerve because there was a car heading the wrong way in my lane. It was a low speed swerve but the rear wheel completely lost grip and the only reason the bike didn't drop is because I had my foot down.

Is it like this for anyone else? Is my bike too light or is it my tires? I'll be selling it on Saturday but I think the outcome of this post will help me decide my next bike. I would like a bike that can handle riding in the rain (and I'll get something bigger than a 125cc this time, haha).

Cheers!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 02:24 AM
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Oftentimes a light rain will make the roads much more slick than a heavy rain. This is because a light rain will bring the oil on the road up to the surface, but won't wash it away like a heavy rain will.

If you were really sliding as much as you say you were (which I find hard to believe, because if you were sliding at 70 MPH you probably would have hit the pavement), then either you're doing something wrong or the tires on your bike are utter crap.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 02:26 AM
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I have a cruiser and the only problem I have ever had riding in the rain was at a red light and I had stopped my bike tire on the white line( for some reason that works best for me for the light sensing me) and I rolled on the throttle just a little too hard so I experienced my first peel-out. Scared me to death, but I easily recovered after a second or so. Frankly it could be the weight of your bike but it also depends on the tires I buy really sticky tires.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 09:13 AM
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After a dry period the first rain will bring all of the oils out of the road. As mentioned before, it takes a heavy rain to wash it away quickly.

Living in Oregon I would never be able to ride if I did not ride in the rain. Take it easy in those situations. After a day of full on rain the roads are back to normal as far as traction goes.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 09:15 AM
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Could be also the condition of the road. In Italy some roads (highways as well) are so consumed that they become extremely smooth. A normal pavement has tiny cracks everywhere (kinda like the threads of a tire) to allow absorption of water, so that it doesn't build up. You can notice in a fairly new road that when it rains, water doesn't pool that much. Now when the "threads of the road" begin to get smooth, the water absorption reduces, and it becomes more slick. You can notice when the lighting is right (especially at night) that a very consumed road will be extremely shiny when wet and reflect a lot of light from the cars, as with a newer road, it won't be as shiny...

That's why down here in South Florida the roads get repaved constantly, because we have always a lot of rain and if the roads start to get slicker, we would have a lot more accidents...

But yeah use extra caution when the roads are wet, if the speed limit is 70, go 65 or 60...
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 10:22 AM
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What has been said about rain pretty much covers it. Make sure your tires are in good shape and be careful. What I am more interested in is the level of driving in your area. The driver that hit you was watching TV and unaware he was running over your bike? That is dangerous to everyone, not just riders.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badlands-4-2 View Post
The driver that hit you was watching TV and unaware he was running over your bike?
Yeah for real. I mean, seriously? He wasn't concerned about the loud *CRASH* coming from the front of his car? He didn't care that there was probably damage to the front of his car? And its probably a nicer car if it has an effin TV in it. That's insane. I MIGHT watch an hour of TV every three weeks, not even kidding. I can't imagine having to have it in my cage too...WTF.

Did you guys swap insurance info? Cause if he tried to drive off after that I would have found something very heavy to throw at his back window...

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:26 AM
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I keep my brake lock in a pocket for just such an occasion 1 1/2 pounds of steel easily thrown and it secures my bike in bad neighborhoods completely worth the money I spent on it
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:38 AM
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One day that driver will get his butt taken care of he keeps that kind of driving up. Glad you are ok and he didn't just keep rolling over you!!! What kind of bikes are you looking at?

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:40 AM
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I kind of like riding in the rain... especially during the summer. The only problems I've had in the rain have been in light rain (like others have mentioned) and on painted parts of the road. The paint is really a killer in the wet. As far as turning, do take it easy for safety's sake, but it's not as if you have no traction -- just a little less.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:51 AM
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When I'm rideing in the rain I always stay in a lower gear to keep my RPMs up real high, and lean exrta hard in the turns, Oh and don't forget to get on the throttle real hard, all the time. The faster you go the safer you are.



LOL, just kidding, for real though, do the exact opposite of what I just said and you should be OK. I ride in the rain all the time, and I feel much safer when its raining hard, or has just rained hard, cause once the most of the oils have been washed off, you actually get pretty good traction. Just be easy on the throtle and you'll be fine.

Oh, and whatever you do, don't try and downshift to brake. Your back tire will lock up, and you more than likely will go down.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:58 AM
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I didn't say this earlier and many people may say that it's stupid... but maybe you should try skidding... just to see what it feels like. I've locked up the rear more than a few times while fooling around in the rain... it makes it easier when it accidentally happens in a quickstop in the rain.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 750killshin View Post
I didn't say this earlier and many people may say that it's stupid... but maybe you should try skidding... just to see what it feels like. I've locked up the rear more than a few times while fooling around in the rain... it makes it easier when it accidentally happens in a quickstop in the rain.
Not stupid as long as you don't try practicing in traffic! My MSF instructors actually encouraged us to lock the rear wheel up in the quick stop so we'd know what it feels like. Good thing, too, otherwise I would have really freaked out when I locked my rear wheel quick stopping on my Katana once (which, interestingly, is one of the reasons I sold the sport bike and went to the cruiser: less temptation to go fast through the twisties).

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 12:30 PM
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less temptation to go fast through the twisties
Carefull, Primalmu, you almost lost your man card!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 02:57 PM
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I'm curious to know what happened to the cager. If he got away with it I'll make sure to get a car when I go there and not a bike. Meh if it were here I'd be punching the window and pull the guy out through it, or at least put some dents on his car with my feet.
Back to your question: yeah check your rear tire. Normally I don't skid unless I step on the rear brake, also if you feel you were going too fast at corners try hanging out a bit instead of braking.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 06:39 PM
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Once the oil has been washed from the roadway you have about 85% of the traction of a dry road.
Just leave a bit more room and brake firmly without a kneejerk pull on the lever.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tdubb View Post
Carefull, Primalmu, you almost lost your man card!
Yea, well, I'm sure the girly scream I let out as my tires were screeching after coming up on a construction crew in a blind curve took my man card first.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! I didn't know that the difference between light rain and heavy rain really mattered. Most of the roads I'm talking about were ones with heavy traffic so the amount of oil in the roads might've been worse than normal.

I'll keep this in mind in the future.

About the cager... everyone watches TV when they drive these days. I wish they would make it illegal but instead manufacturers just keep making the screens bigger and bigger and digital carriers keep making the signal increasingly high-def
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflashmace7 View Post
I keep my brake lock in a pocket for just such an occasion 1 1/2 pounds of steel easily thrown and it secures my bike in bad neighborhoods completely worth the money I spent on it
Sorry to burst your bubble man, but the only thing stopping somebody from wanting your motorcycle is yourself pointing a gun at their heads...

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


So after this you might say:" oh but wait I have the disk lock that goes thru the holes in the disk... yeah man what they usually do they come with a van, and it doesn't have to be a work van it could be a minivan, like the ones soccer moms use, (they just take the seats out) they drive by, open the door and pick it up... if it's chained they'll break the chain in no time... All these locks are just a deterrent...

If they see your bike without anything they'll go for it, but if they see it with a bunch of locks they might say: "let's try to find one less risky". But if they want it bad enough, they'll take it.

At the end your disk lock is a joke, at least leave a nice chain where you work/go to school/home and a medium one always in your backpack (I always ride with a backpack, annoying? yes. Convenient? oh yeah... totally worth it)...

And if they DO get it, the only remote chance of getting it back is LoJack...
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:36 PM
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As mentioned earlier, the stickiness of your tires make a big difference even with wet roads.
A lot of tires are rather hard rubber which is better for high speed highway traveling and get a lot more miles between replacement. Sticky tires wear faster than harder tires and are great for curves and the many in-town turns we make.
In rain, the harder tires will skid MUCH easier because of the water barrier on the roadway. The sticky tires have much better traction and maintaining control is much easier.
Purposely skidding is good so you can experience the limitations of your tire's grip on a variety of road conditions (i.e. wet, dry, concrete vs. blacktop, etc.).

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:33 AM
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reading about your wreck infuriates me... the dude runs you over then starts honking and yelling at you because he ran you over? i'd have pulled him out of the car and snapped his ****ing neck.. then rode off...

I'm not a violent person by nature, but someone running me over is going to result in one of 3 things... if they get out of the car like their supposed to, i'm calling the cops and suing them.

if they drive off, i'll follow them. nothing short of a bullet between my eyes would stop the wrath i placed upon him...

if he sat there honking, and yelling at me, every window in his car would be busted out, then i'd pull him through the broken window and run over him with his own car..... and ask him how he likes it..

....... ok... i guess maybe i can be violent.. but stories like yours REALLY **** me off.............

oh... i just noticed you're in Korea... i guess things are different there.... like you said 'it's the norm'... i've seen youtube clips of people's driving in korea.... i wouldnt be surprised if the death rate is 40x what ours is here.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy View Post
Sorry to burst your bubble man, but the only thing stopping somebody from wanting your motorcycle is yourself pointing a gun at their heads...

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


So after this you might say:" oh but wait I have the disk lock that goes thru the holes in the disk... yeah man what they usually do they come with a van, and it doesn't have to be a work van it could be a minivan, like the ones soccer moms use, (they just take the seats out) they drive by, open the door and pick it up... if it's chained they'll break the chain in no time... All these locks are just a deterrent...

If they see your bike without anything they'll go for it, but if they see it with a bunch of locks they might say: "let's try to find one less risky". But if they want it bad enough, they'll take it.

At the end your disk lock is a joke, at least leave a nice chain where you work/go to school/home and a medium one always in your backpack (I always ride with a backpack, annoying? yes. Convenient? oh yeah... totally worth it)...

And if they DO get it, the only remote chance of getting it back is LoJack...
there are a dozen systems better than lojack install a gps system to it, and if it gets stolen report your system stolen and they can find it when it connects back to the system.(how they found my moms car) I know people who had lojack and it didn't ever find their bike again find somewhere hard to spot on your bike and tape a gps system you got a much better chance that way than you ever would with lojack. secondly I don't have a light weight sport bike which yes even with a brake lock on is relatively easy to move I have a cruiser and I have tried to move it with the brake lock on and it was a serious pain to move it the 3 feet away from the surrounding cars to get near the truck we were trying to lift it into. I have never thought about the van thing but, honestly I owned a van and we could take the door all the way off in about 2 minutes and I still don't believe I could fit either of my bikes into it. just not happening. It isn't big enough to easily get either of my bikes into. can it be done yes but both my bikes are big enough it would take a couple of minutes without the brake lock on.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 04:06 AM
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oh ny the way there is no wat in hexk a handheld (assuming) propane powered torch or electric saw could cut through a real brake lock and not a padlock as easily as shown in the vid. at least not without damaging either the brke rotor or the user of the tool I have used both and in the cases of cutting that little u0bar a padlock has yes but the hunk of steel a true braklock is would be a considerable difference in sheer amount of material to cut and anything hot enough to cut the lock would prolly slag the rotor as well
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