No one likes driving any type of vehicle in the rain, but if you have ever been caught riding a motorcycle in the rain, it can be even worse. Not only does the rain make your clothing cold and miserable, but visibility also decreases and makes driving situations more dangerous.
While your safety is your top concern, if you have to drive in the rain, you might as well be more comfortable, right? Here at Kool Dri® Rainwear, it’s all in the name—we’re experts at keeping you dry in the rain! Riding in the rain doesn’t have to be terrible, as long as you follow a few of these tips.
Choose the Right Rain Gear
You know that feeling you get when your socks get wet while you’re walking around in the rain? Imagine that, but over your entire body and much colder—that’s what it feels like if you don’t have the proper motorcycle gear on while riding your motorcycle in the rain. But you can avoid that discomfort with the appropriate rain gear!
Layers are your friend, and the outermost layer should be as waterproof as possible. A full-body suit like the Kool Dri® All-Weather Motorcycle Rain Suit is ideal for keeping every part of your body dry. It’s lightweight, has elastic around the edges to keep the rain out, and is perfect for fitting over your other clothing.
Check Your Tires Before You Go Out
Just like driving your car in the snow, you’ll want to make sure you have good tires before a drive in wet conditions. If your tires are looking a little smooth and bare, we highly suggest avoiding the road altogether in the rain. Having tires with a good grip on the pavement will ensure a much safer drive while riding in wet conditions.
Try Not to Ride Right as the Rain Starts
Most riders likely already know this, but try not to ride your motorcycle right at the start of a storm. When the rain first hits the pavement, it mixes with oil and dust, and that moisture makes the roads extra slick. Give the rain some time to wash away the oil first before hitting the road.
Use Caution at Intersections
Speaking of oil, when oil mixes with water on the road, it creates another concerning hazard. If you see any shiny or rainbow-colored surfaces on the street, slow down (but don’t hit your brakes hard) and be more cautious. You’ll especially notice this at intersections or anywhere else that cars tend to sit for periods of time.
We also advise that you give more braking space at intersections in the rain, so you don’t run into a vehicle, run a yellow light, or take a turn too hard. Just like you do in a car, riding your motorcycle in the rain can be safe as long as you take the right precautions.
Watch for Sealer Pavement
Oil slicks aren’t the only slippery hazard on the road for motorcyclists. Here at Kool Dri® in Lancaster County, we’re pretty used to freshly patched roads and construction (it is Pennsylvania after all!). But did you know that those fresh patches of tar and sealer on pavement can be extra slippery as well?
When riding your motorcycle in the rain, be aware of these shiny spots in the road. If you can safely avoid them, do so, but otherwise keep driving straight and steady and don’t make any sudden stops or accelerations.
Don’t Trust Puddles
It’s likely that if you’re riding a motorcycle in the rain, you’ve already driven a car in the rain as well. With that in mind, most drivers should be aware it’s never safe to drive through a puddle that you can’t see the bottom of. Even if you can see the bottom, you need to be careful of going too fast and hydroplaning. This is just as serious for riding your motorcycle in the rain as well!
Even if it’s a small puddle, your bike is much smaller than a car. A pothole for a regular vehicle will not treat you the same way when you’re riding your motorcycle. It’s safer just to avoid them altogether whenever possible.
Find Your Dry Line
Have you ever driven behind another car in the rain and watched how the water moves away from the tires on the road? When you’re riding a motorcycle in wet conditions, this can be very useful for keeping your bike stable.
While keeping a safe distance from a car in front of you, you can ride on what is called a “dry line.” Now obviously, it’s not completely dry, but these areas that emerge help push the water off the road, making it easier for your bike in wet conditions.
Keep Your Cool
Even if you follow all of these tips, accidents can still happen. If you do find yourself beginning to hydroplane or slip along the road’s surface—stay calm. Just like on ice, overcorrecting, braking, or accelerating can make the slip even worse. Keep your bike as steady as possible, and stay calm until you’re out of the hectic area.
Remember, these tips are only a few suggestions that we have learned from experience. If you’re not comfortable driving, find a place to pull over or don’t go out in the rain at all! But if you are going out, don’t forget your rain gear from Kool Dri®. Contact us if you have any questions about the product or need more recommendations about our gear!