To most drivers who have never experienced the exhilaration of riding a motorcycle – rain or shine – the idea of riding one in the rain may seem like a silly and unsafe thing to do. But, to those who love their bikes, it makes perfect sense, if you have motorcycle insurance and know what you’re doing.
Riding in Inclement Weather Not Always Wise
Of course, it’s not to say that riding around in inclement weather is always wise. That’s because, depending on your expertise behind the handle bars, some riders are better off parking their bike in the garage until the sun shines bright, while others can actually get a kick out of riding in the rain and still be safe.
Some Valuable Safety Tips
As with driving a car, as long as you adapt to the road conditions and alter the way you ride according to the weather, you could have an enjoyable ride. If you’ve got adventure in your blood, you may want to follow these five valuable safety tips for riding your motorcycle in the rain:
- The Right Gear
Rain or shine, the most important part of your gear is your helmet. Protecting your proverbial “melon” should be at the top of your list. Choose an approved helmet equipped with an anti-fog visor, breath guard, or even a visor with electric defrost function. If you don’t have a clear face shield, you visibility will be dangerously reduced – and, so will your chances of avoiding a crash.
You’ll also want to invest in a waterproof rain suit, gloves, and boots. Waterproof gear can provide extra warmth by keeping you dry on the inside, which can add to the enjoyment of your ride. Wearing multiple, thin layers of clothing can also make you more comfortable. Likewise, with warm waterproof gloves to keep your fingers from freezing, so you can work the controls without compromising your safety.
- Change the way you handle your motorcycle
While this might seem obvious, you should always change how you handle your bike in the rain as opposed to on a sunny day. Never accelerate quickly on wet pavement. Instead, use the throttle smoothly and increase your speed in short increments. In addition, reduce your lean angle around curves or corners. Finally, apply your brakes gradually and as early as possible to avoid sudden use of the brake lever.
- Use extra caution at intersections
Intersections can present added risk, not only because drivers have a tendency to run red lights due to their belief they won’t be able to stop in time without skidding, but because of oils on the pavement. And, the rain can make a bad situation worse, especially if it’s a light drizzle that can’t wash away the slippery stuff.
Reduce your speed when approaching any major intersections where your traction could become an issue. Rain water can easily buildup and cause flooding, creating another dangerous condition for you and your passenger.
Don’t take anything for granted when stopped at a red light. Keep a close eye on your rear-view mirror so you have a constant idea of what’s going on behind you with traffic. It’s not unusual for cars to slide into you or miss seeing you altogether. Also, increase your following distance as you approach the intersection to give you time to avoid someone slamming on the brakes for a yellow light.
- The dangers of manhole covers and sealer pavement
During wet weather, you could lose traction or control of your bike when riding over manhole covers and sealer pavement, which have been described as similar to black ice by motorcyclists. You may want to travel in a straight line or find a safe line around them, if you spot them up ahead. If they can’t be avoided, don’t accelerate hard and resist braking as you ride over them.
- Try to find a dry line
If you’re riding in a steady drizzle or moderate rain, it may be difficult to find a dry line. But, should the rain have let up for a short time, you may be able to distinguish dry from wet. Dry pavement provides better traction as well as improved maneuverability and should be used when available.
The more you ride your motorcycle in the rain, the safer and more enjoyable your ride will be, when you also follow these five safety rules.
And, if you’re looking for the cheapest motorcycle insurance in Alabama, you’ve got to start by getting a free motorcycle insurance quote.