Riding in the Rain
While you might not have planned to ride your motorcycle in the rain, there are times when it’s unavoidable. You might already be on your touring bike headed to your destination when the rain hits out of nowhere. Maybe your car is in the shop on a day full of scattered showers. Either way, you need to be prepared to safely ride in the rain should the situation arise.
Here at Harley-Davidson® of Yuba, City, your safety is very important to us. We’ve gathered some useful techniques for riding your motorcycle in the rain. If you have questions or want to invest in some new gear, swing by our dealership in Yuba City, California. We also proudly serve Sacramento, Rocklin, and Lincoln.
Prep Your Motorcycle
Before you even attempt to ride in the rain, you’ll want to be sure you’ve properly prepared your motorcycle. Whether you’ve got a new or used Harley, you want to make sure it’s in excellent shape before riding in the rain. Prepare your bike in advance to avoid running into issues in the rain. You’ll be glad that you found an issue in the comfort of your driveway or garage rather than in the freezing cold rain on the highway.
Start by checking your tires to ensure they have enough tread to give you traction on the slick, wet roads. They also need to be correctly inflated to the level of pressure that’s recommended in the owner’s manual. Next, check and make sure you’ve got enough engine oil and brake fluids. Test your brakes, throttle, and clutch. Last but not least, check to confirm that all the lights are as visible and bright as they should be. If you spot any issues, you’ll want to address it prior to hitting the road.
After your motorcycle is prepped and ready to face the rain, you’ll need to make sure that your body is, too. You’ll need our everyday protection from the road as usual, but you should adapt your usual gear to the unique circumstances you’ll be facing during a wet ride. If you wear leather clothes, remember that won’t mix very well with water.
Consider investing in a one-piece rain suit. This covers up your clothes and keeps them protected from the rain. These suits are designed to provide seamless protection so you’ll remain dry. This might be a bulky and expensive option, but it offers the right protection for riding your motorcycle in the rain. Another solution you might find more affordable is to get a waterproof riding jacket and waterproof pants.
A full-face helmet is the best option here since it’ll cover your entire head and eyes from the rain. Goggles might allow water in and make it difficult for you to see the road. Make sure your helmet has a face shield that’s waterproof. Don’t forget about a pair of solid, shielded riding gloves. You’ll want to keep your hands warm so you can manipulate the controls on your motorcycle. As always, wear a sturdy pair of riding boots with a good grip.
Watch for Hazards
As prepared as your bike and your body might be for the rain, there are still road hazards you’ll want to look out for. The main culprit to be aware of is low-traction obstacles. Wet riding can turn situations that are usually harmless into a danger zone. Steel plates are common on city streets for covering holes in construction zones. When wet, they provide zero traction and become severely slick. Don’t make a quick change in your speed or direction while riding across steel plates, as you might end up sliding.
Another obstacle you’ll want to watch out for is intersections. When cars idle, they tend to drip oil. When mixed with the rain, this is a recipe for disaster. The result is a slick spot, which can pose issues for you as a motorcycle rider. Always try to avoid low-traction obstacles. If you have no choice but to ride over them, be sure to approach with extreme caution. Slow speed and intense focus are essential for managing these obstacles.
Now that you’re prepared to ride your motorcycle in the rain, it’s time to hit the road! First, stop by and see us at Harley-Davidson of Yuba City to check out our gear. If you’re in the market for a used Harley, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find us in Yuba City we also serve Sacramento, Rocklin, and Lincoln.