Riding In The Rain Advice . . . - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Model: VT1100
Year: 1986
Location: Massachusetts
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Riding In The Rain Advice . . .

Does anyone have any advice they could share for noobs such as myself for riding in the rain or on wet ground?
Usually I hold in my clutch and downshift all the way to first when coming to a stop sign or red light and just rely on my front and rear brakes to ease into a stop ( when it dry out ) but I heard this is not ideal when riding in the rain and could pose a hazard???
Also, I find myself WAY more tense and a lot less trusting of my tires to keep me in contact with the road especially when turning. Should I not be so tense?? ...and would you say that in general, decent treaded motorcycle tires would hold traction in the rain just as good as in the sun?
And finally, what kind of tires/gear/accessories would you recommend for riding in poor weather conditions?
I look forward to reading some of your responses.. .Thanks in advance!!!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Model: VT1100C
Year: 1994
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
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Riding in the rain does not have to be dangerous, but it is more so than in the dry.

Your traction is reduced, so being careful in turns is not a bad thing. If new, your probably being a little over cautions, but that is a good thing.
Worst time for riding is right after it starts raining, roads are slicker since all the material that was "stuck" to the roadway gets lifted off and becomes slick, especially in the middle of the lanes and on turns.
Braking distance increases when wet, tires lock up easier in the wet. Most of your braking should still be done with the front brake, but know the limits of your front brake. Locking up the rear is bad when dry, but can be dangerous when wet, the rear will whip around much quicker. I for one always use engine braking when slowing down, dry or wet, so I am used to it, but if not experience, can also cause issues.

For gear, if you plan on doing a lot of wet weather riding, get some good stuff. A regular raincoat will not work with the ergonomics of a bike.
For me, I am a whimp, if I am going somewhere that I need to stay dry and their is a chance of rain, I cage it. I don't have dedicated rain gear.
I do ride in the rain a lot though when I am just out riding. I don't mind getting wet or riding in the rain, but only if I don't have anywhere to be (or am on my way home from somewhere).

Biggest issue with highway riding in the rain is mist from other vehicles (especially semi's) that can coat your visor/windshield quickly and loose visibility.

Here is a decent video with some tips:

1994 VT1100C
Starfire 185/65/15 rear tire (Darkside)
Perilli MT66 Route 110/90/19 front tire
Progressive 430HD Rear Shocks
Mustang Seat
National Cycle Windscreen

Last edited by blupupher; 04-23-2019 at 12:34 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:44 PM
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Greatly reduced visibility for you but more importantly reduced for other drivers (windshield wipers etc).
Reduced stopping ability.
You are usually less comfortable/colder in the rain and that can affect reaction speed.

1. Avoid riding in the rain if possible.
2. Leave about double the space between you and other traffic. Plan a slower ride.
3. Any painted surface ie crosswalks are slick as ice.
4. Ensure your tires have good tread and front and back are matched. (I always buy in pairs even if one still seems OK.)
5. Like reefing a sail, you want to put on bright rain gear before the storm.
6. If really pouring you need to take a break. Think of how small that single taillight is.
7. Whether raining or not the other drivers have the right of way. I like to think I am invisible not invincible.


PS I have 4 or 5 strips of reflective magnetic tape that I can stick on the bikes when dark or raining. Looks goofy so I don't leave it on but it really improves other drivers awareness. Putting it on sets my frame of mind.

Last edited by gdb069; 04-23-2019 at 12:52 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:56 PM
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Another video of good advice.

Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.
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From the past=
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 04:23 AM
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Always always ALWAYS give yourself far more time than needed to safely and smoothly stop for wet asphalt or concrete.

I went through a four way stop going 30mph once with my rear locked because I was racing a severe storm. If anyone at that intersection hadn't been paying attention....-_-

But always plan ahead, and never be afraid to just pull over into a parking lot for a bit while it clears up. If you're anxious and uncomfortable, you'll make mistakes; and on a motorcycle it only takes one small mistake for catastrophe.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:47 PM
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Hi there,

maybe you have the possibility to test your bike and the tires on wet surfaces, so you know how it behaves. There are also bike trainings where you can test this.
You should also find out, how your tires feel on wet surfaces. I had to switch to the Avon Cobra Chrome, as the almost new Metzeler felt like riding on soap when there was rain or wet tarmac in general. Really bad...

An other thing is that roads with only little traffic could be pretty slippery in rain, as they are dusty, and with rain that gets dammn slippery.
I have experienced, that even without rain streets can be slippery e.g. in the morning with the humidity from the night.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:55 PM
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The way I ride, I use only two fingers for the front brake, one finger if it's wet.

My PC has gotten real slow lately, a classic symptom of Sh!t Buffer Overflow, once your sh!t buffer overflows, it's over man, especially if there is a fan nearby. -- Mother

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:38 PM
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No abrupt moves. I took off one day when it was wet and the rear tire slipped taking off at about 40 mph. I took off a little slower after that. Smooth moves on wet roads.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:41 PM
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Stay out of the middle of the lane. That's where all of the leaked oil is at, and the rain will bring it up to the top. Especially in those first 15-20 minutes of the rain storm.

But also don't sweat it too much. You still have a lot of your traction in the rain, and you don't have to worry about hydroplaning on a bike. Just be sure to give yourself some extra stopping distance.
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