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Discussion Starter #1
So,

As I have mentioned many times, the Dragoon never sees the rain, that’s what the other Honda is for. Tonight it was a beautiful drive to the college ( yup, I am two years away from finishing my 20 year degree in something, I can remember what I signed up for, it as so long ago :oops: ) and it was pouring. I don’t mean drizzle, they were waterskiing on the puddles :shock: . It doesn’t rain much here in San Diego and the roads don’t handle it well. In any event, it truly has been 10 years since I rode in the rain and since my accident last December, I have been very cautious. I tell you, it was a pucker moment every inch of the way home. So, given that it rarely rains here but I do expect this to happen again, any body have ideas how one practices for rain, when it comes so rarely. Also, anybody have some safety tips to keep in mind :idea: .

Vision of my bike going down again kept me at a slow 20mph pace for the 7 mile trip home. I felt stupid, but I made it and that’s all that counts.

Cheers from a very wet Dragoon
8)
 

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We got caught in the rain in December. We walked out of McDonalds after lunch, fired up both bikes, hit the road and down it came.

We slowed down, watched ourselves when turning corners, watched for manhole covers in the road, kept a safe distance from cagers and began letting off the throttle early when approaching traffic lights. I believe our average speed was in the mid 30's on straightaways. I didn't want to get clobbered from behind by driving to slow so I picked the pace up a tad on the straight aways. When we approached curves, we slowed down.

One other thing I did ( and instructed the wife to do ) was we rode with our tires directly in the path of the cagers tires ahead of us. Their tires seemed to have washed out small pools of water and we didn't feel the drag on our bikes going through puddles, etc. It provided us a better surface to ride. I also didn't mind letting the cagers wash the road surface out ahead of us. .....lol

I obviously do not have to remind you that the most dangerous time to ride in the rain is when it first starts. The road gives up its oil's and the road surface becomes very slick.

My best defense in riding in the rain is " watch the weather report ". Next time I will find a Hooters and just park the bike till it quits raining. If it takes a day or two, oh well. :)

Chris
 

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Must be nice to live where it doesn't rain often... The best advice I can give is when it starts to rain, feel your breaks out... test them and make sure you learn where your lock up point it. Take your time and give yourself extra time to slow down. It rain so much around here, I'm used to it... :roll:
 

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We got quite a bit of "rain" yesterday...its seemed different somehow though. Seems that in Indiana, rain with 8 degree temperatures is alot easier to see and doesn't run down the driveway as fast:

Thats no ruler, its a yardstick!!
 

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AceRider:

I am surely not trying to " rub it in " but I do not miss my Midwest days. I prefer these 60 and 70 degree days here in FL.

Of course thats what all us Old Farts are supposed to do - retire and spend our winter days in FL. :)

Chris
 

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Every time I go to the UK I'm just amazed at the number of riders that not only are riding in the rain, and dark, but are in the passing lane going around everyone.

They are so used to the rain it doesn't slow them down at all.

Different breed they must be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chrostopher et al,

Thanks a bunch. The idea of tracing the track of the car tires is one i did not think of last eve, but certainly a good one. i did go very slow and tried my best not to lean to much in corners, but at the slowers speeds thats not hard. I guess now it is time for me to wash the Dragoon and get al the road muck off it.

Cheers from a now dryer dragoon.
 

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Christopher covered the main points. Another advantage to riding in the car tire wake is that you avoid oil droppings in the center of the lane -- especially important near stop lights where cars and trucks can sit and drip for a while. Avoid painted and decal road markings, and look out for any metal surface such as manhole covers or grates. Best if you can sit it out somewhere, but if not you were right to slow down.
 

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rickbb said:
Every time I go to the UK I'm just amazed at the number of riders that not only are riding in the rain, and dark, but are in the passing lane going around everyone.

They are so used to the rain it doesn't slow them down at all.

Different breed they must be.
The Germans are the same way. It's really not that bad, so long as you remember that you don't have the normal amount of traction.

Gearing up for it helps just a tad, come to think of it.
 

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I rode a 900 mile day in the rain back in 2005 ( Read DragonTale). Wasn't my first time in the rain, but learned that you can become comfortable riding in it.

First, is don't panic. Panic brings mistakes and mistakes lead to bad things.

If the rain is fresh then give it a few minutes to wash the oils off the road surface. Otherwise you would be suprised by the traction you do have. I wouldn't go racing off into any corners but stability is there.

I found that staying upright while leaning the bike made me feel the most comfortable and allowed me to make curves going at least the speed limit for the curve. When the rain was coming down extremely hard I would find a cager to hook up with and follow their lead since they probably can see better than I can. Of course picking the right cager helps too, some don't drive in the rain any better than I can ride in it. :D

--BB
 

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One word I try to remember when riding in the rain (or snow, or ice, yes I've been caught on the bike in snowstorms before) is DELICACY. Not the kind you eat, the kind you use on inputs. Meaning steer delicately, brake delicately, and accelerate delicately. And always, always separate those three inputs when in slippery conditions. As someone mentioned, stay away from the paint on the road, it gets really slippery. Also something I've noticed in my cage, I use one gear higher than I normally would and this seems to make it easier driving in the snow or rain. My theory here is that higher gear=less torque to the road which prevents wheelspin.
As far as practice? I dunno, hose down your driveway? Go through a carwash?

-Scott
 

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Dragoon said:
So,

As I have mentioned many times, the Dragoon never sees the rain, that’s what the other Honda is for. Tonight it was a beautiful drive to the college ( yup, I am two years away from finishing my 20 year degree in something, I can remember what I signed up for, it as so long ago :oops: ) and it was pouring. I don’t mean drizzle, they were waterskiing on the puddles :shock: . It doesn’t rain much here in San Diego and the roads don’t handle it well. In any event, it truly has been 10 years since I rode in the rain and since my accident last December, I have been very cautious. I tell you, it was a pucker moment every inch of the way home. So, given that it rarely rains here but I do expect this to happen again, any body have ideas how one practices for rain, when it comes so rarely. Also, anybody have some safety tips to keep in mind :idea: .

Vision of my bike going down again kept me at a slow 20mph pace for the 7 mile trip home. I felt stupid, but I made it and that’s all that counts.

Cheers from a very wet Dragoon
8)
We got your rain last night here in 'Vegas...that's why I drove my car to work yesterday. Got some pretty nasty down pour. We get about 4-5in. a year of rain here. Not suprising cause 'Vegas is in the desert...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
silvershadow55 said:
One word I try to remember when riding in the rain (or snow, or ice, yes I've been caught on the bike in snowstorms before) is DELICACY. Not the kind you eat, the kind you use on inputs. Meaning steer delicately, brake delicately, and accelerate delicately. And always, always separate those three inputs when in slippery conditions. As someone mentioned, stay away from the paint on the road, it gets really slippery. Also something I've noticed in my cage, I use one gear higher than I normally would and this seems to make it easier driving in the snow or rain. My theory here is that higher gear=less torque to the road which prevents wheelspin.
As far as practice? I dunno, hose down your driveway? Go through a carwash?

-Scott
Now thats funny, going through a carwash. I actually chatted with someone on another forum in a chat room who claimed to have done that in a touchless wash and he said that the operator had him sign a liability waiver first. However, i have always been told, and maybe this is history and not relevant to new bikes, that you never use pressurised water on a bike. I never do. so the car was is out. as for the driveway, i live in san diego, my drive way would fit a single tire ( you have to live here to believe that but land is scarce).

Cheers and thanks everybody for the refresher as well as the new info.

Safe riding.
 

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We finally got some rain in NorCal this past weekend. I was in my car and as we pulled up to the light, I noticed a very nice new full-dress BMW in the lane to my left. As he sped ahead of me to get on the freeway, I told my wife that he was braver than me for riding in that rain. We got some fuel and jumped on the freeway and about a mile down the road, we saw his damaged bike being hauled up on a tow truck.

Didn't see the accident happen, just the aftermath, but just goes to show you that all the anti-lock, anti-skid, high tech toys can't always help in a bad situation in wet weather. He looked to be OK, standing on the side of the road, talking on a cell phone as they loaded up his bike. I felt really bad for him, but was glad to see that he was up and about.

Be very careful out there!
 

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I forgot to mention on my last post the time I was FORCED to ride almost 400 miles in the rain. Long story short, I live in Green Bay Wisconsin and purchased my ACE from a guy in Danville Illinois. So I took the Greyhound down there to get it, the weather guys said it was gonna be a beautiful couple of days, and the whole ride down it was 45-50 degrees and sunny. So I get there and it starts to rain, just a little at first and then quickly becoming a downpour. Shows what the weathermen know. Anyway my point is that knowing how to ride in the rain is one of those skills everyone should learn before they need to know, which I think was Dragoon's original point.
As far as the carwash, yeah pressurized water is no good, but there are other types of carwashes. Don't you have San Diego cheerleaders washing cars in a parking lot raising cash for something or another? Hooter girls? Gotta be something out there, it's California.
 

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I ride when it rains. Basically just don't be in a hurry and be extra vigilant about the road surface.
On good pavement, wet but not puddled, you have about 80% of your dry pavement traction. Not too bad; for normal street riding most of us aren't pushing it past 80% on dry days anyway.
But the difference between good pavement and not-so-good is amplified when it's wet, so that's what you have to watch out for. Road markings, metal things like tracks and manhole covers, cable tray lids...
Then you have the hydroplane effect. You have to have a sheet of water on the road for that, not just wet surface. I read somewhere that the speed at which hydroplaning occurs is proportional to the square root of the tire pressure, so if your tires are aired up good you are more resistant to hydroplaning.
There really aren't any evil spirits lurking in the rain, the laws of physics still apply. Just keep the g's down, both for turning and for accelerating/braking. Learn to find neutral throttle (a concept oddly not mentioned in the mc books I've read), keep a sharp eye on the surface and just take it easy.
 
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