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I just had the most miserable and terrifying 10 mile ride of my life. It was clear and sunny when I left this morning and looked like the storm had moved on, so I decided I’d go ahead and ride to class. When I got out it was pouring. I couldn’t see a darn thing past the windshield so I spent most of the time half standing to see over it. I got on the freeway and the bike started floating all over the place like it was hydroplaning. I obviously got back off and took surface streets immediately, but ever time I hit the brakes hard enough to stop it started wigglin' a little. I took it REALLY slow.

My question is, how many of you ride in the rain and what am I doing wrong?
 

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I avoid it if at all possible. I don't what to get my babies dirty. Or me wet and cold. yeah , so I am a fair weather rider. And your point? :)
 

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You were doing nothing wrong I suspect...

In your area does it rain often?

If not...then the rain on the surface of a well oiled street could be making it really slippy...

Around me..the first 20 minutes of a rainstorm are neded to wash the street clean...and then we can ride a bit more safely...but still carefully...

Assuming you have decent tires on the Wing you should be OKAY for some riding..but don't plan any aggressive cornering...

Seeing over the windscreen is preferred in a rain storm but I look through mine and it wont shed water well until I am above 40 MPH...!

I have riden more miles in rain then some have in dry weather..

It rained on me once in 2010 all the way across North Dakota and into Montana...and another time I rode 300+ miles in the rainstorm that washed out the lake in Wisconsin Dells...!

Take it slow...and you should be fine...

Just my 2 ¢
 

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if i can get out of the driveway before it startes i'm gone. every trip on the bike have gotten wet sometime durning the trip.if you have to stand up to see over your shield than it's too tall imho
 

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mowerdoc wrote:
if i can get out of the driveway before it startes i'm gone. every trip on the bike have gotten wet sometime durning the trip.if you have to stand up to see over your shield than it's too tall imho
I won't cancel a planned trip, but would slow it down, and I've spent a fair amount of time dripping in some fast-food place when it was that heavy. Moderate rain is just a pain, but got a rain suit and just keep on.
First time bothered me, but after that.......
 

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Riding in rain is not fun but it can be done safely. Most of the valid points have already been made. Slow down, Have the windshield set so you can see over it, make sure your tires have good tread (bald tires hydroplane terribly), stay out of the center of the lane where the oils is worst, and ride like you are totally invisible to other drivers.

We got caught in an all day toad strangler on our way home from vacation, We just took it a bit easy, stopped for breaks more often and were fine.
 

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Having lived in Mesa, AZ for 20 years and riding a bike to work in downtown Phoenix to the area of the Big Ball Park Stadium (12st and Madison), I know of what you went through.

As mentioned already, the problem was/is that the Phoenix metro area has a lot of oil film on the roads. The rainfall is precious little and it takes a good down pour to wash the oil off even with traffic splashing through it.

I used the Loop 202 from 16th Street to Country Club Drive and if it was raining, I ran in the tracks of the vehicles in front of me. Following close enough that the water did not rush back in and fill the trench. But not so close that stopping was an issue.

That is something that you will just have to get used to, it comes with practice. Ride the bike as if it were a dirt bike. ie, do NOT hold onto the handlebars rigidly, keep a loose grip and don't fight the tires moving about a bit.

Treat it like you would a side breeze and the bike will pretty well keep a straight line of travel.

How fast? Probably 30% or more slower than usual. I would say between 40-50 on the Loop 202 when I usually ran 70+

Does that help any?

Oh, I never got wet until I came to the stop sign at McKellips and Country Club Drive. I seemed to always inspect that one to be sure the red light is working :action:

If you were having trouble seeing through the windscreen, you need to keep it polished with Lemon Pledge or something better. Rain-X has been suggested by some.

If I sit up tall, I can see just above my screen, but I prefer to sit below the screen and look through it. That is daylight driving, not night time driving. I don't ride at night in rain, pure recipe for disaster.
 

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One more thing, I would never ride on US60 or the I-10 in the rain. Period. Pure idiocy on those two roads.

loop 202 is more predictable.
 

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I only ride in the rain when I get caught out in it! I never take the bike out of the garage when there's a good chance of rain in the forecast.
 

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I haven't had the Wing long enough to get caught in rain but rode the Shadow a ton of miles in rain, even hail. Worst part is the first few minutes while you realize your nice clean scoot is trashed. I rode Met 880 tires and never had a problem with slipping unless I hit a tar patch or metal road cover while cornering. Not sure with this one how the tall windscreen will do in rain as far as visibility but other than that the rain wouldn't bother me - the bike doesn't really seem to care one way or another.

I actually encourage my riding friends to intentionally go out in a storm at least once in a while - much better to learn the ropes close to home on familiar roads with no get-home-itis pressure than to have to learn the first time you're stuck 20 miles out and the drops start falling. First they thought I was nuts - now they agree that it's a good idea.
 

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Yeah, it was US 60 between Alma School and Mesa Dr(where I got off). I could see over the screen by sitting up tall, but it was enough of a stretch that at times I had to stand a little. The tires are pretty new, I just had 'em done in May (Dunlop EII's), only done about 3,000 miles since then (20-40 a day).

I plan on avoiding it like the plague after todays experience, but the chance exists that I may have no choice (like today). When I turned onto Mesa Dr from the off ramp I thought for sure she was going out from under me, had folks honkin' like crazy at me because I took the turn so slow. Not my idea of a good time, but I guess I had to get my cherry popped eventually. It's been a couple hours and the bike is still dripping wet in my garage, I can't wait to see what this did to my electrical system.
 

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I never avoid riding in the rain it's the only way to stay on top of your wet weather riding skills. Riding for hours in the rain is still riding for hours...and that is fun.
 

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It doesn't sound like yourtires are an issue.

I usually won't go out in the rain if it's actually raining right now while I'm standing inside my house. But otherwise, it's fair game for me.

The big rule for me is: I will ride when it's wet, and I will ride when it's cold, but I won't ride when it's wet and cold.

I took a trip from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Rochester, New York a few years back, and it was about 600 miles one way. I rode about 300 of those miles up in the rain, and then when I came home a week later, I caught about 300 miles of rain coming back.

It's something you get used to with practice, but even thenit can get to be bad sometimes.

I like to look over my windshield also.
 

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Wife and I have enjoyed many miles riding in the rain.

When you are 1500 miles from home there is not much of a choice.

Dress well, drive at safe speed, enjoy the ride.:waving:
 

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Everyone has covered why in your dry climate it is a good idea to take it very easy after the first rain of the season (oil coming up). When it happens it can be slicker than snot on a door knob!!!

Up here in the "Great Northwet" we get rain for 3 of our 4 seasons so if we didn't ride in the rain we wouldn't get much riding in. We still have to be somewhat careful after the first good soaking as summer is getting over. I still try to ride only in the tire tracks rather than in the "Oil Track" you can see running down the road.

I rode for 10 + years in the Southern California/Arizona area and every time it rained you would see newspaper articles about bikers that went down just after the rain. Be careful and watch the painted sections and any metal embedded in the road when it rains!!

Henry
 

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Torrential downpours? no thanks, ill find a place to wait it out if caught in one, but normal rain isnt any big deal, no quick movements, slow down and make absolutely sure the cages around you see you...if you have any xtra lighting to turn on use em...
 

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as long as the wind isnt bad on a rain/thunderstorm i'll still go the speed limit through it but if its gale force winds i usually pull off nothin like dodging bullets with 40 or 50mph side winds
 

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Sometimes I think I have more rain miles then dry miles We have rode in total downpours when the road was full of mud and rocks we had no choice I dont like it but it does happen a lot for us. Like stated slow down and look over the windshield
 

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Once about 15 years ago or so, when I worked in an office at a factory about 35 miles from home, I had ridden my KZ1100 with a WindJammer faring to work that morning in the middle of the summer. Didn't look that well at the forecast and it started one of those Ohio summer downpours late in the afternoon and continuing into the night. Well, since I worked in the office, I just stayed late working on paperwork, etc. that needed done anyway, figuring that the rain would stop. Well, it didn't and about 8pm or so, I decided that the only think I hated worse than riding home in a downpour was riding home in a downpour AT NIGHT. So off I went, with my light vinyl raingear over my casual dress clothes. Miserable driving and completely soaked to the core. I took my wet clothes off on the back porch steps, poured water out of my dress shoes and even had enough water in my underwear that I could ring water out of them too. Basically no fun. I learned to watch the weather forecasts a little better. I should have just bought better riding gear which I am going to do later this winter since I just bought an '05 Wing and plan on doing a lot more riding this next few years (my business is for sale and if it doesn't sell by late spring, I'm just going to close it down any way. This economy is just terrible around here.)
 
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