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Still being a novice rider, I have very little experience riding in the rain...and the few times that I did ride in the rain, I didn't necessarily find it very enjoyable. But even with that said, I don't want to let a little rain keep me from getting out on the road. I'm working up the nerve to tackle my first road trip, and encountering rain would be a definite possibility. I probably don't have the high-end gear that some of you have, but I've been using my Foot Joy rain suit that I pulled out of my golf bag, and it's actually working pretty well. My biggest issue is visibility. I wear eye glasses and I prefer to ride with an open-faced helmet.. Do I need to go strictly with the full-face helmet on rainy days? Is there a way to keep the rain off of the visor? I also ride looking "over the windshield" if that matters. And is there anything that can be applied to these windshields like rain-x? I've read where rain-x is not good on these plastic windshields..

Any tips regarding riding in the rain would be GREATLY APPRECIATED..

Thanks

Chester Gunn/Chula, GA
 

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Hi Chester,

Living in Florida I get to ride in the rain a lot (Yesterday). I keep a 3/4 shell helmet with a 1/2 shield on the bike in case of rain. AS far as Rain-X DONT use it on plastic. I have been cleaning my windshield every few days with Limon Pledgefor the last few months. It seems to really help the rain slide, run or whatever you want to call it.

My "High-End" rain suit is a $40.00 Frogg Thogg. Works good for me, as Ive been caught is some very bad down pours and my cloths are dry when I get where Im going.

Hope that helps,
 

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I am in the same boat, as I wear prescription glasses, look over the top of the windscreenand prefer an open face helmet.

I have the 'photo chromatic' lenses, that darken with sunlight.

You can either get a shield for your helmet, or a set of goggles to keep the rain offof your specs.



As far as riding in the rain, SMOOTH is the operative word!!!

Accelerate, brake, down shift smoothly, with no sudden applications of any. Stay away from painted lines/symbols/cross walk markingsand man covers,as they are usually extremely slippery. Grease spots(usually found in the centre of a lane) are also very slick, especially at the start of a rain.

Just slow down, give yourself lots ofspace from the person in front of you,drive smoothly and defensively and things will seem 'brighter'. Rain is not all gloom and doom. I've spent many hours riding in the rain, which while may not be termed as exactly great conditions, was certainly a 'pleasant' ride. :action:

Others will chime in with other hints, I'm sure. :waving:

Iforgot to echo the Frogg Toggs as a great/cheap solution for rain gear. They also really cut the wind, keeping you warmer, on cooler days.


I also forgot to add:gunhead: that I keep a small, clean rag handy(in my tank bag) to use to wipe down the rear view mirrors and the 'rear' side of the windscreen, to help with 'overall vision' and keep track of those in my immediatesurroundings.


Dusty
 

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I agree, smooth is the ticket. The first rain I experienced with the wing was one of those summer monsoons that hit here in FLA. On the interstate cruising about 70 and you can see it coming but no overpass or exit insight so just drive thru it. The 1500 was very stable and did not feel out of control at any time. Did make me take a breath or two as I had never had the bike in rain...........I remembered reading here...smooth....it worked!!
 

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If you are riding on an Interstate(or any majour highway for that matter) where there are 'ruts' in the pavement from the big rigs, I ride more in the centre portion of the lane to avoid any puddles that collect there and increase your likelihood of hydro planning. Keep to the 'high side' and away from areas of the road that are likely to 'collect water'. If the traffic is fairly light, I'll stay in the outer(fast) lane as the pavement there is usually smoother and rut free. Keep your eyes/brain focused far down the road to anticipate anything that would require fast avoidance maneuvers.
 

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It has rained in Lexington for two days , we have water standing in puddles on the paved roads, and it is raining hard enough you cannot see properly, when conditions become this way, and some will disagree, so let them. Just pull off the road, check into a motel and wait for a better day. When you get standing water on the roads and visibility is limited, and it becomes an endurance contest, time to quit.

Other than that, rain is certainly to be counted on and normally encountered on just about any road trip, and at some point you will run into it. A mild gentle rain is actually kinda fun to run it sometimes, the day can become cool and actually be quite enjoyable, on cold winter days, it is not a lot of fun.

Your boots, and your gloves, make sure they are waterproof or you have some with you that are, you can use your choice of suit, but forget about those wet feet and that becomes a problem on a long day . Someone is going to speak up and say , hey put plastic bags over your feet, okay.....it will work......but not real comfortable, so just obtain waterproof boots or treat them so that they are. As with gloves.

I wear eye glasses too, and it makes no difference between a full face helmet with a clear visor over a open face helmet with a clear shield , other than the full face will tend to fog up more quickly, and you have to leave it cracked open a bit at the bottom. So either helmet you like is the same, both collect rain on the visor, nothing you can do about it, now contrary to all those who say......no, no, no, no do not use rain x on plastic, well I use it on my helmet visor. All the time, it takes it awhile to turn it yellow, and by that time the visor is scratched somewhere anyway, visors are cheap, and rain x works, so use it on the helmet. (do not use it on the windshield)

As for the windshield, forget it, do not even worry about it, just keep it low and forget you even have one. I keep a rag tucked up between the dash and windshield to wipe the helmet visor with occasionally, that is all, forget the windshield it is hopeless. All that thing is in rain is something to cause loss of visibility, so have it so you can just look over it.

Rain wear. Many like frog togs, I hate them, they are like garbage bags with elastic straps . flimsy, and on a long run, cold, touch an exhaust pipe or something and they melt, let them sit in the saddlebags for storage and get them out and be putting them on and they rip at a seam.......some like them, I do not.
Obtain a good rain suit made for fighting the elements, the one I use is yes expensive, but made for bass fishermen running a boat down the lake at 70 plus miles per hour in cold blowing rain, it works. It keeps you warm, and it breaths too.
A very good rain suit with a gore tex liner and a hood that you put up under your helmet, and good water proof covers over the zippers and a secure way to fasten the neck area, are all worth their weight in gold in a all day rain. They keep you dry and keep you warm. You get wet on a bike even on a summer day, after about three hours of it, you will get cold. You get what you pay for , is a good way to look at it. A cheap rain suit will suffice, but on a 12 hour day, it will make you miserable too.

Riding. Just be more cautious. When it first starts raining the road is very slick, and you only have two wheels, so stop early, slow down, change lanes slower and turn corners slower. Treat it just like you are driving on ice, because it is almost the same.
After an hour or so and the oil on the road washes off, you can relax a bit more , still be cautious, hold your speed down and just use common sense. Watch the road more, see a dark spot, go around it, could be oil, anything, and in the rain, it can dump you.

When and if it does rain hard enough visibility is gone, pull over, wait it out. and on a long outing, always budget for an extra day or two, and use them if you need to. Most of the time it will not rain all day hard, it will take spells of doing that, and you can run between them, some days though it will set in pretty constant and they only sensible thing to do is wait for a better day.

Hope this helps
Kit

Came back one more thing. Group rides. Sometimes we get into group rides across country with two or more other riders, they may be young, or inexperienced and want to push on in heavy rain. Let them. Wave goodbye to them, and ride your own ride. If you do not feel comfortable in those conditions, simply do not do it. There have been more than several times I have just pulled off the road when hard blowing rain is encountered, and visibility is zero. Others will wish to push on with peeking beside the shield and peering though a two inch window of sight, you cannot see the road, nothing.......most of the time they make it, sometimes they do not, I always make it as I just pull over. So you have to be aware of herd mentality, and ride your own ride sometimes.
 

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I also useFrogg Toggs ... they are light and keep the wind and rain out.

I use a flip face helmet with the plastic visor open just a little to keep it from fogging up. And I like to have the windshield down as far as possible.

Every so often I lean forward and up and let the wind take the water off the visor.

And as others have said drive slow and deliberate.... the way we should drive in the snow.


Bob
 

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Thanks to all for the wonderful responses....Not to sound unappreciative, but when ever possible, I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, instead of my own...I'm a little tired of learning from my own mistakes...
 

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I try to never ride into standing water or any puddle that I can not see bottom in. Here in Texas that puddle may be covering a 3 foot deep pot hole!
 

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I just close my eyes :dude:.

Seriously - I use Plexus to clean and polish my tall Tulsa windshield and the rain beads off pretty nicely.

Easy does it on the brakes AND the throttle. Good rubber is a huge benefit - riding on old or worn tires is very noticeable in wet conditions :doh:. Keep your speed in check with the understanding that it's gonna take more pavement to come to a safe stop. Keep a good distance behind other traffic until you want to pass to avoid the road spray.

I was crossing the Gap (the piece of land between Alberta and Manitoba) last year at harvest time and the crap from the fields in combination with the rain was not a pleasant experience. Had to ride standing on the pegs for a few miles to see over the windshield that was covered in dirty water. :(:shock::p
 

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I used to ride in the heavy downpours, but I'm a little more cautious nowdays. Once, I crossed Indiana on my Norton 750 & it rained cats & dogs the entire way.

Rain gear is a fairly new concept to me as i always just had a change of clothes with me. I tried the rubbery over-pants & raincoat from Wally's ($30.), but it doesn't breath.

Now, after 40+ years of riding/touring, I got a set of Frogg Toggs and might even put 'em on some rainy day....maybe.

My windshield is at eye level, so I can look thru or over it. I wear plain polycarbonate sunglasses, or clear, from the $ store.

I only use Pledge on my windshield & can sometimes get a clear view on the x-way at 65 mph, but no view at 45 mph.

If it's not a huge downpour, the rain usually feels wonderful on a hot day. I've never rode in heavy rain while off the x-way where there is cross traffic, though.

Stay within your personal comfort zone...whatever it is.
 

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Monk:

Where was that great Avatar picture of yours' taken?

Dean
 

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dean wrote:
Monk:

Where was that great Avatar picture of yours' taken?

Dean
That was taken in Grand Teton National Park from Hwy 89. Jackson Lake with the mountains in the background was just too goodof an opportunity to pass up.

Bob
 

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miles.from.nowhere

I love the paint scheme on the 1800.
 

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Thanks a bunch :). I can't take credit for it though - the PO had it painted by a lad that used to work under Cris Cruz. It is beautiful and my favorite color happens to be purple so I think it was destined to be mine ;)
 
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