There’s nothing like a rain shower to put a dampener on a ride! That’s why, for most motorcyclists, one of the top priorities is dodging any downpours.
While this should be relatively easy in the great British summer, it becomes virtually impossible as we enter the colder autumn and winter months. That’s why, whether you’re new to riding or a seasoned traveller, you need to be confident riding in the rain. To help you prepare, we’ve pulled together our top tips for riding in the wet.
Preparing yourself for the rain
Before even considering riding in the rain, you need to have clothing that’s up to the job. That means waterproof gear that can handle the conditions.
The minimum you’ll need is a waterproof jacket, trousers and gloves. It’s also possible to get waterproof motorcycle boots, although a pair of boot covers can be an easier option.
Make sure any clothing is the right fit too – you don’t want rain trickling down your back because your jacket’s too large.
You can also add repellent to your clothing with the Nikwax TX Direct Spray. Easy to use, simply spray it onto any breathable waterproof clothing and it’ll enhance the performance of your gear, keeping you warmer and dryer.
Our top pick: Duchinni Legend Motorcycle Jacket
A versatile waterproof jacket, the Duchinni is designed to provide an additional layer of insulation when riding in cooler weather. The second lining is a waterproof, breathable internal membrane, offering complete protection from wet weather. These interior liners can be used in a variety of configurations, allowing you to fine-tune your new motorcycle jacket to suit the weather.
Unfortunately, we can’t stop the rain from falling, but you can prevent it from smearing on your helmet with the help of a repellent.
Add the Muc-Off Premium Anti-Fog Treatment to the outside of your visor and it’ll use its cutting-edge, anti-mist formula to make the rain bead rather than smear, making your ride much safer.
Preparing your bike for the rain
Light up the road
That’s you taken care of, now it’s time to prepare your bike. Starting with the bulbs.
Rain can significantly decrease visibility out on the road, which is why it’s worth investing in some brighter bulbs. Not only will they help you see the road better, but other motorists will see you more easily too.
With up to 150% more light and longer beam patterns, our range of Halfords Advanced motorcycle bulbs are the perfect solution. Our +150% option has beams that can reach up to 190 metres, which is up to 80 metres longer than a standard bulb, all without compromising on life span.
Protect your bike
It’s also important to consider how you’ll protect your bike from the rain while you’re not riding it.
Hopefully you’ll have a secure, dry and covered location to store it. However, this isn’t always possible and that’s where an Oxford waterproof cover comes in handy. Protecting your bike from adverse conditions, the covers will help keep your bike in tip-top condition ready for your next ride. Even if you have a dry place to store your bike, they can still come in handy to protect it from dust. And when you consider how important your bike is to you, a cover is definitely worth the investment.
Riding in the rain
Now it’s time for the important part, riding in the rain! While it can be a daunting prospect – especially for new riders – riding in the rain is perfectly safe if you ride sensibly and to the conditions. Here are a few riding techniques that will help you safely navigate wetter conditions:
- Slow down – This is the most important tip of all. The faster you ride in the rain, the more chance you have of losing traction, especially when cornering. That’s why you need to take it easier than you would in dryer conditions. You’ll also have more chance to avoid any hazards…
- Avoid hazards – Which leads us neatly onto our next point. While it’s safe to ride through puddles (the chances of aquaplaning on two wheels are small) you can’t always see what’s underneath them. What looks like a innocuous puddle could be a deep pothole. So, try to avoid riding through puddles or reduce your speed if you must.
- Smooth braking – In wet conditions, your braking distances are increased, so leave yourself more time. To prevent locking up, you should brake smoothy and progressively.
- Leave plenty of space – Which means leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. Get too close and you’ll struggle to bring your motorcycle to a safe stop in time. So, leave extra distance than you usually would in dryer conditions.
- Slow cornering – Whether you’re cornering in the wet or dry, your body position should be the same. However, you need to be more cautious and use the slow in, steady out method.
- RELAX! – Riding in the rain is perfectly safe and only takes some small adaptions to your riding style. If you follow these tips, you’ll soon be confident riding in wetter conditions.
Unfortunately, we can’t make the rain go away, but with these top tips you’ll be able to ride in wet conditions more safely. And don’t forget, you can find everything you need to prepare for rainy rides over at Halfords.com.