Riding Skills: How to ride in the wet
05 November 2009 17:00
Riding in the wet, with the reduced grip on offer, is a big mental challenge as much as a physical one. But with practice and experience, we can gain a confident feel for a bike’s capabilities, just as we do in the dry.
Sure the bike will twitch a bit over lines, metal covers and tar banding, but bikes rarely crash themselves. If you are able to stay relaxed with your eyes and the bike pointed and driving gently in the right direction, things will probably sort themselves out. It’s not always possible to suss every tyre-taxing situation in advance, but if you monitor the state of corners before you get there and pick a smooth, clean line through, you’ll find it’s easier to keep things sunny side up.
Riders having a particularly nervy time will sometimes retreat into their own helmets, thinking nice thoughts of home and a warm bunk-up – just when maximum concentration is most needed. This is a classic sign of mental fatigue. So if your mind is constantly wandering, then it’s safer to stop and have a cuppa until you’re ready to remount with a clear head.
The key to getting power down without spinning the back wheel is transferring weight and load progressively on to the bike’s rear tyre. Gently does it in corners, feeding in power as the bike comes upright.
Once fully stood up, it’s possible to put larger amounts of shunt down – if you open the throttle smoothly and don’t snatch at it.comes upright. Once fully stood up, it’s possible to put larger amounts of shunt down – if you open the throttle smoothly and don’t snatch at it.