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Anonymous

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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Wet weather confidence

"I really struggle with confidence when riding in the wet. This didn't used to be a problem because I'd only take the bike out in the dry, but I'm now using my bike to commute on, and every time it rains I'm just waiting for the front end to wash out and dump me on the road. How can I...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (11 June 2013 16:57)

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rlf3

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 420

rlf3 says:

Speed is the key

Allow more time for your journey.

Ride slower.

Increase your following distance and keep space around you.

Bias your braking more towards the rear brake and aim to not have to brake at all.

Make all your control movements smooooth.

Watch out for roundabouts, they are slippery bastards of things at the best of times and lethal in the wet.

Make sure you can see properly and keep a good lookout up the road and around you.

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Morgan86

Joined:

Dec 11

Posts: 1

Morgan86 says:

Time and awareness

Just ride defensively and be aware that using too much brakes will cause the bike to drop, as long as you've warmed the engine up and ensured that in the first few miles you warm your tyres there's not much more you can do. Just take your time and be aware.

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philehidiot

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 4655

philehidiot says:

The

key is smooth throttle control. Example - never shut the throttle round a bend. Keep it open and very gradually open it to maintain speed. Use the same throttle control to lose speed nice and smoothly by looking ahead and planning. No need to brake a lot of the time when you can use the throttle. This reduces demands on grip, suspension and makes riding less tiring. Smooth may feel slower but often it's actually faster when you build up your speed with it.


Ensure your tyre pressures are correct and that you have tyres which are decent in the wet and inspire confidence. It's often the confidence that's the big issue but I have come across rubber which is a big liability in the wet.

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albert88

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 1635

albert88 says:

wet

make sure your riding kit is ok , nowt worse than being cold / wet to distract you from the task in hand, also be smooth.

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redcatchris

Joined:

Oct 10

Posts: 10

redcatchris says:

Practice, practice, practice

I used to be the same. As others have said, ensure your tyres are in good nick and correct pressures. Truth is, other than diesel slicks (keep an eye out for petrol stations / bus stops / lorry routes), you've got far, far more grip than you realise in the wet on modern tyres (Pilot Road IIIs are superb in bad conditions). Ride frequently in the rain (don't make excuses not to) and as smoothly as possible: gentle throttle, steering and braking. Look well ahead of where you are, to where you are going (this is good advice regardless of the conditions) and act on it well ahead of time to avoid sharp braking / steering. Just keep doing these things as much as you can and progressively your confidence and speed will grow as you relax into it.

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daveire

Joined:

Sep 10

Posts: 120

daveire says:

I like riding in the rain. The best tip I can give is to be smooth, don't surprise your tyres by snapping on the brakes. Load your suspension before applying full power, brakes or acceleration. Just be careful of  white lines, road markings and manhole covers. Your riding skill will improve with wet riding.

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tarmacsli

Joined:

Nov 12

Posts: 4

tarmacsli says:

Smoothness

Hello John, wet weather riding can be very rewarding. You have to learn to be very smooth and gentle with the throttle, braking and leaning. You will be surprised at how quick you can go with the above but build up slowly! Just feather everything and keep it smooth and you will slowly build confidence.  Also it makes you a lot more confident in the dry.

Good luck fella

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pissedsid

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 141

pissedsid says:

don't panic

try not to stiffen up whilst riding in the wet jerky movements on the controls will destabilise you, just relax,look out for the telltale rainbow of an oil/diesel spill at corners and roundabouts, I always go easy in the wet leaving extra braking space and slower into corners accelerating more slowly after cornering, when my back end came away on a corner i dipped the clutch slightly to regain control, also slipping the clutch in tight corners will help as you'll be putting less power down and give you better smoother control

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triplehelix

Joined:

May 13

Posts: 12

triplehelix says:

Best advice? Get practicing at it. One can read the theory of good motorcycling in the rain, but even after 10 years of hard library reading, you'd still come off in the rain without any actual practice.

It is a horrible experience sometimes, but simply go out as much as you can in the rain and get used to it.

Best tip for theory though - no hesitancy, it will make controls jerky and just cause trouble. Use the bike exactly as you would in the dry, just slower, and less lean angle, that's really all their is too it, other than practice practice practice

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frugaltail

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 49

frugaltail says:

3 tips

Tip 1.... be very smooth, gentle throttle opening, gentle breaking with both breaks 50/50 over 3 times the distance, always go into roundabouts etc slower and use neutral throttle and a tiny weeny bit of back break to add stability this means tyres have maximum grip and you have control..... Tip 2..... When cornering focus on physically turning your hips so that the man cannon is pointing at the exit this will force your feet to put weight on the inside of the bike lowering the center of gravity in a turn preventing you steering with your shoulders,..... TIP 3.... Dont bother with any of that just buy michellin pilot road 3's and go mental i have seen people dragging a knee in a puddle with those and they wont ever loose traction in the wet EVER not matter how stupid you are (Although I am not responsible if you see fit to test this to a point you can make them give out)

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