We ride because we love it.
Face it: the only reason anyone in North America rides a motorcycle is because we love the feeling of being on two wheels. Sure, the fuel economy and is nice, but nothing can trump the feeling of hitting a corner at a 30 degree angle, leaned over, screaming like a banshee the whole way.
You’ve done that, and it’s okay to admit it. If you haven’t yet I highly suggest you take some time to find out what you’ve been missing.
Riding in the Rain: What New Riders Should Be Aware Of
What does screaming like a banshee have to do with riding in the rain? A lot more than you’d think, actually. Riding in the rain is an incredible sensory experience: the sound of rain droplets hitting your helmet at 80mph is unlike anything you’ve ever heard; the smell of fresh rain is truly intoxicating when there’s nothing around you to hide it; the feeling of the cool air rushing through your riding gear is downright refreshing. It almost feels like your playing a real-life video game.
However, despite how much fun it is, you still need to be aware of the situation you’re in.
- Always be aware of how much traction you do or don’t have – Water on the road lessens traction. That is obvious, but something that we tend to forget when we are sitting in the relative safety of our car/truck/SUV/minivan/whatever. Having four wheels with reduced traction is very different than having two wheels with reduced traction. Go a little easier on the throttle, especially when cornering.
- Check your visibility – You spit up water from your rear wheel when you are riding, not unlike the way a sea-doo does when it’s going full-tilt. Cars and trucks also spray water behind them, and it can really impede your ability to see clearly. Be sure to give a little extra following distance.
- Be aware of additional road hazards – During light/moderate rain, the only real additional hazard you’ll likely need to be aware of is small puddles. During heavier rain you may need to watch for fallen branches, loose items getting blown in the wind, and serious puddles. Ride slower, and don’t take any risk you don’t need to.
- DO NOT RIDE DURING HEAVY/TORRENTIAL RAIN – If the rain is really coming down don’t hop on your bike.
The beauty of riding is that we get to truly enjoy everything the road has to offer. This includes different weather systems, road ways, and riding experiences that simply don’t exist when you’re driving a car. Get out there and have some fun, just remember to be safe about it.