Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t realized it already, we live in a pretty wet place. It’s April and I’m sitting here at our office watching the grey skies turn to greyer skies and the rain doesn’t look like it plans on letting up anytime soon. We’ve experienced some pretty weird – or I guess by now it can be called normal – weather in the Pacific Northwest over the past few weeks. One day it was snowing in the morning and sunny and clear by afternoon. While we may not like it, the rain is a part of our lives, so let’s learn to embrace it… if you haven’t already. That means you too, motorcyclists. While rain and motorcycle riding isn’t an ideal combination, it is an inevitable one. Do you know how to ride safely in the rain? We took some advice from American Rider magazine and the pros:
• Have the proper gear! Wear a rain suit that is breathable.
• Wear clothing that is bright so that you can be seen easily through the rain.
• Make sure that you can look over and not just through your windshield.
• If rain is heavy, use your four-way flashers.
• Have a proper following distance! While this is important when riding in dry weather too, your following distance in the rain should increase.
• Do not ride through standing water.
• Make sure your tires are properly filled. If your tires are not inflated to ideal levels, the possibility of hydroplaning increases.
• Be especially aware of painted lines, including diamonds and arrows, because they are very slippery when wet.
Overall, use good judgement! Riding in the rain is not the same as riding in dry conditions, and it can be much more dangerous.