Motorcycle Riding in the Rain Safety Tips

Rain happens year-round in most places, and whether you ride in it voluntarily or involuntarily, you should be prepared for what’s ahead.

Motorcycle riding safety rain

We covered motorcycle riding tips for everything from winter to spring, to all seasons, daily commutes and even at night, so now it’s time to give some much-deserved overdue attention to riding safely in the rain.

Maintaining Control

The key to riding a motorcycle safely in the rain is to remain calm and in control. Gently ease on and roll off the throttle, and be progressive with the brake lever and pedal. Avoid rapid acceleration or heavy braking, as these greatly increase the chances of your motorcycle losing traction on the road. Brake in a straight line and complete your stop before making a turn. Only begin accelerating once the turn is completed and you’re travelling in a straight line again.

Motorcycle riding in the rain

Keeping a Safe Distance

In rainy conditions, you should slightly be favoring the rear brake over the front brakes to avoid locking the front wheel. Depending on the severity of the rain and the road conditions, your braking ratio will typically be about 60:40 rear-to-front. Reduce your riding speed, and increase the distance between your bike and other vehicles. This moves you further away from potential dangers and gives you more time to react if a situation does arise.

Motorcycle safety rain

Paying Attention

Avoid riding through puddles or areas of standing water, since you may not know how deep they are or if they’re hiding hazards such as potholes. Also avoid riding over manhole covers or painted road markings, as these become incredibly slick when wet and offer no traction whatsoever. Be especially careful when riding at the start of rain showers. When rainwater first covers the road, it lifts all the tiny particles of oil that have been dropped by the countless vehicles that travel over it every day. This means the road is awash with a mixture of oil and water during the first few minutes of a rainstorm, making the road treacherously slippery until the passing of vehicles has dissipated it.

Motorcycle riding safety rainy conditions

Inspecting Motorcycle Tires

Your motorcycle’s tires should have enough tread on them to be able to handle wet road conditions. Check your motorcycle’s tire pressures and tread depth at least once a week, and replace the tires once the tread depth reaches a minimum of 1/32 of an inch, or 0.8mm. 

The best safety tip we can offer is to not ride your motorcycle in the rain at all. If possible, either put off riding until the rain passes, or if it starts raining mid-ride, pull over and wait for the rain to stop. If you’re going to ride in the rain, make sure you gear up and maintain visibility while you’re on the road. And whether it’s raining or not, always put your helmet on!

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