Wet weather is often one of the biggest challenges for motorbike riders, and you might definitely feel a sense of accomplishment if you make it home safely after a day of riding in the rain.
For many people who use a motorbike as their main form of transportation, it’s important to learn how to ride safely when the weather is bad.
It takes skills to ride safely in wet weather, but the good news is that after some practice, you’ll no longer fear going out on your bike when it’s wet outside.
How Wet Weather Affects the Road
When it rains, the road gets wet, which can lead to grip issues. The road surfaces soak up things like oil and other substances when it is dry, and these are lifted to the surface of the road by the rainwater.
The first hour of a heavy rainstorm when all of these substances have been lifted to the surface but not yet washed away by the rain is one of the most unsafe times to ride.
Paints, metal manhole covers, cats-eye reflectors and tar all become much more slippery in the rain, which is why it’s important to plan ahead, keep looking ahead when you’re riding, and ride smoothly.
What to Watch Out For
Even if you are riding on a road surface that is clean and level, your grip levels are likely going to decrease if it is raining.
You will not be able to brake, turn or accelerate with nearly as much speed or force compared to in dry weather.
Since this applies to everybody else on the road, you will need to be even more careful when riding around other vehicles.
Those driving trucks and cars in the rain are also dealing with increased braking distances and reduced vision, significantly increasing the risk of a collision.
Slow and steady riding is the best way to keep yourself safe if you are riding a motorcycle in wet weather. Riding slowly puts less pressure on your tyres and requires a lesser level of grip.
In addition, it gives you more time to look ahead and notice any hazards in good time so that you can come up with a plan to avoid them before you get there.
Along with riding slowly, try to relax your body as much as possible – being tensed up can lead to jerkier and more aggressive reactions, which will make a low-grip situation worse.
Braking is always approached in the same way when riding Suzuki bikes in any type of weather, but it is important to allow for the increased braking distance when the road is slippery and wet.
You can brake quite hard in wet weather if it is needed, but it is best to do it progressively and smoothly.
You can also use the back brake more often in wet conditions if you need to, as long as you use it carefully and smoothly, and in conjunction with your front brake.
Riding smoothly, slowly, and being aware of potential hazards that come with wet weather are key to staying safe on a motorcycle when it is raining.