Bikers usually prefer clear weather to go out for a ride. Who would want to risk their lives and ride a bike during a heavy downpour? But there are times when riding in the rain is unavoidable. In such situations, you can take certain measures that can ensure a smooth, safe journey. Have a look at these safety tips for riding a bike in the rain.
Safety Tips to Follow When Riding a Bike in the Rain
Always check the weather forecast before riding a motorbike to avoid unexpected interactions with the rain, especially during the monsoon season. If you know a light drizzle or a heavy downpour is expected, then you must follow these safety tips for riding a bike in the rain.
- Wear suitable attire
- Sturdy tires
- Be prepared for low visibility
- Don’t get carried away with speed
- Avoid aquaplaning or hydroplaning
- Watch out for the first rainy spell
Let’s discuss each of them in detail.
Wear suitable attire
Turn your scary journey into a bearable commute by choosing to wear additional gears for your attire. Unlike other days when the weather is dry and the roads are less slippery, rainy days require more added measures to help you have a safe journey.
Invest in a pair of good quality waterproof leather gloves that allow extra grip in controlling the throttle of the motorbike. You should also go for zipper waterproof jackets that can cover up your chest and protect you from rain.
Water-resistant riding pants would also help you ride through the rain. Buy waterproof booties that can withstand the heavy downpour. If you wear formal shoes on a rainy day it can slip every now and then affecting your smooth ride.
Carry your laptop in a backpack and cover it entirely with a plastic bag. Make sure to secure the top of the bag with a double layer of the plastic bag to avoid any water penetration as it could damage your laptop.
Tires are the only part of your bike that comes in direct contact with the slippery road in the rain. It is always a good idea to invest in a pair of sturdy tires to help you navigate during the rainy season.
Riding a motorcycle on worn-out tires can skid your bike on a slippery surface. Never buy smooth or bald tires as they are most likely to skid during rains. Tires with treads are great for all kinds of weather conditions. What are tire treads? They are the grooves or channels in your tire that deflect water away from it, making it easier to steer the vehicle on slick and slippery roads. Whether it is snowing or raining, you can easily maneuver your motorcycle as these sturdy tires with treads will provide you with more control.
Be prepared for low visibility
Low visibility can affect bikers. Among other safety tips for riding a bike in the rain is to focus on your headgear. Always pull out the visor of your helmet during a heavy downpour as it will allow greater visibility and reduce the chances of God forbid any fatal accidents.
Some people prefer wearing anti-fog goggles and visors that can provide extra protection and helps the windshield from steaming up. You can also apply various anti-fog treatments on your goggles to avoid them from fogging up.
It is not a smart idea to ride over the speed limit on wet roads. Make sure you go extra slow. Avoid going into deep puddles but if it is unavoidable, then make sure to apply brakes after riding through it so that excess water drains out. It is always recommended to drive extra slow on turnings. Heavy rainfall can obscure the obstacles and potholes on the roads, which can affect your safety. Drive slow as much as possible to avoid accidents.
Avoid aquaplaning or hydroplaning
Hydroplaning occurs when there is enough water on the roads that don’t allow the tires to get in touch with the road.
To avoid chances of hydroplaning your bike, don’t ride on painted lines, oily puddles and over manholes as they can affect the grip on your tires.
Watch out for the first rainy spell
The first rain spell is bound to create a slippery oily surface on the roads. Ever wondered what are those rainbow-hued puddles on the roads?
Engine oil which is released from vehicles and the dirt that builds upon the roads during the rainy weather gets washed off first thing and mixes with the rainwater creating rainbow-hued puddles. These puddles cause the bike to skid through and can cause fatal accidents.
Maintenance Checklist before Riding a Motorcycle in the Rain
Check your tires
Before going out in the rain make sure you take a good look at the air pressure in your tires. If the tire is under or over inflated, it will create problems in wet weather conditions. As mentioned earlier, take a good look at the tread in your tires to avoid hydroplaning.
Inspect your brakes
A failed brake can be dangerous, especially in the rainy weather. It is a good idea to check the brakes before you venture out of the house. Check out any wear and tear of your brake pads before you ride a bike in the rain.
Inspect oil leakage
You must check for any leakage. If your motorbike is leaking oil it can be extremely dangerous. Grease and oil mixed with water create a slippery surface that can skid your bike and can cause an accident.
Lube the chain
When it comes to safety tips for riding a bike in the rain, this remains one of the most overlooked ones. Remember: The chain in your motorcycle is one of the most important elements that ensure a safe ride. Make sure you lube it properly to avoid any mishap during wet weather conditions. Apply a generous amount of WD-40 solution on the lube to ensure a safe ride in rough weather conditions.
How to Clean your Bike after a Ride in the Rain
After your adventurous ride to work in the rain, it is time to give your bike a thorough cleanse. Make sure you remove all the mud and oily residue that is stuck on the frame and other components of your motorbike.
Once you have scraped off the caked gunk from your motorbike, try washing down the bike using warm water and detergent using a bucket full of water. Remove both the front and rear wheels. Go around tight corners, especially to the underside of your saddle and the inside of the front fork and the rear triangle where grime and mud can collect. When cleaning brakes, make sure you go inside the brake calipers and clean the brake pads.
Once you are done cleaning, now comes the part to dry it out. Take a dry cloth or better a towel and wipe all the components in your bike. All parts in your bike that are made of steel should be on your focus because it might catch rust. Once the motorbike is completely dry, first use a degreaser like kerosene on your chain to cleanse it thoroughly and to remove any traces of oil or grime. Then using a dry cloth wipe the chain. Now, lube the chain using WD-40 or any lubricant that you think is best for your vehicle.
If you want brownie points for a job well done, then polish the frame of your motorcycle using a moisture dispersant frame polish. It will help maintain your motorcycle in good condition for a long time!
So, this was a comprehensive guide on riding a bike in the rain. If you have a car, then check out our detailed blog on advice for driving in the rain. You can also follow these safety tips for the rainy season. For more updates, stay tuned to the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan. Don’t forget to send your valuable feedback to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.