Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've read about the roads being extra slick in the beginning, then just slick so certainly slowing down is important. What do you consider slow on a good paved road, straight away, 45 mph, 55 mph? I know depends on how hard it's raining, etc. but how slick is it?

And, what do you do for visibility? I have 3 inches view over the xl-clearview and it's waxed, but how about the helmet? It's waxed too but doesn't it become very difficult to see? Has anyone used the little rubber squeegees that fit over the thumb?

I'm ok, not great for rain gear to stay dry, frog tog type bibs, water proof jacket & boots.

Appreciate any tips would be appreciated.

geo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
GEOBOISE

From what I have read over the years a motorcycle tire, in good condition and properly inflated, will retain about 90% of its "dry" traction. Seems about right to me from experience.

If you don't "overdrive your eyes", compensate with additional distance for the time it takes your disc brakes to heat up and dry, and factor in the 10% total traction loss, 45HPH,55MPH,65MPH could all be considered "safe" speeds. You need to find your "comfort zone"

It takes 20-30 minutes of a steady rain to wash the gunk from the road to the gutters. Many riders use this time to pull over,take a break, don the raingear etc. (frequently finding 20 minutes later we're taking all that crap back off) HAHA

I have found that at 60MPH most of the rain "sheets" off your shield and visor. Fogging of your visor is usually eliminated by cracking it open a bit.

Bill
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
383 Posts
I try to ride every day that ends in "y." That said, I don't ride on ice or snow, which means I may miss 4 or 5 days a year in my neck of Northern Arizona. I therefore have quite a bit of experience riding in the rain.

Since rain is a fairly rare occurence here, ~7" /year, the first rain after a couple of dry months are particularly problematic. That is when you are very well advised to pull over, get a cup of coffee and if it is still raining, don your gear and then pull out and ride on.

If you are dealing with regular rain, such as we have during this time of year (our monsoons) where it seldom goes more than a couple of days without significant precip, then there really isn't any difference between the beginning of the storm and an hour later, except for the volume of water on the road - riding through water up over your knees is seldom recommended :D

Wet pavement will significantly increase your stopping distance, especially if you aren't on an Executive with ABS. Once you break contact with the road, you can slide a LONG way. Turns etc. are only moderately affected, so 10 - 20% slower is usually adequate. e.g. if the road is posted for 65 mph, slowing down to 55 mph should be adequate, but when in doubt, err on the slower side!

Because stopping is so important and locked wheels don't steer well nor do they slow you down much on a wet surface, it is important to use the brakes gently. This means increasing your following distance. You are maintaining 2-3 second following distance in good weather aren't you :?: On wet pavement, that should be increased by at least 50%, 3-5 seconds. In heavy traffic, even 2-3 may be impossible - that lets 2 or 3 cars pull in as you steadily move backwards in the forward progression. But you need reaction time and additional braking distance to gently lay on the binders.

must my .02
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Riding in the rain

The best rain riders are usually dirt bikers. They've had some experience sliding all over the place. The trick is maintaining traction on the front tire. The back will slide all over. Use your foot to keep from laying it down.

The bottom line is your judgement. An absolutely flat and straight road can be riden faster in the rain. I take all turns at about half the speed of normal.

Any road with curves, trees and falling rocks needs to be taken much slower.

The risks go up significantly if it's the first rain of the year and the roads are oily.

I have one absolute, that is: Never ride in the snow. The patches of ice can really dump you fast.

The scariest rides can be had in the rain. Try 8 lanes of traffic going 80 mph. You're stuck in the middle of fast lane. The mist and dirt will cover your windshield and face shield instantly. Flip up the shield to see and your face is taking the stinging needles of rain. The puddles will lift the tires occassionally. You can't see the next off ramp, so you're stuck there, praying that the herd doesn't pack it up. Try moving to the slow lane and the snarling herd wont even open a crack to let you escape this nightmare.

Another aspect is how much exposure you can take. Depending on the temperature, you could suffer some before getting off the highway. I remember coming down from Seattle 1000 miles to home. When I got home, I was so stiff I couldn't get off the bike. I ended up tipping the bike over into the garage door. The noise brought out the family, who carried me into the house.

It seems to me, the water collects on my front and slides down to my crotch. Hey, I could put a gold fish on my lap. Then, the trickle of water dribbles in your fly. Mr. happy was not to happy that four hour ride home.

Hey, remember, this is supposed to be fun. Take it slow and learn as you go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
I generally ride in the center of my lane to keep me as far as possible from the cars in other lanes, and to give myself maximum room for emergency maneuvering. But when it's raining I avoid the center of the lane within 100 feet of a stop line; too much oil can accumulate there, making it too slippery -- especially early in the rain storm's cycle.

As mentioned above, increasing following distance is important. I try to double mine on wet roads.

Other than that, I just go by the speed limit, and obey any "advisory speeds" posted at curves. (Let's be honest, in good weather most of us go way faster than those yellow signs advise. Leaning deep into a curve is part of the fun of riding, after all. But in wet weather it's time to put the "fun" in check a bit and ride more conservatively.)

Moving your head around can help to clear raindrops off your visor, by varying the airflow, but even then you'll often have to reach up and wipe it off from time to time. I haven't tried the miniature squeegees -- never even seen them -- but my gloved left index finger seems to work okay.

Ditto what Monterey10 said about riding in snow and ice -- I don't do it anymore. I've crashed on bikes twice, once in '85 and once in '86; both times I hit ice on a curve. I didn't have a car then, so it was either ride or take a bus. I should have taken a bus.

HTH.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top