How to ride your bike safely in the rain

How to ride your bike safely in the rain


The monsoon winds have finally made a grand entry to God’s own country marking the beginning of yet another rainy season in Kerala. If you are that motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys the adrenalin rush when you navigate through the wet, muddy and slippery terrains with terrifying thunderstorms in the backdrop, you have browsed your way to the right page! Many riders wait for the annual monsoons to start their trip as a journey with the rain is always a pleasurable experience. The cool climate and less traffic are add-ons to the experience. But along with the fun, there is also an element of safety that you need to take care of. So it is important that you take the necessary precautions for ensuring a safe ride amidst the wet adventure. So read on to know all about the precautions as you get ready to throttle up your machine!

Put on your Safety Suit

This would be the first thing that you need to do before you start. The first on the checklist would, of course, be the helmet but make sure that you wear a full face helmet. A full-face helmet would be of great value when you ride at high speeds during the rain. A modular or half face helmet would definitely make you uncomfortable or can even prove fatal as the raindrops would be fired onto you like bullets when you ride at high speeds. In addition to raindrops, there is also a possibility of small objects flying straight onto your face. So wear a full face helmet. The next one on our checklist would be rain suits. Pick a good one as some rain suits may not work well for a heavy shower. Along with the rain suit, wear a thermal liner so that it can keep you warm. Getting wet during the ride can be extremely distracting and can keep your concentration away from the road. So make sure that the checklist mentioned above is ticked before the ride.

Traction Control

Riding on Tarmac can be very slippery as the rainwater will make the roads sloppy. The water can also hinder the vehicle from obtaining an optimum operating temperature which can ultimately affect the motorcycle’s performance and grip. So in order to test the traction limit, use the rear brake carefully till it reaches a point of lock up. This limit can be used as the marginal value or safe limit to use your brakes. Do the test carefully on an inclined surface as gravity will help you do the job and get the rear wheel out of its line. Be very careful when navigating newly repaired roads, concrete roads, tarred pavements as well as spots with oil spillage and debris washed out by water on the road. Railroad tracks, painted road dividers, crosswalks and trolley tracks can be very slippery so pay extra attention when riding through these.

Clear Ride

Clear visibility is the most important requirement when riding in the rain. A Poly glass shield will help you with that. A pin lock visor-equipped helmet can help you against the fog that develops during a visor down ride at low speed. Another way of reducing fog is by pulling the visor a little up and letting the air come in which can significantly help in reducing fog. Yellow or orange visors that come with helmets are also recommended for improved visibility during dull weather conditions. Hi-visibility rain gear with reflective strips can also prove handy when you ride during the night on highways as it can reflect the light at a distance of almost one kilometre.

Precautions during Ride

Always maintain a safe distance if you happen to be behind an on-going vehicle as it can prevent the possibility of a crash. Also, allow tailgating riders to pass ahead of you by a gentle hand movement indicating the rider that he is following too close. Many are not aware of the risks of tailgating, so it is our responsibility to wake them up.

It is also not advised to ride during lightning as it can cause distraction or even knock you off. Crosswinds can also cause difficulty in positioning your bike in a straight line. Experienced riders often keep their vehicles parallel to another vehicle (car or large vehicles) so as that the issue of crosswinds is taken care. But do keep in mind not to ride on the opposite direction causing confusion with the coming vehicle.

Well, these all are the basic precautions that a rider must take care of if you are planning for a trip this monsoon. But in addition to all these precautions, it is through experience that a rider gains sufficient expertise to make decisions at the time of unexpected events. So if you are a novice in riding in the rain and get caught in circumstances that you may not be able to handle, the wisest decision would be to stop your vehicle in the nearest possible area and wait for the weather to become clear or less risky. So start packing and start your ride, it is already raining outside!

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