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@luminosity avatar
UTC

Hooked
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
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Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Hooked
@luminosity avatar
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
UTC quote
Hello all,

I am a happy new owner of a red Vespa LX 150. This is my first scooter and in the past 3 days of ownership, it has been a thrill to ride. I even enjoy riding it only 35mph! I am considering making this my primary vehicle and selling my Honda Civic. I would like some user opinions to help me make up my mind on some issues.

My wife has a sedan which we plan on keeping. But my idea was to sell my Civic and pay off the Vespa (and then some) and keep the Vespa for my commuting and other driving around town. My family is trying to discourage me from selling my car because they think I will not enjoy riding in the rain. I live in Sacramento, CA so we get a good amount of non-rainy days per year. Then there's the safety issue. They think with the smaller scooter wheels, it is not safe to ride down an avenue or boulevard in the rain.

Any thoughts? With a rainsuit, leather jacket and full-faced helment with visor, is it safe to ride in the rain down an avenue or boulevard sized street? My commute is about 8 miles in each direction. What about comfort? Would it be too cold in my area to ride in the winter with rain? I start my commute drive at around 8:30am.

Thanks!
@geo-vesp avatar
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Ossessionato
PX150 Serie America, T5 Classic, Harley Iron 883
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
 
Ossessionato
@geo-vesp avatar
PX150 Serie America, T5 Classic, Harley Iron 883
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
UTC quote
Hi, if you can, dump that car! I only have one cause' I need one for the crappy winters we have here in MN. I don't think travelling in the rain will be an issue with education and the more you do it. Read what you can and can't do and it will all work out. I ride in the rain and rode my LX in San Francisco and Mpls in the rain with no problems - I just slow 'way' down but no problems whatsoever. Good luck/I think you will be able to do it safely!

I have a bright yellow rain coat/slicker (I picked it up at a hunting store for like 8 bucks on sale) and keep it handy and it has worked out for me (my mother would be proud cause' as I kid there was no way I was going to wear one). You may want something more fancy than I if your commuting daily in the rain? Some folks do the whole rain suit thing - I found I haven't needed it yet..
@michael_h avatar
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Moderator
2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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@michael_h avatar
2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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UTC quote
The LX150 (or any scooter, really) is safe to ride in the rain. A bigger problem is the reduced visibility for cagers as well as you. I still have a car option, so I choose not to ride when the risk of thunderstorms is high, but do ride in the rain regularly.
OP
@luminosity avatar
UTC

Hooked
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Hooked
@luminosity avatar
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
UTC quote
My LX 150 is in the bright red color and I am wearing a red full-faced helmet so I am hoping that will increase my visibility. Thanks for your input so far!
@boulty avatar
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Moderator Australis
2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, 2014 Vespa 150 Primavera (sold) 2003 Vespa GT200 (sold)
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Moderator Australis
@boulty avatar
2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, 2014 Vespa 150 Primavera (sold) 2003 Vespa GT200 (sold)
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Posts: 5654
Location: New Zealand where it is already tomorrow..
UTC quote
I hear your story and have been there, done that.
Auckland has (as the song goes) four seasons in one day. I have bought good safety gear, high viz vest and ride most days except in high winds as I have to cross a large harbour bridge (they issue warnings to "motorcycles and high-sided vehicles").
You say you have only had your scoot three days. Why not give it three months including a few rides in crappy conditions, then make a decision.
Good luck.
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Member
GTS 250
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Location: Zürich
 
Member
GTS 250
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Location: Zürich
UTC quote
I commute about 9km each way every day, unless there is snow on the orad. I cover my suit with a waterproof jacket (Barbour is absolutely perfect) and trousers. If it is dark I also wear a bright yellow vest. My biggest watch out is the damned white lines they paint everywhere right in the middle of the road - these things are like ice in the wet.

Otherwise, I just scoot on in all weathers. Fair weather biker? Not me
@messycoloring avatar
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Ossessionato
LX 150
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Location: Danville, Va
 
Ossessionato
@messycoloring avatar
LX 150
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Location: Danville, Va
UTC quote
luminosity wrote:
My LX 150 is in the bright red color and I am wearing a red full-faced helmet so I am hoping that will increase my visibility. Thanks for your input so far!
Well I wouldn't count on that especially in the rain.

But yes, using a scooter as your daily commuter can be done, as many here do so.

(myself included)

My LX150 is my only means of transportation and since Jan of this year I've only missed about 11 days of riding. Mostly do to snow or ice.

But I would agree with Boulty, get some gear and some road time.

Then give it the summer to decided.


And welcome to MV
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Hooked
GTS
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Hooked
GTS
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UTC quote
I am also in the Sacramento area. I've been on a scooter only a few months, but have commuted on motorcycles in all weather for years. The key to safety is slow down and easy on the controls. A full face helmet works better in the rain than an open face. Good rain gear will keep you comfortable in bad weather.
@athensgirl avatar
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Member
LX150
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Location: athens,ga
 
Member
@athensgirl avatar
LX150
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Location: athens,ga
UTC quote
I bought my Vespa the beginning of March this year; and finally after riding in bad weather, windy weather, and semi cold weather I decided to sell my car. My family/friends also gave me grief over it. They said that it wasn't safe, and that I would freeze in the winter.

Well I sold my car this past Monday and I although it has rained two days in a row now I couldn't be happier with my decision.

I have rain gear (frogg toggs), a full face helmet, and I plan to get a ski mask to wear under my helmet in the winter (for really cold days) and heated gloves and heat packets to put in my pockets.
@maxdicapua avatar
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Member
Vespa ET4
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Location: UK
 
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@maxdicapua avatar
Vespa ET4
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Hi, I've had my scooter since last june and have driven in all sorts of weather in the rain my ET4 feels nearly as stable as when its dry (you've just got to watch out for those manhole covers) and I've even driven it in ice, even though its only a 50cc engine its still had enough torque to get me out of any slides I ended up in. (quite a few in the end )

Hope this helps
@twin01 avatar
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Molto Verboso
2007 Silver GTS250ie
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Molto Verboso
@twin01 avatar
2007 Silver GTS250ie
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Location: South Australia
UTC quote
I think Boulty has it right.

if you have just got your licence, take your time.

Riding in the rain is a lot of fun, and a real challenge (when it rains here, as it is now).

I have some decent wet weather clothing, and its fun to trapse into work, peel everything off and be dryer than the cagers that ran across the parking lot. (its even better to able to poke fun at the "summer only" riders!).

I started out doing dry rides only, then short rides on wet roads, and eventually built up to riding in heavy rain on winding roads. A colleague took me out on a ride on the winding roads before I did it in the wet, and gave me some really great tips about handling my scooter and the roads.

I will still avoid really heavy rain, if I can, but am now comfortable to handle most situations.

to answer your question though, yes. There are more hazards arising from riding in the rain. How you handle the hazards will dictate how safe you are.

Have a go, and enjoy.
UTC

Hooked
GTS250, VBB, Heinkel Tourist, Heinkel Cabin Scooter
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Location: North Shore Boston
 
Hooked
GTS250, VBB, Heinkel Tourist, Heinkel Cabin Scooter
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Location: North Shore Boston
UTC quote
I ride rain or shine in Boston, only stop when there's ice and snow.

Once you get used to riding I would make the decision. When you decide to do it I would get a tall windshiled and then cut it down so you just look over the top of it when you ride. That way when it rains the windshield will push the water over your helmet and you'll have a clear view most of the time. You will also find it makes a big difference when you ride, and you'll also be able to have a normal conversation with a passenger with most speeds.

Riding at night and riding when leaves are on the road are a little tricky in wet situations, just use extra care.

Godd luck!
@cary_alburn avatar
UTC

Hooked
LX150
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
 
Hooked
@cary_alburn avatar
LX150
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
UTC quote
I used to ride my big Kaw in the rain, and although it wasn't pleasant, it was doable, with proper rain gear (mine is "Thunderwear" jacket and pants).

Today was the first I've ridden in rain since getting my LX150. The apron of the scoot does a much better job keeping my legs dry than did the lowers of the Kaw, and my Faco mid-height windshield kept the rest of me pretty dry. The only annoyance was the reduced visibility through the face shield.

I can't very well get rid of my car, but riding the scoot in the rain, using a little care, seems plenty OK, if today is any indication. A really driving rain might be another story--today's was just a shower, and I never went over 30 mph. I've spent a lot of years on 2 wheels, so if you're new to it, take it easy until you get more acclimated--and as indicated by others, manhole covers and white stripes can be as slick as ice when wet. There is less traction on asphalt and to a lesser degree on concrete, so it makes sense to take it a bit slower, especially around curves and corners.

Cary
UTC

Molto Verboso
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Location: Monroe Michigan
 
Molto Verboso
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Location: Monroe Michigan
UTC quote
If I get the itch to ride my GTS, I don't give a fuck whether it's raining or not....the Harley guys don't. The only thing that bothers me, is the wind.
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Addicted
GT-200L & 1991 p200e
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Addicted
GT-200L & 1991 p200e
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I mostly agree. But riding in really heavy rain starts to get dangerous and it becomes impossible to stay dry.

But, about selling the car: I won't ride when I'm sick. Or when I'm really bummed about work or family. I also stay off the roads on drinking holidays and the rare frozen morning.
These are intellectual safety decisions made from trial and error ( not the best method on a motorcycle ) and a lot of safety study.

You might want to give yourself some training and experience before you decide.
UTC

Lurker
Vespa GTS
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Location: Perth, Australia
 
Lurker
Vespa GTS
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Location: Perth, Australia
UTC quote
I do ride in rain as well...I did note it takes some getting uses to...the smaller wheels tend to be a bit more "responsive" in the wet..

worst however, is the glare you get on your visor...the rain drops with the headlight glare make it very hard to see in the dark...I have had a few times, where you can hardly see crossing pedestrians...not nice! i try to avoid it! eg, i don't go out when it is raining, but if i get caught, so be it....

i take bus/train, and hence was able to drop the 2nd car...not great, but depending on the weather in your area, you may not see the inside of public transport a lot Laughing emoticon
@mopmop avatar
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Hooked
2017 GTS300 'Beauty'
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Hooked
@mopmop avatar
2017 GTS300 'Beauty'
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UTC quote
I always ride, no matter rain or shine. It's only as safe as the rider is, though. Adjust your speed according to the rainfall, and watch out for the painted lines on the road. Other than that: just practice, take it easy.

On the LX, what helps a lot staying dry is the large windscreen. It looks crap, and I always take it off when it's dry outside, but in rain it really helps keeping you cozy. There is a catch though: using the large windscreen in rain AND darkness, is choosing to crash. The rain drops on the screen reflect the lights of cars and street lights, making your view utterly troublesome. Don't do it...

Good luck!
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Member
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Member
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UTC quote
Get some months under your belt.

Ease into rain riding.

Decrease the speed of ALL your inputs: throttle, bars, brakes should all be super smooth.

Stay away from painted lines on the road: they are like ICE.

Stay away from metal in the road (manhole covers, metal squares covering work spots) they are like ICE.

Never grab a handful of anything, leave more room between yourself and the car in front so you can be smooth.

Wear a rainsuit.

You'll be fine

I prefer riding a scooter to a motorcycle in the rain: the leg shield works, your feet don't get soaked, and the low center of gravity is confidence-inspiring. If your commute is all in the city, I wouldn't hesitate. That said, I take the cage when it rains... Because I can.
@juniorswa avatar
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Hooked
'08 LX150, '86 Honda Elite 150 Deluxe (sold)
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Location: San Diego
 
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@juniorswa avatar
'08 LX150, '86 Honda Elite 150 Deluxe (sold)
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Location: San Diego
UTC quote
Be careful!
Just going to throw in my $0.02 and say that I DO NOT recommend driving in the rain. The ONLY 2 times I ever crashed were both while driving in the rain. The first time I was driving, at night, in pouring rain when the car I was behind slammed on the brakes in front of me because of a dip in the road. I squeezed the brakes on the Honda 150D(eluxe) and did not hit the car, but I ended up on my back staring up at the night sky in seconds flat. Granted, I was 16 at the time, but I HAD passed the MSF safety course and gotten my M1 license and had been riding for about 7 months. This first accident was on a road I drove every day. Didn't get hurt thanks to all my gear, but my leather jacket and gloves were toast and I was kinda shocked at how fast it all happened. The 2nd accident I had was, AGAIN, in the rain, right after a job interview. I was trying to turn left and ended up off my scoot and on my butt as I watched my scoot slide across the pavement and into another car. It crushed the whole front end of my scooter and that was the end of the Honda. That happened when I was 18. Both these accidents happened in SoCal so yes, there was a lot of oil on the road as well.
--Because of these two incidents, I am very aware that I personally do not mix two wheels and water very well. I am an older (30) and much better driver today, but I keep my car for rainy days. If I have to drive home in the wet because it is raining then I go VERY slowly back home. I check the weather frequently before I go to work and if I am unsure I WILL NOT take a chance on my scoot. Both the accidents I had were when my scooter was my only vehicle, so that is why I now still keep my car that is paid off.
--As far as actually driving in the rain itself, it really is no big deal and is actually quite fun! Just really hard to see out of your visor and keep it clear of water, as others have mentioned. The main thing to keep in mind is that your scooter will drive pretty much like normal and you will feel safe, BUT I would say you only have about 1/4 the traction you do on a dry day and the brakes can only be applied with 1/4 the strength and speed that you usually apply them to avoid locking them up, if that makes sense. The danger comes from an unexpected event when you react reflexively as you normally would in dry conditions. I just got caught driving home at night, in the rain last week. I went really slow and my scooter did wonderfully!
--Sorry this is so long winded, but that is my experience. Neither accident resulted in me hurting anything but my pride and my old scooter, but I caution you to be VERY careful driving in the rain, especially if you need to do a "panic" manuever. You just cannot count on cagers paying attention to you and they end up crashing all the time on four wheels in the rain here. If you must drive in the rain my advice would be to go REALLY slow on side streets...Cheers! Whew emoticon
@newscooter avatar
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Hooked
LX 125
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Location: Australia
 
Hooked
@newscooter avatar
LX 125
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I was brand new to two wheels 18 months ago. I have ridden my scooter to work (8km each way) except for only 2 days in that time and that was only because I had to pick something up on the way home. Our weather ranges from minus 2 or 3 Celsius some winter mornings to 45 degrees Celsius some summer afternoons.

I wear a jacket all year except in extreme heat (I know, should be all the time) and I carry a $40 pair of overpants. I wear an open face helmet with visor. Maybe I am a little strange but I actually enjoy riding in the rain. I get to work and home nice and dry.

Extremely important to ride differently in the wet. Corner slower, stay away from white lines, etc.

I agree with previous comments though. Hang on to your car until you are sure.
@bill_dog avatar
UTC

eeeee bip
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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eeeee bip
@bill_dog avatar
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber Honda Cub - Scorched Earth Policy
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Location: South East Great England of Britishland
UTC quote
Rain on a Vespa
I use my ET4 to commute 5 days a week and it's only snow and ice that keeps me off it. I have a car in the garage but only when I need to go out all dressed up do I use it.
It might be obvious to say this but I suggest good tyres, good water proofs and a reflective vest. A full face crash helmet or close faced visor works really well too.
Stay off the white lines, man hole covers and extened your braking distance.
Adjust your braking from 75% on the front and 25% on the back to 50 % either way preventing front wheel lock ups.
I hope this helps.
Reagrds Bill and his scabby ET4
@menhir avatar
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Moderator
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@menhir avatar
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
UTC quote
I keep a light pull-over rain jacket and some cheap-o vinyl pull-over pants in the pet carrier. The jacket is bright yellow.
If I know it's going to rain, I wear waterproof ski pants over my riding pants. Wet is annoying...Cold and wet is dangerous. Uncomfortable riding is distracted riding.

I don't mind riding in the rain at all. It is annoying, though, when it rains heavily at night and the oncoming headlights sparkle up the raindrops on the face shield. Your glove is your windshield wiper.

Rain happens. Even when you don't think it's going to.
Whether you choose to ride in the rain or not, it may choose to rain on you. I consider dealing with it a necessary part of my riding skills. So be careful and be prepared and adjust your riding accordingly.
@diggerdog avatar
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Member
GT200
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Location: spfld,MA
 
Member
@diggerdog avatar
GT200
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Posts: 29
Location: spfld,MA
UTC quote
Rain Man
Hello, I ride in all weather, rain or shine. I do have 2 helmets, a Nolan full face, and a Vega open face. You do want a full face in the rain or super windy conditions, plus it keeps the UV's off you and the bugs from your face and eyes. Just use your best judgement. I mean if it's a super hard rain just wait awhile, anyway ENJOY your LX and stay safe. diggerdog
@debdarling avatar
UTC

Hooked
2007 GTS, "Isabella"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 297
Location: Toronto Canada
 
Hooked
@debdarling avatar
2007 GTS, "Isabella"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 297
Location: Toronto Canada
UTC quote
I ride in the rain too- except when extremely heavy downpours are forecast. Getting proper rain gear makes an enormous difference- you arrive dry and feeling great. The only advice I was given that I really heed is to avoid painted lines, streetcar tracks and if I have a choice I wait to depart until about 15 mins after the rain starts. It seems to give the water some time to was some of the greasy crap off the road. Enjoy!
@maver avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa 300 super noir [of course]
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Location: Location:Location
 
Molto Verboso
@maver avatar
Vespa 300 super noir [of course]
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Location: Location:Location
UTC quote
never ever ride a vespa in the rain, big BIG no-no.................

they are made of sugar and will dissolve if they get wet Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon
@mstevens avatar
UTC

Addicted
'05 LX 150 "Rosso Dragon"
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Location: New Hampshire
 
Addicted
@mstevens avatar
'05 LX 150 "Rosso Dragon"
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Location: New Hampshire
UTC quote
When we took our MSF course, it rained both days for every minute of riding. We had those bikes leaned over pretty hard at times. We did all of the maneuvers, including swerves and emergency braking. Nobody in the course went down.

Of course, those were cheap Hondas and Yamahas that were not made of sugar as Vespas are.
@olhogrider avatar
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I Break Jets
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Location: Concord, California
 
I Break Jets
@olhogrider avatar
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Location: Concord, California
UTC quote
Get your wife to drive you on both days that it rains! Water rationing begins here next month. Seriously though, go real easy on the front brake in the rain. A skidding rear wheel is scary, a skidding front is painful.
@brouhaha avatar
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Addicted
et4 and px150
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Location: nyc
 
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@brouhaha avatar
et4 and px150
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UTC quote
Here are some other links that might help you.

FAQ: How should I drive my scooter when its raining?
http://www.nyscooterclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=731

FAQ: What rain gear should I get?
http://www.nyscooterclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6057
OP
@luminosity avatar
UTC

Hooked
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Hooked
@luminosity avatar
2013 GTS 300 IE Super (previously 2008 LX 150)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
UTC quote
Wow! So many great responses. Thank you all very much for your input and advice. I have really appreciated it.
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